Wherever you travel in the opal fields in Australia you will find old trucks dumped in the bush.
Miners used whatever old trucks they could obtain cheaply and used them to cart mullock (dirt from their mines) or bits and pieces used in their mining ventures. Whenever they broke down they were repaired , if possible, and if not repairable they were stripped of anything valuable and just left where they stopped to rust and decay.
Over the years these trucks developed lovely patterns of rust and faded colours and has resulted in them being sought after by photographers and artists as great subject matter.
As we have traveled around the opal fields a lot, my wife Barbara has built up quite a collection of photographs of these old relics. She has also started to use these photographs as the subjects of pastel paintings with quite stunning results. This post shows a number of these trucks and utes.
The following photographs are Barbara's pastel paintings of a number of trucks from around Lightning Ridge. If you drive around the these fields you will probably see and recognize them.
Old Timer at Lightning Ridge
This old truck has definitely seen better days but the colours where red paint, bare metal and rust have combined to produce a dramatic effect.
Old Chevrolet in the opal fields
This old truck looks like a Chevrolet of unknown vintage. Rust and flaky paint also have produced a tired and worn out look. Note the opal dirt mullock heaps in the background.
Pastel drawing of old red truck
This painting is huge and the red colours of the truck blend in with the red dirt in the background.
Seen Better Days
This old timer with its bulging timber tray is still loaded with materials used by the miners and this adds to its interest as subject matter to the photographer and artist.
Holden Ute at Lightning Ridge
If you have been to Lightning Ridge you will probably recognize this Holden Ute. It is just off the main road as you enter the township. The background has been changed for the painting as part of the artists prerogative. The ute body is quite intact despite the surface rust.
Barbara has been photographing these and other interesting old trucks over many years. She has recently taken to drawing these trucks using pastels with very good and realistic results. She has won awards at local Art Clubs for some of them.
Barbara is now looking to sell these paintings if anyone is interested. Please send an email if you would like to purchase any and Barbara will reply and answer any questions and negotiate a price.