Continuing Australia’s Story Menindee Lake

My Handpainted Outback Landscape Painting of Menindee Lake on the Darling River (100 x 80 cms)

Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy — your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself. Annie Leebovity

Several years ago I had the opportuntiy to fulfill a dream, that is, to travel from my home at Port Macquarie on the Hastings to Broken Hill in Outback New South Wales. Little did I imagine then just how immense our nation truly is. I had lived at that time in Australia for many years but vacations were mainly taken along the coast. The furthest I had travelled in land was Bourke and that was when I was a teenager. So, I was not prepared for the many, many, many hours of driving.

Australian readers are you perhaps amused at my ‘childishness’? I had read about Australia’s vastness and watched documentaries. Yet, still I was not prepared for just how small the vastness made me feel. I knew then how my sons as young children felt when they asked “are we there yet?” The true consolation was that just beyond the window — each and every mile had such wonders to tell. The scenery changing with each corner. The flatness seemed to me to be surreal. Having lived most of my life on the coast I was not used to such “openness”. If there is such a word.

I want this chapter of my story to the world to tell of Australia’s splendour and to be a journey worthwhile. To say that I was jumping for joy is definitely an understatement. We had packed the car and caravan the night before and double checked that we had all the essentials. We had a caravan park booked at Cobar for the second night. The first night was spent with family at Binnaway near Coonabarabran. Then from Coonabarabran all was new to me. Now the real adventure started!!! I was reluctant to take the wheel and drive as this limited my viewing time out the window. So, poor hubby had that responsibility. Cobar was a shock, dry, flat and as it was a Sunday “closed”. I was glad that we had stocked the fridge and cupboards of our caravan at least we didn’t starve.

Of course, as you can guess, I demanded an early morning start the next day. Broken Hill, a true outback city, was beaconing. Broken Hill was calling for me to say Hullo!!! Why Oh Why did I choose summer time?? I had never known such dry heat. Why did I not listen to Colin? To step out of the air conditioned car to 48 degree heat. Oh! I never!!! We soon found the Broken Hill RSL and sought its air conditioned coolness as our refuge. Luckily we only suffered one hot day. We spent the majority of that day underground in a mine.

Then, of course, as tourists do we saw the sites. The highlight of our tour was the Living Sculptures, which are 12 sandstone artworks that at sunset are transformed by a myriad of breath-taking colours.

Light in Nature Creates the Movement of Colors. Robert Delaunay

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Then, night beaconed, we had to drag ourselves and our little caravan to the Menindee Lake Caravan Park. We spent four remarkable nights at this remote caravan park. To say that the sunsets were breath-taking is just not doing it justice. The colours were beyond description, so bright, so vivid. Yet still within what I call pastels. The highlight of our stay was that each site had their own fire place and that is where we enjoyed our glass of wine before retiring to our little home away from home.

Menindee Lake after many, many years of drought was almost dry. There was no bird life to wake us up in the mornings. No scurrying of wildlife around the trees. It was Australia in the bush “struggling”.

Yet, to me it was, and still is AMAZING!!!

On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it. Jules Renard

Australia in all its immensennes (if there is such a word) and its diversity to me at times gives us all a glimpse of heaven. The mind-blowing expanse of Western New South Wales, even in my memory, still takes my breath away. I can still feel the anticipation rising as the miles slip by. I can remember the sheer bliss of finally arriving at each destination. I cannot imagine ever wanting to live elsewhere.

Australia still has so much for me to explore, so much more for me to paint. And, yes, so much more for me to write about. And, Oh! no I am not getting any younger.

In all things of nature there is somehing of the marvellous. Aristotle

The Living Sculptures created out of sandtone standing vigil over the desert at sunset yes “marvellous”. Yes! “marvellous”.

Australia has a never ending story that I am searching for words to tell.

I love to think of Nature as an Unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us. George Washington Carver

I have lived in Australia now for well over sixty years and cannot even imagine living any where else. It has beaches that seem to last for ever with white-crystal sands. It has the Blue Mountains with clear crystal streams and birdlife chirping in the trees above. It has the great outback with the red desert that changes colors with the seasons and the time of day. It has rural locations where our primary producers work steadily to stock our super markets. We have high quality education, health, legal and political systems that other countries envy. We have freedom of speech that others cannot even fathom. We are Australia!! The lucky country. DOWN UNDER!!!

Australia is more than a location, or many locations, it is a community.

Australia is a home where people can be who they are.

Australia is unique.

Australia is a Pink Diamond!

Australia is that gem that travellors pour into from all over the globe

Australia has its story to tell and I am just one voice — just one artist — telling her story to the world!!

One touch of Nature makes the Whole World Kin. William Shakespeare

Am I doing Australia justice? My story is being written. Is it being heard? Australia is so awe-inspiring am I finding it beyond me to put into words?

So, I will return to my Outback Landscape Oil Painting of Menindee Lake for a moment. This reflection of a moment in place and time captures the essence of this remote location and tells her story on canvas. The solitary tree in the foreground seems to speak to the viewer of the struggles this region suffers at the hands of Mother Nature. Yet, Australia wins — Australia is Incredible!

Have I spoken from my heart to the hearts of the world? Have I touched the hearts of those who treasure Australia as a place of true majesty? Have I earned my place on Medium?

Australia, my home! Australia my destination! Australia my next painting! Australia my next story!

Well, another day here in Moree is coming to a close. The birds are seeking their refuge in my trees and singing their songs for the evening. Moree too has its stories to tell. It has a proud history of Indigenous culture winning over adversity. It is rich in agriculture and community awareness. And, the local art gallery has lessons.

A day without sunshine, is like, you know, night. Steve Martin.

What is night — it is a canvas filled with stars. What is this story — it is a canvas filled with my words. What are my Original Oil Paintings — they are my story to the world of Australia’s astonishing nature.

Opus — work of art — in words. Have I achieved that yet? I will not give up till I do.

Australia deserves no less!!!

Australia is an island nation. I feel at times like an island floating alone — isolated. Yet, my words and paintings are my connection to others in a real way that gives me faith. My travels around this incredible nation have not come to an end. And my hope is that I have many more years of planning and experiences to share with my readers. The mere anticipation that booking my holidays brings makes life worth while.

Being an artist adds to this bliss as it gives me opportunites to transform photos into Original Oil Paintings. And, now of course to continue telling my stories to the world via Medium.

Life is not just good it is GREAT!!!

In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir

I so totally agree with John. When I hike through hidden valleys hearing the trickle of streams in the near distance I too am receiving God’s blessings. Just taking my “Little Lady” for her early morning walk was a blessing as it allowed me time to chat with friends, breathe in the freshness of another day. Australian nature in all her Glory.

Birds waking me in the morning with their calling to their families. The breeze in the trees rustling the leaves beaconing me to take my morning coffee outdoors. The freshness of the rains after another hot summer’s day here in Moree. Friends stopping in to say Hullo- reminding me that I am worthwhile. Typing these words onto my keyboard in a nation where freedom of speech is guaranteed by law. Being blessed by God to put brush to canvas and to tell the world of Australia’s beauty. Life is good!

Nature is Great — Australia is Great!!!

Till-next-time, Diane.



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Diane Markey

Diane Markey

Professional Artist. I write stories about Inspiration, Love and Life Lessons. Written from my heart and from life experiences. Qualified Personal Counsellor.