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.

Summit Walk (unposted from 2017!)

Yesterday (20 November 2017) we went for a pleasant walk around our local landmark Black Mountain. A walking track circles it below the summit. The walk is posted as taking 45 minutes to complete, but allowing for stopping to botanise and sketch we managed the circumnambulation at a cracking two hours and ten minutes!

Black Mountain telecommunications tower.

'Tiger' orchid, Diuris sulphurea, Black Mountain ACT

Escape to the country!

Last week we finally left our Canberra for the first time in months to drive an hour away to the country town of Braidwood.

The village of Braidwood started to form around the 1840s and has retained many of it’s older 19th century buildings along the main street. As such, it’s a great place to sketch.

I was sketching across the road from the CWA (Country Women’s Association) building and the post office and then later further down the main street into town.

My first sketch was made on a page that I had prepared with white gesso and ink a few weeks back. I also collaged some paper onto my page, which I had made by printing from a gelli (gel) plate. That saved me from having to paint the mountain.

Along the street my eye was caught by an interesting combination of rooflines and light poles.

Steep roofs and tall chimneys. Watercolour and pencil.

I was just getting stuck into my blind contour drawing when I had to go for lunch which we had booked at the Albion Cafe.

Blind contour drawing of the same scene of rooftops and light poles.

I liked this last one best of all. It’s probably a good thing that we had to go to lunch before I ruined it.