Sunday, April 19, 2015

ANZAC Centenary, Peace Forver

Friends, I sketched a veteran's monochrome photos, watches and a uniform that are dedicated for ANZAC and displayed in a public library like a museum. ANZAC day, 25th April is the remembrance day of soldiers and served people in Australia. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Originally it was to honour the ANZAC members who fought in Gallipoli against Turkey in WWI. 100 years have passed. 
What's the meaning of ANZAC, our respect and mourning today? In my view, the message of died soldiers is simple, "Never repeat war. Remember our sacrifices for peace. Pass on a better world to a next generation." I'm certain that none of killed or served people wants us to make war. How much died people wanted to come home safely to see us, family, loves and friends!  What do you think, Friends? In your own country, you have a similar remembrance day.Today, sadly, there are still wars on the earth. (*NOTE : A soldier's ID is changed below.) 
I enjoyed the sketching in the library. All exhibited things belong to a librarian's father, who already passed away. (She happily permitted my sketch and always encourages my art activities.) The monochrome photo was framed in a cracked glass. 
"Did your father talk of war?" I asked the librarian.  
"No. I think it was from post war trauma."
As far as I know few veterans speak of war experiences and keep a heavy silence. The two librarans' sons are serving right now. They are worried about precious sons' lives and safety. All of us agreed, "Against any war." My sketches made the librarians very happy. She added in a cheerful tone, "Great honour. My father should be very happy with your sketches. Blog it!" Thank you for your cooperation and warm cheers. 
While sketching, my sketching interested people and they talked to me in the library. 
If I dare to explain my drawing theoretically, "value" is the key. In narrative, small settings are crucial, too. Did you realise that I changed the soldier's eye contact in colour from the black and white drawing? I made him more facing us straightly. Really a slight change though, it has made a mood. I always weigh on eyes in portraits. Or Friends, can you explain my painting features for me?? That'll be great and fun. I really appreciate your kind help! 
A blog friend says,  "How interesting you can take something as static as a watch and still give it life in some way - how do you do that? It doesn't look dull and static when you paint it but has a vibrancy and life to it - you do that with everything, not just people so it must just be your personal style :)."
Thank you. I actually do not know well how I did it. Yes, it's my style much like from my instinct. "Colour" is my most favorite area and tool. None of theories explains it. Can you ask a bird why sings? 
Technically, I chose a "realistic" and "calm/quiet" approach for the images. The sketches gave me confidence how to colour the images created from monochrome photos. I added colours on figures from my own imagination. Imagination and creativity are humans wings to fly across a sky freely, is my belief. 
Parramatta library calls for post cards for women and men currently serving for Australian army (Wednesday 8 April to Friday 24 April 2015). I wrote 2 and added the sketches of Parramatta landscapes in them. Wow, what an honour, the library displays my submitted post cards on a board as samples. "Your sketches are so beautiful!" says a librarian about why they put my postcards. Collected ones will be sent to Department of Defence to forward to our military personnel all around the world. I hope our little bit compassion will comfort people in army. 
In addition, I also wrote what we had discussed about ANZAC, a national identity and human rights at a uni sociology tut and included the sketch of a soldier's belt and eating set in my own blog. If you'd like to think of ANZAC and related stuff above, come over my blog, "Sadami's Graffiti."   
Friends, Happy Painting! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Presentation by Paul Wang and Liz Steel, and Sketchcrawl in North Melbourne

What a treat to have Paul Wang and Liz Steel present to the Melbourne Urban Sketchers last Saturday (11/4). It was very informative for us - via slideshow and video, we saw some urban sketching events in other cities, Paul’s work over the years as well as a glimpse of his approach. We also heard about the upcoming symposium from Liz that got many of us excited.
The morning presentation was followed by sketching around Errol Street in North Melbourne.
This is the sketch I completed during the session, just outside the Town Hall and looking towards a row of shops.
Paul Wang facilitated the show and tell after sketching.
There was more sketching afterwards at the Auction Room cafe over drinks and food, and later at Joe Taylor Bar over drinks. It was a fun day that started at 10am and for some of us ended after dinner. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Parramatta Changing Into Australia's Great City

