The classic 9 x 5 painting has been part of Australian cultural history since the Australian Impressionists’ iconic exhibition of 1889, aptly called “9 x 5 Impression Exhibition” featured many small paintings on cigar box lids which happened to be 9 inches by 5 inches.

The format continues to be popular with artists to this day and is a common theme for group exhibitions and competition shows.

A few months back I was camping on the banks of the Darling River in Outback New South Wales between Wilcannia and Menindee at a beautiful spot, spookily named “Dead Man’s Point”.

Plaque near the grave site of Thomas Young at Dead Mans Point, Viewmont Station, near Menindee on the Darling River, NSW.This stretch of river on Viewmont Station near the ruins of old Tintinallogy happened to host the grave of one ill fated Thomas Young who met his death via poisoning at this location in 1920. The charming station owner told me that it is believed when dealing with the body, the coroner cut off the dead man’s head so as to return it to Menindee for further study. Unfortunately, after too much imbibing through the evening by the coroner’s party, the head was accidentally dropped and rolled in the river, never to be retrieved. The headless body was subsequently buried on the spot, and although unmarked, the grave site was pointed out to me by the station owner. It is not far from where a small commemorative plaque is attached to a tree.

So with all this history and outback charm surrounding me and having just absorbed inspiration from all the Australian Landscape Painting activity in nearby Broken Hill, I put down a group of four 9 x 5 plein air oil studies. I posted at the time I started painting these about the Bees that were driving me crazy. Now, I have just put the finishing studio touches to the set and they are available for viewing and sale.

Click images for larger view

The tree forms along the Darling river at Viewmont are just amazing and I really want to get back there some day and really spend some time. The station welcomes artists and groups and has facilities that can be booked with accommodation and meals. (08) 8091 6473

Old Tintinallogy Cemetery at Viewmont Station
Old Tintinallogy Cemetery at Viewmont Station NSW