Kata Tjuta Desert Walk

The Story Behind the Painting

This is a previous blog I’ve posted on my adventure site last year, so apologies if you have already read it. I’m in the process of copying all my art blogs across to this website.

On October 2016 we had a family holiday to the red centre of Australia, to visit Uluru also know as Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuṯa, also known as the Olgas which the painting is of.

I ended up taking a few photos and video and was amazed by the vibrant colours of the outback. Little did I know that I would be painting these scenes in a few years time. I must say that the vibrant colours of the outback has had influences on my current work as I love the earthy pallet.

Hiking Kata Tjuta

My Painting Process

Day 1 – 2

I started painting this artwork on the 2017 June long weekend when I had a few days off work and was obviously bored struggling with been single and hating work.

I was trying to occupy my mind and remember what used to make me happy before a 12 year relationship ended. This got me thing about painting as I started an oil painting of my ex but never finished it and still had a blank canvas in the house.

So I was in my happy place with my artwork balancing on two old paintbrushes gaffa taped to a step ladder because I didn’t have an easel.

As you can see I got the basic block colours down and worked on the mountains. That was the end of the long weekend and the artwork got left in the sunroom untouched for another 5 months.


This brought me up to around Christmas time, mum came round to my house for a visit and told me there was a sale on easels as spotlight was closing down.
I drove to have a look at them with mum and came home with a gift of a new easel. Thanks mum you have always encouraged me to be creative and pursue my art career even when I let it go.

This is also a time I was looking after a friends bird and spend a little time indoors. I was looking at the painting again and I thought why not, let’s tackle this baby.

With a parrot on my shoulder and doing bad pirate impressions we tackled this painting once more.


Day 3 – 5

I worked on the trees and a little of the grass, then the next few days I started painting the dirt and struggled with the grass trying to use a pallet knife, which was not the correct way.

This got the better of me so the artwork once again got put to one side as a major change in my life happened.

I was not in a happy place and was struggling to find a solution to lift my spirits.
So I sold my house and quit my job and thought bugger it I’ll start again and this is why my painting ended up wrapped in bubble rap for another year at mums place.

As I traveled the world looking for happiness, I entered the Rembrandt museum in Amsterdam and purchased an artists palette and promised myself I would paint once more.

The artwork comes out of the bubble wrap in sunny Queensland where the temperature is 30 deg. I was not happy with the grass so I scratched them off with the edge of the pallet knife and went down to the local art shop for some advice on painting grass with fine brush strokes.


Day 6 – 9

So learning about linseed oil and lean medium I was able to thin my paint down to paint the grass. This enabled me to get my confidence back and I now thought I would be able to finish this painting for the first time in two years.

So I re visited the mountains and then painted the grass on the right hand side of the painting and re visited the grass, more grass, trees and back to the bloody grass.

Then after I finished the right hand side of the painting I started painting the left hand side. Then I looked at the painting as a whole and started to match both sides of the painting with grass hight and trying to balance the clumps of grass.


I actually finished an oil painting, the first one I have completed in 20 years and am 90% happy with it.

Kata Tjuta, with Scarborough lighthouse, my second oil painting I completed a week later. Vastly different paintings from opposite side of the world.

Kata Tjuta is now proudly hung at my sisters new house as a house warming gift.


Gouache Colour Palette

I use Winsor & Newton Oil Paint on stretch canvas.

My painting come from my own experiences that I have lived and photographed while traveling. By reading this blog, you as a viewer can now hear The Story Behind the Painting. Where, when, what was happening while I was photographing the wildlife.
If you want more details about my adventures checkout my travel blog website www.ChrisOsborneAdventures.wordpress.com

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

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