Monday, 29 December 2014

Service Stations in the inner west, Sydney


This service station was built between the wars and is on a busy road in Canterbury.  It sits right on the sidewalk so not much room to get your car off the road.  I happened to get my car serviced here recently.


I often pass this old service station which is no longer trading but the "bowser" or petrol pump is still there right on the sidewalk. It is rusty and obviously not useful any longer.  I like that it is still there giving us a clue to the building's history.


This is a very nice old petrol station, now a garage, located on the Princes Hwy at St Peters.

Service stations became about between the wars when people started buying cars in greater numbers.  I think in the early days you bought petrol at shops like the chemist or the grocers.  These old buildings are hard to find these days, often torn down for redevelopment.  I hope to find some more for this series.


Friday, 26 December 2014

Garage in Newtown


This is a service station on King St, corner of Whitehorse St, Newtown which I have always admired .  It  was built in 1928 and is in Spanish Mission style.  Paint is peeling but it still looks great.  A few films have been made here including the Cary film, Bliss.
The building doesn't seem to be used now and there is a sign saying no parking but there were three cars parked there today when I was sketching.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Getting Ready for Christmas


Well, not much time now before Christmas.  Today would have been the biggest trading day for the shops.  I stayed clear of parking lots and the crowds though and spent the afternoon wrapping presents.
I have a little tree and even though there's not a huge amount of hanging space I hang my old favourites, collected or given to me over the years.
Christmas, a time of traditions and a time with family and friends. Lovely!


Saturday, 13 December 2014

St Thomas's Rest Park


A fellow sketcher and I enjoyed the afternoon at St Thomas's Rest Park in Crows Nest today.  This was the first cemetery on the north shore of Sydney.  There are over 2000 children buried here due to poor sanitation and no antibiotics.  I enjoyed seeing the gravestones that told a bit about the person, for example one was a yacht and boat builder who had an affectionate wife and children.  it sounds like his 40 years on earth were good.
There were quite a few dog walkers and a family with a kite.  It was a great place to sketch and generally enjoy the day.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

White Rabbit Gallery and Gao Rong



Urban Sketchers had lunch at the White Rabbit Gallery on Saturday after sketching Mortuary Station.  We had Chinese dumplings under the above bird cages in the tea house.
It was great to have a look around the gallery and see  an installation by Gao Rong.  The installation is a room which recreates her grandparent's house in Mongolia.  There is a large bed in which the whole family slept.  At the foot of the bed is a small heating stove and a cooking stove both of which would have kept them warm in the Mongolian winter.  On the other side were some cabinets and a table with photos on the walls .  It was very  interesting to step back in time and place.  It was not until we left the room and read the exhibition notes that we discovered that everything in the room was embroidered fabric.  Of course, back in the room we went to marvel at the embroidered rust on the pipes, the embroidered metal pots and pipes, mildewed walls and even the portraits.
It was touching to find that Gao Rong's grandmother taught her to embroider.  



Friday, 5 December 2014

Mortuary Station


This is Mortuary Station, built in 1869.  This Gothic building was where mourners met and then travelled with the coffin  to Rockwood cemetery.  It is located behind Central station in Sydney and I enjoy seeing it when I travel into the city on the train.
Urban sketchers met here today to sketch this beautiful building.


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Christmas present tag


This is a Lino cut owl Christmas gift tag.  I might put a little watercolour on the present under the owl.    I am making some for my colleagues at work and here is the first batch.  I will put a hole in the top and put some nice string or fine coloured twine through it.  Then Into cellophane bags and ready for giving.


Friday, 28 November 2014

Mosman and Lucy Culliton


I went to  Mosman today to see Lucy Culliton's exhibition at Mosman Art Gallery.  I like Lucy's work very much,  particularly her portraits and landscapes.  See below for some of her work.
I took the ferry to Mosman which was a treat in itself.  What a beautiful harbour we have and the weather was perfect today.  After seeing the exhibition, having lunch and checking out the wonderful Mosman shops, I walked down Avenue Road to the foreshore where the ferry picks up.  That road was a beauty with a gorge on one side, which was natural forest, and cliff on the other.  The cliff side had lovely old homes and lots of palms, jacarandas and Australian natives.
Down at the end of Avenue Road was the water.  I would have liked to do a sketch which included the water but this view caught my eye and since I love palm trees, I had to record it.  The kookaburras were laughing and a few people stopped to talk so all in all, a nice time.

