Friday, September 30, 2011

Bulimba Ferry Terminal Brisbane

Today I had lunch here.  A delicious meal of fish and chips and armed with my sketchbook, I was set for a couple of hours.

The Bulimba ferry terminal was built in 1922 for the Balmoral Shire Council, then responsible for the efficient servicing of several ferry routes across the Brisbane River. Since the days of the convict settlement at Moreton Bay when a punt was poled between the main settlement and the south bank of the river, ferries have been a vital transport facility for Brisbane. The river twists and loops through the city and cross-river access is important in linking city and suburbs and greatly reducing travel time between them. Although the first bridge linked the city and South Brisbane in 1862, no other bridges were built for many years, public transport was limited and few people had private transport until after World War Two. People who needed to commute to work and to access shopping and entertainment facilities used cross-river ferries on a daily basis. Ferries were the only major transport service provided by metropolitan local authorities as responsibility for care and management had been placed in their hands by an 1858 Act.

A great way to start the long weekend

110930 A great start to a long weekend

I left work at 5.30 and realised what a lovely evening it was how light it still was so I drove down to Milsons Point for a quick sketch to start the weekend.

It is so obvious to sketch the Opera House but I never get sick of drawing it plus it makes me feel like I am on holidays (a tourist in my own city!)

What did strike me tonight was HOW much else there is to sketch down here...Luna Park, rides AND people etc. I think I will try and make this a regular habit.
Sketch 1 for the long weekend completed!!!
Only need to be down here for 1-2 hours - ahhh nothing beats getting out for some sketching!!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

I expend a very nice holiday in Melbourne. The weather was all right, but every time that I tried to sketch started raining! I did a 10 minutes sketch on the Royal Exhibition Building of Melbourne, that is the "other" World Heritage Building in Australia after the Sydney Opera House. It has all the flare of the late XIX and first XX century International Expositions and was a pleasure to walk by and to draw. 

I'm very happy that now this blog is Australia wide as I'm around the country quite a lot :) and now I can post all this drawings. This one is from a couple weeks ago. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Benledi House, Glebe

I had time to fill in before the opening of the Glebe Art Show while waiting outside Benledi House at Glebe. The 1880's house , was a hospital and now a community centre which has a modern extension which is the Library. I was waiting at the Light Rail too and drew the railing. It is a pity that it was such a cool evening and not so pleasant for waiting outdoors......

Newtown Station

I was wandering home the other day and I noticed there was a comfortable seat right opposite Newtown Station so I sat down to sketch it. It's a funny old station building for a very busy station 4km from Sydney city centre. All along beside it is boarded up now, as they are finally renovating it in several phases. The heritage buildings will turn into a 'retail opportunity'. Who knows what they will do to it. They had a public meeting about it, but they only put up the notices an hour or so before it began. Strange. I had to dodge the buses (visually) while I sketched as it was morning peak hour and this is the intersection of two very busy roads.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spit to Manly (Sydney)

I went with some friends to do the walk between The Spit and Manly (Sydney). I had the chance to do a 10 minutes sketch in the view. This is probably my favourite bush-walk in Sydney. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Boats at Iron Cove

I drove over to Iron Cove to draw the boats the other morning. It is on the inner harbour, west of the Bridge. Boats at Iron CoveI used to swim at Leichhardt Pool which is on a hill above this little park and boat jetty. It was a lovely spring morning, so I hopped in the car with my sketchbook. The light was a bit flat by the time I got there but I did my best and did some quick drawings of the boats. The pole with the sign is advice to fisherman not to eat fish from west of the harbour bridge because of levels of dioxin in the water.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hello from JJ

Thank you for the invite, I look forward to posting my sketches soon.


In Colour

My past contributions to USAust/Sydney have been in black & white and around my home suburb. But I've been doing a few more colour stuff out and around Sydney. So have decided to contribute these to the site.

Encounter Inspiring Book at Sydney Uni Bookfest

Hi, Friends, how are you going?
I enjoyed
"The 2011 Bookfest" at Sydney university = Big Secondhand Book Sale for uni fundraising.Saturday 17 to Wednesday 21 September, in the Great Hall, Camperdown Campus.
  • Saturday to Tuesday 10am to 4pm
  • Wednesday 10am to 2pm
This year, I got the very inspiring book, "No One's Perfect." The upbeat autobiography of Hirotada Ototake. Born without arms and legs, but he is very cheerful and fond of sports. After uni, "Oto" becomes a sports journalist and a primary school teacher. He has got married and now has 2 sons.

