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  • Writer's pictureBeverley Skurulis

Gold Prospecting in a river bed.

Updated: Feb 29

No.59.   in my series of short stories.


Gold Prospecting in a River bed of Sticks & Stones
Sticks and Stones

We had been out Gold Prospecting in a river bed and up and down hills and valleys.

It was after a cyclone and the river beds had another film of earth that had been washed down from up stream by the torrential rain. I hadn't found any gold but my husband had found a nice little patch. Me! I was always too busy finding things to paint just like the Sticks and Stones above with part of a dead tree to enhance the painting. Loving the leaves dried up and all the changes in colours.

My painting method. Watercolour, Gouache, water colour pencil, masking fluid and a variety of different sized brushes. The painting is around 1.6m long and approx 50cm high, my paper was usually a heavy weight Arches. I used 6mm ply which I first painted with house paint to stop the leaching of acids into my paper once it was stuck to the board. I put water in the bath tub and slowly fed the paper through the water not leaving it in for too long. I then put the paper onto the board and wiped it down with a clean dry towel. I stuck down the paper with a special tape made for the job, not a sticky tape as the paper will retract (shrink) and pop the tape off. Putting a clean sheet on the floor then the board with paper face down with lots of my nannas old cast irons as heavy weights on top, and leave it for a day to dry. It is a bit of a process but it leaves me with the most beautiful flat paper and that makes me very excited to use it and paint something awesome for me and for you my customer. The smaller items in the above painting were masked first, then I could attend to painting the background without going around each item. When the background was dry I removed the masking fluid and singularly wet with a bubble of water each stone and leaf, using a very old glass syringe which I had found a box of on a cattle station somewhere. I needed to give each rock its individuality so I used a razor blade to shave the different water colour pencils over each bubble of water to give each rock its own look, the watercolour shavings spread around the water bubble then I wait until all is dry.

Prospecting wasn't really in my blood though art always has been. Having a detector and going over the ground where I would see so many things that I could draw or paint. Being mesmerised by the colours in the rocks especially when I put them under water and the colours pop. My husband would ask after a day of desert walking how much gold have you found, the answer more than often being not very much, so he would go over my ground again and find copious amounts to show off with. Though his gold was worth no more than around $250.00 an ounce back in the 70's my paintings were worth more so it didn't bother me listening to his teasing me for not finding as much gold as him.

My eldest daughter owns the above painting and has had it for many years.

Enjoy it my dear girl.



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Convidado:
29 de fev.
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

You do capture your love of life and nature and all it's colours and textures so well in your paintings. I liked reading about your methods.

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Irene Alsop-vd Leer
Irene Alsop-vd Leer
28 de fev.
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

I can see ART is in your blood. Free thinking. Following no one, just you and your creativity.

You live your paintings. Thank you Beverley! 🌹

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Convidado:
28 de fev.
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

Great Aussie history and very interesting to know how you use your knowledge of the medium to paint so beautifully

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Gaylene Norton
Gaylene Norton
27 de fev.
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

I love it! I love looking closely at this painting to see the rock speckles and the marks on the tree root/branch


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Glen Slee
Glen Slee
27 de fev.
Avaliado com 4 de 5 estrelas.

Love your method-descriptions Beverley, especially the treatment of the rocks. Just wonderful to read. Might even provide some inspiration for me along the way. One day :-)

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