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.
So what is all this paraphenalia I sketched at the hospital last Friday? Haven’t the foggiest. It was just there.
I sketched it with my Hero Pen I acquired in Hong Kong earlier this year. There is a lot going on in Hong Kong at the moment and the best way to find out what is really happening is to first read this post from Rob Sketcherman. Then have a look at Urban Sketchers Hong Kong. You will get the news from reliable witnesses right there on the ground without all the hype. The Urban Sketchers are out there sketching a piece of history, and reporting on it too. Best wishes to all our Urban Sketching friends in Hong Kong. I wish them the result they are looking for and most of all to be safe.
So, back to Friday. Bored with a long wait at the hospital , I wanted to sketch but it is not easy. They tie one hand down and I feel like a half-hobbled horse. There is not much space to put my things either, so I got my pen and waterbrush ready before they hobbled me. I still have to hold the sketchbook and the implements in the hand I am using to sketch. If I need anything from my pencil case I need to use my teeth. But I did it anyway.
I have had a house guest recently, which is why no sketching. At her request, I have been teaching her bead-weaving. I don’t put the results on here though, because it is a sketch-blog. But now I am ready to get back to sketching.
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.
Not the best sketch I have ever done. I was exhausted for some reason. But I told myself “do it anyway!”
The ink is a new one I bought in Florence at the pen shop and hadn’t used yet. I’ve been home since 19th May, but so many days with cold and rain. The colour of the ink is called Salamander. I was using it with a dip pen. As you see, it’s not waterproof. But the lines read as black, and when you add a little water you can pull out a wash in a sort of Perylene Green. I love the colour. I will fill up one of my fountain pens with it in a while. I added a bit of watercolour pencil to brighten it up a bit. I need the colour.
While sketching, I had Cossie Foo in a harness, attached to a chair. Immediately he goes round the hibiscus bush and shortens the length of the leash by about 90%. But he played happily there and wriggled a lot, chasing an insect as far as the leash would allow (maybe 12 inches) then wriggling on his back. Suddenly he jumped up, and ran inside, obviously scoffing at me. The harness lay there on the ground still with the clasps fastened. How did that happen? I had one eye on him the whole time.
His real name is Cosmo. But I sometimes call him Cosimo Foo the Fighter. It’s me he fights. Not so much now, as he will be two years old at Christmas. And I’ve worked out that when I get teeth and claws buried in my ankle, it’s always when I’m walking away from the kitchen. Food.
He’s a ragdoll, and they aren’t fully grown until they are three years old. He has settled down a lot, but we have still got a way to go.
He’s an inside cat. Unlike my previous cats he can’t be trusted in the courtyard. He’s up over the fence and across the back lane chasing another cat, with no thought of looking out for traffic. And then there was the day he got out the front, went down the street and into a neighbours house through her security door. One big dog ignored him, but when the German Shepherd came, he came running out.
So what has taken me so long to start sketching him, when I sketched my other cats regularly? He hasn’t sat still. Here is what he was like when I first got him early in 2013.
Now you see he is a lot woollier, a lot bigger, and better still he has grown into his nose. He likes to get involved with the sketching. He knows if he can sit on the sketchbook AND the iPad he’s more likely to have my full attention.
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.