PAINTING WALGETT IN SUNRISE SONGS, STORY BY CHRISTINE ONWARD 18
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.
"Walgett-Sunrise Songs", painting by Christine Onward . More details Here
FIRST TIME IN WALGETT
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.
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
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...
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.
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…
The start of a new day with Walgett left behind
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…
WEDNESDAY SNAPSHOT - DANIJELA MILOSEVIC - Rocks with a Magical Touch 14
Art of Legends and Mediterranean Blues
-Welcome to Greece-
Breathtaking hues of blue and wonderful designs: painted rocks by Danijela Milosevic | Facebook | Instagram |
This week I would like to celebrate an outstanding artist and wonderful friend from Greece, Danijela Milosevic. As most of us would agree, since the launching of our group, RockStreet Collective, Danijela has never ceased to share quality art, joy, beautiful colours, and lots of encouragements to all our artists.
This is why, a peek into Danijela's out-of-the-ordinary magical works is not only long needed, but also greatly welcomed.
So many words came to mind to describe Danijela's works of art, but the one word I wanted to use the most was MAGICAL.
Watching her rocks is like walking into a realm of legend and fantastic dreams. Mystical dragons, most beloved by Danijela, lure you into stories of childhood as noone in our rock art world. It's a never ending wish to see more, to dream more, and to smile even more.
And if you think there could be nothing better than the legendary dragons of Danijela's magical world of rocks, here is more!
Danijela can lure you into yet another magical world of little stone houses with the most intricate details, cheerful colours, and a happy feel.
A FEEL OF BLUE
You can dive deep in Danijela's hues of blue. It is as if the whole Greece and all the waves of the Mediterranean sea have collapsed into Danijela's rock designs. When surrounded by them, some colors can become an endless source of energy; and this is what Danijela's rocks are: endless sources of optimism and positive energy.
Flipping through the photos I have saved for this article, I found myself thinking of the little child who gets to meet Danijela's work. How many of these would they (and us!) want to collect? How many moments of inspiration and story telling would they gain just by holding such beautiful rocks?
This is what makes our art stand out from the other's: with our paintings we offer moments of joy and inspiration to all who touch our rocks. I keep the hope to own one of Danijela's rocks some day, until then I remain with my honest admiration.
This is an article written by Christine Onward with the consent of the artist.
*Each Wednesday an artist and their works of art will be selected and presented to you in a few lines and images. If you want to be the next artist featured on our blog, please drop a message on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glimpse into a life of art and self-challenge, artist Pamela Campbell talking about how yoga and rock painting became part of her life 0“I feel that I need both painting and yoga to become better “
- Christine Onward
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Mystical Travels in the World of Pure Rock Art - an Interview with Fascinating French Artist, Lysa Mignot 7
Welcome back to our wonderful world of painted rocks and their astonishing creators! Today I have this extraordinary opportunity to introduce to you a fascinating artist, wonderful person, and dear friend, Lysa Mignot of Toulouse, France.
My journey with the RockStreet community has allowed me to meet many interesting, talented and hard working people so far, but I must tell, Lysa has never failed to show me the deepest passion and fantastic devotion to her art as noone before.
Here is Lysa's discourse addressed to you all. I left it unedited, because I wanted to preserve the unique glow showing not only in her art creations but also in her writing:
"Bonjour, mon nom d’artiste est Lyzzz, avec 3 z car je suis une rêveuse.
Hello, my artist name is Lyzzz, with 3 z because I'm a dreamer.
I live in the south of France in the city of Toulouse, also called "The Pink City" due to the colour of its brick walls. The city is crossed by river Garonne which keeps the climate of the region quite temperate and invites to long walks along its banks. Going up the river to the Pyrenees mountains there is the wonderful Salat, a tributary of the Garonne, with its birth place in the heart of the mountains. It is in the Salat riverbed that I search for and collect my rock treasures.
Photo: Astounding capture of Salat river by the Pyrénées Mountains
I have always had the habit of collecting small pebbles. One of my biggest joys is to find the perfect stones in the shape of a love heart. Drawing has also been part of me for a very long time. I am fascinated by the antlers of the trees and by flowers. They are my insatiable source of inspiration. So I decided to meet these two sides of my personality and start painting fantastic trees and flowers on rocks.
I painted my first pebble 10 years ago, with students in my son's class. They needed to raise funds to finance a trip so we managed to sell plenty of painted pebbles at the Christmas market. I did not keep any pictures of those first stones but from that moment things went on and the adventure continued for me.
Here is a pebble heart I have created for the shop that exhibits my creations.
I rarely paint the background of the rocks. That is why I choose mostly smooth stones and solid colour to play with the contrasts. I prefer to preserve a natural part of the stone so that it releases its soul. I prefer working on pebbles of small size and create miniature works of art.
I mainly use acrylic paint with pen or brush and I also make mosaic pieces. The eggshell and mother of pearl are easy to work with and make my jewels unique and original.
Even though I always return to flowers and trees, I like to learn and progress with my art. I always look for new ideas and new techniques. Most recently and thanks to the wonderful diversity of the creations exhibited by the members of the international group RockStreet Collective, I started to be interested in owls which I am studying to enlarge my collections now.
As it is for many artists, moments of motivation at zero point sometimes torture me, so I really thank from the bottom of my heart to all the members of RockStreet Collective who allow me every day to discover a new surprise from another continent.
To you who give me your smiles and your likes, to all of you I say thank you, stay united in our family of rock painters and to continue this wonderful atmosphere of sharing and making friends.
I also thank all my friends who support me, my fans who encourage me and my customers who give me a happy means to live.
I hope I have made you travel through my mineral universe and invite you to join me on my artistic walks and enjoy the art that moves you.
When Painting on Rocks Becomes Part of Your Soul - Interview with Ineke Burgman, Remarkable Artist of The Netherlands 3The beautiful story of Dutch artist Ineke Burgman of RockStreet Collective. Find the smiles, the joy, and the strength of painting on stones.
THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN by Tony Flurscheim 25
Tony Flurscheim talking this week about his first encounter with painted rocks and therapeutic benefits of rock painting
When I first saw Christine Onward’s work on the net I could sense something creative and unique there. And the universe conspires at times to arrange things…
She happened to live almost next door to where I holiday each year. At Diamond Beach, a 5 hour drive north of Sydney. We meet up for a series of rocks for my sister’s Reiki Practice Waves of Energy and order some other general pieces.
I can still remember our first meeting with Christine at the little café in Blackhead, nearby Diamond Beach. They have great pies there all the time. My brother-in-law is normally a placid man of few words. He was in awe when shown the rocks! He literally stood up, looked alive for a change, picked up one piece and just said: I want this one!
It came to me just then: Rock Art must bring out extraordinary drawing talents and create Healing Powers as well.
I bought some rocks and the following week I went to Canberra, our nation’s capital, to visit my friend in a nursing home. He has Alzheimer’s. I wanted to give him a rock as a gift. I handed it to him. You should have seen the look on his face!
It lit up. Full of life. He connected with the rock. He touched it, felt it, and quickly put it in his pocket.
Photo and rocks painted by Christine Onward | The Stunner Boutique
And one more twist of fate: Months later my friend in Canberra lost the rock I gave to him. It happened that Christine was also in Canberra for a brief stay. I contacted her and had her do up another piece, with my friend’s name on the back of the rock.
I have since been told he’s very happy, and the rock is his constant companion.
The third rock from the sun. It does have mysterious ways of Healing. And a big thank you, Christine for making that happen.
- Tony Flurscheim – Sydney, Australia