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PAINTING WALGETT IN SUNRISE SONGS, STORY BY CHRISTINE ONWARD

PAINTING WALGETT IN SUNRISE SONGS, STORY BY CHRISTINE ONWARD 0

Welcome to a new series of outback stories promised to you a long time ago but repeatedly delayed due to my obstinate perfectionism (or procrastination,equally true). After a year of struggles and too high expectations from my side, I decided to let thoughts flow by freely and memories write by themselves in the way they want. I hope they eventually make sense to a point where I will be excited to tell the next episode and you will be eager to return and read it.

The journey I wanted to write (and paint) about took place a year ago in the outback Australia, more precisely in the northern part of NSW. It lasted 7 weeks and it was a blast!

For a person coming from the green pristine Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe, working in the bare fields of the far-far-away Australia was undoubtedly a challenge I was prepared to face. The huge emptiness of space, the scorching temperatures, the summer's dead bushes, and the desperation to survive of all living things had such a huge impact on who I was to become!

To honour the occasion, I decided to lay each meaningful experience of the outback in a painting. I wanted to add together the old me and my world as it was before back in Romania, the astonishing colours of Australia, its depth of landscapes, the victory of living- all in a series of paintings, celebrating me – the me I had become.

painting canvas Christine Onward naive art for sale Australia blog outback sydney
"Walgett-Sunrise Songs", painting by Christine Onward . More details Here

 

FIRST TIME IN WALGETT

 

painting Christine Onward blog map Walgett story rock street outback Australia

Walgett on the map, 650 km away from Sydney, right at the gate of the Australian outback

 

We arrived in Walgett late in the night. The drive to the town had been slow and challenging. 100 km on dirt road, the dark night around us, kangaroos jumping back and forth ahead of us, and a GPS with personality only made the trip seem to last forever.

We made it to Walgett after midnight. Streets were dark and quiet, not a single man passing by. Shops had iron grills at windows and lights were off. Even the motel entrance had iron gates, secured with a big lock for which we had to recall a long code and still debate the numbers an hour later in the dark.

Dinner was quite frugal: cold chips from an early breakfast at the petrol station, wrapped in an oily paper and tasting like old jelly, some cheese, too sour from the heat, and the usual beer, to help us fall asleep.

dog Caesar travel blog Australia Walgett outack

Baby Caesar spending the night with us in a NO DOGS room (who can swear he is a dog though, most of the times he behaves like a human) 

 

I slept that night in Walgett with the windows open to let the scents of the eucalyptus trees come inside. A bird kept shouting sad songs in the empty night, kept talking to me, and I let the sadness sink inside, because there was no escape, only the red road, over and over again until the end of my days...

 

 

THE SUNRISE SONGS

travel blog photo Australia Walgett outback painting Christine Onward art online story

Photo taken close to Walgett - dirt road on the way to the property of Mungunya 

 

Morning; 5 o’clock rise. I can still feel the taste of eucalyptus essences on the lips and bird's sad song in the ears.  

Shirt on, boots on, cap on, insect repellent and a lot of sunscreen spread to whatever spot left uncovered. Bags back in the trunk, work instruments in the ute; time for one more long drive in the unknown.

I panic and I want to cry, as I always do when I think of unknown.

 “It's just an adventure, I say, and who doesn’t like adventures”…

And off we are, this yet ANOTHER day...

travel blog Australia Christine Onward story Walgett painting art for sale

The flowing artesian waters of Mungunya

 

Right outside the town of Walgett I opened eyes on a big sun rising from the bushes. Few cows grazing quietly under a tree, doves’ songs coming to life from all around the bushes… and suddenly I feel I am part of it. I do belong. And there is nothing in the world that can take this moment away from me: the place where I first belonged.

 

travel story blog Christine Onward Australia outback art online painting for sale

Living the life of the outback: unspoiled beauty and endless reds

 

On the radio a song starts. I want to imagine it as a sign for me, and for everyone else who was welcoming the day in song of birds and golden rays of sunrise: Only a fool breaks his own heart…

 

travel blog Australia art painting Christine Onward outback story Walgett landscape red desert

The start of a new day with Walgett left behind

 

THE PAINTING

painting Christine Onward Sydney artist naive art golden dots Australia naive art for sale travel blog

Naive art, painting by Christine Onward | Facebook | Instagram |. More details are Here.

 

I ripped through the bare red of the desert to let the magic of the moment come to life: the day when I BELONGED.

I added flowers in the empty trees of Walgett, and I added leaves with golden dots to shine happily in the sun.

