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.