Plate 47

(14) Peta-Jayne Smith – Still doing the hard yards


About this Artwork

When I first received my page my reaction was something of familiarity, it reminded me of the newsreel type of films that were shown in the darkened classroom of a Social Studies lesson. I loved those iconic images of Australia that showed people working or playing in everyday life situations. My parents would take us on picnics to places like the Blue Mountains, the Snowy Mountains and country towns. Growing up on the northern beaches of Sydney, I found the mountains and country held some allure, the scenery was vast and textured and the animals were plentiful. I dreamed of living on a farm with a few sheep or cows, riding on my faithful horse, in the quiet of the country air.
So the image that was sent to me is my dream.
In 1950, Australia was largely concerned with pastoral and agricultural products. Wool production was greater than any other country in the world. There were about 109 million sheep on farms and the value of the wool was over £65,000,000 a year. Australia was “riding on the sheep’s back”.
Today sheep farming occupies 7 percent (4.7 billion) of the gross value of agricultural production, 5 percent (2.6 billion) of agricultural export income per year. The sheep farmer has diversified as wool prices fluctuate dramatically and are now concerned with meat, wool and milk. Climate change, exports and consumerism have seen sheep flocks falling and the numbers of sheep are estimated at 68.1 million.
Still doing the hard yards.

About Peta-Jayne

My main areas of practice are in drawing and painting and I have been working primarily in watercolour of late. I find that watercolour allows me to paint like I draw, paying particular attention to the detailed textures and tones of the subject. When using my camera to capture a moment, the light, the angle, the composition are deliberately considered in capturing the mood and feeling of the artwork. My original artworks have contributed to the growth of my portfolio and cover subjects such as still-life, landscape and nature, portraits and animals. No matter what the subject is, it is my intention to capture a moment in time, in true definition, with attention to the lights and shadows. My paintings and drawings find beauty and significance in ordinary scenes sometimes with a nostalgic feel. The familiarity of the subjects draws the viewer in, as even if the subject is not their own, their memories of something similar conjure a relatability.

Link to Peta-Jayne’s Art Aviso profile HERE

Peta-Jayne was provided the following page from Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia:

Volume 3
The story of the world and it’s peoples.
In Cumberland Valley, Victoria