The red dust, I turned it into lands of merry colours and joyful patterns, the way I knew them to be like back home in the Carpathian Mountains.

And all the sunrise songs and happiness of living, I gathered them together in this fantastic bird with golden feathers.

There is always a victory in us, we only need to find it.

After all… only a fool…   

 

CHRISTINE ONWARD TALKING ABOUT ROCKSTREET-COLLECTIVE AND HER ROCK PAINTING JOURNEY

CHRISTINE ONWARD TALKING ABOUT ROCKSTREET-COLLECTIVE AND HER ROCK PAINTING JOURNEY 10

Life takes us on such extraordinary journeys that we often feel overwhelmed and unable to handle them. I felt this over the last three years more than ever before. I felt as if life was giving birth to a new, completely different me. I felt that I was given another chance and another purpose. I had to find what this was. I had to stop and listen to the beauty of this world. This is how I began painting on rocks.
Hi, I’m Christine. I have a post-graduate degree in Psychology at Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia. I was an ESL teacher for nearly 15 years. I volunteered English teaching for refugees in Tasmania, I was a medical secretary for a while, and, most important of all, I also had my two daughters, Malina and Maria, bright, beautiful, naughty, challenging, loving, inspiring, as all kids are. At the moment I live in Sydney with my husband, and as much as I miss my old piece of paradise, Diamond Beach NSW, I am trying to make the most of this crazy city experience.

 

Photo by Christine Onward. A memorable day in Diamond Beach

 

I started painting on rocks about three years ago. I had never painted before, unless you want to consider my mere attempts at art in school, just to pass the class really. But my little daughter, a young teenager at that time, was spending most of her time by herself, painting. I wanted to be part of her life so I invited her at the dinner table to paint and share the joy of it together. And we had fun, and stories, and plans… We had the mess, ruined all tablecloths, ate soup with a touch of brush paint, and made memories!

At some point Maria had to reduce the painting time because of her exams. But I kept on going. I kept on painting my little ladybugs, and flowers, and dots, thousand of dots. It felt too good to stop. Somehow, my worries, depression, fears, stress, tiredness… could be managed better. It was therapy. 

 

Photo and rocks painted by Christine Onward | Facebook | Instagram | Buy Here

 

I paint nearly every day. I generally start and finish a rock in the same day, or I lose the connection with my art. I love the bright colours. I use watercolours, not very expensive fancy ones, to be honest. But the varnish spray with which I seal my rocks thoroughly is of the best quality. Because I want my rocks to last long, be safe outside and well protected from the harsh Australian sun.

I love the medium sized rocks with interesting shapes and smooth surfaces. Here are some of the most beautifully shaped rocks I have painted on so far:

 

Painted rocks by Christine Onward. Visit on: Instagram/Facebook | Buy Here

 

What’s on now?

In time I realised I had to share this amazing journey with somebody else. Someone who felt the same: that rocks, the touch of them, their strength, the silence within them, make you feel better.

I started this Facebook adventure: Christine Onward Decorative Art as my artist page, and a group for rock painters called Colour Therapy.

Colour Therapy was all about art on rocks, colour enthusiasm, and benefits of painting.

Since April 2017 (Can’t believe it’s been only a little over 1 year now!) I met so many rock painters, so many beautiful people, so many stories, and I made so many friends!

Pretty soon after its launching, Colour Therapy turned into a more inclusive, original, and rock-art specific community named RockStreet Collective | Facebook | Instagram |

RockStreet Collective grew into this amazing media platform, with about 4600 members on Facebook at this moment, 6500 followers on Instagram and growing fast. In RockStreet Collective artists from more than 40 countries across the globe share the joy of showing their art works within the group, inspire others, provide support for the others, and, above all, connect with each other. I want to continue this extraordinary journey.

I want to tell the world that there is beauty in every form of art expression. And if it does well to you and others, then you should keep on doing it.  After all, we at RockStreet Collective often say:

 

“The world would be so much better if we gave life to a rock every day”

 

Photo and rocks painted by Christine Onward | Buy Here
Story of my painted rock - visiting the land of Turquoise

Story of my painted rock - visiting the land of Turquoise 0

Stones are like treasure chests. They capture inside the purity of the universe, the power of waves, whirling winds, and roughness of sand. We only add our story, with colours, brushes and no words – just love.

This is a story of how and where I painted this rock. Hope you enjoy.

WHY NOT USE A LITTLE RED?

