Dorrigo artist Peter Mortimore to paint silos in Dunedoo, Quirindi and Premer

Dorrigo artist Peter Mortimore, whose paintings and drawings of the Plateau were on display at NSW Parliament House earlier this month, will be working on a grander scale this summer.

He's been commissioned to add large, colourful pictures to grain silos in three drought-stricken inland towns of NSW - Dunedoo, Quirindi and Premer.

Known for his 'rural realism' style, Peter will be decorating the huge structures with images that reflect a unique aspect of each place.

Dunedoo in Warrumbungle Shire wants to showcase local jockey Hugh Bowman and his celebrated mount Winx, the racehorse who retired last year after a record-breaking 33 straight wins.

"Hugh Bowman's a Dunedoo boy who's brought great fame to the town through riding Winx," Peter said. "So that's the main image. And because I'm known as an equine artist, I was approached."

The silo complex sits in the main street, and Peter expects to spend about eight weeks painting all four sides from top to bottom.

It's a job that requires not only massive amounts of paint, but also a special qualification.

"First I have to get my elevated working platform licence so I can work a cherry picker, then away we go," he said.

"I've done murals down at Belgenny Farm at Camden, the original farm of John Macarthur, but nothing near the scale of what these silos are. They average about 34m in height, so they're pretty damn big."

In deciding how to proceed, he's taken advice from artist Sam Bates, whose silo paintings in South Australia and Victoria Peter describes as "absolutely stunning".

Watch Sam Bates painting the Wirrabura Silo in South Australia in this Chris Ashby Productions video:

The other two silo-painting jobs on Peter's list are in Quirindi and Premer, both on the Liverpool Plains.

Quirindi's pictures will focus on the town's history and agriculture.

"There are three silos in that complex that I'll paint. On one it will have sunflowers, sorghum, wheat and dry-land cotton.

"But the main image will be the sunflowers because Quirindi is known for sunflowers."

Premer, which is known for its night sky trail, will have an image that involves the stars.

"I'm looking forward to doing all of them," Peter said. "I was a boy in Quirindi, so it's nice to go back and do that. And there's a link to Dunedoo, which is my wife Caroline's home town."

All three of the towns are in drought and the silo paintings are intended to boost spirits and tourism revenue.

"This is something to help - to see something positive happening in their towns. Quirindi in particular has been doing it really tough. It's been absolutely hammered by this drought," Peter said.

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