Friday, February 27, 2015

Sketching at the Lismore Museum

Hi everyone its Shantele here from Northern New South Wales. One rainy day in Lismore I decided to sit out the front of the museum and do some urban sketching. The building itself is the old municipal building. It was built in 1928 and housed the council chambers until 1991 when it was turned into the museum

I was born in Lismore and grew up here and am ashamed to say that I have never been inside this museum. I have visited museums all over the world, and often look for them when heading to a new country or town. But it took me 14 years to visit the one in my home town!

There are fantastic exhibits inside that provide information about the regions local aboriginal culture, european settlement, and shipping history. Lismore has been known to flood a few times with the river passing right through the town. So there is a lot of information on the regions history with flooding and shipping.

I just wandered around and drew a few things that caught my eye, like the old hand carved pegs, and a baby's dress printed with newspaper print from 1935. There was also a fascinating “sea medicine chest” full of lots of lotions and potions for all sorts of aliments, that was used by a surgeon on the steamship SE George in 1895.  I was the only one there so I didn’t have to fight for space to sketch. It was fun to walk around and sketch and for just a gold coin donation it is worth the visit.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Happy Australia Day - 10 Days in Tasmania

It has been a unsettling couple of months with all of the craziness in the world. 

In Australia, in addition to Christmas and New Year public holidays, we celebrated Australia Day on 26 January. It's the anniversary of the First Fleet landing in Australia in 1788 but it is a day that the nation thanks its citizens for outstanding service to and on behalf of Australia. It's also a day to be grateful for what we do have - whatever that may be. 

We were in Tasmania over that period for a close friend's wedding at Bicheno as well as adding on some days to take a break for hiking and relaxing. 

Tasmania is separated from the mainland by a body of water, Bass Strait but retains some unique qualities such as:
- trying to balance between allowing everyone to enjoy the parks and beaches vs restricting the number of visitors to preserve the park
- having a high proportion of power being generated by hydro but at the same time opposing certain dam constructions (Franklin)
- balancing land use for agriculture vs preserving in its natural state vs mining
- plus the most beautiful apricots, peaches, nectarines that you can buy at little garages, shops along the way

I filled the A5 Stilman & Birn notebook using watercolours, Pogo photos and some maps I had picked up.

It was very grounding to be able to go for long walks and be isolated from everyday life. 

For more sketches please click here

 Wooden ship at Hobart Marina

Near the blow hole at Bicheno

Near the blowhole, Bicheno, Tasmania

Overfed kangaroos at Nature World, Bicheno
You can buy a small A$1 feedbag for the kangaroos, but it looked like they were being fed constantly so they looked a bit sleepy.  

Overfed kangaroos, Nature World, Tasmania

Lounge at Cradle Mountain Lodge
The sketch below is one of the communal lounge rooms at Cradle Mountain Lodge. Even though it was the middle of summer in Australia, it was cool enough to have a beautiful fire going. We passed baby wombats and paddy melons (rounder, furrier kangaroos) on the way to dinner. 

Main Lodge, Cradle Mountain Lodge, Tasmania

Lounge at Cradle Mountain Lodge
The lodge had fresh native flowers and a constant supply of chopped fire wood.

Fresh flowers and wood for the fire at Cradle Mountain Lodge,  Tasmania

Cradle Mountain Walk - 5 - 6 hrs
We had a sunny day for our first day of hiking at Cradle Mountain. Most people were either walking the Overland Track (a 5 day walk) or the Dove Lake (an easy 2-3 hr walk on relatively flat terrain). We didn't meet a lot of people on our walk. 

We also saw some Spotted-Tail Quolls which are just as endangered as Tasmanian Devils but aren't as well known. 

Cradle Mountain walk, Tasmania

Cradle Mountain - Overland Track Start
The start of one of the great walks of Australia, the Overland Track, starts at Ronny Creek in the Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park. 

Start of Overland Track at Ronny Creek, Tasmania

Tasmanian Devils
The Tasmania Devils can only be found in the wild in Tasmania. Some of them are kept in captivity on the mainland as a precaution as it is currently classified as being endangered. They are the size of a small dog and have an awkward gait.   

Tasmanian Devil, Devils @ Cradle, Tasmania

Pump house Point, Lake St Clair
I could have painted the scenery from the hotel, that is a converted Pumphouse, all afternoon. The clouds in the sky changed, the colours in the water changed and it was deliciously warm and cozy in the Pumphouse. However, we were called away for a communal dinner a very short bike ride away. We sat with an eclectic group of people: an event manager, a surf-life saving manager, a foot critic, a real estate agent, and a few others at the end of the table.  

View from Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair, Tasmania

View from Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair, Tasmania

Friday, December 26, 2014

Urbansketching in the city

Sketchcrawl in the city to capture the Melbourne Christmas spirit…

A lady collecting for those in need below.



At ‪Christmas Square in Melbourne below - lots of colours, elves, antlers and people.



