Australian Watercolours made EASY!

Last Updated on November 14, 2017 by Red Nomad OZ

Reflections in the Dunkeld Arboretum Lake, Southern Grampians, Victoria
Reflections in the Dunkeld Arboretum Lake, Southern Grampians, Victoria

There are only a few small obstacles standing between me and international superstardom as a painter.

Things like talent, aptitude and skill. Patience. Vision. Technique and vision. Ability and patience. Artistic temperament, creativity and patience.

And a pathological inability to starve in a garret. Or starve anywhere …

So I got all excited when I saw how this reflection of trees in the almost still waters of the Dunkeld Arboretum Lake looked through my viewfinder. One click to enhance the colour with my camera’s ‘Magic’ setting. Another couple of clicks to crop away some of the water. Et voilá!

Maybe I can pretend to be an artist after all.

Water at Point Turton Jetty, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
Water at Point Turton Jetty, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

Although I’ve been in training for this moment for awhile. Holding up my camera and pressing the shutter button to capture the picture perfect beaches, intense RED rocks, killer sunsets and AMAZING landscapes of Australia can get a little tedious.

So I started looking for distractions alongside the standard landscapes that I tend to shoot. And found the abstract swirl of water around the Point Turton Jetty on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula! Be very VERY grateful I haven’t produced a calendar of the many shots of the ever-changing water patterns I took … yet!!

Sunset over Gulf St Vincent from Sultana Point, South Australia
Sunset over Gulf St Vincent from Sultana Point, South Australia

But as I trawled my photo archive from the last 12 months, I found further evidence that my obsession with water abstractions was alive and well. Who knew water could be so many colours? Like the muted shades reflected in Gulf St Vincent Gulf from this Sultana Point Sunset?? Especially with that touch of yellow ochre which my ever-despairing art teacher told me would lift my pedestrian and dull paintings so long ago … I SO get it now, Mr D!!

Is this REALLY what Australian Beaches look like?!?!
Is this REALLY what Australian Beaches look like?!?!

So while I’ll never be an artist I’ve taken the liberty of calling this my ‘Watercolour’ series. I’ll never be done with my usual jealousy-inducing shots of the endless sun, sand and surf of the (often empty) Australian beaches – but the swirl of the sea moving over the coloured sand beneath caught my eye. And while this is the least colourful of my series, it’s probably the most delicately nuanced.

See? I CAN do arty-speak when I need to!!

Lilypads on Rocky Creek Dam, North New South Wales
Lilypads on Rocky Creek Dam, North New South Wales

Quite different – but just as irresistible to my wandering eye – was the mass of lily pads gently floating above the North New South Wales rainforest reflections that emphasized the depths of Rocky Creek Dam.

Wet Rocks on the Mt William road, Grampians, Victoria
Wet Rocks on the Mt William road, Grampians, Victoria

And on Mt William in the Victorian Grampians the addition of water makes the already impressive colours of the ‘Magic’ enhanced rocks lining the summit road GLOW!

Down south, and the red waterweed on an irrigation channel on the Tolderol Reserve near Milang is offset by the startling blue of the water and green of the vegetation. But I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not the overexposure adds to the overall ‘artistic’ colours and composition …

Irrigation Channel, Tolderol Reserve, South Australia
Irrigation Channel, Tolderol Reserve, South Australia

Yes, there’s a fine line between abstract art and photographic error!!

Capturing early morning light through the refractions of dew drops dangling from grasses, trees, flowers, leaves – and yes, even reeds – has been done to death, I know.

Dew Drops on Reeds, South Australia
Dew Drops on Reeds, South Australia

But not by me!!!

Cliché or no, I AM quite proud of the tiny corner of Lake Ainsworth near Lennox Head in Northern New South Wales I’ve made my own. The abstract refractions of a light breeze rippling the melaleuca reflections in its tanin-stained late afternoon waters beneath a blue BLUE sky is one of my favourite photographic AND artistic moments.

