When I looked back over this week’s sketches I realised that I had made only one. A poor sad solo drawing of the new heaters that our local coffee shop are using.
Heater at the coffee shop, pen and ink, 25 June 2014.
This prompted me to make another drawing to keep it company. Here is my column heater, getting quite a work out during our first really icy blast of winter for this year. This is quite a mix of media, acrylic paint marker, conte crayon and marker pen.
Heater, acrylic paint marker, marker pen and conte crayon, 28 June 2014.
A favourite walk of ours is to the small stand of kurrajong trees (Brachychiton populneus) that grow on the shoulder of Mt Taylor. These trees are often referred to as ‘bottle’ trees, for their swollen trunks, although it is not a strong feature of this particular species of kurrajong. I took only my smallest sketchbook, made by a friend of mine, and my ink pen on this walk. The book is approximately 70 x 100 mms, (or 3×4 inches).
My tiny sketchbook.
I did three sketches. The first of the triple trunk of the main kurrajong tree, which has seeded it’s offspring in the bush around it.
The triple-trunked kurrajong, pen and ink, 16 June 2014.
Next my interest was captured by what I could see behind the tree. This is a series of high voltage power cables that traverse this side of the mountain – they actually hang in much smoother curves than I could draw! It was a challenge to try and capture the light-grey cables against the darker toned eucalypt trees on the higher slope of the mountain.
Power cables against the hillside, pen and ink, 16 June 2014.
Last of all was a small cluster of dead leaves which were highlighted by the late afternoon sun.
Dead leaves, late afternoon, pen and ink 16 June 2013.
Here are some drawings I’ve done over the past few days. First a blind drawing of the Academy of Science building, also known as the Shine Dome and familiarly called ‘the Martian Embassy’ by locals. Behind it stands one of the newest developments in central Canberra, the Nishi Building in the New Acton precinct.
The Academy of Science Building, also called the Shine Dome (a.k.a ‘the Martian Embassy’) and the Nishi Building, New Acton, pen and ink, 20 June 2014.
Outside the Nishi Building, (which I’ve written about here) is the sculpture ‘Carbon’, it appears to be extruded from the buildings’ understorey and extends along the facade.
Carbon, by Steven Siegel,
pen and ink, 20 June 2014.
The city of Canberra was designed, originally by Walter Burley Griffin, who was inspired, in part, by the Garden City movement. In practical terms for Canberra residents today it means that the city incorporates large areas of bushland. Along with the natural landscape come lots of native animals and animals and cars don’t interact on an equal basis. Every day kangaroos die as a result of being hit by cars. Yesterday I came across one such victim not far from my own house. It was a female Eastern Grey kangaroo, our most common kangaroo species and while the species is not in any way endangered it is still a sad experience to find one of these beautiful creatures dead on the roadside.
A dead Eastern Grey Kangaroo, pen and ink, 21 June 2014.
I drew in two ‘new’ places this week. Appointments and exhibitions took me to different spots around the city. First a cafe in a suburb I rarely visit offered a very trendy setting with a wall of stacked wood and these intriguing pots hanging upside down from the ceiling. Clearly this fern was loving it.
An upside down hanging pot, pen and ink, 11 June 2014.
Less thrilling was the overwhelming smell of gas when, as it turns out the next door petrol station was having it’s tanks refilled. Both my partner and I and several other groups of people thought a gas explosion was imminent. Thankfully the staff told us what the odour was – just before we all headed out the door to save ourselves!
While it is definitely a place I’ve visited many times, I’ve never stopped to draw inside the the National Library of Australia before. The Bookplate Cafe, tucked into a corner of the foyer has the luxury of incorporating several stained glass windows designed by the artist Leonard French. Aided by what must have been the biggest bucket of coffee I’ve ever had, I was able to make the following sketch. That is until my pen ran out of ink. All to the good, according to my partner who told me that I was in grave danger of over-working the sketch as it was.
The bookplate cafe and windows by Leonard French, pen and ink, 13 June 2014.
Last week we rode our bikes around Lake Tuggeranong from where I made this sketch of the Bullen Ranges, topped by fast moving clouds.
The Bullen Range from Lake Tuggeranong, pen and ink, 6 June 2014.
While we were eating our picnic lunch we had a number of avian visitors, not just the regular Silver Gull (Larus novaehollandiae) a common inland bird. I’d put my drawing tools away to eat lunch and so I was caught off guard when a black swan decided to pay us a visit. All I did was take photos, rather than draw! Here are some of those photos.
Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) and Black Swan (Cygnus atratus).
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus).
I’ve seen, probably the same swan, at that part of the lake on previous bike rides so next time I’ll have my pen at the ready!
Further along the bike path we spotted several Australian Darter’s (Anhinga melanogaster) drying their wings on the Sea Scout’s jetty (given we are over a hundred kilometers from the coast I always enjoy the irony of this name). I did have my pen out, but they were not happy with us approaching and flew off before I could sketch them.
An Australian Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) in a fairly common pose.