Amazing story...and Oto's smile is so nice and fresh. His positive attitude up lifts me so much. Not only Oto, his friends, family, teachers and others wonderful support is very touchy. I know very well that Japanese society is more difficult than Australia, for people with disabilities, to live on what they are. It is a great challenging.

Oto proudly asserts, "(disability) is my feature and strength. My identity." What a matured youngish guy! His sense of humour is brilliant. Often his sentences make me giggle. At the same time, his book makes me think of myself. If I were without arms and legs, could I smile or laugh or live in a positive manner? Truly amazing. Oto's will power has opened doors and believes in hope, but he knows well what he can do and not. Wonderful realistic dreamer.

For me, it takes years to say so like Oto.
When you come across me in person, you find a walking stick, a brace and an orthotics for my left leg. All of a sudden, my whole left leg got paralyzed several years ago. Today, I walk much better. But Oto shows me the wonderful role model. I should say, "Yes, indeed, mine is a mosquito bite!" That's the spirit! Thanks, Oto!!

This annual book fair is very popular, because uni offers interesting academic books at a cheap price. As far as I know, most(all?) books are less than $10. Donated books come from local libraries and individuals. Book conditions are quite good and categorized into varied sections such as...
art, children literature, language, dictionaries, psychology, sociology, feminism, history, religion, occult, erotic, travel, craft, rare books, fictions, gardening etc, etc.

I got at the Hall at 10:30 on Saturday, the first day of a bargain. Already so many people were there. Volunteer workers told me that some people made a queue before 10! Wow, everyone wants to find a lucky treasure.
(*Great Hall is just in there)
Now, treasure hunting, start!
I dashed to the section, "Children Picture Books" and bought favorite illustrators' work such as
"The Midnight Feast" beautifully illustrated by Ann James and others. Nowadays, soon picture books become "out of printing." Besides the short availability, picture books are expensive. This Bookfest is Sadami's life saver!

I observed others and learned, The Tips How to Get Target Books.
1) dash & pick up favorite books "first"

before other people touch it.
2) check each collected book 3) then, buy them!
OK, Friends, sounds nothing different from a bargain of clothes?! Or if you have any suggestion, I'd really appreciate it.
Then, I moved on to a Japanese books section.
I can't believe it! The biiiig and thick Japanese dictionary was at only $5. I bought some Japanese and English teaching materials.
I found, "No One's Perfect" as above. I could get the wonderful books this year.

Did you enjoy this post? Friends, if there's anyone with a weary heart, come over Sadami's Graffiti. I'm with you. Let's share time over more posts and my art work.
Thank you for cheers. Friends, your cheers make me go forward. Let us move on!
Enjoy your week! Happy painting!!

A change of name and a bigger vision....

Urban Sketchers Sydney has now become Urban Sketchers Australia!!! The new url is

So if you are in Australia and an urban sketcher we would love for you to join our blog!! Send me an email at lizsteel(at)gmail[dot]com including a link to where we can find your work. We need a greater variety than just sketches from Sydney!

Also please note that we are now showing the latest posts from the other city/ regional Usk blogs. It is great that we are part of this amazing world wide network...I was so fortunate as to be able to meet quite of few members from these other blogs in Lisbon but there is no reason why we can’t get to know more about them online until the next symposium!

More soon! In the meantime here is a sketch from a trip to Tasmania in 2008... thinking about where I could go for a wee trip in January....

Tas30 ViewofNutStanley

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sydney Town Hall from inside the shopping centre

Sitting inside Town Hall Square shopping centre, looking out past the escalators to the sun shining on Sydney Town Hall.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sydney inner city gardens

Today I tackled drawing two local gardens. In inner city Sydney the gardens are either planted by the local council or by property developers

This area of plants is trying to disguise an electrical box, poles and a pump.This is near Pirrama Park at Pyrmont. There were people exercising in the park, walking their dogs and walking home from work.

These large planter boxes in the square near Town Hall. They are meant to been viewed from a height to see a pattern in the planting.

Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

Sketching in the Royal Botanic Gardens on Saturday, we all gathered along the Spring Walk. Just beautiful - pink blossom on the trees, white May blossom, a huge variety of spring flowers and then at the front wonderful border plants like these polyanthus. I was daunted by the panorama so this is what I drew.

At lunch, hopeful ibis came around and were being chased away by some people, but I drew them very quickly. They weren't getting anything to eat, so they moved off quite fast.

