Haughton Forrest painted Mount Wellington, the geographic landmark that defines the city of Hobart, many times. He used colour and scale to convey the inherent drama and atmospheric ‘moodiness’ of the Tasmanian landscape: luminous pinks and soft cool greys, the glow of the afternoon winter light offsetting the dark damp areas of forest. In Mount Wellington from Cascades these colours suggest the air is cold and still, broken only by the movement of birds. The scale of the mountain is also accentuated by the small figures that stroll along the path beside the river.
Primarily a painter of maritime and landscape subjects, French-born Forrest rarely dated his works. He often used photography as a visual aid for his paintings, sometimes referring to the work of James Watt Beattie who trekked into the Tasmanian wilderness to photograph the spectacular natural environment. These photographs assisted Forrest to portray a level of detail in his own work and to create images of Tasmania that were unfamiliar to the general public.