My name is Heath Little but everyone calls me Little Heath .
Most of my life has been spent living in outback Australia working hard on the land , doing stuff like mustering , shearing , fencing , wheat harvesting , welding and repairing tractors . I've done a bit of rodeo & wood choppin at Country Shows & won a few prizes . The only painting I ever done was to slap on a few coats on an old shack.
Ten or 12 years ago , I met an old bloke doing a landscape painting on the side of a road which runs from Cobar to Gunderbooka . I thought he was crazy standing out in the middle of nowhere. He told me he was a gold prospector who had struck it rich when he found some nuggets up behind Hill End in NSW . This good fortune enabled him to retire and live the dream and wander around the outback painting the scenery. Any way he called himself a " plein air " landscape artist and was trained at the Julian Ashton art school when he was younger .
He was kind enough to show me some tricks to the trade of oil painting . I dabbled a bit and over time got hooked on the smell of turps & linseed oil and capturing the unique Outback of the land of Oz . And have continued ever since .
I am refered to as a Primitive or Naive Artist .
My studio is an old wool shed , ( which is haunted by the ghost of a shearer who dropped dead on the job back in the 1950s wool boom . Every now & then he knocks over a jar of turps full of brushes or a painting off the easel. It could be the wind but I reckon its his ghost having some fun at my expence ! ) .
Someone said I am a colourist which sounds right , cause out here in the arid zone , colours are rich and vibrant with amazing sunsets and sunrises .
My paintings are about Australia's people and the wild life in big open landscapes where you can see for ever with flocks of birds , herds of camels or a lonely kangaroo nibbling on grass .
I have driven over most of Australia and seen the beauty and harshness of the landscape . Watching people do all soughts of weird and wonderfull things as they go about their daily lives. Which is what ends up as scenes in my paintings.
For inspiration I listen to Paul Kelly , Cold Chisel , Keith Urban , Pink Floyd or Moonlight Sonata .( on full volume ...hell yeah !!) With the help of a few glasses of Dr Penfolds or Mr Reschs . I rarely think about what image to make , just begin and let the brush and oil paint create , sometimes with my fingers or palms of my hands , and other times will make a brush from a gum tree twig or use a lock of merino wool. Its like looking into a crystal ball and seeing the past or future. Its my dreamtime.
And by the way , these paintings look much better in real life than in these photos. Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed painting them.
Your Artist in the bush ,
Little Heath .
P.s Bogan Gate where I live is out near Condobolin , in far West NSW.