Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Planting Dreams

USK SYDNEY was treated last Saturday to a special event at the State library of NSW, called Planting Dreams: Shaping Australian Gardens.

 It has been curated by Richard Aitken,  a fellow sketcher from Melbourne, who searched through the State Library’s collections and selected more than 150 rare, beautiful and at times unlikely objects -  spanning over five centuries - to illustrate the rich and inspiring story of garden-making. Some of my favourite exhibits were books from the 1400s and 1500s, and the panorama sketchbooks / drawings like the one of Calcutta below, which were very inspiring for us as sketchers!

We felt a sense of being part of the continuing tradition of recording our surroundings that was so evident in them. The exhibition is on until the new year so those who missed this can still visit it another time. Thanks Richard for a great morning!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Brisbane Urban Sketchers - June Roundup..

June started with a washout rather than a Sketchout. After the monsoon let up the group was able to continue the month with a series of excellent Sketchouts. Our first  Sketchout was on Saturday 7th at Queens Park which is a compact venue with sketching opportunities in every direction.

The second Sketchout for the month was a visit to Fort Lytton for History Alive an  annual historical re-enactment festival. One member Christine managed to be there in two capacities, both as a sketcher and as a costumed re-enacter.  You can see  Christine with her authentic sketch kit on the right.

We followed up with Sketchouts at The Old Museum at Bowen Hills, Mowbray Park,the Barracks Precinct, Davies Park market at West End and finished up with a visit to the Brisbane Powerhouse and Newfarm Park where we met a new sketcher Angie and her baby George.

After the last ‘official’ Sketchout for the month some members were able to hold a final impromptu Sketchout at the Beenleigh Historical Village.

Roll on July!!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Wet And Wild Day in Wollongong

Yesterday as much of our state was lashed by wild storms, some brave-hearted Sydney USKers ventured down to Wollongong to draw with a group of sketchers there who are keen to grow and become linked with us.  We caught an early train, and travelling together gave us a lovely chance to catch up and chat, which isn’t always what happens when we’re sketching outdoors on a sunny day.

Despite the fact that the planned itinerary was never going to work in that weather, we all found sketching spots under some degree of shelter. Some of us visited the art gallery, while others drew the Town Hall or the amazing architecture of the new Wollongong Central and its views. Its design is based on the industrial heritage of the city, and its landscape, reflected in the rust-coloured steel bars on the front  facade and the local flora designs as embellishments on the white panels.

Despite soggy shoes and wet clothing we had a great day and it was good to encourage the Wollongong group too. The itinerary they had planned for yesterday is all ready to use the next time we go down, and we thank them for their warm hospitality! 

BRISBANE Usker April/May Roundup by Brett Danvers

USk Brisbane April and May Roundup

April and May were another two great months for Brisbane Urban Sketchers.  We have continued to hold two Sketchouts every week and managed to hold 18 over the two months. This would not have been possible without the dedication of the Admins and members who volunteered to host Sketchouts.  

We ranged all over the Brisbane region from the inner-North former suburb of Ithaca to the Bayside suburb of Manly and its yacht filled marina all the way out to the wilds of Ipswich where our sketchers enjoyed the Medieval Festival. Some of the other places we sketched at were St Stephen’s Cathedral, St John’s Cathedral, UQ St Lucia, and the City Botanic Gardens.  Our final Sketchout for May was held in Victoria Barracks which is a closed Army barracks not open to the public.

We were also able to sketch with USk members from interstate who were visiting Brisbane. Two of them were Martin Perera from Goulburn and Bernard Hornblower from Melbourne. We moved our Saturday Sketchout to Sunday so that Bernard could meet up with us.  Any sketchers visiting Brisbane please contact USk Brisbane and we will do our best to organise a Sketchout that you can attend. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Leigh Memorial, Historical Architecture in Parramatta

I'm searching for my own style in architecture drawing. I'd really appreciate your feedback on different approaches : "traditional vs loose." Leigh Memorial is a Victorian Gothic church opened in 1885. Today, it's Uniting church in Parramatta. This historical and very charming architecture elegantly stands opposite to Parramatta Artists Studios on Macquarie St. 

A first image is created by a traditional methods. The church building has unified colours on it. My paints have come together well. The colour of a shadow seems fit to the architecture. I really enjoyed drawing. Street walkers often talked to me. Thanks for cheers! 
The black and white is below. In the colour work, added people show a scale of the building and something humane.  
A loose image is below. In fact, I had done it earlier than the work created by a traditional drawing methods. I enjoyed colours in a quick way. But my eyes have told that the building is too thin. So, I made the building stout in the first image. I tried Leigh Memorial for several times. The more, I draw, the more, I learn. What do you think these two different modes?  
In my eyes, the drawing of architecture, itself, is not so complicated, as long as my eyes capture a building as a "mass" and chunk it down in simple 3D. A headache is architecture demands preciseness in drawing. Of course, there are many artists cook architectures by their unique styles. Produced architectures taste good and so beautiful, which very much interests me! 

I need more time to learn how I loose up architectures/landscapes or try other drawing methods. Practice gives me answers. I'm very proud of messed up papers! 
Btw, we're getting into autumn. It was very cold today. What about your area? Take care. 
Friends, Happy Painting!      

Monday, April 25, 2016

Inaugural Aussie Sketchmeet in Sydney

This weekend, Sydney sketchers were excited to host sketchers from around Australia in our wonderful city for a weekend of sketching. We took advantage of the extra day provided by the ANZAC Day public holiday to visit a real variety of locations from the beach , to convict sites and
21st century architecture, and of course there was plenty of chatting, eating, and getting to know a whole lot of new friends, some of whom we’ve connected with on Facebook but never got to meet before, living in this vast country! We had over 50 participants, 21 of whom came from outside Sydney. The furthest ones came from Cairns  and Adelaide, and we also had sketchers from Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra  and Wollongong.

The event began on Friday with sketching at Manly and around The Rocks.  We avoided most of the rain, before ending up in the Orient Hotel for Drink and Draw. It was a great way to break the ice and form new friendships, and the happy mood throughout the evening ensured we were going to have a great weekend!

On Saturday we spent the whole day at Cockatoo Island,  a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sydney Harbour with a fascinating convict and ship building past. It’s also the site of the current Biennale, so we were spoiled for choice for things to draw! We dodged the rain and rescued a few umbrellas while the rain created its own magic on our work! But it just gave us more practice with wet in wet washes , and proved again how hardy Urban Sketchers are!

On Sunday  we started out at Hyde Park Barracks and found it hard to tear ourselves away when it was time to go for Yum Cha, after which there was more sketching in Chinatown, and what a terrific
range of techniques was used. 

 On Monday we tackled a very 21st century building. Some had to leave to go back home to far flung places but we were left with a  keen group who produced some outstanding portrayals of the really-difficult -to-draw Frank Gehry building, fondly known as "the squashed paper bag building". After Alf was able to rescue his very much loved paint brush from a building site which had swallowed it up, we concluded with lunch as we began to wind down!

There was a real spirit of fun and sharing over the weekend, and plain enjoyment of sketching in each other’s company. It was such a pleasure to meet our interstate visitors and  know it will contribute to strengthening even further the links between sketchers across Australia.