The colour of drought isn't just brown.
Artist Dr Rowen Matthews told the Leader he set out to capture the majestic along with the painful; how the soil still glowed in a certain light and how the sky turned an array of "brilliant" shades amid the devastating big dry.
The result for the Liverpool Plains artist was an exhibition at Tamworth Regional Gallery, called Land is Emotional, which is now up for a national award.
Dr Matthew's paintings were being hung for the display when COVID-19 forced the gallery to close its doors. But, the innovative thinking of staff saw the exhibition become virtual.
Tamworth Regional Gallery has been shortlisted in the temporary or travelling exhibition category in the Australian Museums and Galleries Association National Awards for Land is Emotional.
"You're up against state and national galleries and museums, so it's a privilege to even be shortlisted, so we're quite excited," gallery director Bridget Guthrie said.
"One of the things about this was the fact that we responded so quickly in the early stages of COVID-19 ... and we were able to do that online exhibition," she said.
It's the first time a Tamworth gallery exhibition has been shortlisted for this type of award.
Dr Matthews said he was grateful to staff members like Emma Stilts and Jonathan Stilts who pivoted to produce the virtual walk-through as a collaboration between the gallery and the library's innovation studio.
"People could go online and actually navigate around the gallery space, and stop in front of a painting and they could hear me talking about the paining," he said.
"I feel very fortunate that it happened to be an exhibition of my work that was the recipient of their technology."
Land is Emotional grew from a tough period in the region.
"I live among farmers and I really felt the pain, and I wanted to take that experience and paint a series of large paintings ... so people could feel that experience, even if they hadn't lived on the land," Dr Matthews said.
Winners will be announced on October 28.