Near Mildura (2014)

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John Webb: Near Mildura (2014)

Near Mildura (2014)
2.0 x 1.5m

Winner of the Trustee's Watercolour Prize in the 2014 Wynne Prize competition (July 2014)

Image details:

Near Mildura (2014) Detail 1

Near Mildura (2014) Detail 2

Near Mildura (2014) Detail 3

Near Mildura (2014)
(Detail 1) 
 Near Mildura (2014)
(Detail 2) 
Near Mildura (2014)
(Detail 3) 

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The painting as a Work in Progress:

"I begin with the basic paper base, to which I apply many washes until I have a satisfactory resonance of colours and tonal gradations. I pre- prepare a lot of different paper with a variety of colours, tones, textures etc.

For some works, such as this one, I make a three dimensional model as part of the preparation process.

Every shape, from the biggest to the smallest, is drawn on draughting film, transferred to the pre-prepared paper, cut out and stuck to the composition with blutack. Sometimes it is then moved, modified or discarded.

When I'm satisfied the composition is the way I want it, I then spend a few days doing the final paste down. When it is all secure I apply finishing touches.  The whole process is very time consuming."

Photos of other works in progress can be seen on Joadja (2010) and on The Road to Gundagai (2012).

Clay model used for Near Mildura (2014)


Walls of China at sunset, Mungo National Park (Image: Don Fuchs/Tourism NSW)
 Three dimensional model used for
Near Mildura (2014)
 Walls of China at sunset, Mungo National Park (Image: Don Fuchs/Tourism NSW)


This work:

This painting is a further refinement of the Murray Darling theme I have been using for the past few years.

Australian context:

From the Mildura Rural City Council:

"Situated in North West Victoria, Mildura Rural City covers almost ten per cent of the State. The region’s landscape includes unique Mallee vegetation, broadacre grain properties, intensive horticultural farms and vibrant towns. The beautiful Murray River winds its way through much of the municipality and is a focal point for visitors and about 51,000 people who call the region home.

Mildura Rural City acknowledges that it is situated on and incorporates the traditional lands of the Latji Latji and Barkindji people who have been custodians of this land for thousands of years. Accordingly, Council pays its respect to the traditional owners and Elders past and present."

A key part of a visit to Mildura is a trip along the Chaffey Trail:

"The Chaffey Trail is the story of how Mildura became an irrigated oasis in the midst of an arid land. In 1847 the Jamieson brothers took up the pastoral lease which was later to be named Mildura."

Yet only 100 km away from this flat, green area with the river winding through it, is the Mungo National Park with its amazing lunettes.

"The lunettes are major landforms of great importance to the ancient heritage of the area.[...] Over thousands of years, wind and water have carved the lunette into spectacular formations comprised of sand and clay. Rain washes away the soft sands and muds, creating the rilled ridges and residuals that characterise the Walls of China. The dislodged sand is then picked up by the wind and heaped into huge mobile dunes along the back of the lunette." (VisitMungo)

Map of Mungo National Park

 Mungo National Park
Source: visitmungo
 Sunrise under the Old Mildura Bridge
Photo: Bob Jones at OneRiver

Australian Riflebird

Mating dance of the Riflebirds

Birds of the Murray
 Mating dance of the Victoria's Riflebird
Image: Crater Lakes Rainforest Cottages
(with kind permission)
 Birds of the Murray River
Jay G Images Photo Art  (website and facebook)
(with kind permission)
See also the fabulous video: Jay G Images Photo Art