After lunch I couldn't decide what to draw so I just settled down near some friends. Just for fun I drew blind contour tulips - the paint wasn't 'blind' but the drawing pretty much was. I didn't like them sitting on the page on their own, so I backed them with the lyrics of "Tiptoe though the Tulips."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Urban Sketchers Weekly theme 12-19 Sept : Urban Gardens

Some of you might not be aware that Urban Sketchers has a weekly theme over in the flickr group. Whilst it is not a requirement that the sketch is done on the specified week I think it is more fun if it is used as a push to get out, find and sketch the chosen theme.

This weeks theme is Urban Gardens... And here are two inspirational sketches to inspire us...

From Lynne Chapman – Urban Sketchers Correspondent Sheffield UK (I have had the wonderful privilege of meeting her on two occasions – at her home in Sheffield and in Lisbon!)

From Virginia Hein - USk Correspondent LA

I know that a number of us we actually out in the Botanic Garden Sydney on Saturday sketching the spring flowers... But with spring upon us and a very nice weather forecast for the rest of the week... What great incentive to get out again!

I am personally thinking about people’s front gardens and how they interact with the street.... Happy sketching!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Spring Sketchabout tomorrow!!!!

Sketchabout1_Group Photo

Following the success of the autumn sketchabouts(group photo from March above) ... the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Sydney Sketch Club have organised some more for spring.

Here are the details

When: 10 am to 12.30 pm, Saturday 10 Sept, 8 Oct, 12 Nov
Where: the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney
Meet at the Palm Grove Centre Information Booth (outside the Garden Shop as we did in Autumn)

BYO sketching equipment.

Join the Sydney Sketch Club in association with the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, amongst the spring flowers, wildlife and picturesque landscaping.

Meet other sketchers, relax, have fun and share your art and experiences. Garden staff and Volunteer Guides will provide advice on the seasonal highlights. All levels of ability and experience are welcome.

Picnic lunch to follow (BYO or pick up from café).

Enquiries 9231 8125 or
For updates and to share experiences and sketches

*In event of wet weather, entry fee of $5.50 for the Tropical Centre

Thursday, September 8, 2011

St James Church

110825 AD02_03 St James
110825 AD02_04 St James detail
I have been in the city a bit more in recent weeks and have been to St James on two occasions to sketch.
A very beautiful church designed by Francis Greenway. I hope to sketch it more soon but I will have to go back when the sun is a little higher - it is a summer building.
110902 AD04_06 St James Sketch

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Narrabeen Beach

Hi, Friends, are you enjoying autumn or spring?
We, Australians are at the beginning of spring. Today, I'll take you to my favorite spot, Narrabeen beach in Sydney.
I sketched a rough sea from the car below. It was a storm. Wild waves caught my eyes and heart. There, I listen to the voice of waves. Sometimes, they cry, weep, laugh, giggle etc, etc. Probably, it's up to a listener's feelings. I have a CD that mixes the sounds of waves with "Pachelbel's Canon." Simple and endless. I listen to it for hours.
If a weather allows me, I always enjoy swimming. Narrabeen beach has big waves and surfers love there.
Little Sadami wondered why an ocean has so beautiful, dark, but a bit sad, greeny blue. I thought... a sky fell in love with an ocean. The ocean, too. But they could not become "one" and turned to be so blue.
...ocean rolls make anyone sentimental and a poet?!

I often walk up this stairway to enjoy a beautiful overview of the sea. Many athletes and joggers love these steps.
Anyway, enjoy Narrabeen beach!
If you want to enjoy my sketches more, come over
Sadami's Graffiti and let's have a chat together. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Strand Galleries, Sydney CBD

The Strand Galleries, in Sydney CBD have a beautiful old fashioned flare. I love buildings that allow you to travel to the past, but still meaning something in the present, and that's one of this places in Sydney. On top of that, was very fun to draw! (Ink, brush and watercolor on two pages of 160gsm A5 sketchbook).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cafes of Newtown (4) Astino's

I've been to this cafe many times. It's not far from where I live and right across from the Dendy (cinema). But I've never noticed the cups till I took my sketchbook and went on my recent coloured cup crusade. I have to go back to draw the saucer one day, because right underneath the cup are three little coloured squares.

The almond friand was good too.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Coffee shops of Newtown - Hoochie Mamma

Hoochie Mamma is in Missenden Road, right near the big medical centre. I'd never been in but I'd already rejected two other local coffee shops to draw in - white cups & visually boring food. Struck the bonanza at Hoochie Mamma. Beautiful tawny orange cups and so much gorgeous food. Heading for the medical centre, I'd given myself a special dispensation to have chocolate. I chose a Hoochie Mamma made caramel slice. With all the drawing, I had to rush it and it was soooooooooooo good. I think I deserve another one.