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  • Writer's pictureBeverley Skurulis

Mangrove Trees @ Pretty Pool

No.68 in my series of short stories.

Mud crabs, mangrove trees, Port Hedland, heat in the outback,
Mangrove Trees @ Pretty Pool

It was 1974 and my husband myself and one child at the time were living in Port Hedland in a 16ft caravan in a caravan park located near the Pretty Pool inlet which flows from the Indian Ocean on the Western Australian Coast.


This is where I first came across the Mangrove Trees @ Pretty Pool they came in all shapes and sizes and they captivated me from the moment I spotted them. I would walk down the slippery grey mud banks on low tide watching the hermit crabs scurrying everywhere. I would roughly sketch out the trees with all their gnarly roots and branches and when the sand flies started their attack on my body anywhere they could find fair skin, that would by my cue to head home.


These dancing trees were one of my favourites to draw and paint after gum trees. Having always drawn trees and then finding this unique variety was such a wind fall for me.


Around the 1970's I applied to the Western Australian Watercolour society to become a member and received another knock back for using Gouache and not leaving enough of the original untouched white paper, I gave up with conformity. I have encountered my fair share of artistic gatekeeping and arbitrary rules! It can be frustrating when organisations or individuals try to impose limitations on creative expression. My attitude of painting what I want and finding success on my own terms has been very beneficial to me. Who gets to dictate what is "right" or "wrong".  I was once told I shouldn't eat pavlova for breakfast you must eat cereal or bacon and eggs. It was then that I took my who cares attitude, and you know what, I still don't care about all that unnecessary rubbish and I do eat Pavlova when I feel like it. I do understand that not all rules should be broken and that is also ok.


My determination to document my stories and continue painting, I hope is truly inspiring to other people. My art has a unique way of capturing not just moments in time, but the essence of my life journey and place in history. My perspective as someone who doesn't conform to the so-called status quo, I hope this will add depth and richness to the narrative of the Australian outback. Finding joy in my art while also sharing my unique experiences with the public. I will keep painting, keep writing, and keep making my mark on the world.

I feel it is a legacy worth preserving.



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4 days ago
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

There are too few non conformists these days, art should be about self expression, not being beholden to a life of rules and regulations. Your art is a reflection of your life and we are all the more fortunate for being part of it through every piece you create.

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Irene Alsop-van der Leer
Irene Alsop-van der Leer
May 08
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

What a wonderful story and art. It comes alive when I’m looking and reading. How is it possible to conform and be creative that makes no sense to me. Please Beverley keep doing your thing and never conform to someone else’s ideas. Thank you again for sharing

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