Ben & I spent the weekend in the Barossa Valley…it was a fun little trip, neither of us had been to the Barossa and felt it was due time to go having been in Australia for six months now! Saturday afternoon we visited the Barossa Tourist Centre in Tanunda, and picked up a map….aside from visiting a few wineries for some wine tasting, we were pretty keen to find somewhere picturesque to do a bit of oil painting. Thumbing through the South Australia booklet on the Barossa Valley, we stumbled across this beautiful picture of Bethany Winery, and decided to go exploring to find it!
We ended up driving around a fair bit, as we couldn’t figure out where the picture had been taken from…we spent a little bit of time at the Bethany Winery just to see if it would be worth painting up there…we found a few beautiful spots, but had I had my heart set on painting the view from that photograph.
We soon realized it must have come from somewhere in the middle of an adjasent field, as there were no access roads that we could see the Bethany Winery building from. We gave up the search on Saturday as it was getting dark, and decided to come back the next afternoon. Sunday afternoon though, we headed back to the area…we first went right into Bethany Winery, and picked up a bottle of their famous white fortified wine, and chatted with the staff there about the beautiful photographs taken of the vinyard. They pointed towards some houses off in the distance and said the photos were taken from there…
After a bit of a nudge (well, a huge nudge, I’m shy!), we knocked on the first welcoming looking door near to the field we thought we’d get “the view” from… Even though we were all smiles, I think we may have surprised a couple little girls playing around the yard, who promptly went running for their Mum like a scene from Little House on the Prairie! I was delighted when husband & wife, Tim & Kathryn (my apologies, Kathryn on completely misspelling your name!) were both happy for us to paint from the view from their dam on their property. Once we got out there, the view was just gorgeous…and the afternoon sun was starting to have some wonderful affects on the lighting, nice long shaddows everywhere.
I wasn’t able to finish before some clouds stole the last 20 minutes of sunlight from us, but was able to get enough of a start to remember why I love painting with oils!
And here is a snapshot of how far I got that day.
I will post more picture of what it looks like at different stages until it’s all finished….Aug 24, 2006 - I have had several requests to post Ben’s first painting EVER as well (we worked on them together that afternoon, notice the little blue canvas next to mine…), so here it is! I think it’s a pretty good first go!