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Snow Gums

Walking in Mount Field with Stuart from the Hobart Walkers Club as a guide.

 

After a reconnaissance walk on the first day at Mount Field, Stuart and myself stayed at the Hobart Walkers Club chalet preparing ourselves for a longer walk up onto the Tarn shelf and further the next day.

 Woke the following morning to rain so we sat  it out for a few hours hoping that it would stop so that we could do a seven hour walk that we had been planning for the last week.

Stopped raining at 9.15am but still very windy so decided to test the gear and walk the Tarn Shelf only, via some very old snow gums.

A steep incline up to the snow gums growing around large rocks covered in the most extraordinary patterns of moss and other lichens. Such an ancient landscape. These trees grasping for life are gnarled and twirled around these exposed, ancient rocks.  A great subject for the next ash painting.

This landscape that is often covered in snow, once again expresses the way it can adapt to conditions of extreme cold, heat and powerful winds. Absolutely magnificent!

Gets me to thinking how this landscape, untouched by human intervention, can survive conditions where we humans would perish in, in a very short time.  Yet as a result of the uncomfortable alliance of human ingenuity and insensitivity we can decimate something that has survived since Gondwanaland.

All this is a great subject for my next piece. I am hoping by stating this landscape in ash it might help to convey the precarious nature of this environment. Something about the way the trees are clinging around rocks to survive. To help with the drama I will take the tones further apart so that the black is stronger and the lightest tone will stay about the same. There is very little adjustment in making the lightest tone lighter when you consider it is produced from ash. I will introduce remnant ash that I have collected from the fires in the north west into this next painting. 

Ash collected from the fire in the North West

Ash collected from the fire in the North West

On this occasion I didn’t get to the fire early enough so I could only collect charcoal remnants. All the finer, lighter ash that has the carbon burnt out of it is very prone to dissipating very easily with wind and rain. So with the charcoal collected I will then combine this with the ash that I have in reserve for this very occasion to make the five tones needed for this particular painting. It will take about 4 days to separate, grind and filter.

Reserved ash as collected from home fires.

Reserved ash as collected from home fires.

After the predicted 4 days this is the result I have ended up with. The black being a lot darker than usual because of reasons stated above which allows more variation in the tonal values.

Result of ash that has been ground, filtered and separated into the 5 tones specifically for next painting.

Result of ash that has been ground, filtered and separated into the 5 tones specifically for next painting.

Since this painting will be in nine parts I will add each part to this blog as it is completed.

To help with the drama of this image I have decide to make its overall dimension 1900mm high X 2400 wide hoping that a large size will add the appropriate impact.

The first part completed to a level where I can move on to the next.

The first part completed to a level where I can move on to the next.