BUSH BRUSHMAN: Peter Hill and Clarence Valley Country Muster’s Wendy Gordon on site in Calliope. Photo JoJo Newby
BUSH BRUSHMAN: Peter Hill and Clarence Valley Country Muster’s Wendy Gordon on site in Calliope. Photo JoJo Newby

Stockman Peter draws on his history

HE'S been a shearer, a stockman, a grave digger, a fencer and a buffalo and crocodile hunter.

Peter J Hill is one of those old Aussie blokes who has pretty much seen it all.

He's been painting since he was 19. Now he's an artist whose works reflect his life story.

He's showing and selling at the Clarence Valley Country Muster at Calliope this weekend.

Peter's mobile gallery is lined with scenes of cattle droving through bushland; clydesdales and thoroughbreds, and stockmen and working dogs.

"As a young fella I was working on a sheep and cattle station north of Broken Hill... I was on a property called Reola," Peter said.

Art was just a hobby for Peter at the time, but it wasn't long before his painting kicked off with flying colours.

"The owner of the property took a keen interest in some of the sketches I was doing... His name was Laurie Brown."

"He went to Broken Hill one day and came back with all these how-to-paint books and paint brushes and said 'Here Peter, get into these'."

From there Peter began a career in painting that would lead him all around Australia.

"I used to travel around all over the place with my paints and brushes and easels. While I was shearing I used to paint the home- steads and the woolsheds.

"For years I just travelled around, and it's broadened my outlook on life, you know."

"It's the only way to live... out in the back country.

"Country people are always friendly."

Clarence Valley Country Muster co-organiser Wendy Gordon said she was ecstatic with the response to the festival.

"There's over 100 caravans here now."

"I'm just so pleased everyone is having a good time."

Like all old bushmen, Peter didn't miss his chance to crack a joke at the end of his yarn with The Daily Examiner.

"As I always say, when an artist falls off the perch, they go up in value... and I'm not feelin' too good today."



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