Lake Ainsworth Reflections, via Lennox Head, North New South Wales
Lake Ainsworth Reflections, via Lennox Head, North New South Wales

With the possible exception of this unintentionally monochromatic shot of eucalypts reflected in the iconic Snowy River – which I’ve named ‘Black Poles’ in homage to renowned abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock and the Australian connection to his iconic ‘Blue Poles’!

I’m sure you can see the resemblance!

Black Poles ... Snowy River via Jindabyne, New South Wales
Black Poles … Snowy River via Jindabyne, New South Wales


Thank you for allowing me these few moments of self-indulgent artistic pretence!

If you want to read more about ME, head over to Pretraveller where you’ll find my interview with the FABULOUS Anne!!

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  1. @Manzanita – Hahaha, yes I WAS channelling Scarlett when I thought about starving!!! Weird how some images stick in your mind … Thanx again for your kind comments – all is OK here, hope it is for you too!!
    @Ercotravels – That’s because Australia IS magical!!!
    @Filip – Thank you!! This is what happens when you don’t have cathedrals and museums and antique buildings to photograph!!!
    @Linda – Too true, my friend!! It’s an intriguing challenge to find the abstract in the landscape!
    @diane – Knock yourself out!! I’d be VERY interested to see your take on it!!

  2. @Our Photos – Greetings to you too! And thank you!
    @ladyfi – Thank you!! This is the only way I’ll get to be an artist!!
    @Lady Lilith – Thanks for your kind comment AND for choosing my crocodile pic as your competition winner!! I look forward to showing you more of OZ!
    @George – Haha, are you’re looking to be my PR person?? The job’s yours!!! Thank you!!
    @Bruce – Yes, the ‘Australianness’ still comes through some of them, even though they’re kind of abstract, doesn’t it?!?! Thank you!!

  3. @SaucyKod – Haha, I will ALWAYS sneak in the RED!!! I have a LOT of Pt Turton jetty pix – it was hard to narrow it down to one because they’re all different!!! So I’m glad you like this one …
    @Bob – Thank you, my friend! As an amateur photographer, I’ve often thought my photos aren’t dynamic enough to ‘stand alone’ so I’ve woven the words around them to give them a reason for being!! SO nice that you get that!!!
    @Iris – HDR, huh? So your pix of WA will POP!!!! I take little credit for my photos – the scene and the camera do all the work – I am just privileged to be there when it happens!!!
    @Linda – Thank you!! Including the ‘Wet Rocks’ pic was actually an afterthought – I was going to stick with the more traditional ‘water’ shots, but put this one in to add a different colour to the collection. Great that you like it!!!
    @Weekend Windup – I wish! But thank you anyway …
    @AVS – Looks like you’re not alone on that one!!

  4. What a great idea for a post. I might pinch that idea one day. Is that okay? Your artistic shots of Oz are fabulous.

  5. These photos are truly amazing. On many of them the color jumps right out. On the lily pad picture the opposite, it makes one want to jump in. So you don’t want to starve or live in a garret. Me either. I took that vow when I was about 14 that I would never allow myself to be poor again. Like Scarlet standing in the remains of a dirt field that had once been a garden, after she found a carrot or some vegetable. Hope all is well for you on your side of the world. My love to you.

  6. The colors and textures in all the images you provided are amazing. There is so much detail yet only a small part is visible.
    I really enjoyed looking at them. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Those are all great photos. What catch my eyes is the Wet Rocks on the Mt William road. The color pattern of the rocks is really great.

  8. I truly enjoyed this “Artistic Streak” you have given us today – I love walking through museums and especially artistic ones, so I feel like I have had my own little slice of artistic colour/flair all the way from you red. I absolutely love Point Turton Jetty and like them all, but love this one. I see you were able to sneak some “RED” in after all. Have a wonderful day. Art or artist does not have to be “redefined” here, you have artistically photographed your own. Welcome to the neighbourhood 🙂

  9. Red you are indeed an artist! I love looking for abstract reflections and I love this set of images. And yes, I agree they would look stunning on canvas or a calendar!
    I am still trolling through my recent South Aussie pics – I know there are pictures or RED sandhills, and I am sure there will be some reflections. Have a great week.

