Hans Heyson: The Weekly Smile


Droving into the Light, 1914-21, Art Gallery of South Australia

Hans Heyson was an Australian artist who lived between 1877 and 1968 (dying at 91 years of age). He was a well known name in Australia for his superb depictions of gum trees, the Aussie bush and animals such as horses and other farmed animals in the landscape. He won the Wynne Prize for landscape 9 times and left a vast legacy of watercolours. He also gave me this weeks smile.

For Hans Heyson the gum trees were characters akin to humans and he loved them as much as he loved his family of 9 children. Apparently, whilst out walking Hans came across a group of council workers preparing to cut down a gum tree that he loved. He begged them not to cut it down. He was informed the council needed the revenue the tree would raise for firewood. He persuaded them to wait and he took himself off to council and paid 1oo pounds to save the tree. The council seeing they were on a good wicket then started informing Hans of any gum tree they were proposing to fell and Hans paid for them all. Some he even paid for twice.

This gave me a big smile.

For Trent’s Weekly Smile



About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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15 Responses to Hans Heyson: The Weekly Smile

  1. That’s well worthy of a smile. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this. 🌴

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Prior-01 says:

    wow -sound slick they tok advantage of him – but what a sweet person – and great artist – and obviously nature -lover – this is a good smile – thx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d love the council to come to my neck of the woods where the gum trees are dangerous and fall over too often. We loved the look of our neighborhood when we moved in, the trees were delicate and thin, but the trees got bigger, the rain got less, and the whole situation became way too unpredictable.
    Still, the painting is gorgeous and Heyson was an admirable, talented man. Saving trees in the wild is a bit different from saving trees planted in rows, as were ours. (We didn’t do it.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sherri says:

    You see? I miss coming here so much because of your delightful posts Irene; your warmth and humour, so much of interest and because of the big smiles you bring to my day 🙂 Love this kind of art and great story! ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What beautiful stately trees! They are quite different from ours, but I think our oak is most similar. Hans was a true naturalist!

    Liked by 1 person

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