Last weekend was another Urban Sketchers Event, this time at Luna Park. Leaving home, walking up over the park, I could feel it in my chest that there was smoke in the air. Once the train emerged from the tunnel onto the Harbour Bridge I saw how much smoke. The Opera House was distinctly hazy, even from so close.
Once at Luna Park I looked for ‘monsters,’ to sketch. You’d think it was a good place for monsters and it is, but the necessity for a patch for shade and other factors sometimes limits where I want to sketch. They had just washed the pavements and one friend didn’t have a chair.
We found some seating and I sketched this roofline (they’re starting to be a habit). Colour first, then line. I tried with a yellowish tombow pen, but the line was too thick. I didn’t like the effect in this particular sketch so I washed it away.
When I had finished, I left the others and walked back towards the front of Luna Park; towards the bridge. What a surprise. Almost no Harbour Bridge to be seen through the heavy smoke haze although we were almost directly underneath. Not fires, just burning off to try to halt the fires that can’t be controlled.
I found another little shady spot where I could see a potential ‘monster’. It is the back of one of the towers that flank ‘The Face‘. I now always work colour first, so I slopped my colour on, and as she developed she turned into a nice little Rampant Rabbit female monster, don’t you think?
Our last day in Tuscany involved a bit of glueing, writing, finishing sketches, then a sketch for the day at the Antica Posta in the main square. I had wanted to sketch this building showing the way the light falls on the various planes. However, the light was very flat, and as it was my last day I just had to put up with it.
So this day we had to pack for our trip to Rome the following day. That completed, we went for a delicious farewell dinner with a friend. Great Cook!
This image was photographed in a hotel room at night, but……best I could do. Lack of opportunity to photograph my work is what has been holding me up…added to (1) out all the time and (2) lack of wifi. (Image now replaced by scanned image – what an improvement).
Only a few short hours left in Bologna and I sat in our room to do a last quick sketch.
We then went out for a coffee, a gelato, a last look around, and were amazed to find the streets completely empty of cars. A bit concerned about getting to the station in this car free city, we went back to the hotel to find out the situation regarding a taxi to the station with our luggage. It seems that every weekend the historic centre of Bologna is free of traffic. Picture shows Via Indipedenza, the main street. The woman who runs our hotel made a very long phone call to the taxi company, explaining that we were ‘anziane’. Finally she took the phone off the hook, came down in the lift with us, and took across to a corner where the taxi immediately pulled up.
The station at Bologna is now many times the size it was during my last visit. These two ‘anziane’ struggled down what seemed like five escalators with two bags each, to find the platform. Once there, we positioned ourselves, by the ‘Business Class’ indicator which showed where our carriage would pull up.
Wrong. All the indicator boards were wrong, which meant we spent half of our 30 minute train trip to Florence battling down the corridors with our luggage, meeting other passengers coming in the other direction with their luggage.
A quick snack at the station in Florence, then on to our next train for an hour and a half to the Tuscan village where we were to spend ten days.
On the Sunday we went into Schaffhausen, a city quite nearby to see the Albert Anker exhibition at the art gallery there. Quite a large exhibition with also included a number of Daumier lithographs. Anker is a Swiss artist who painted in an extremely realist style.
After the exhibition we went to some swimming baths in the Rhine, and our hostess swam (brrrr) while we drank coffee and ate cherry tart and I sketched some houses across the river.
From there we went to see the Rheinfalls. I had been before but not for many years, and they still impress. We sat there for a long while, watching the water. On the way home we visited a roadside stall to buy pumpkin and took a lot of photos of the amazing variety of pumpkins we had never seen before.
I am used to the village where my friends live, again now, but on arrival I am impressed again and again how SWISS it is and how beautiful. I had expressed the wish to walk around the village where we were staying and take some photographs
So we walked around the village with our cameras and the to the amphitheatre nearby, across the countryside. By this time it was hot and we were in need of a drink. Our hostess said, ‘oh, we can go this way’ and led us up a steep track that doubled back on itself again and again, up a nearly vertical hill…a goat track in fact. I (a)hate heights, and (b) am sometimes a bit wobbly on my feet since my recent illness, so I was hanging on to Broni from behind and looking anywhere but down. Aaaaaargh. And when we got to the pub it was shut. On a Saturday.
When I stay with these friends, we usually have our meals outside the back of their house. We had a cool drink back there, and I sketched the corner of the house, and the ‘pub’ opposite. Also closed. Swiss pubs don’t look like pubs to me.
In the afternoon we got in the car and went across the border to Germany, only a kilometre or so away. At a pretty town called Tiengen, there was a craft market. Lots of things I could have bought there (and didn’t), as everything was of a high quality. We ended the day with a scenic route home and a first trip to Aldi for Broni.
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.