  10. @wisemonkeysabroad – Man, am I glad you persisted with your subscription!!! Thank you so much and come back anytime!!!
    @whiteangel – Thank you!! I’m so glad you enjoyed them because I’ll be doing more posts like this in the future!
    @Jill – Thank you!! I’m SO looking forward to seeing your take on SA!! RED and Sandhills are two of my favourite things!!
    @River – So glad you like them!! Some of my ‘inspiration’ came from knowing the limitations of my camera. If you can’t capture all the detail of a BIG picture, or get the right exposure and colours, then look for the small things and focus on those!! That’s how some of these came about – look forward to seeing your take on it!!
    @Anne – Maybe we need to redefine ‘artist’ … although perhaps some would say I AM an artist – a B……t Artist!!!

  11. @Jeanne – Monet? I wish!!! But thanx anyway – they were fun to take and also to show off!!!
    @Andrew – I’m usually a photographic realist and purist! So these are a departure for me – but other than some cropping, they are all exactly how they came out of the camera!! I’m WAY too technophobic to tackle photoshop!!!
    @TFG – Thank you!!! Anyone would think I’m a Water sign with these, but I’m not … so I’ll have to show my true colours in a future post!
    @TMWH – Who knew some photographic ‘errors’ could look so good, huh?!?! And watch this space – some of them may yet become available on canvas!!!!
    @Joanne – Thank you, my friend! Drop by anytime with comments like THAT one!!!
    @Sallie – Thank you!!! I know my artistic limitations – but I’m glad I’ve learned a few things over the years!!! The blue is my fave as well!!!

  12. @Carole – Hahaha, Monet & Pollock are surely turning in their graves right now at the comparison!!! But thanx anyway …
    @Joop – Thank you! I’m glad you like them – I’m planning more abstract blog posts in the future!
    @John – Your wish is my command!! I’ve got WAY more where these came from … stay tuned!
    @FruitCake – For one horrible moment I thought I HAD misspelled it!! But you’re right – at least RED is pretty hard to a) mispronounce; b) misspell; c) misinterpret and d) miss coming!!! And just wait til I hit Melbourne’s sewage ponds in a future post … that’ll REALLY outline the ‘mundane’!!!
    @Paris M – I love looking at them too – photographing them was the next logical step!!!
    @eileeninmd – Thank you!!! This was a departure from my usual style – so your comment is very welcome!!!

  13. You might not have any of those other things, but you definitely have the artist’s eye! I think these are just beautiful and I’d frame the turquoise blue one (can’t go back and look at the name because I’m commenting on my IPAD and I keep losing the bottom of the post somehow). Anyway … I love all of these…fun series.

  14. I’m stunned by how beautiful these are. They really do look like watercolours especially the wet rocks one and the first reflection one. The sunlit dewdrops look like tiny LEDs placed among the reeds. I’m going to have to think about other angles now when I take my camera out.

  15. What lovely watercolors, Red! Very early Impressionist. Some of those photos look as though they were painted onto a canvas!

  16. there is definately a genetic influence showing here, I mean just compare the likenesses between Monet’s waterlilies and your Lilypads on Rocky Creek Dam for one. Isn’t it amazing Red how these things sneak up on you, sometimes without you even knowing it’s happening!

  17. Imagine going through life with a name like “Pollock” – just one typo away from an insult! Better to be RED, I say. These water reflections are impressive. I like them all… but Wet Rocks wins my vote as the best. From a distance Australia’s natural colours can appear a bit “samey”, but Wet Rocks really highlights the fabulous colours in the most “mundane” corners of the continent.

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