Drawing Sydney (not all cafes)

Well it’s been a while since I posted, mainly because I have been busy finalising my first solo exhibition in Sydney, (more of that in another post). We had to drive up from Canberra for the installation so once we arrived we had some spare time to get some sketching done.

You probably won’t be surpised that this has meant sitting in cafes and sketching, although it’s also been about taking the opportunity to look out at the busy urban settings as much as drawing people. We are staying in the inner-ish suburb of Strathfield, close to the railway  station. It’s a lively area with plenty of activity all day.

Early morning coffee sketching at Maldini’s Espresso. The place across the road must have the good dumplings because there were always queues there at night.

The area also has a very strong Korean focus. You can’t go wrong with Korean barbecue restaurants and the style and content of the local grocery and specialty shops is a far cry from what we have in our local area. It makes a heady mix for us sketchers!

We also spent some time at the Art Gallery of New South Wales,  where I had just enough time to sketch some sculptures as fit in another cafe sketch.

Lyndon Dadswell, The Birth of Venus, 1944. One of a number of smaller sculptures displayed together.

I love the way these groupings of sculptures relate to each other and the art around them. It was a bit of a challenge to see enough detail in the Dadswell sculpture to draw it, as it was silhouetted against a bright window. The view of the back of the sculpture was much better lit. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to sketch that as well.

The rear view of the Birth of Venus by Lyndon Dadswell.
One final cafe sketch.

A brief encounter

I am at the end of a very brief encounter with Ikara-Flinders Range National Park and I would desperately love to be giving it more attention.

The southern end of Wilpena Pound with a headcovering of cloud.

We have just spent the second of two full days staying at Wilpena Pound. Tomorrow we leave. The weather has been vile. Cold, rainy and blowing a gale. But, but, but … it’s breathtaking.

The view from Razorback Lookout with a rainbow between showers (PS that funny line in the photo is one of the wires around the lookout).

We have sketched from our car, all of the first day and some of our second day. But my biggest frustration with this experience is finding my own voice because I seem to be painting other people’s paintings.

Australians will have some familiarity with the work of watercolourist Albert Namatjira and possibly with photographer Harold Casneaux, whose image ‘Spirit of Endurance‘, was made only a short distance from where we are staying.

So when I start painting I see Namatjira’s work floating in front of me. It’s a challenge to paint with that over your head. However, the more I  thought about it I realised that I should learn from those artists, before I worry about my own style.

Late afternoon light on Wilpena Pound.

Obviously I just need to get on with it.

Wilpena Pound from Bunyeroo Gorge drive.

Two more farm sketches

Our hope for a day of sketching more at the farm disappeared along with the good weather.

As there were cows on hand, so to speak, I decided to start with them. In fact this is one cow and several calves, two which have been abandoned by their mothers and one belonging to said cow.

A cow and calves. Felt tip pen and watercolour.

I then moved back to the riding arena (the family breed stock horses) and sketched this still life. The orange ‘ropes’ are slings used in conjunction with the heavy machinery for lifting things.

Farm equipment on the wall. Watercolour and pencil.

Three sketches outside Stanhope New South Wales

It’s a cliche but when I arrived at the farm yesterday I did feel my shoulders relax.

I spotted several points to sketch on my walk this morning so I set about working pretty quickly.

Looking down the road to the mountains. Pen and ink and watercolour.
The skies were amazing so I tried a cloud study.
The two pages of my sketchbook.
Part way through my 3rd sketch, trying to block in big shapes with some wet into wet painting.
The finished sketch. The most accurate colour is the red triangle in the foreground, which is a dam covered in duckweed.