Hi, Friends, I'm sketching architectures to show changing Parramatta in both black and white and colours. The development plan will transform Parramatta into Australia's great city in commercial, cultural, medical and social phases. You can check the info here, "Parramatta Major Development." Parramatta interests me by her strong contrasts : historical vs modern, chaotic vs neat, back streets vs promenades. European settlers marked a first step on Parramatta. Already, this city has become the CBD that has collected Departments of NSW State Government, Court etc as well as City in Sydney ( = Gov Depts often have dual addresses equally in City and Parramatta). The function of Parramatta is increasing.
St John's Anglican Church and Parish (*All work size is A4)  
A restaurant on Church St called "Eat Street" 
In order to enhance Parramatta's function and upgrade the quality of life, reconstruction and refurbishment has started. In the very near future, sky high towers will stand in Parramatta : Western Sydney University, Cumberland Newspaper/News Ltd Site (Media Centre), Westmead Medical Research Hub, a shopping centre etc, etc. The new huge car parks are ongoing that I sketched. 
Also, Parramatta CBD is culturally rich to have over 180 restaurants, cafes, eateries and bars that have the most exotic cuisines from around the world. Especially, Church St is called "Eat street." It has many yummy restaurants on both sides. I sketched the Italian restaurant from the opposite side, near to a traffic light (the second image). Thank you for the ice cream shop staff. They respected me and turned a blind eye for my sketching...and gave me "Wow!"
Unlike my figures with graphite, my architecture takes time. It's not a loose style. Regarding colours, I'm playing with them, whilst sticking to reality at the moment. I want more time to explore my own watercolour style in architecture. My current figurative drawing and loose painting has taken years to develop from a traditional classic style. Or I may stay with this accurate drawing in architecture? So far, I feel comfortable and it's fun. See how it goes.
Back to the topic. Parramatta is going to be the great city. I want to explore this city more. Dynamically and dramatically, Parramatta is dressing up herself! I look forward to what sort of lady will come up. 
Btw, often my sketching puzzles people walking by on streets. They talk to me, "You're drawing!" with surprise. Maybe, my drawing is mismatching to a restaurant or a car park or a construction site?! I believe an artist is a person who has the eye to discover the beauty in ordinary objects. An object will turn to be a subject and begin to shine. We, artists pick up a gem from mud.
Did you enjoy my architecture? Any feedback is welcome. If you like, I'll post architectural drawings more, picking up an interesting topic from time to time. Local shops and Parramatta Heritage Centre welcome my sketching. Passer-bys cheer me up. They are very nice and supportive ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ. Thank you!!
Btw, some Friends may say, "Hey, Sadami, you've hated architecture?" Well, here's a bit funny story how I cured the dislike with these architectural paintings between editor Helen Chamberlin, Australian celebration and me and my tips how to sketch architecture. If you like to read on it, come over my blog post, "My dislike of architecture cured by Parramatta sketches" at "Sadami's Graffiti".

Friends, Happy Painting! 

Parramatta Council (2015) "Building Australia's Next Great City-- Changes Ahead,"
Parramatta Council (2014) "Parramatta Major Development"

Thursday, March 19, 2015

USK Melbourne. Fitzroy Gardens

Saturday 14 March .

Over FORTY sketchers met on a beautiful day (more like Spring than Autumn) at Fitzroy Gardens, near the city. The majority of sketchers spread out in groups around Cooks Cottage . This is a little unusual as we usually each head out in different direction, sketch for a few hours and then meet up again just before lunch, So to see so many sketchers in one place was great ! And the tourists thought it was too - taking photos of us, and chatting.

the object of our attention : Cooks Cottage

Cooks Cottage is in Fitzroy Gardens, It is on the List of things to do in Melbourne" for tourists  and the buses drop them off to spend time in the Gardens and explore the features. UK 1740's cottage lived in by Captain James Cook's parents (and maybe by him but perhaps he just visited them there ) . It was dismantled and shipped to Australia for Victoria's anniversary in 1934.

Sketchers and tourists taking photos at the end of the mornings sketching . Photo Jodi Wiley 

Twenty or more different versions of  Cooks Cottage, each with its own different interpretation emphasis and style. This is the joy of sketching in a group: to see that there is no right answer and everyone is different. It is also a chance to learn from others an ask about paints, pens, techniques...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Urban Sketchers Sydney at Five Ways Paddington

On Saturday 7 March about 30 sketchers meet up at the Five Ways intersection in Paddington for a great morning of sketching.

There was so much to sketch and for a bit of fun, we added an optional challenge of "five ways at Five ways".

No matter which direction you looked, you could see urban sketchers in action!

As always, there was an impressive collection of sketches done during the morning.

Here are few:


I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to do 5 sketches, so I did 5 thumbnails, and then focused on one corner cafe for the sketch. It was a good way to record the experience of sketching in this unique location at Five Ways, Paddington.

Gusto – my first sketch. I was trying to think as much about maintaining a focal point as possible using the darkness inside the doorway for this, but then also wanted to give the feel of the liveliness and the warm weather which is why I extended out to the people on the sidewalk as well.
Lady and her dog – again all the outside dining in the area gives the place a lovely vibe and people with their dogs seems to add an air of friendliness and that it’s a locals spot to walk from home with their dog and have a coffee. I was also looking to have a break from drawing lines at this stage and just play with colours and shapes and paint.


This is Gusto Cafe at Five Ways.  The diners were what attracted me to this scene.  The pole was a bonus!


I wanted to sketch the view from each of the five corners and knew that in the time frame it would be impossible to use my normal ink and wash. So I left my paint tin in my bag and just used my pen instead.  I managed a 6th sketch while waiting for my takeaway coffee. To see all the sketches larger please visit my blog here

Next month's USK SYD meeting:
Saturday 11th  April The plan is to do a sketch walk around the recently opened Gehry building at UTS (Dr Chau Chak Wing Building) and the vertical gardens at Sydney's One Central Park.
Please email Liz lizsteel(at) gmail (dot) com to join the mailing list for details.

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