Saturday, December 31, 2011

Beach Chat Mollymook Australia

Summer time in Australia. Holiday time and everyone (most anyway) gets to the beach at some time. Standard procedure is a good catch up and chat on the beach. Quintessential Australian.

Cremorne Point Walk

I have a list of walks around Sydney that I would like to do in the new year and this walk is the first of it. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors. Come tomorrow, this place will be packed with people trying to get the best vantage point for the new year's eve fireworks on the harbour bridge.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

On Boxing Day, this is what most people in Sydney do - they either go out on the harbour to watch the start of the race, or they lay back in front of the tv and watch the race. This is the first time I've been out on the harbour to see it for years. Now, I belong to the Heritage Fleet which owns some wonderful old vessels restored and crewed by volunteers. I've been out a few times with them lately and although it wasn't sunny, it wasn't too breezy so the sketchbook wasn't flopping about too much.

I went out on the gentleman's schooner 'Boomerang', which, though it doesn't have sails any more, is a beautifully elegant ship. You can read more about it and see drawings from my November sail here. The sea was a little bumpy, but only a problem when drawing the straight lines around the boxes. I could have even put the colour on, but I was sitting next to a very nice lady in extremely pristine white linen, so I didn't dare get the paints out. (Imagine!)

There were many more yachts of course. The newspaper said that the sea was like a washing machine. We counted 13 helicopters, but I only drew four.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Busy December

Things seem to kick into high gear around this time of year – clients wanting jobs finished before the end of the year, christmas functions, shopping for pressies, birthdays, and an assortment of planned and unplanned events. But wherever I could, I managed to take a sketchbook. Have a great 2012 everyone! As always, my new year's resolution is to draw more!!

Bondi Junction
Martin Place with Sydney Sketch Club
A rained out day of tennis and ice cream cake!
Waiting for a friend on Missenden Rd, Newtown
Platform 7 Cafe in Sydenham
My B&W Urban Sketchers can be seen in full detail here.

Merry Xmas & Happy New Year!

Hi, Friends, how have you been?
I assume you're having a wonderful festive season. Me, too. Christmas is a time for holiday leave, get-together, family business, parties etc, etc. Relaxing and full of fun. People become more caring for others.

Our sketch club went to Martin place to sketch a big Christmas tree there.
A Santa Clause was giving children candies and courteously asked for donation. I love watching smiling people and working for others. Friends, do you kne? On the same spot, there's a food service for homeless people. Some people may remember Martin Place for "Occupy Sydney." (Yes, I sketched them and uploaded at my own blog.) I did not find any police.
An event went on. Children performed great dancing on a stage! I'm sure they practised it so hard for a long time. They deserved our big applause. Very exciting and fun to sketch dancing kids!! Martin Place is near to Town Hall. It's a nice place for shopping, restaurants and entertainments. Young ladies are enjoying a chat with their biiig wrapped gifts. Ah, Christmas!
When I look back this year and the sketch club, I've really enjoyed the club activities. I'd heartily appreciate all the members' kindness and backstage players hard work --- you are the real heroes!!
A bonus is... I'm achieving one goal, "overcome my architecture allergy"! Not easy, but slowly
ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ .Friends, wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!
Thank you for a stop at this blog and kind comments.
Hope my sketches have brought you smile.
May 2012 will be a wonderful year for you all!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Circular Quay, Sydney - Alissa Duke

It is December in Sydney and at last we have a little bit of sunshine in Sydney. I sketched this hurridly at Circular Quay. There was so much potential for things to draw and I tried to do it all ! The most exciting part was when the ship left the harbour at 6.30 and tooted three times loudly . We were on the Overseas Passenger Terminal deck at the time at a Christmas function. Champagne in one hand , we waved goodbye to the passengers onboard!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Southbank Brisbane Qld

I took the girls to Southbank yesterday, and while they were swimming I was sketching. :-)

