Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas : QVB and Nativity @ St Mary Cathedral!

Thank you for visiting our posts this year. In Nov, I had a fall at steps in a hurry, when I delivered art work to a second solo exhibition, "People of Parramatta." I got two fractures in a left shoulder and a left wrist which required a surgery. I finally came back to an Urban Sketcher meeting this Dec and am on the mend. A few weeks ago, I bumped a sketcher at Queen Victoria Building in City. Fortunately, the street was closed for construction! No trafic! Another member's great idea, "Sadami, let's draw it now." We could not miss very the best opportunity to sketch the QVB from the front. 
It was wonderful to do it with the friend to lift myself up. The fractured shoulder was very painful though, we really enjoyed it. In all, I spent two days to finish it up. A complicated decoration fascinated me so much. Yet, it has harmony and rhythm like music that charms a sketcher. Many people talked to us. It was a great fun. The friend and I said, "We will sketch together more!" 
I also recently went to St Mary cathedral square to sketch a famous "life size nativity." It was so lovely to sketch the nativity for the first time that I had longerd for sketching in my life. That famous scene that Jesus was born had many symbolic animals, in my eyes. A donkey, a white dove (in a shepherd's hand) and sheep which has meanings and roles in Bible. I imagined... and a little bit changed statues -- Mary and Joseph are smiling at a little Jesus. Baby Jesus is smiling back to them.
Sketching has been a reward to relax myself, for I have submitted a story board of a picture book, whilst looking after the fractures. I'm getting better. Now, Publisher/Editor Helen Chamberlin and Mentor Ann James are on a holiday leave. Yey! I could find time to upload a post.  
If you're interested in my hectic(?!) life or a hilarious tragicomedy, come over, Sadami's Graffiti. We are having fun! 
Thank you for visiting and a strong support. Particularly, members cheers have encouraged me. I wish you 2016 will be a wonderful year. I hope that I will post like before and behave a good girl in 2016. 
Friends, Happy Painting, but have a nice vacation! Don't hurry, even on the way to your own exhibition. Show me your beautiful smiling in 2016! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas sketching in Melbourne

A small group of Melbourne Sketchers got together for our annual Christmas Sketch in the city. We spent a couple of hours sketching (attracting some curious onlookers), then got together for a card exchange, and lunch.

It was a fun session. Here are our collective efforts completed during the couple of hours. Each of us submitted a sketch for exchange and went home with a sketch completed by another sketcher.

Melbourne Christmas Sketch 

I had 2 colours with me. Here are some of my sketches. The following two were completed at Christmas Square at Collins Place.

Christmas trees by Evelyn Yee  

There is a big Lego Christmas Tree at Federation Square and I found a nice spot away from the crowd to sketch it.

And for sketch exchange, I made a card with inks (below). On the right, I captured Santa in my selfie. Happy Christmas everyone, and all the best for 2016.

Christmas sketch by Evelyn Yee

Monday, December 7, 2015

Urban Sketchers Canberra in The Botanical Gardens

Urban Sketchers Canberra is growing steadily, as we welcomed 4 new people who joined us on our morning out at the Botanical Gardens in Canberra.

It was a warm  31 degrees, so most of us donned out hats, picked up our water bottles and ventured forth to find shade! The gardens are lovely at this time year, and there were many spots to sit and sketch. I am going to return more often as the gardens provide all sorts of interesting sketching challenges. 

The Canberra Urban Sketchers group meet on the first Sunday of the month and everyone is welcome. You can see what is happening on our Facebook page

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Twelve days on Norfolk Island

I am just back from a wonderful two week trip to the remote Norfolk Island which is 2.5 hours flight from Sydney and 1.5 hours flight from Auckland. It is a stunningly beautiful island with a fascinating history and the intention of my trip was to have a rest – a true vacation. This is something I rarely do these days as most of the time my trips are intensive sketching sessions. But the slow relaxed pace of the island, the lack of exciting tourist attractions and my own limited quota of three sketches per day meant that I only did a fraction of the sketching I would normally do.

There are a lot of fascinating things about the island both its history (settled by the descendants of the mutiny on the Bounty) and the unique aspects of island life due to its remoteness but I was rather taken with one small part. The Kingston precinct includes a beautiful beach, a fishing pier, and constantly changing light a collection of historic colonial buildings - what more could a sketcher want? I returned to this area over and over again to sketch different aspects, different views and in different times of the day.

Another feature of the island is the native tree, the Norfolk pine tree. These majestic trees are everywhere and are a major part of the beauty of the island. I don't think I have ever had such a feast of beautiful subject matter from which to sketch.

I will just share a few of my sketches here in this post but you can find them all over on my blog. You can also find out a little bit more about the island (including photos) on this post and a little bit about how I enjoyed totally unplugging from social media for the entirety of my trip.

One of the major parts of my trip was the fact that I took an untested sketchbook. I was given a Pentalic sketchbook by Stephanie Bower and I thought it would be a great occasion to use it. I had a few challenges initially which I described in detail on this post but managed to develop a way of using the book to suit the way I paint. Thankfully I took an emergency sketchbook as well which gave me a chance to do some loose sketches while I worked out how to get the results I wanted in the Pentalic book.  I have just done a detailed review comparing the Pentalic paper with the moleskine paper on my blog here.

