Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sydney Rocks!

January is a very happening time of year in Sydney in regards to visiting artists, musicians, exhibitions etc. I must have gotten a few invoices paid late last year as I bought so many tickets to see bands this month.

It started off with Swedish wild rockers, The Hives. Who were so manic on stage - they epitomise everything I love about rock and roll. Although they moved about the whole show I became more interested in drawing their facial expressions.

The Hives at the Metro

Then a week later I saw Weezer, who took over a decade to return to Australia from the U.S. One bonus about living in a country so far from our Northern friends, is that when they come to Australia, they tend to play a "greatest hits" set, because so many years have passed since they last toured.

Weezer at the Sydney Entertainment Centre
The next day I saw Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) and Joe Pernice (Scud Mountain Boys) play an acoustic set at the Spiegeltent as part of the Sydney Festival line up. A far more mellow and intimate affair which suited me for a Sunday evening.
Norman Blake & Joe Pernice at the Spiegeltent

As I was sitting quite close I could see their hands quite well and got lost in the complexities of their guitar playing.
Norman Blake & Joe Pernice at the Spiegeltent
Then four days later it was back on again with Osaka Monaurail at Sydney Town Hall. A Japanese band that embraces everything about 60s soul funk music and brings it to the people. 

Osaka Monaurail at Sydney Town Hall

Osaka Monaurail at Sydney Town Hall

Osaka Monaurail at Sydney Town Hall

For more sketches from these concerts, please visit my blog here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rozelle Bay

This is the first page of my new sketchbook made of toned papers  and it now has my name and contact details in case the book is lost. The composition with the tall chimneys was perfect for the title page, as it forced me to leave quite a lot of blank space. The chimneys belong to White Bay Power Station, sketched there  from the other side on an Open Day.
This sketch is done from Bicentennial Park near the end of Glebe Point Road. It was very hot, but we found a breezy spot on the point under the shade of a big Moreton Bay fig tree.That's the tree on the right in the Bicentennial Park photo.
Lunch followed at Glebe Deli Cafe, where we've been before and can very much recommend the spicy fish. That's why we went back.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

 I too was at the Sydney 38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl in the Botanic Gardens. I'm sketching in a handmade book of toned grounds. I had to choose whether to work consecutively as I usually do, or whether to choose the ground for the subject. 
It had been 46.4C degrees the previous day (that's 115) and the Gardens were looking a little more ochre than green as they usually are, so I chose those colours for the background. Luckily it was much cooler and cloudy, so we went first to the succulent garden where it usually gets very hot, very early. I felt like drawing something hard edged after that, so we went to the statue. And finally we went to a stand of bamboo where we could sit in the shade (sun out by then).

The other two sketches are from another visit to the Botanic Gardens the previous week. I was still finishing my previous sketchbook then, and playing with selective colour.  We got eaten alive by mozzies while sketching the spiral ginger, then we moved on to a spot near Twin Ponds to draw this little woodland area with paperbark trees.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rokia Traoré in Parra Opening

Hi, Friends, did you enjoy your weekend? 
Sydney Festival is a big event (Jan 5 to 27). I really enjoyed Sydney Festival Parramatta Opening on 19th Jan. Parramatta had many exciting "free" events last Saturday.

The most impressive concert was "Rokia Traore" late in the evening. I heard a beautiful sound from a school yard on my way home. When I went down there, I missed out more than the half of the concert. I listened to Rokia for the first time. 

Both songs content and her voice seemed to have strong messages (*I could not understand her language). One song she dedicated for African mothers was very touchy (she explained about it in English).  Her guitar sounded so sweet and caring. 
Despite patchy and slight rain, people stayed in the field and shared wonderful time with Rokia and her band. People around me began to enjoy looking at my sketching. We smiled each other.
Other day time events were for kids and parents such as "megaphones."  Children really loved them all. Hahaha. Quite cute. 
I shouted, "I luv ye~~~!" Could you hear it? 
Another nice one was a "pyrophone." That's an amazing ship and instrument! When I saw it from a distance, I mistook it for a xylophone. My friend said, "No, it's a pyrophone." He told me about the similar instruments in Fiji and other countries. He was right! My friends and I all loved this ship sailing across a dream.
I met a creator Steven in person later. He was very approachable. Steven kindly explained about the code theory and the ship design from his childhood memory. All the crew were very nice. We enjoyed a chat. This close-up sketch was done before sunset. 
Now, Friends, why did I sketch it in a day time?   

Yes, your guessing is right! "Fire!" 
The crew and the captain, Steven used "fire"! Very eye catchy. Strong visual effects, a story performance ( fire on a ship and the crew dashed to a board) and music changed into up beat. It excited all audience.  
It's really lovely to see a person pursuing a dream and making it come true.
I really enjoyed the Parra Opening and refreshed myself. 
Friends, let us sail into our dreams and enjoy our journeys.
Happy Sketching!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

38th Sketchcrawl in Sydney

We had over 50 sketchers turn up at the Botanic Gardens (thanks to Sydney Sketch Club!) and a great day meeting new people. What a crowd – very very exciting. We had 46C yesterday (hottest day on record) but today was lovely and cool and the isolated showers forecasted did not bother us all day.

