Thirroul based artist Paul Ryan creates paintings inspired by the dramatic escarpment of the Illawarra coast, his love of the surf, music, a fascination with colonial history, and the tactile quality of oil paint. In this film Paul begins a painting, talks through his processes and themes, questions the colonial perception of the savage and the civilised, and reflects on his own identity. Paul has been an Archibald, Black Swan, and Moran Prize finalist, and is represented by the Olsen Irwin Gallery in Sydney. Filmed and edited by Sean O'Brien. Surf footage by Ray Collins. The music is by Bill Callahan.