I really got addicted to this particular grouping of buildings around the Kingston Pier area, the space between the buildings was really interesting and I did at least one sketch every day I was in the area.

The most famous Norfolk pine tree on the island is referred to as Lone Pine - I think this is a poetic symbol of how this little island supports itself in the middle of the ocean.

Despite how remote the island is, I am pleased to report that there is one urban sketcher on the island. Bronny  from Adelaide moved there year ago so it was great to have someone to hang out with towards the end of my stay.

I do hope to return there one day – it would be a great venue for a group sketching trip.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Big Draw

Today the National Gallery of Australia held drawing events associated with The Big Draw. The aim of the festival is promote drawing, so of course, we decided it was a great opportunity for an informal meeting.  Some of the members of the Canberra Urban Sketchers group decided to go along, join in the activities and have some lunch afterwards. The Big draw is a world wide drawing festival for anyone who loves to draw and welcomes people of all skill levels.

I did not get any photos of us sketching but we did manage to share our sketches. We had a great day.

The Canberra Urban Sketchers group meet on the first Sunday of the month and everyone is welcome. You can see what is happening on our Facebook page or contact us via our email address.

Hello from Urban Sketchers Canberra

Hello everyone, I'm Leonie from Urban Sketchers Canberra, one of the newest groups in the Urban Sketchers family. Our group started in February this year when several of us 'met' on-line and decided to get together for some sketching. We found some more like-minded people and before we knew it we had our first outing at the National Gallery of Australia.

Our first outing at the National Gallery of Australia
In May we met up with our first USk visitor, from Melbourne, at the National Museum of Australia. Not only did we get some hot tips about the use of pill boxes as watercolour palettes, but she also dazzled us with the sheer number of sketches she managed to produce in our short time together.

At the National Museum of Australia with interstate visitors

In June we discovered that drawing outside when it is only 4 degrees C is not a good idea, although several new people bravely joined us that day. July saw us sitting around more comfortably in Hotel Hotel, one of the hippest new developments in Canberra, and a much better option for winter sketching!

Tea, coffee and a warm spot to paint, Hotel Hotel in July

The highlight of the year for me was the chance to meet up with other USk members at the 2015 USk Singapore Symposium. Several of our group went to Singapore and this experience, more than any other, confirmed our desire to formally join USk so that all our members could share the experience of meeting like-minded people from around the world.

Some scenes from the USk Singapore Symposium 2015

Through this year we've developed a core of regular sketchers and every sketch outing new people are joining us. There is certainly no shortage of interesting places for us to draw in this city of ours. Apart from national monuments and institutions, we've met in hipster hot spots as well as historic precincts, drawing everything from food vans to Ferris wheels.

Urban Sketchers Canberra welcome USk members from all over Australia and around the world, to join us in exploring our city. Please get in touch if you are planning a visit, we'd love to catch up with you or provide some suggestions for places to sketch (or even where to eat well!).

USk Canberra meets on the first Sunday of every month, from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm for sketching, followed by coffee and a chat. You can email us, or see what we are doing on our Facebook page.

 USk Canberra members at the National Library of Australia

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Urban Sketchers Sydney at the Fish Market

Today about 30  Sydney Urban Sketchers headed to the Sydney Fish Markets. Most people sat outside drawing boats, but a few headed inside to sketch some of the fish!

We didn’t get a full group photo as some people stayed at the tables so we had a spot to eat our lunch (yummy fish meals!) as the markets get crazy busy at the middle of the day. A great day - thanks to everyone who was part of it.

We all had a great day, here are some photos and sketches from the day.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Jacarandas are blooming in Brisbane City.

Brisbane is looking incredibly beautiful right now with her purple carpet of flowers on the trees and on the ground.  It is an amazing sight.

The Brisbane urban Sketchers have been taking advantage of this and sketching in places where the jacarandas are at their best.  New farm park, UQ St Lucia and Saturday we sketched Dockside.

Before British settlement, Kangaroo Point was occupied by the Turrbal people.  It is one of the earliest suburbs settled in Brisbane and subsequently, is one of Brisbane's oldest suburbs, rich in history and character. It had a reputation for violent and rowdy street gangs around the 1900s, with a number of street riots, even a murder. (Read the Mayne Inheritance)

I am sitting with my back to the Iconic Story Bridge looking down the Heritage Walk to the Dockside Ferry Terminal.

During Brisbane's convict era stone was quarried at Kangaroo Point for building works in the town across the river. By 1837 parts of Kangaroo Point were being farmed.  
In 1844 the first of several public houses in Kangaroo Point, the Bush Inn, was licensed.
By the late 1850s it is estimated that Kangaroo Point had about 80 houses, a wharf, a ferry service to north Brisbane, a bone shed, the remains of a derelict boiling-down works dating from the 1840s, a sawmill, a brick-works, and a postal receiving box. The industrial potential of Kangaroo Point, particularly along its shoreline, was becoming evident, and all the land had been sold by 1854.