WHY NOT USE A LITTLE RED? 2

Christine Onward talking about the symbolism of red and its use in creating art on rocks 

Red appears to be the colour that artists have been using the most in their art works. It is suggested that the value of a piece of art will increase dramatically just by using red in its composition. Recent studies also suggest that at least 77% of the art works in history have used predominantly the red colour.

But why is red so highly appraised in the world of art? And how is this preference for red reflected in the art rock painting?

Here are a few of the most significant explanations I found when it comes to using red in rock painting. To exemplify I used a number of rocks by the artists of RockStreet Collective, recently  posted in the group.

poppies painted rocks artists of RockStreet Collective

Photo collage by artist | Lysa Mignot |  of RockStreet Collective (artists tagged in group cover photo)

Probably the most common suggestion for the use of red in art is love. Being such an intense, “hot” color, artists have used red to convey emotions such as passion, happiness, or intense love.

But how do you represent love on a painted rock?

You may use the symbol of love heart

love heart mandala painted rock Valentine's Day red gift for her  red love heart painted stone interior decoration gift for her 

Red painted rocks with love hears by | Karin Getaz | Kathy McLoughlin | Christine Onward 

 

Flowers painted on rocks in red may also elicit feelings of love: 

 rose painted rock interior rustic red decoration valentine's day  poppy red flower painted rock beautiful decoration red love Lysa Mignot   red flowers painted rock love decoration Pamela Campbell

Rocks by | Angel Martinez Garcia | Lysa Mignot | Pamela Campbell |

 

Red is believed to make you happy

ladybirds painted rocks red garden decorations basket happy decor  love heart painted rock flowers garden decoration ladybug love romance  frogs red garden decoration painted rocks happy children

Happy painted rocks by | Gaby Avila | Dawn Harper  | Kim Koch |

 

Red is such a powerful eye-catching colour that can make us quickly attracted to what we see. This is probably why, for outstanding designs, artists are prone to using red more than any other colours of the spectrum.

 decoupage flowers red decoration romantic decor paperweight  owl painted rock interior decoration outstanding art  rustic aboriginal art red decoration interior design bookend

Rocks interior decorations by | Angel Martinez Garcia | Lysa Mignot | Christine Onward |

 

Red is used to reflect beauty in nature , as seen in the feathers of these fascinating birds:

  flamingo red bird painted rock rockstreet collective  peacock painted rock paperweight red poppies interior decoration   red bird garden decoration parrot chinese artist

Red and birds, painted rocks by | Tanya Nikolaevskaya | Christine Onward | 陳 泳澖 |

 

Red is also suggested to enhance strength, confidence and optimism. Here are some outstanding decorations using different hues of red:

mandala red dots painted rocks meditation nature energy  painted rock red mandala rockstreet collective  red mandala swirl painted rock magic karin getaz

Painted rocks by | Henriett Jäckl Pauline Parker Karin Getaz |

 

And some more red? How about romantic landscapes with a red sky at dawn?

sunset sunrise red sky birds affirmation painted rock romantic breathe

Painted rock by | Christine Onward |

I will conclude here, although the story could continue with no end. Red painted rocks can make for a wonderful piece of decoration. Being a powerful colour which triggers intense emotions such as love, passion, happiness, the colour that attracts attention and makes every piece of art more desirable. There is no reason why you shouldn't try it for yourself.

***If you think your red work of art stands out from the crowd, feel free to post your rock in RockStreet Collective.  We celebrate RED week on our Instagram account starting from 4th to 10th of June.  There will be two artist winners every day!! Winning rocks will be featured on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and website. Looking forward to meeting you too.

More RED rocks for sale Here.

keep calm and paint red rocks

 Painted rock by | Sara Stich |
 

 

Discover the Fascinating Story of artist Karin Getaz - the Magic of Her Painted Rocks and Passion for Colours

Discover the Fascinating Story of artist Karin Getaz - the Magic of Her Painted Rocks and Passion for Colours 5

The extraordinary story of artist and rock painter Karin Getaz of Queensland, Australia. Astonishing collection of painted rocks, dot mandalas and modern art.
HISTORIA DE UNA PIEDRA - THE HISTORY OF A STONE - by rock artist Loli Gambin

HISTORIA DE UNA PIEDRA - THE HISTORY OF A STONE - by rock artist Loli Gambin 8

"The history of a painted rock" by formidable Spanish artist Loli Gambin of "Piedras para sonreir". A beautiful story about family love, birthday surprises and art on rocks both in Spanish and English.