A Christmas Sketcher

Cutting Liz's head off! Liz and bear were actively sketching at the Sydney Sketch club meet up in Martin Place so I took some time to practice my people sketching. Maintaining proportion there was no paper left !
It was a great sketch day ... not too hot or cold and lots of sketchers to swap ideas with. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Tree sketchers

111210 03 Martin Place Sketchers
Loving seeing Wendy and Alissa’s tree sketches. I wasn’t at all happy with mine (not at all focusing on my sketch...too busy chatting) but I did sketch the line of sketchers (what a great sight!)
Martin Place sketchers
Here is a photo (notice the little fellow sitting on my stool in the foreground wearing a red hat- thanks to Ea, correspondent from Denmark)
111210 04 A long overdue visit to The Tea Cosy tearoom
After this sketching event I went down to the Rocks... To my fav tearoom The Tea Cosy... Did some usual tea sketches. It is ages since I have been here!
111210 05 Old Police Station
...and then a rushed sketch of a wee building in the Rocks that is really quite complicated. Former Police Station.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Tree also

I was also with Alissa drawing the Christmas tree in Martin Place in Sydney city. We went to draw it last year,so this year had to find a new angle, as the decorations were exactly the same.

It was a grey old day, but we considered ourselves very lucky to have a fine day to be out there, as this is the coldest wettest December for 51 years. I'm dreaming, not of a White Christmas , but a hot January.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas trees of Sydney - Alissa Duke

There are many Christmas trees in Sydney city - in office foyers, department stores. The Big one in the city is in Martin Place and the Sydney Sketch Club met last Saturday to draw it. A smaller (though still big) one is in my local square. Both very traditional (and not real trees, as it is summer in Australia)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Zoo Day 3

On our third trip to the zoo, we managed to sketch some animals that hadn't been co-operating the previous times. First the bongo, who I love for the paint dribbles on his coat. Next to him were the zebras. The keeper came with brunch for them, so they stayed still, except for raising & lowering their heads.

The zoo was reminding me of nonsense rhymes & old songs I knew as a child, so the bongo is sharing his page with one of them. I don't think I actually knew there was an animal called a bongo till now.

We queued up to see the tiger cubs who were newly on show, but couldn't sketch in there because of all the people. You can see the photo on my blog.

We then sketched the thar who have their own personal mountain. They live in little nooks and crannies there.You may think that I have spelt it incorrectly on one page, however the zoo calls them tahr and I have always known them as thar.
I onced worked at Mount Cook in New Zealand. There are chamois and thar in the national park there. I was a bit thrown at first because I thought the zoo had got it wrong, but Wikipedia tells me both are OK. The woolliness of their coats varies a great deal. I don't know if it relates to seniority but it looks as if it does.

Last, we visited my favourite boys - the lemurs. I do hope they find them some girlfriends. I'd love to see some baby lemurs. I found some wonderful videos on youtube of John Cleese with the lemurs in Madagascar. Do watch them. It is such a credit to John Cleese that he'd do such a daunting trip for the benefit of these beautiful animals.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Urban Sketching. Matisse Drawing Life Exhibition. (Brisbane Australia)

My Granddaughter and I went to The Gallery of Modern Art today, to see the Matisse Exhibit.  We were delighted to find, they had set up a "Drawing Room"  We sat awhile and sketched.  I sketched Auguste Rodin's Bust "Torse de Jeune Femme", and a sketch of my granddaughter drawing..

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chemo and Comedians

With all the things going on in my life at the moment I have unfortunately only had a chance to draw two pictures. I went to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital with my dad for one of his chemo treatments – not a lot happens, so I had a still sitting subject matter with my dad and mum.

Then the following week I went and saw UK comedian Alan Davies at the State Theatre. All the intricate ornamentation on everything inside made it so overwhelming to capture that I decided to pick out individual objects and "collaged" them on the pages.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day Two at the Zoo

The second time we went to the zoo we had a PLAN. We saw the barbary sheep while leaving on the first day, so we went straight there to capture these gorgeous calm looking animals. They have long hair hanging from a line that goes from under their chins to between their front legs. Some of them also have dreadlocks, which seem to have been created by moulting and maybe some rolling on the ground (though I didn't see that).

