Blackheath artist Robert Malherbe’s painting of the The Lake Pillans wetlands at Lithgow won the $20,000 NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize last week.
Mr Malherbe came to Australia as a young boy from Mauritius, and now lives in the Mountains with his partner, Dana Rayson.
He’s been a finalist in the Plein Air Painting Prize a number of times, but it’s his impression of the Lithgow wetlands that has got him over the line.
Mr Malherbe said he and his partner have found a number of inspiring subjects in recent trips to the town.
“I was looking at the Blast Furnace as a potential subject and then I noticed the wetlands, the sunlight around there and the tranquility,” he said.
“The fact that it’s this piece of nature surrounded by industry… I just thought ‘this is absolutely beautiful’.”
The painting will now become part of the permanent collection of the NSW Parliament.
Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle said the prize was a testament to the creative talent in the Blue Mountains.
“Mr Malherbe’s win reaffirms the importance and significance of our creative and artistic community here in the Mountains,” she said.