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Far North Queensland Painting Workshop (July 2021)

In July 2021 I gave a workshop for Travelrite International in Cairns, Port Douglas and Cooktown (Queensland, Australia). This part of Australia is tantalising with its world class rainforests, botanical specimens, beaches, coral reefs, mountains, rivers, crocodiles, islands and nearby outback. The names themselves, The Daintree, Cooktown (named after Captain Cook for his stopping there to mend his ship The Endeavour), Cape Tribulation, all serve to remind us of our past colonial history. But it’s the knowledge that the Yirrganydji original owners of this land lived long in this remote part of the world that is to be honoured above all.

The group painted along the Cairns foreshore, also at the magnificent botanic gardens and we took the Skyrail to paint at Kuranda. We travelled on to Cooktown via Mareeba and across the Palmer River Goldfields. At Cooktown we painted boats being repaired along the banks of the Annan River and actually painted the statue of Cook himself, a magnificent sculpture by Stanley Hammond, a Melbourne sculptor (1913-2000). Moving back down to Port Douglas we painted the Sunday markets and St Mary’s church, the Sugar wharf and the famous Four Mile Beach. We also enjoyed a river boat ride along the Daintree River to see the crocodiles, tree snakes and remarkable birdlife.

Our accommodation and food were excellent. On the last day we went to Daintree for our last painting next to the Daintree River. A critique on the last evening showed off everyone’s paintings done during the trip and they were all a pleasure see. The group comprised of talented artists who threw themselves into their painting and enjoyed being with the group. Click here to read Joy Roger’s poem about our trip; another poem by Joy can be found in the report on my trip to the Flinders Ranges. Below are a series of photographs of the destinations and demonstration paintings.