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....

Taronga Park Zoo

Recently Taronga Park Zoo had a voucher in the Sunday paper for two-for-the-price-of-one. I quickly bought extra papers because the zoo admission is rather expensive and I hadn't been for a very long time. So I've been three times already though not caught up on the blogging.

We had a perfect day for it. The zoo is on a hillside overlooking the harbour with the bridge and Opera House across the water in the distance. The giraffes have a wonderful view.

Next we visited the elephants. There were two mother and baby pairs, but, just becoming accustomed to drawing animals, we learnt that they don't always cooperate. They stood in the shade some distance away with a posture that said 'no portraiture'.

Going to the zoo brought back nonsense rhymes and songs I learnt in my childhood, and some of them made their way into my sketchbook.

We just missed the gorilla keeper talk, which was probably a good thing, as the zoo was stroller city that day, and the shrieking can become a bit wearing. The gorillas posed nicely for us. I like 'The Thinker' there in the middle. The one on the top left was the boss, though his expression was less benevolent that it looks in my sketch.
From there we had lunch on a lawn with a beautiful orange tree just begging to be sketched. After lunch I found my very favourite animals of the whole zoo - the ringtail lemur. This little cutie came and sat right in front of me, with his paws up against the glass partition. There are five lemurs (all boys and cheeky with it) and I could watch them all day. They walk around with their tails held up behind them like question marks. Just amazing. John Cleese seems to be the patron of all lemurs, and there are some amazing clips of him in Madagascar with lemurs on youtube.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mid week visit to Cockatoo Island

111117 SkClass Cockatoo Is 05_Fire Hose Reel
A few of my sketches from a day at Cockatoo Island. The more I visit the place, the more I see that I want to sketch 'next' time! There is a big street art exhibition there at the moment... lots of painting on walls (will they paint over it all when the exhibition finishes?)
111117 SkClass Cockatoo Is 03_filling in time
111117 SkClass Cockatoo Is 04_Heavy Machine Shop Door

111117 SkClass Cockatoo Is 06_Gantry Crane
111117 SkClass Cockatoo Is 07_Detour on way home

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Last Spring Sketchabout at Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens

Finally made it to a sketchabout this season, and we headed off to the Palace Rose Gardens. They're so beautiful, and I dot think I did them justice. Which is why I decided to paint succulents and bamboo instead, ha, ha.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jacaranda time, Sydney

When Jen referred me to a sketch on Urban Sketchers of Jacarandas, I thought I should update my postings here with my own 'speed sketch' of Jacarandas.

I took the class to an avenue in Kirribilli which becomes a glorious display of purple when the trees are in full bloom. You also inhale the gentle perfume in the air, and end up with bell-like flowers all over you as they float down like lavender snow.

I get less time to sketch when with a class of course, but did this quick one so that we could try colour application techniques later.

During the week,  I'd given my best purple recipe - Permanent Rose & Cerulean, so when we settled for lunch at 'Freckleface' cafe, everyone mixed their own version of the colour , and between mouthfuls of lunch, much paint was applied.

We had a lot of laughs as occasionally a brush would end up in the drinking water or coffee instead of the vegemite jar of water, as you do when you're not looking.
It was just such a lovely setting to sketch in, and everyone went home with sketches they felt captured their day very happily.

Sydney water scenes : Alissa Duke

For me, part of living in innercity Sydney is the proximity of the harbour. I am fortunate to walk to work along the waterfront.

The weather has been pleasant enough recently to enjoy being outdoors and I took the opportunity this week to draw some of the boats on the inner harbour waterways .

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Final Spring Sketchabout this weekend

Just a reminder that the third spring sketchabout is this Saturday.
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

BTW here are my sketches from the October Sketchabout!
111008 04 Spring Sketchabout 2 Natives

111008 03 Spring Sketchabout 2 Folly

Sketching this folly was quite a challenge...
111008 05 Spring Sketchabout 2 Lunch
A good number of the sketchers stayed for lunch and we had a great time sharing sketchbooks. It is always so inspirational to see the works of others.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A wedding in watercolours

A good friend of mine got married last month. As a wedding gift I decided to capture the day in watercolours. Because this is an Urban Sketches site I can only upload the images I did on the spot. If you would like to see the rest, please feel free to visit my flickr site. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sydney Harbour - From McMahons Point

Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Waterfront. It is one of the more beautiful views in the world, so no wonder that I never get tired of painting it (or sketching it).