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  • Writer's pictureBeverley Skurulis

Hamersley Range

Updated: 7 days ago

Out prospecting for gold, for the big bits that seem to elude us. My husband had climbed up the mountain below in the Hamersley Range Western Australia on his trek to find gold, I stayed back at the camp, he was gone for a few hours when I heard him call out, come here there are some stunning gum trees that I know you would love to paint, they just happened to be way up the mountains. Managing to drag myself away from the painting I was doing and to get myself dressed in all the sun proof stuff, one of his khaki shirts with long sleeves, my Akubra, Levis jeans and good climbing boots as the ground is rocky, extremely hard and covered in spinifex.

My backpack had water, nibbles and my camera in it. I was trying to use my gold detector but the area was just so steep I was climbing not walking, though I still had to carry my detector. After following him for a few hours we were so very hot and there was no shade, it is not unusual for him to take me somewhere interesting and hard to get to as he likes to conquer, and loved to show me things I would be interested in, he was such an explorer. Arriving at where the trees were I took heaps of photos as I love the white gums and the snappy gums.

We had smoko then I had had enough so we turned around to head back, after going a substantial way down the mountain face, I lost my footing and slid and fell bum first into a rather large spinifex bush, he had to lift me out as I couldn't get myself off due to the spinifex spikes. I was extremely sore from all the pin pricks that had penetrated through my Levis, the spikes that snapped off weren't very pleasant they had embedded into my flesh. When we arrived back at camp I had to drop my dacks and lay over the bonnet of the Landcruiser, first putting a tarp down as the bonnet of the Landcruiser was pretty damn hot.

My husband found the tweezers and spent some time pulling spinifex needles out of my butt before they went septic in the extreme heat. It was very difficult sitting as the bits I had left still pricked and they were rather painful, eventually over a few days they would work their way out. Lucky I paint at an easel standing up as sitting wasn't an option. It was then home time, to an air conditioner and some comfort. Nothing like going home after weeks in the desert.

First a stop off at Auski roadhouse for an ice cream, lollies and some junk food. We do get sick of Roo jerky dry biscuits, baked beans, can food, damper and water. Bring on a nice cold shower and an easel to start my new paintings in an air conditioned room. The above painting is painted in our living room on a very heavy hot pressed water colour paper, it is in watercolour, gouache for the stronger colours and pastels for the softness. This painting won a prize in the Port Hedland art show.

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