Monday, April 30, 2012

Archibald2012 & Be What I Am Fully

Hi, Friends, how have you been? I sketched Archibald 2012, the most prestigious portrait competition in Australia. Here, NSW Gallery entrance.
None of watercolour work was in. Most finalists' paintings were oil or acrylics. "John Yu With Artist" (Jun Chen) caught my eyes, as the colour "green" used in the face and the strong brush strokes fascinated me.  
You can guess how huge paintings were. It was the main stream. But I'll keep my own style.

The other day, I sketched a psychologist and popular writer, Hugh McKay at his book launch. Although the work size is A4, I'm happy with it. That's the point! "Be what I am most." 
OK, I'm loosening up landscape with washes. We saw the huge rainbow over City after a heavy shower. Beautiful and full of hope! 
I've begun to get how to loosen up. Only the problem is landscape does not move around that bores me so much. No joke. I love capturing movements.
To learn new techniques and master them takes time. I always want to take in new skills and enrich myself.

Although this post seems to have too many topics, what I tell myself is "Be what I am most." I do not need to be someone else, but myself fully. Even without a signature, my work should tell who made it -- Sadami. So, I explore skills, pursue originality and will be what I am fully. 
Friends, Happy Painting!! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

35th Worldwide Sketchcrawl

Last Saturday I too was at Cockatoo Island. on the 35th Worldwide Sketchcrawl It was my fourth trip out there in three weeks and every time I go I see more things I want to sketch. Way back last year when we went to the Powerhouse Museum a few times I decided I wanted to draw pipes. I made myself a concertina book to fill with pipe drawings but there was nothing in it till now.

The morning was very foggy but it lifted in time for the ferries to be running and once out there it was a beautiful warm day. Most of these pipes were in the shadow of a cliff, and it can be very brisk out there on the harbour if there is a breeze. On Saturday though, it was just lovely.

There were about 30 sketchcrawlers, and although the island is not that big, people just disperse once you get off the ferry. We all met in the cafe for lunch at 12.30 and there were enough of us to pretty much take it over.  I had another very yummy BLAT. Very generous with fillings!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cock a two Is Land

Will remember this day as a turning point in me understanding Sydney ... not.
I was born in Sydney. Educated there. Lived there once married for a while.
But I had never been aware of Cockatoo Island. Shame!
And then the sketch crawl ... I'll be back

Saturday, April 21, 2012

35th Sketchcrawl BRISBANE

Our group met at the QUT at 9.30am for a 10.00am start.  We sat sat for an hour sketching, then headed off to the Goodwill Bridge.  Half an hour there, then Southbank.  We sketched for half an hour, then headed off to the food court for lunch.  After lunch we had a difference project.  IMAGINE THIS  It was fun, the leader of the project had A3 sheets of paper with faded out photos on them of buildingds in the street we were on.  Our task was to take the photo and add our artists impression, of how we could improve on the architecture to make the building more appealing.  It was a super exercise.  We spent half an hour on this, then headed to out last stop, the Queensland State Library.  It was a super day!  Weather was magical.


Southbank side of the Goodwill Bridge, looking at the mangroves.

Lighthouse at Maritime Museum (From Goodwill Bridge)

At the Beach SouthBank


Folks having lunch at Southbank

Lunchtime Southbank

Qld State Library forecourt

Qld State Library forecourt

Qld State Library forecourt.
The Imagine This project.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sydney Royal Easter Show

An annual event in Sydney which originally was an opportunity for the city folks to experience and appreciate the lives, produce and world of our country cousins. Every person brought up in Sydney will have fond memories of stinky cows, showbags, or "samplebags" as they were onced called, filled with everything single kind of confectionary, amusement rides, cake decorating displays, fruit & veg displays and so much more. I haven't been to the new venue at Olympic Park (which is where the Sydney Olympic Games were held) so it was a first for me.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Road Trip NSW

Just back from a 4k km NSW road trip. Lots of activity.
I did a sketch journal of the trip.

Old pubs, photography, engagement party ( Congrats Ben and Phoebe), aerials and more. I started a visual journal and it is yet to be finished.

I was inspired with Jack Brennan’s mammoth effort of a 100 hour week that he puts in on his property NW of Warren. Cotton, crops and cattle.

Jack is in a family partnership on the property and his grandfather started the whole show. On a farm tour with Jack to check a few things I was inspired by a few essential things such as the water pump for the whole property (10,000 acres). Jack found an old diesel motor second hand and converted a derelict wind mill to diesel. The top sketch in the above journal extract shows how I see the set up. Jack’s Dad designed the water tank stand. The bore has been down (1000ft) for years. The windmill doesnt have a head (blades) anymore … it just stands proudly alongside the tank stand. Both engineering icons. One of those oil heater tanks provides the fuel supply for the diesel motor which drives the pump to pump the water to the tank up the top of the other stand. Gravity feeds the stock on entire property from this tank. Its bloody flat out there!

The bottom sketch is of the Armatree silos. Armatree NSW is not too far from Warren. Beautiful weather.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

And a third time to Cockatoo Island

At Cockatoo Island on Easter Monday we had to stay out of the wind. We settled on this sheltered spot between two buildings and it just happened to be the place that just epitomises Cockatoo Island for me. I've photographed it before, but never sketched it. I used my new WINE coloured Copic Multiliner pen, and I must say I LOVE it.

In the same sheltered spot, but against the building opposite I found this interesting conglomeration of pipes.

