Ron and Jennifer Marshall

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Artwork Description

This painting is done on a hardboard masonite, which has been sealed on all sides. The painting surface has then been triple primed before the painting has begun.

Signed on the front.

This artwork comes with an external frame

My wife Jennifer and I designed and painted this large artwork together, inspired by the stories of this long abandoned old pioneering gold town and the magnificent scenery surrounding it. This is the story behind this particular painting

A gold rush along Oakey Creek below the Diamond Cliffs in 1881 soon resulted in a township of bark and sapling buildings. A little later more substantial buildings were erected such as the “School of Arts” on the left of the painting which was completed in September 1882, and had a hardwood frame and flooring, bark and sapling roof, side and end walls. It was used for public meetings, concerts and a school, until a separate school building was constructed sometime later.
Of the six hotels in Mount Britton at this time, all were mostly bark and sapling structures, except for Alexander Smith’s “Mount Britton Hotel” on the right of the painting, which had hardwood frame and flooring, and flat iron roof and corrugated iron walls. Between this hotel and the Leo Hotel further up the street is a vacant block opposite the Mills’ house which by December of 1883 supported a sturdy hardwood weatherboard “Post and Telegraph Office”. This building was later transported to Nebo and is still in use as a private residence.
Beyond the horseman leading his packhorse is Henry Mills, wearing a pith helmet, smoking his pipe and talking to a neighbour outside his home, while his wife Polly, looks on from the doorway. Further down the street is “Gibson’s Store” on the corner. Gibson himself is delivering a crate of freshly baked bread to the “Mount Britton Hotel” and is waylaid by another man outside the hotel and they are engrossed in conversation.
In this painting there is quite a bit of community interaction. What are they discussing? Perhaps the latest community meeting regarding the state of the road to the mines; perhaps the success of the recent quartz crushing by Finch Hatton’s “Sabbath Calm Battery” and the resulting gold escorts of 1000oz and 700 oz of pure gold to Mackay; perhaps the numerous happenings and mishaps up in the reef mines or even the latest community concert in the new town hall.

This painting is beautifully framed. It has a double frame, the inner slip is gold edged with a scooped profile covered in creamy silk. The outer frame is a large flat distressed timber moulding with beautiful grain that has a raised gilded profile against the inner slip. This moulding is easily our very favorite, as it suited the natural warm earthy colours of our paintings, however it is sadly no longer available. On the back are 3 strong D-rings, one on each side and one in the centre of the bottom of the frame. The heavy duty plastic-coated picture hanging wire is securely attached to the bottom D-ring then up to the D-ring on one side, across to the D-ring on the other side, then back down to to bottom D-ring. This distributes the weight and means this large painting hangs securely.

This painting as well as others that we have done of this area are reproduced as large signs under shelters on the old townsite. There area was surveyed and the original placement of the streets and major town buildings were determined and signage is up to show and explain these. There is a display of old gold-mining machinery with signs explaining their use - done by us as well. There is a long drop toilet, and a tap for water, and a lovely shed built in the old bark and sapling style, but with corrugated iron. The site is well maintained and visitors are welcome with a fireplace, supplied with wood. The care taker is full of intriguing stories, there is a gold mine and the old beautifully sited cemetery to explore. Jennifer and I used to enjoy camping there quite often while we were painting the Mount Britton Collection series of 12 paintings. Large Limited Edition prints of these 12 paintings hang in the the old courthouse in the precinct of the Nebo Museum, now called the Courthouse Gallery. This is a fascinating little museum, and well worth a visit.

Limited Edition prints of this entire collection are available in a variety of sizes.


Mixed Technique influence by the "Old Masters" . Water-based acrylic underpainting with oil finish. The paint in his painting is in some areas quite heavily textured.

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Framed and ready to hang

This artwork is currently framed and ready to hang.

It comes with an external frame.
Framed dimensions - 178.0(W) x 102.0(H).

Australiana Art, Outback Art

Ron and Jennifer Marshall

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