 Main Street

 Main Street ran from the tip of Kangaroo Point southward to the Woolloongabba Five Ways. It was flanked by sawmills, tradespeople, cottages, a few larger houses, the Kangaroo Point and Pineapple Hotels, an immigration depot at Wharf Street, the primary school and St Mary's church. Slipways and engineering works were large employers.

The Holman Street Ferry Terminal was built prior to 1919 for the City of Brisbane, then responsible for the servicing of ferry routes across the Brisbane River.

 CT White and James Warner Parks at Kangaroo Point were once the home and workplace of some of Queensland's pioneering scientists and researchers.  There is now a Natural History Trail here in their honour.  I can't wait to go back witht he group to explore and sketch more wonders.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Barangaroo Point Reserve Opening Day

I was very excited, after all the times I've drawn/painted this site over the last two years, to  be able to be there on the opening day of the reserve last Saturday. I got there early to get in some sketching before the crowds arrived and the ceremony began.  The site has been inaccessible for about 100 years as it was an old industrial / wharf area and closed to the public. It has been redeveloped into a park with amazing views across the water, which has changed the face of Sydney Harbour (and no doubt the tourist companies' schedules  too!!)

It felt quite special to realise I'm the first person to paint that harbour scene from that lovely spot on those sandstone blocks that now enclose the park, with the bridge in the background.

The foreshore was created using 7600 sandstone blocks reclaimed from the site, each numbered and placed in their exact position. The geometry of the way these  large  blocks have been laid is beautiful, as are the many colours to be found in them, some of which I tried to capture in my drawing. This view looks through to the Anzac Bridge in the background.

The old harbour control tower can be seen looming over the park from many viewpoints, asserting quite a presence. It was built after two ships collided near Millers Point in 1972. Some have called it "Sydney’s concrete mushroom", and sadly it has now been consigned to demolition, because they say it isn’t in keeping with the natural environment feel of the reserve. But I love it and the way it keeps its eye on the harbour and will be very sad to see it go!

This view was from the Burrawang Steps across the Stargazer Lawn, with the Harbour Bridge in the background. 

 Later in the morning a passerby told me there was someone else drawing around the corner, so sure enough, I found Lionel, another of our Sydney USK gang, drawing this tower from Wulugul Walk!
It was great to be part of the opening of this special place and I'm sure it will be enjoyed by Sydneysiders and visitors to our wonderful city alike!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Barangaroo Development, Sydney

Since the beginning of 2014, I’ve been really interested in documenting the huge 22ha Barangaroo development which is changing the face of Sydney's CBD. It is named after an important indigenous woman in the early days of colonial NSW who was also the wife of Bennelong, after whom the site of the Sydney Opera House is named.
In my first sketch of International Towers Sydney in February 2014, I tried to capture the noise and energy of the site with its Lend Lease cranes.

In August  last year,  Barangaroo South was a hive of activity, yet these massive pieces of machinery seemed so graceful and birdlike, I called my sketches “The Dance of the Cranes”.

In November 2014,  I sat  in the park in Millers Point which is now closed to the public, which gave me a good view of Central Barangaroo and all the construction paraphernalia. Tower 2 was up to the  42nd floor.

On Australia Day 2015 I drew from Darling Harbour with the Harbour Ballroom boat in the foreground.  I just love the logos  stenciled on the towers, which began as a way to track progress but have become a public calendar of significant events. Because Australia Day falls on 26 January, the corresponding floor of Tower 3 was plastered with a giant Australian and Aboriginal flag to celebrate our national day.

Feb 2015 - Drawing Tower 1 from Napoleon St while the cranes and machinery hammered out their music around me. The triangular forms of the cranes really appealed to me. Note the Australia Day flags and two stencils painted on the tower to commemorate the 100th centenary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli . Another one reading “63 not out” marks the 13th floor being constructed when cricketer Phil Hughes died when he was struck on the head by a cricket ball at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Drawn recently from the Maritime Museum.  There are so many changes since i first started to draw this site in early 2014, but the cranes continue to intrigue me. It’s interesting to see how the glass reflects the surrounding building colours now that it's in place. As the sun was beginning to set, the red floating lighthouse at the Maritime Museum provided such a lovely contrast in colour.

Last weekend I went back to where I drew from last November, to see the changes to Central Barangaroo. The gardens on Barangaroo Point are well established now and in the foreground there is row on row of individually crafted sandstone blocks, 10 000 in all, and all quarried onsite.!  Nawi Cove has also been created between Barangaroo Point Reserve and Central Barangaroo. The waterfront promenade has just been named  Wulugul Walk. Wulugul is  Aboriginal for kingfish, which have a golden band along their blue-green skin, similar to the foreshore walk’s golden sandstone lining the blue of the harbour.

It’s exciting watching the energy and scope of this development and it will certainly be high on the list of places to see for visitors to Sydney in the future! I look forward to documenting more of the site as various sections are opened to the public.