This painting had its beginnings one hot Summer day at Inverloch. I was visiting my parent’s beach house and my dad had a phone call to say that someone had found a dead koala which had met its demise on a nearby highway. They had heard I was a wildlife artist and was I interested in seeing it? Sad though the occasion was, the poor little fellow had no marks on him – he was in perfect condition for photographs. Consequently, I set about taking many photos of him to enable me to paint him. I was struck by his russett coloured belly and couldn’t recall ever having seen this coloration on a koala before.

As children, and having a beach house at Inverloch, we often were taken to nearby Phillip Island to see its many varied attractions – the Penguin Parade, Cowes, The Nobbies and, of course the koalas on the road to Cowes. We would stop our car, pile out and crane our necks upwards to see if we could see these cute balls of fluff wedged high in the forks of the trees. They were usually fast asleep and most unconcerned about our presence. There would be silence at first until one of us would cry out – “I can see one!”

What a wonderful memory!