Early prospectors to the new diggings at Mount Britton found themselves trapped by flood waters with the only edible supplies being tea and sugar. Through drenching rain the Hon. Harold Finch Hatton crossed rising, flooded creeks to arrive at the isolated Mount Britton gold diggings in early April 1881. He found that the newly opened store’s only supplies were tea, sugar and tobacco, and these were housed in a bark and sapling shelter, all other dwellings on the diggings being tents. It was some time before the numerous flooded creeks between Mackay and Mount Britton, subsided enough to allow pack-horses loaded with supplies, to make it to the hungry Mount Britton prospectors, and even longer before drays and bullock wagons could get over the boggy ground as there was no road to Mount Britton at the time. In this painting a group of prospectors are fortifying themselves for the day ahead with strong tea and sugar, and while the clouds have lifted to show The Bluff shining in the watery morning light, they still hang low, and swirl about the Diamond Cliffs menacingly.
This is one of a collection of twelve paintings called the MOUNT BRITTON COLLECTION that my husband Ron Marshall and I painted, of the pioneer gold town of Mount Britton near Nebo 100km west of Mackay. We camped many times on the old town-site, and the photo that this scene is based on was taken from the hill on the northern end of the main street, on a bleak day of misty rain and the clouds only sometimes gave us a peak of the Diamond Cliffs and The Bluff- the next moment it was a wall of grey. I imagined this spot would have been about the driest anywhere around to pitch a tent when these prospectors were camped here! Although the weather is bleak, there is a spirit of camaraderie as these men sip their hot tea and sugar together as they wait for the weather to break and supplies to arrive.
The original painting is beautifully framed to match the painting, with a deeply scooped very traditional outer wooden frame of a Mid/dark-grey, slightly mottled grey-green colour, with a soft golden inner edge against a broad slip or inner frame that is a neutral colour with a warm blush to the gold edge around the painting. It enhances the moodiness of the painting and makes those warm colors of earth and fire and the prospectors with their enamel mugs stand out in comparison. The frame has 2 D-rings at the back with double length of plastic-coated picture hanging wire.
Acrylic paint on sealed and primed hardboard and varnished for protection.
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Unframed (requires framing)
This artwork is unframed and requires framing.