HUNDREDS of people gathered in Mataranka on the weekend for the annual Never Never Festival.
For former Katherine resident Thomas Croft the festival was the perfect chance to come back home and share his passion for painting the landscape in which he grew up.
Relaxing in the shade outside the Stockyard Gallery, across the road from Saturday’s festivities on the public lawn, Mr Croft painted and chatted to visitors.
The 38-year-old, who grew up in Katherine from the age of three, said he had always been inspired by the Territory landscape.
“I’ve painted since I was a child ... the stories here are my stories.”
While he has lived in Newcastle since 2001, Mr Croft said the Katherine region has always been where his heart is.
By early afternoon, Mr Croft had sold four of his paintings – ranging from his more traditional Northern Territory landscapes to the intricate patterned style he has developed as uniquely his own.
“One thing I’ve got is that no one else does it like this,” Mr Croft said.
His paintings were hung in the gallery beside the equally striking work of his sister, Jody Croft, who is now based in Victoria.