Arthur Streeton's lifelong embrace of painting en plein air was facilitated by the technological development of equipment and materials in the 19th century for portable painting. In particular, the ready availability of oil paint in tubes which could be squeezed out at need and resealed was pivotal to the international movement towards painting outdoors.
Streeton's willing make-do and rugged fearlessness of a physical challenge led to some idiosyncratic variations on the typical selection of mid-sized stretched white canvases that fit well on foldable easels and the use of white shade umbrellas to ensure correct colour rendition.
Instead, working on small recycled cardboard and plywood boards or hauling over-sized canvases across rocky terrain to perch himself above a railway cutting, Streeton's paintings demonstrate extreme willingness to adapt for the sake of a good subject.
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