Enjoying a cup of chocolate at Koko Black in Royal Arcade - taking a break from Christmas shopping.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sunday morning cyclists


Sunday morning cyclists catching up for a chat over coffee in by the beach in Port Melbourne.This is a very common scene as Port Melbourne has bike paths and great cafes for a stop before they head of to continue their ride.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Australia Technology Park

Fellow USK, Lisa Foong and I met up last Saturday to go to the Finders Keepers markets but also planned to do some sketching as well. The Aust Tech Park (ATP) is located right next to Redfern Station and in its former life was the Railway yards for Sydney trains. For those who watched the Sydney based series of Master Chef that is where it is filmed.

The big old wonderful bricked building have found another lease on life as a convention centre, with smaller IT research organisations seeming to have office space there as well. Like Cockatoo Island a lot of the heavy machinery is still there, pride of place for everyone to enjoy, especially us sketchers. I don't know why I love drawing them so much.

Plus there was an old red rattler carriage on display outside as well.

We had a peek inside one of the buildings which seemed to be the old metalworks area. It looked like a section of it was still in use but the rest housed all the old tools and machinery. It was locked but the security guard did say it was open to the public during the week, and in a few months time it will be open on weekends too! How exciting for us sketchers.

Friday, December 12, 2014

3days Stay In Melbourne, John Barrow Collection, PM Literary Awards

Hi, Friends, I spent time with Australian prominent illustrators, authors, publishers and agencies at John Barrow Collection organised by the mentor Ann James in Melbourne. It displayed the priceless original illustrations and illustrators' work processes. It was amazing to see the originals in my own eyes and compared them to picture books set at originals. I've learned lot. Great fun to meet super stars in person such as Leigh HobbsGabrielle Wang, Jane Tanner, Craig Smith etc, etc, oh, too many to write them up. Some people who could not join ask Ann to have it again in next Feb. Sweet editor Helen Chamberlin took me to a cafe and we enjoyed a chat. The very supportive editor introduced me to others. I really appreciate many people's support.
"Flinders St Station"
A next day, Monday, Ann and Helen were invited to Prime Minister Literary Awards 2014 in the evening. Helen accompanied Shaun Tan. (*Yes, Helen has fostered Shaun and gave him a debut chance in children picture books.)  In a Children's fiction section, Bob Graham's picture book, "Silver Buttons" won!  I love Bob's work and admire him! Bob donated his winnings to refugees! What a marvelous coincidence! Ann James organised Bob's exhibition in Canberra in the past June this yearWe celebrated Bob's win. I'm very happy to work with such a fantastic mentor and to be surrounded by humanistic illustrators who have a big heart and passion for social justice.  
 "Melbourne Town Hall and Trams"
In Melbourne, trams are cute and singing "ting, ting" always.  
Btw, it's much cooler in Melbourne than in Sydney. In Sydney, I do not need any long sleeves right now in summer. But in Melbourne, a light overcoat or a jacket are essential. How come? Beside a cool temperature, a weather is changing dramatically there. It is called, "Four seasons are in a day," brrrrr! I luckily sketched architectures in sunshine. 

One more, I'd write about the wonderful volunteer spirit in Melbourne! (Sydney does not have them on main streets.) When you get lost on streets what/whenever, find people in red uniforms. They happily help you! Volunteers love Melbourne! 
Thank you for people in Melbourne. You gave me a wonderful memory and heart warming time there. 
Now, I'll work on ongoing projects and portraits. 
Friends, Happy Painting! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kangaroo Point and Caxton Street - Brisbane

I hope everyone in Brisbane is safe from the wild storms a few days ago. 

Kangaroo Point

There was a heavy storm with wild winds last Thursday so the roads were 20 cm high with leaves in Kangaroo Point. There is a magnificent tree at PUK Espresso on Main Street. I have sketched this tree before but I was carrying two Large Moleskine Watercolour books as I was at the end of one and decided to sketch over the two books. I really like this format which is slightly bigger and longer than the A4 Sketchbook. 

There were some broken branches still hanging in the tree so the PUK employees suggested we move our tables a bit and we bumped into a lovely artist, C who was with her dog Jack. 

As we were sketching, a man arrived on his bright orange motorbike with a dog wearing goggles in his sidecar. The dog's name is Chico and when noone was paying attention he was a bit slouched. As soon as he knew someone was taking a photo of him, which happened often, he'd sit upright and pose.   

This Holman Street ferry terminal is a perfect spot for sketching as it's covered but has lovely breeze flowing through. Has nice benches to sit on and multiple things to sketch such as the CBD buildings, Customs House, boats, ferries and people. The sketch below is of the view of Customs House from the Holman Street ferry terminal. 

Caxton Street

The German chancellor was instagram-ed in Caxton Street during the G20. There are some nice restaurants and some not so nice nightclubs. 

The sketch below is the view looking down Caxton Street from Petrie Terrace.

The sketch below is from the cinema looking south.