The farm is in water colour this morning as the rain falls and rests on leaves and in puddles on firebreaks and tracks. Down the pebbly slope from the house, a burnt out tractor rusts faster for this wintry attention, a small pool where the farmer once sat. In the middle of the green paddock, fallow now since the last owner left with his paint brushes and easels, a kangaroo stands head held high, stock still in the rain, sniffing the wind. At first glance he could be mistaken for a tall stump of a burnt out tree – he’s as grey as weathered timber and shadows on this overcast morning camouflage him like areas of burnt bark. His mob moves in the trees beyond the fence where the posts are dappled with lichen on the leeward side and raindrops hang from the wires like thousands of birds’ eyes watching the sun struggle through grey clouds. Far in the distance, far beyond the township which is 17 kilometres away as the eagle flies, lies Geographe Bay. It can be seen in water colour from here on Chapman Hill, framed by the wide glass doors which open onto a raised wooden deck – kangaroo, tree plantation, distant paddocks with cattle, Busselton township, then the bay. Down in the right hand bottom corner, the artist’s old studio sits like a scribbly signature, rough hewn timber planks for walls and rusting corrugated iron roof, bush path to its weathered door overgrown with brown rocks painted yellow on top to light a walker’s way by moonlight. Because the putty has dried out, the glass of a window in the old studio falls and crashes to the cement floor, startling the roo in the field who bounds into the plantation, scaling the fence with one effortless leap.
24 June 2009