Camperdown Memorial Park is just at the end of my street. I took my sketching chair up there yesterday and sat in the shade to sketch this tree. I sketched it before…three years ago.
It was nearly removed by the council a couple of years ago…the story is here. It is not blossom. They are orchid-like flowers and some of the leaves tumble down from the bottom. A really beautiful tree and I always look forward to it flowering this time every year. It is a symbol of Hong Kong , which is very pertinent at the moment with the Umbrella Revolution happening there now.
Someone came and sat below it, just as I started to sketch. She was reading a book and moving around a lot. Behind her is the graffiti-covered wall of St Stephen’s Church.
Drawn in my brown ink with Lamy Safari and then watercolour. Wine and Green Copic Multiliner added to the tree.
Blogging has been a bit slow due to the fact that I have had house guests staying in my spare room. WordPress is much better on the desktop computer than on the Ipad, and the desktop is….in the spare room.
We were hoping to go out sketching, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Cloudy, a little rain, and a whole lot of cold wind. My guests bought me these flowers, and we were going to sketch them, but instead they made new coptic bound sketch books. No photos! I’ll have to ask them to photograph them. We also made a small circle concertina book.
But I snatched a little bit of time to put some watercolour on the page and did the ink later in various colours of Copic Multiliner.
The Virtual Paintout for October is County Kerry, Ireland. I went to Ireland in 1975 and travelled around by public transport. We went around the ‘Ring of Kerry’ and stopped off for a night at Cahersiveen. A strange old-fashioned place in those days, unlike anywhere else we went in Ireland. Totally changed now, I’m sure. It looks more modern, walking around the Google maps street view with the little yellow man.
But I remember going to a bar that was the front ‘parlour’ of someone’s house. Did we eat there too? I don’t remember. It is too long ago. We stayed in a B&B that was also someone’s house. There were holy pictures everywhere and containers of holy water too.
Ten years later, when I was living in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald Saturday edition had a huge article about a scandal centred on Cahersiveen after the stabbed body of a baby found on a beach. It resulted in what seems to have been a witch hunt centred on an unmarried mother completely unrelated to the baby whose body was found. You can read about it here. It didn’t really surprise me that such a thing would happen there. Ireland has changed a lot since 1985.
I was in Ubud Market with Broni last year when I was in Bali. She was bargaining for something and taking her time. It was raining outside. I spotted this little owl and there was something about it that appealed to me, so I bought it. I have been going to Bali for so long that I am long past buying souvenirs for myself, but this…I had to have it.
My house doesn’t have places for ornaments on the whole. It is a terrace house and there is not much space. It has been in the kitchen and I have recently moved it to the hall. I have to find a better place for it.
Today it is dark and thunderstorms are predicted. I wanted to sketch and this is one of the few things in the house that hasn’t been sketched at all. So here you have it. Now, what else have I got to sketch?
A couple of weeks ago we were going sketching, but my friend had car troubles. Because of that, by the time we got to this little park, the light was off the beautiful houses at the top. Here is one that I sketched some time ago.
We settled down to sketch, then a big council truck came and parked right beside us. It stayed and stayed, both the truck and the workmen who got out, making a huge amount of noise. By mutual agreement we sped up our sketches to get out of the way. As we went up the main street, it followed us, still screeching and so on. We changed our lunch plans and went to get the car and go to Locantro for lunch and we knew it would be quiet there. Well, except for a large Italian family.
A warm day at last! I have been wearing a coat, scarf and warm undies since I left on my trip to Italy on 31st March. The winter has seemed very long.
We made the most of it by going to Blackwattle Bay to sketch and then for lunch at the beautifully sited Blackwattle Cafe.You can sit outside with a view of the water, the boats and Anzac Bridge, and the food is cafe food. Unlike other places with water views it is just normal city cafe prices.
Blackwattle Bay is quite near the city, but with easy parking. We just go to the end of Glebe Point Road. Ten minutes’ drive from my place. All along the water, they have put native plants. They have also put in steps at a number of places because it is a big ‘doggy’ area, and the dogs and their owners go down the steps to the water. You can walk right round to the fish markets, and maybe even to the city. Every time I go I see little improvements.
The background boat was swinging around, as boats do, but the main one was tied up at a little jetty which made it somewhat easier. Watercolour and a blue Copic Multiliner. As usual I filled the page, so I got my white gouache when I got home and painted a little vignette.
Last Friday was a filthy day and I was stuck in a small room for several hours with only a view of these rooftops to amuse myself. It was so dark and rainy that often I couldn’t see the edges of the buildings at all. I had only my Lamy pen, and a blue-grey watercolour pencil. The little extra colour was put on later.
I also had only one hand free, so had to keep my sketchbook steady with the hand I was sketching with. At one point the sun came through the clouds and I was able to see where the shadows would fall. A crowd of people were walking along in bright sunlight, and suddenly umbrellas were up, coats were pulled over their heads and any free object held above their heads. Pelting down, while the sun was shining.
St John’s College is a residential Catholic college attached to the University of Sydney. It has a number of well-known alumni including the prime minister and treasurer (enough said) and is a beautiful building. However I am in two minds about it, because this college was relatively recently involved in a scandal about bullying. You can read about it here. Privileged young people with an over-developed sense of entitlement. Beautiful building or not, I turn my nose up at it as I go by.