Since I’m ahead of schedule with my paintings for my exhibition in September 2022 and it’s the start to a new year I thought I would start it off with something a little different.
I’ve been staying at Possum Park now for one year as the resident artist and in the mornings I put my work boots, gloves and hat on then become the resident gardener and general hand.
In the holiday season which is around April to October I also run the gift shop in the afternoons as well as my gallery, which is on the property, where you can find me painting. Customers in the caravan park have asked me to create some artworks from around Possum Park, so they can take something home with them as a memento of their stay.
So for the first two weeks in January I was busily painting scenes from around Possum Park, which include bunker No 1, the bunker walk, a TAA Plane, QLD train carriages and the perimeter fence all on the property.
The original artworks are currently been framed and will be for sale soon, I have also created postcards and coffee mugs of these designs.
Bunker No 1 is the first in my Possum Park collection and can be seen if you do the 3.4km bunker walk while staying at Possum Park. Julie the owner was feeling down one day, and as she was putting things into storage she noticed a message chalked onto the wall. “I love you sweetheart” and she began to smile.
This was 20yrs ago and every few months if it begins to fade she picks up a white rock and scribbles the words back on again. This is the only graffiti allowed at Possum Park, she tells me.
No.1 Bunker,one of 20 Bunkers around World War II RAAF Kowguran Sub-depot to No.3 Central Reserve Explosive Store.
I have already painted bunker 19, which has been turned into accommodation, so I thought I would paint one of the storage bunkers. After I saw the sign “I love you sweetheart” I knew this was the one to paint.
The photo of the bunker I’m working from was taken early one morning after I had just finished weeding and raking up all the leaves.
It also has a fresh coat of paint on the doors thanks to Trevor P a guest that extended his stay to help out for a few months.
I’ve added a light wash of neutral grey, sienna and black. Also a turquoise light for the doors.
Next I got right into the undergrowth, lots of leaves, twigs and grass, after a few good months of rain the bunkers were starting to get some colour and lots of weeds.
On the right hand side is a rock painted white with black numbers 500m, this is part of the bunker walk signage. I created these last year so people would know how far they have walked on the bunker walk. Each bunker is marked and a halfway point, 2km, 2.5km, 3km.
Now you should also be able to see “I love you sweetheart” on the left hand wall and also Bunker No 1 in yellow, well just the number.
Something else of interest to the left of the doors and under the sign is an old safe used as a step to get up to the doors.
More stones and were added, then I started working on the background trees, greens and yellows were used for the leaves.
A close up of the artwork showing the detailed sign and I also made a change to the open safe. I remembered Julie likes it turned around the other way so I painted its back.
I added a few more highlights on the leaves and a few white stones on the ground.
Final artwork finished signed and ready for framing.
Just got a call to open the shop out of season and a guest bought a 5 pack of postcards, I’m stoked…
As you can see below my Bunker No 1 “I love you sweetheart” artwork has been turned into a postcard and coffee mug for Possum Park, and possibly greeting cards later in the year. Green handle to match the grass and leaves surrounding the bunker.
I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Arches France Watercolour Paper, 300g Cold Pressed.
My painting come from my own experiences that I have experienced 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