An early start to catch our flight to Bali. Taxi came 5.30 a.m. Everything ran as smooth as silk. We had great seats on the aircraft and lunch was served soon after our 9 a.m. takeoff. So early in the morning we had one Bintang beer with lunch to celebrate the commencement of our holiday. And of course we needed the can for the sketch.
The rest of the flight we spent doing our “Learning Indonesian” lessons. We couldn’t do the audio because we would have felt forced to repeat after the instructor and we wouldn’t want to frighten the horses. As well as audio, they come with PDF files so we worked from them. It is such an excellent course, and free. We asked the cabin crew for help with our pronunciation, though there was some fairly quiet hilarity between ourselves at our efforts. Well, we thought quiet, but when I stood up to let BB out, a friendly passenger in the row behind us said “you two seem to be having a good time”.
A sunny morning for the Queen’s Birthday public holiday. I met up with a large group from the Sydney Sketch Club as we sketched a monument to Queen Victoria near Hyde Park. Wonderful sketchers there.
Somehow for once I wasn’t in the mood. I think my head is already on holiday. The rest of the group went off to sketch another Queen Victoria statue, but I decided to go home and do some more trip preparations.
Urban Sketchers in Sydney had their monthly event at Sydney University for June. The weather was forecast windy and some rain. At first it was quite mild, but by 12.30 it had turned cold and we were glad to get out of the weather. Didn’t rain on us though.
We started out in the quadrangle, which is very ornate wherever you look. The neogothic architecture is certainly a challenge. I started with the tower. I was working as I previously did on Cockatoo Island on collaged Japanesed papers that had been washed with watercolour. A number of different textures of paper have been used. You can see the threads in the paper on the left of the tower, while on the right, those brown looking dots are actually gold sparkles in real life. I didn’t touch the sky. It was like that already.
For the next sketch the wind drove me inside to a sheltered corner, so I sketched from inside, looking out.
I started off Every Day in May this year, but I knew I couldn’t keep it up. I have had tradesmen here and been camping in the spare bedroom. I had some medical appointments and even more important, I am going travelling.
First trip, starting in less than a month. I am going to Bali. I decided to sketch this frame as I wanted to get my hand in, sketching Balinese patterns and textures. this is a raw wooden frame, one of many I bought a lot of years ago. Most of them I have painted and then gilded.
I bravely went straight in with the pen, even knowing that the pattern should be reproduced on each side, and as for the perspective…. So my solution, after being comparatively satisfied with what I had done was just to swoosh watercolour onto the back corner. I think I have learnt a useful trick for when I’m actually in Bali.
First I am going to Kalibukbuk and the place I am staying has enough to sketch without leaving the garden, so I am looking forward to a nice relax (and the cooking course.)
Saturday morning was another Urban Sketchers Event at Cockatoo Island. Remember we got rained out (well, rained in) last time, and I sketched the machines?
This time a cloudy day was forecast with strong winds. It can be cold there out on the island, and although the weather has been perfect, we are well on into the autumn. In the event, it was yet another perfect day and we were stripping off layers.
I wanted to sketch this hugely complicated crane that I haven’t tried before. It is always trickier than you think, sketching cranes. They are so very tall. You have to anchor them on the ground somehow, then you run out of page when you go upwards. This crane is just gorgeous where that rectangular thing is, and next time I shall attempt to draw a detail of that area. As it was I went off the page at the top, and across onto the other page once I got the rope-thing hanging down. So I continued to add more buildings coming closer to me, able only to fudge the perspective and the proportion because it was so unplanned. Nevertheless I quite like it.
Yesterday was Anzac Day, a public holiday in Australia and New Zealand. There is a huge parade through the city, but instead we went to Cockatoo Island again. Any opportunity……
These pages in my Stillman & Birn sketchbook have been pre-prepared with collage for ages. Even since I came back from Huskisson, and so long that I can’t quite remember if I used Matt Medium of Matt Gel Medium. I used a variety of torn pieces of Japanese papers. They were all cream or white, some with metallic bits through them, others plain or with various other bits through them. When I had stuck them down and they were dry, I threw some watercolour on them.
I was always planning to use them at Cockatoo Island, so I used the yellow ochre on them both, thinking of the sandstone there. One I used a dusky pink as well, and the other I mixed a grey blue from ultramarine and burnt umber.
It was a perfect autumn day. Chilly at 9:45 when I arrived, but by mid afternoon we were looking for a patch of shade. Another glorious day on Sydney Harbour.