Inspiration – Vineyard Dawn, Adelaide Hills

Tilbrook Estate's Chardonnay Back Block in the Adelaide Hills
Tilbrook Estate’s Original Hill Block Chardonnay in the Adelaide Hills ©2017 by Kendrea Rhodes titled: ‘Vineyard Dawn, Adelaide Hills.’

Inside your head a scream ricochets, ‘I WANNA DO THAT.’

Inspiration: when an idea saturated in promise hits you, sparking a chemical reaction in your brain.


A vineyard at dawn on Instagram had me thinking, ‘I’d love to paint that.’

I screenshot it and forgot it … until, short notice inspiration was required.

Over-zealous-zooming of the original screen shot removed important details like place, date and photographer, but I thought, ‘I’ll find out later, how hard can it be?’

The South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival for 2017 was just around the corner and I desperately wanted to enter the Hills Art Group’s (hART)  ‘A Bright & Savage Land’ exhibition. And this Adelaide Hills vineyard photograph was the perfect inspiration. I just needed to uncover its vitals (oh, and paint it).

Memory is a funny thing. In my mind it was easy flipping back through instagram and finding my inspiration. Heck, in my mind I was already chatting to the winemaker about how a photo of his vineyard inspired me. In reality, finding that original post was fraught with finger-swipping-sprain-injury.

‘It was just there a minute ago,’ (actually three weeks …) my fingers took over in a frenetic reaction to failure, discarding the subtleties of the graceful swipe and stabbing the mobile phone screen.

Why can’t I find it? I have the date of the screenshot. Surely.

Hashtag search, #adelaidehillsvineyards #winery #aerialphotography #adelaidehillswinery. Nothing, I mean everything …

Another port of inspiration, Pinterest. Maybe it wasn’t instagram, maybe my memory really sucks. I’m not worried about the self berating – I just need to finish this thing that I started.

The internet-rabbit-hole beckons – I’m addicted to the chase as Pinterest fails me, but Google takes over. Yes, the big-guns are on the job now. Still no luck or all the luck in the world, there’s too much stuff out there.

FB. Of course, I’ll Facebook it and garner general opinion of the painting at the same time. This is always my final act of desperation – ask someone else. I can’t admit to failure, so I didn’t. I just crossed my fingers.

Turns out, I shoulda asked my Facebook Friends first.

Many thanks to aerial photographer, Clint Young (Instagram @aeromancyaerial) and James Tilbrook (Instagram @tilbrookestate) for the inspiration to paint Tilbrook Estate’s Original Hill Block – Chardonnay.

This is Vineyard Dawn, Adelaide Hills: on exhibition at the Onkaparinga Woollen Mill, for SALA 2017, held by hART.

Artist’s Statement for a Vineyard Dawn, Adelaide Hills

Survival shaped and developed the many talents required by indigenous people and the early settlers when responding to environment. Long before the years of toil created this vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, the Peramangk People lived in harmony with the environment – witness to the sunrise over the Mount Lofty Ranges.

Dawn consolidates the spirit of the Peramangk people with the agrarian endeavours of early settlers and present-day winemakers; the sun rises on everyone without judgement. This oil painting was inspired by the aerial photography of Clint Young (Mt Torrens) who captured Tilbrook Estate’s Original Hill Block – Chardonnay.

©2017 Kendrea Rhodes

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