Next we went to draw the spider monkeys, but they weren't co-operating and said 'no portraiture please' and retreated to the other side of their enclosure.

We also saw the baby tigers who were newly on display, but no chance to sketch due to the queue of people waiting to see them. The peacock danced on the floral clock for us too (you can see him on my blog) but we needed lunch.

After lunch we decided to draw the cassowary. One of them had been posing nicely prior to lunchtime, but after lunch decided to stroll around. These amazing birds are native to Australia but not around here ! I'd never seen one before. Part of his bony headdress is a gold metallic colour, so I had to get the acrylics out when I got home to put some of that on.

All this sketching things that are moving is great practice.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

More Friday night sketching at Milsons Point

I went to my ‘ordinary’ (understatement!!!) Friday afternoon sketching venue. I don’t think I will EVER get over how special the view from Milson’s Point is!!!!

111202 01 'Ordinary' Life sketching

Started of with the usual view....

111202 02 The full view!

...then thought I should sketch the bridge (I normally chicken out from attempting this level of complexity)
111202 03 More of the bridge
....and then more of the bridge.

111202 04 Ocean Princess leaving Sydney

Time to go... And then excitement as a cruise ship left... Always gives me a lovely holiday feeling.
Having fun adding text and solid colour to a very quick sketch attempted with a pen that was NOT cooperating.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sketching at the Qld Art Gallery

I went to the Qld Art Gallery today and did a sketch of part of my favourite painting at the gallery. It is called Monday Morning.

The Former Taylor-Heaslop Building

This is the Former Taylor-Heaslop Building, erected in 1889-90, is important as surviving evidence of the Woolloongabba Fiveways, one of Brisbane's principal shopping centres in the latter part of the 19th century, and for demonstrating the impact of the economic boom of the 1880's in metropolitan Brisbane.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My ears are shells, fondly hearing the sound of the sea

Hi, Friends, how have you been?
The subject line is originally by
Jean Cocteau.
"Mon oreille est un coquillage Qui aime le bruit de la mer"
(=My ear is a shell who loves the sound of the sea)
私の耳は貝の殻 海の響きを懐かしむ ---ジャン コクトー
I've loved looking at waves and hearing sounds since childhood. The sounds of waves are bit similar to the blood flow in a mother's womb. Could be...the unconscious memory takes me to a sea to listen to it.

Looking at ships is another fun. Retired, still working, etc, etc. Each ship tells her life long story. Quite interesting and wonder why a female gender is applied to a pronoun for a "ship" in English. Who started to call a ship in an elegant(?) manner? A romantic soul? Or simply because a sailor projected his desire onto a ship during a long journey without a girl? Imagination always amuses me.
In the afternoon, sketching in light is nice. Feeling a soft breeze, I always smile at the sea in a wharf. Silent. Quiet and peacefull.
Friends, when you come to Sydney, visit beaches and wharfs and enjoy serenity.
Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sydney building site: Alissa Duke

Barangaroo near Darling Harbour in Sydney city is a big building site at the moment. But you can walk down along the wharf and see what is happening. I am also fortunate that the building I work in overlooks the site. I want to come into work one weekend and draw the cranes and trucks from above. They look like Tonka Toys.

Monday, November 21, 2011

QVB and Anzac Bridge - Alissa Duke

Sketching the Queen Victoria Building.

A stunning building in Sydney. It dominates an entire block, however there are not a lot of comfortable places to sit and sketch this building as it in a busy area of the city. I have discovered that during the weekdays the foyer of the Bank building opposite it is open , and has lots of seats. On Sundays the block around it is a lot quieter and you can prop yourself up against a doorway or on a set of steps. A Great view is from the restaurant at the Hilton - but access is not so easy......

Drawn quickly on the spot


ran out of time so it was inked and coloured at home

View from Bellevue , an historic house, which has the wonderful Blackwattle Cafe. I must return to sketch much more here....