Flying Over The Shoalhaven River: Year 3

These photographs were taken by Petra Glaser in June 2013


These wonderfully expressed, colourful, personal interpretations of the Shoalhaven River area in Southern New South Wales were based on a painting by well-known Australian artist Margaret Preston – Flying Over the Shoalhaven River. The Year 3 students of Cranbourne-Carlisle Primary School have not only made their own interpretations, they have also learned an enormous amount about Preston and her unique ‘bird’s eye view’ of the area as it might be seen from above. By managing a project in this way, Petra’s students totally integrated learning ‘about art’ with learning to ‘make art’ – an exciting way to provide an holistic experience. An appreciation for the Aboriginal influence was also gained. 


The students experimented with mixing primary colours directly onto the surface to create tones suitable for their landscape paintings. The illusion of depth and distance was created by making trees near the bottom of the paintings larger than those at the back. Another technique to assist this was to make the river wind to a vanishing point on the horizon in the distance. White paint was ‘scumbled’ onto the surface to create the illusion of clouds and black oil paint was used to delineate the hills and shapes in the compositions.


Margaret Preston was one Australia’s first Modernist artists, a fact that is easily recognized in the student’s works.


There are other examples of exciting projects by Petra’s classes elsewhere on this website.



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7 Responses to “Flying Over The Shoalhaven River: Year 3”

  1. Lori says:

    Great works thanks or sharing

  2. While I don’t know the river itself these works show the students do. Great insights provided. They must have a great art teacher. Mari

    Yes, they do have a great art teachers. Thanks from both of us. Max

  3. Petra says:

    thank you Ingrid – I agree that these works are simply beautiful. They are a fabulous co-hort and it is their work from the previous year – the Yr2 Collins Street collaborative project. cheers, Petra

  4. Wonderful what children can do. Share with others.

  5. max says:

    I’m glad you had a chance to see them. They’re wonderful. I can’t wait to see what your students do too. Also have a look at Petra’s Collins St 5 O’Clock series.
    I’ll come down whenever it suits…maybe this week. Cheers Max

  6. Ingrid Reed says:

    Hi max
    I love these and I can’t believe this is exactly what I’m doing with my 3/4’s . We have been looking at the work of Fred Williams , Margaret Preston and indigenous artists for our canvases. I used flying over the shoal haven river with the aerial views from Fred Williams . .

    How fantastic! Thanks for reminding me to look at your brilliant website, I do look regularly. Come down and photograph our cd covers.

    See you soon

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