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Really weird the way one thing leads to another. Frustrated and annoyed at how bad my paintings of daffodils had turned out, I used up the acrylic paint in my palette on this little canvas board. The resulting colour mixes were stunning. Out of the mess I had created a fire opal. So I scrawled the title, Coober Pedy, on the back and then began a series of Australian memories from my 3 month back-packing in the late 90’s. It was a time of trauma – post divorce, I just took off alone and the isolation and joy of travelling began to heal my wounds. Now in a much happier place some 30 years, on the recollection of that trip is as sharp and powerful as ever.

This large view of Uluru, or Ayres Rock, as it was known then, followed the Opal image and I was back in the heat and red dust, with the clarity of that clear Cobalt sky. Almost without realising it I began a mental journey back to the sacred water-hole at the base of the Rock.

Then onward to the magnificent grandeur of Kings Canyon. Time-travelling in paint, I felt the sheer joy of sunshine on my skin and the elation of just being in the moment with no responsibilities except to stay alive. What a magical vehicle art can be.

And finally….at least for the moment…. a long view of the outback landscape with that blistering blue sky dominating. I love Australia and know I shall return again and again. Must have made at least 6 trips back already but it gets under your skin and calls you back.