Opal Country with Rowdy Wylie

But first, if you missed our previous post on Rowdy Wylie's Colours of the Outback Opal Fields please check out the bookmark link below.

Colours of the Outback Opal Fields with Rowdy Wylie
Rowdy Wylie is creating a series of paintings on Colours of the Outback. Today we bring you the “Colours of the Outback Opal Fields”. These paintings entice you in to run your fingers through the rich red earth and touch the kaleidoscopic sky.

Today we are going to look into the details of another Opal Country composition by Rowdy which you can see below on his easel in The Shed.

Opal Country by John "Rowdy" Wylie

If we zoom in closer to the composition you can see the characteristic textures and colours employed by Rowdy to bring the vibrance of colour to the depth and breadth of texture which he applies with a palette knife.

Please take a few minutes to study the dramatic yet often subtle changes in the shades of the red earth.

Close up of details in Opal Country by John "Rowdy" Wylie

Let's take a moment to learn a little about colour theory.

In color theory, a tint is a mixture of a color with white, which increases lightness, while a shade is a mixture with black, which increases darkness. Both processes affect the resulting color mixture's relative saturation. A tone is produced either by mixing a color with gray, or by both tinting and shading. Mixing a color with any neutral color (including black, gray, and white) reduces the chroma, or colorfulness, while the hue (the relative mixture of red, green, blue, etc., depending on the colorspace) remains unchanged.1

In common language, the term shade can be generalized to encompass any varieties of a particular color, whether technically they are shades, tints, tones, or slightly different hues. Meanwhile, the term tint can be generalized to refer to any lighter or darker variation of a color (e.g. "tinted windows"). 1

Close up of details in Opal Country by John "Rowdy" Wylie

In the slice of Opal Country above you can now see the beauty of the sky gradually changing from the mauve tints on the horizon to the blues above which contrast dramatically with the rich red earth below.

Rowdy informs us that the paint colours I use consistently are the Cadmium range of Art Spectrum Oil Paints plus French Ultra Marine and Australia Red Gold and a touch of yellow. He mixes the paint with gum turps.

Rowdy, as a Naive artist, always adds a narrative to his paintings - be that narrative humanmade or natural. The Digger in the foreground of the painting (see below) has become a motif in Rowdy's painting of the opal fields reminding us that this land has not be left completely to nature but that humans have worked the land which contains some of the richest resources in the world.

Close up of details in Opal Country by John "Rowdy" Wylie

The leafless tree is a common sight in this harsh landscape yet still provides a home to the circling crows also a motif Rowdy uses to give movement to his scenes.

Close up of details in Opal Country by John "Rowdy" Wylie

Rowdy's Opal Country paintings are on exhibition at the Victor Harbor Regional Gallery, South Australia.

Opal Country paintings by Rowdy Wylie on exhibition at the Victor Harbor Regional Gallery

There are more Opal Country paintings coming out of Rowdy Wylie's Shed which we will bring to you in the future.

1. en.wikipedia.org