My sketches from today

130119 Sketchcrawl 38_1 Botanic Gardens
130119 Sketchcrawl 38_2 Botanic Gardens
130119 Sketchcrawl 38_3 Botanic Gardens

38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl Brisbane

Friday, January 18, 2013

USK SYD 9th February

We plan to go back to Pyrmont in February and do our proposed sketchwalk down Harris St.

We hope to move down Harris St during the 2 hours and meet up at 12.15 near the kiosk at pirrama park (cnr of Harris St and Pirrama Road) There is a large high roof which is hard to miss. (here is an out of date google street view of the spot)

There are lots of things to sketch and local USKer Alissa will let suggest a few things to check out along Harris St. The idea this month is to do a few sketches along the route.

If it is raining there are a number of shop awnings along Harris St... but please make your own decision. Some USKers will sketch in any condition!?! Last month it was forecast a hot day and it was fine at Paddington. There is a good breeze up Harris St and shade on one side of the road.

Also, I have found flat rate parking for $7 down at Jones Bay. (most street parking is 2 hours at $3.30 per hour)

Contact me on the above email address for more details or if you want my mobile number.
Hope to see you there!

A few more sketches from Pyrmont on Saturday

A few more photos thanks to Erin. I also want to once again thank everyone who came and especially for sharing during our show and tell. I think we all found it very inspirational to hear people share about their techniques and what caught their eye in Union Square. As much as I love comparing notes about 'what pen is that?" " where did you get that sketchbook?" it is good to get beyond that art supply junkie type of conversation and talk about how we actually use the tools!

Sketches from Alissa (click on images to read more about them on flickr)

Pyrmont - Panternoster Row
Church - Pyrmont St
It was great to meet Peter Rush and see him in action. A number of us have been following his work on flickr for a while.(click on images to read more about them on flickr)

12jan13 urban sketching Pyrmont NSW 1
12jan13 urban sketching Pyrmont NSW 2
12jan13 urban sketching Pyrmont NSW 3
12jan13 urban sketching Pyrmont NSW 4

Sketches from Rod (click on images to read more about them on flickr)

Sketches from Ethna

DATE FOR FEB: Saturday 9th. We will do the sketchwalk down Harris St as proposed for January. Details to follow soon.

Callan Park Fire Hydrant

Out sketching at this time of the year in Sydney, I'm always looking for a patch of shade. I went sketching at Callan Park recently under the shade of a big tree.

Callan Park is a large area of parkland that goes right down to the harbour. It is dotted with buildings, most of which are not in use. It was once Callan Park Hospital for the Insane. It has only been closed since 2008. Fortunately there is a very active group of local residents trying to keep the developers out.

To one side along the main road, there is some sort of emergency services base, where ambulances and fire engines are parked. All along the very quiet side street, there is a collection of old fire hydrants. I plan to draw them all.
I started a book of pipes nearly a year ago, and now it has a new drawing in it.

Monday, January 14, 2013


This is my Pyrmont sketch with fellow Urban Sketchers having a great time with their own pictures :) 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Urban Sketching at Pyrmont in my new Sketchbook

Liz had given me a beautiful 150gsm Stillman & Birn Sketchbook, as a sample to see whether I could bear to part from my usual ringbound 110gsm one!
With that, I was to get myself to Urban Sketchers and to post more. OMG yes if that is my carrot.

So with the threat of 40+ degrees I had to show what I was made of.

Thankfully the scorcher didn't arrive on Union Square, Pyrmont. Instead a comfortable 25 or so.
However I needed a good coffee to get the pen flexed, so popped along to Cafe XX11 down on the corner of Union Square. Worked my way through a rustic collection of old rooms to the counter, ordered, and waited outside to pickup, and decided the whole building was way too cute not to sketch.

Left the first page blank - maybe a title to come - and began with my No8 Artline pen.  Mmmnn not happy Jan. Is it running out? Well let's just tilt it up and get the best out of it. Sketching's like that. You darn well keep going. Who knows. Could be the best one ever when you check later!

Mixed some washy colours in the lid and slopped around a bit seeing what happened. yes it's alright.

Next up Union St was little Neu-neu the dog. Little thing wearing a pink harness. Then she was gone. Began with a No2 pen, sketching the simple structure, surrounded by taller buildings of sandstone with wood and iron, details of iron railings and window boxes. The pretty plane tree leaves hovered above like a little Parisian scene. Time to put everything away and go. But no, out comes Neu-neu and poses in front. Quick grab the pen and go go go. Actually looks like her!

Finally while on Union St, the bank across the way. Several others did some lovely ones of this, but I was keen to try watercolour first and line after. Seemed to work quite well. By keeping it pretty simple I felt it didn't need all the details as they'd be understood by what I left out. All done with a little brush in my Cotman's mini watercolour set, but used on it's side. You get a lot of coverage that way and no changing brushes, Then a few scribbles with the No 2 pen and go catchup with the others.

Loved the exchange of ideas and techniques we had. You can't believe the intense conversations that come about when discussing wax pencils, sable brushes, this pen or that. It's everything. It makes our world go round.
And my new book. I think it likes me.