Haven in the Sandhills by Rowdy Wylie

A little while ago Rowdy and I were exploring the theme Coast to Coast because who doesn't love the sea? We showed you this painting (below) of the Victor Harbor Hindmarsh River area painted in watercolour by Harry Pelling Gill.

The painting Hindmarsh River Entrance was painted in 1904 and portrays the entrance to the sea at Encounter Bay, Victor Harbor South Australia. Harry was a well known artist in South Australia and held the position of Curator of the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Hindmarsh River Entrance by Harry Pelling Gill Credit: PInterest.com.au

Rowdy has also been hard at work in his shed working on a similar composition for a family member.

Rowdy takes up the narrative:

Harry’s earlier painting of this landscape at the turn of the 20th century highlights the "wide expanse and openness of the vista"... with the wind swept seaside environment and the baron sandhills showing very little vegetation…

If you look carefully into the Gill painting a railway line and power poles are depicted at the base of the cliff.. and although over a century has past both features are still there and operational today… with the “Steam Ranger” tourist trains running between Goolwa & Victor Harbor along the base of the cliffs (hidden by the scrub) three days a week and full time during the school holidays… The townships of Goolwa and Port Elliot are very unique settlements and are featured in the “Storm Boy” series of movies which highlight the pelicans of the South Australian Coorong wetlands.

Over the many years and due to conservation efforts… Victor Harbor Council and local volunteers have re-planted much of the flora to preserve the sandhills in this unique “wetlands” area.. The majority of the plants are now fully mature – many of which are “Coastal Tea Trees” - with a boardwalk constructed beneath them through the wooded “wet lands canopy”…

These days much housing development has been completed along the “cliff escarpment”… to capture the seascape views of Encounter Bay and Granite Island…. Progress!!…..

But for me there is still a "Haven in the Sandhills"...*

Haven in the Sandhills (Hindmarsh River - Victor Harbor, South Australia) by John "Rowdy" Wylie

Painting Details:

Title: “Haven in the Sandhills” (Hindmarsh River – Victor Harbor SA)

Medium: Oil

Support: Timber Board / Framed

Size: W60cms x H40cms

Date: 2023

And with one of Rowdy's beautiful frames - a painting to grace your wall and to inspire.

Haven in the Sandhills (Hindmarsh River - Victor Harbor, South Australia by John "Rowdy" Wylie

It is absolutely marvelous and a privaledge to come across paintings from our earlier Australian pioneer artists… specifically with Harry Pelling Gill’s composition of this unique Fleurieu Peninsula scene… and historically recording it in detail from 1904… which is so familiar and close to home… Rowdy

Editor's Comment

I love Haven in the Sandhills by Rowdy Wylie as the execution of the paintwork endorses the title. When you view the image there is an immense feeling of calm and enticement to "walk into the scene" and to become part of the serenity it portrays. As you wander around the composition, at first through the thick teatree foliage and across the white gleaming sands with bare feet, your eye is drawn to the cliff and the opportunity it gives for a home with a view.

Post Script
Today's paintings also offer a very neat segue from our posts on Canary Wharf a couple of days ago. If you missed these follow the link to:
Canary Wharf, London: Part One
Canary Wharf, London: Part Two.

And tomorrow - a little more of I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; ... with thanks to John Masefield.

Late Mail

And a very special welcome to Jeffrey in the U.S.A. who has come aboard the AnArt4Life blog journey through the fields of art.