After that, lunch. Lunch is always good at Cockatoo Island and their BLATs are probably the best I've ever had. By that time it was hot in the sun, so we moved around to 'Easter Island' and sketched there. If you look at this photo you will see why we call it that.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bus Stops in April

I managed to get out this last week and stretch my legs. I haven't drawn outdoors for a while so it was hard to get back into it again. Luckily it's like riding a bike. My work took me out to Belmore (Sydney's west) but I only managed one sketch near the train station.
A few days ago I took a walk in my area, and found a nice sunny spot overlooking this building. It belongs to the Salvation Army and is or was their office site (?). I always used to think it was a castle.

 On the same walk I walked past a bus stop with a corner shop next to it.
On another day's walk I decided to  draw from a bus stop I always pass. When I went to write down the bus stop number there was no bus stop sign - they don't use this stop anymore. So this is my first "ghost" bus stop. I wondered why that car was parked in a bus zone...

 Last weekend, heading out to a baby shower in Darlinghurst, I had time to do some drawing. I dont get to come to this part of Sydney as much as I used to so it was nice to take it all in. This is an old fire station which is still in use - and its the first time I've ever noticed it. How terrible is that! Unfortunately it is obscured by the trees, but that was my view.

Then, full of scones and chocolate tarts, I made my way home by catching a bus back in the city centre.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pyrmont, Sydney; Alissa Duke

Sydney, inner city industrial heritage. Caneite balls installed in local park (meters in diameter. I will have to go and measure them). They were used to pulp the sugar cane fibre (after the sugar, molasses alcohol had been extracted) to make Caneite (like masonite) in the 1950-1960's.The CSR factory was in Pyrmont from 1875 and played a large part in shaping it. I went to a talk today by the local history group.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cockatoo Island - twice.

It was a unanimous decision on the part of my Keeping a Sketchbook class to go to Cockatoo Island. They were so keen they were at Circular Quay for a ferry earlier than the one we'd planned. Homework had been to read Cathy Johnson's art tip about working on a toned ground and I supplied a number of colours of paper. These buildings on the terracotta ground are what you see as soon as you arrive. I've been meaning to draw them for ages, and now I need to do them again.

Cockatoo Island cranes always appeal to me. Each one seems to have its own personality and when you've sketched them, you add even more personality. Unfortunately they are cleaning them up and painting them. They were so beautifully distressed, but they were falling apart.
This one is on the east side looking back towards the city, the harbour bridge and Centrepoint Tower.

The sketches on blue were done when I went back a few days later. I still had plenty of coloured paper. This crane is on the west side of the island with Iron Cove bridge in the background.

Lastly, we went inside the turbine workshop to sketch the old machines. The afternoon sun was coming in a window high up on the left and catching the left top of the machine. Many more fantastic old machines in there. I hope to sketch in there again soon.
Canson Mi-teintes paper with Copic Multiliner black pen and Prismacolour white pencil. (No pen on the machine).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Getting back into town for some sketching

120310_02 Colonial Mutual Life Building

I have been able to get back into the centre of Sydney for some sketching for weeks so Saturday, being such a beautiful day was the perfect opportunity. This was my warmup sketch in Martin Place (a little ambitious!!!)

120310_04 Rocks Markets people

I then had a tearoom visit and along with the usual teacup sketch I also drew some people browsing the rocks markets

The rest of my sketches from the morning can be found here on my blog (I went a little crazy

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sketching in Town

120407 Sketching in Town
Here are four sketches that I did on Easter Saturday in the CBD of Sydney - a lovely morning sketching with Alissa and also talking about sketching architecture. You know, it is a lot easier to talk about how to draw perspective than it is to draw it!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cockatoo Island - Sydney : Alissa Duke

A beautiful sunny Easter Monday in Sydney and a perfect day to visit Cockatoo Island. It is a ten minute ferry ride from Sydney Harbour and is an island full of history- from convict to industrial. The heritage is retained in the buildings and objects of the island. Visitors can walk all over the island and through many of the buildings. You can camp there too.

It is a wonderful place and considering how many people arrive of the ferries, it is very quiet, as they spread themsleves out over the island. A little gem in Sydney Harbour.

We were there only a few hours and I drew one of the many windows on this 1853 sandstone building. It is part of the FrontMachinery Shop and is the oldest industrial building remaining in Sydney.

This is in watercolour pencil on moleskine watercolour sketchbook

We then moved onto the area infront of the campground. There are four large parts of machinery that look like Easter Island statues. They are iron bending machines, from the shipyards.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sydney old and new

Three drawings from the past two days in Sydney - on the way to and from work.

Firstly, the old architecture of the GPO in Martin PLace in Sydney - a neo-classical sandstone facade, with a colonnade running around the building at street

Second is on the bus from Bondi to the City. The surfer with the hoodie was in front of me . I had to draw him !

And finally all the cranes in the building site opposite my work. There is always something happening in Sydney !!!

Chinese Garden

Week 5 of my Keeping a Sketchbook course was at the Chinese Friendship Garden. A beautiful sunny but breezy day to be outside. We sat in a little pavilion and talked about colour theory and colour plans before putting it all into practice.

I deliberately drew this small pavilion in one-point perspective, as I was drawing together with one of the participants in the course who had a special interest in learning to draw buildings.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Parramatta River at Meadowbank

Last week I went over to Meadowbank where I went to art school about 10 years ago. I went to see an exhibition but the gallery was closed. I had lunch with a friend, then visited the art shop. Tried the gallery again, then went down to the river where they used to take us to draw and paint en plein air.

Before I went to art school I never painted landscapes because they didn't interest me. I painted my first one here in oils. Thank goodness for Fariha who helped me a lot and it turned out rather well, though consigned to the rubbish bin years ago now.

This one is in my sketchbook and not on watercolour paper. I was battling a stiff breeze, a fit of sneezes, and a barrage of text messages on my phone.