"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bark Pictures.

These Pictures are made by gluing the fibers of the bark from a
Melaleuca tree into suitable patterns, pretty simple.. eh.

This one depicts a typical early Australian Homestead with a beautiful
Gum Tree in the foreground, it measures a mere 6 inches by 4 inches.

This one is of a very talented Australian Country Music Artist by the
name of Tania Kernaghan, the two portraits are 16 by 13 inches.

This is Tania from a CD insert, so that you can compare the likeness.

Some close up detail from the bark picture remember there are nothing
but natures tones here, except that black which is very often the
natural effect of fire.

This one is of the late great Slim Dusty an Aussie legend.

Another CD insert photo for comparison, BTW Slim is pictured in front
of the statue of another Aussie legend A B (Banjo) Paterson, a prolific
writer who's best known works include "The Man From Snowy River"
and "Waltzing Matilda".

Bark Pictures.

These pictures are done by a very talented Gympie lady whose name is
Judith Holt, (Judy and I are not related, although she does have a
brother whose name is Peter,) I will try to describe the process used to
make one of these pictures.

On a suitable backing board a coating of flaked and fiberous strands of
bark of the Melaleuca tree is laid out and glued in place, this art form
is very time consuming as each strand is glued into place separately
there may be 20 to 30 layers built up in places to give a third
dimensional appearance.

This bark is available in quite a large range of natures colours, from the
soft parchment which is the normal through pink, gray, green and black
from the effect of fires.

Judy uses no paints or colouring agents, careful selection and blending
of what nature provides and skillful but sparing use of an electric
soldering iron to singe some strands of bark, this is done after she has
assembled the picture and wants to incorporate some extra colour or
effect usually.

As she builds up her pictures she manages to capture some amazing
detail, sometimes in facial expressions other times in the complex form
of a tree or building, again I stress, these are not coloured in later, the
natural bark colours and blackening for shadow effect is all.

I hope that may give you some idea of how these beautiful works are
created, they really are a joy to see up close and in the bark, so to

Now I'm not suggesting for a moment that you or I could just pick up
this art form but as with most things in the hands of an expert it really
does look quite simple... Ha... remember those tap washers!!!


LittleJen said...

what can I say.. "WOW" they sure are different.

Merle said...

Hi Peter ~~ Great post and the strangest thing is I asked someone yesterday if they had evertried bark paintings. Even mentioned I had a couple of small ones you had given me. Bill is going OK, cancer had not spread which was the main worry.
Michelle moved into her house last weekend and is getting settled.
Take care, Merle.

jules said...

Very cool, although I would NOT have the patience (or time) required for those.

Karen said...

Wow, that is really cool! I never knew that bark was used for that. Amazing.

The joke was really funny; I wonder what the male Indian's name was LOL

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

The bark work is fantastic. Lot of time and talent need to make one of these.

Peter, your suggestion for Beta was great, but I've tried it a half dozen times, and I still get an error message.

Laurie said...

Amazing pictures!

Miss Cellania said...

That is an interesting art medium, and beautiful pictures!

Joy said...

Beautiful pics Peter. Amazing how people create these wonderful pieces with bark. Truly talented.

Meow said...

What wonderful pictures, Peter. It is incredible the likeness they can get, with bits of bark. I have an elderly friend here in Melbourne, who I do typing for, who has done some bark painting in her past ... no people, just scenery. Hers are very good, too.
Thanks for sharing these pics.
Have a great day
Take care, Meow

Puss-in-Boots said...

I love bark pictures but wouldn't have the patience to do it. The pictures of Tania Kernaghan and Slim Dusty are wonderful, very true to life.

Jeanette said...

Hi Peter
a lot of patience needed to do these wonderfull bark pictures. I specially like Slim Dusty .
Take Care

Hale McKay said...

I have seen samples of this bark art before. There are some Maine and Vermont crafters and artists who do something similar but they use birch.

I had no idea just how much work goes into this form of art. (I don't know if the above crafters used the identical techniques, but the end results are some magnificent looking landscape pictures.)

JunieRose2005 said...


That is a truly amazing ART. I don't think I have ever seen this before.

Thanks for showing us this!


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