           These paintings are by Lucy Culliton.  Have a look on the web for more of her work.  She is shown by Ray Hughes Gallery in Sydney.      

         This is Lucy and below is her art dealer, Ray Hughes.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Christmas Card

Every year I make a Lino cut Christmas card and this year is no exception.  I thought I would show you the steps involved in the Lino cut print process.


First Step was to do a sketch of the idea.  I had done a peacock hooking a few months ago and so this image is something already in my head.


This is the Lino which was carved by the tools seen here.  I drew it on the Lino first and then carved  out the areas which were to stay white.

The red handled roller has picked up the black ink and you can see the two prints on the left and the Lino on the right.

Watercolour now used to paint the bits that needed the colour.

Here is a bunch ready to go.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Martin Place Christmas


I visited Martin Place this morning to sketch the Xmas tree but it wasn't quite ready to be sketched, There was a big white fence and some cranes still around it.  I edited those out.  The big ribbon is electronic and flashes in different colours.
The General Post Office is to the left of the tree.  Whenever I see this beautiful building it reminds me of when I came to Sydney on a working holiday in the early 1980s.  On Christmas night I came here and booked an overseas call to Canada to wish my family a Merry Christmas.  You booked it and then sat in the waiting room till they called your name.  I think it was a dollar a minute.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Back to Art Gallery of NSW

The Art Gallery of NSW has a Pop Art exhibition on right now and it is well worth seeing.  I particularly loved seeing some iconic work by David Hockney.  All the big name international artists from that era are there as well as Australians from the same time.
After seeing this show I spent some time sketching this scene which is the gallery entry way.  There is always a huge, beautiful vase of flowers there,  in the middle of a Victorian circular seat.
I sat in a quiet corner, working away until a security guard stopped to tell me I wasn't allowed to use water colour in the gallery.  He was very kind, after complimenting me on my work, said he would come back in a little while so I could finish it up.

Friday, 14 November 2014




I sketched this scene in the city this morning, close to the corner of Elizabeth and Park Streets in Sydney.  The lovely blue building is a bus shelter.  Chuck Close is exhibiting here  and the yellow banners are advertising his show.
We moved further down Park St which turns into William St to sketch this old building which is directly behind the Australian museum.  It was built in 1851 and was originally a National School.  It has been used by the Museum since the 1970's and is named the Night Parrot.


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Sydney Cove Oyster Bar


        This very quaint building is on the edge of the harbour at Circular Quay in Sydney.  if you are walking along, heading to the Opera House for a concert or play, you would go past this Federation building.
It was built in 1908 and was constructed for the workers on the ships as part of the wharf facilities.  It included a public lavatory!
For the past 30 years or so it has been a restaurant specialising in oysters.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Bidura, Glebe

                This is  a wonderful National Trust building called Bidura, 357 Glebe Point Road, Glebe. It was built by the same architect who designed the Watch House in Balmain and Sydney University, that being Edmund Blacket.  He and his family lived in this house when he was working on the Great Hall of Sydney University.  This Victorian Regency style villa was built in 1858-60 and the bricks were hand made.
The building to the right of the main building is a ballroom.
NSW Goverment bought this property in 1920 and it was a children's home, housing children before they were placed in foster care.  it is still used by Community Services.
There is a yellow picket fence at the front of this property and I peered over this to do this sketch.  I would have liked to enter the gate, set up my chair in the garden and sketch in comfort.  I ended up standing on the sidewalk and sketching which was a bit less comfortable but okay.   A lady stopped to tell me what the building was used for and it's name which was great.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Balmain Watch House


I met fellow sketchers from Sketch Club on Sunday in Balmain.  This  building, called the Balmain Watch House, is the oldest police lockup in Sydney and was built in 1854.  The building was only one storey originally and I suppose that explains the two colours of stone.  It was designed by the colonial architect Edmund Thomas Blackett in the traditional Georgian style.  The jacaranda trees are flowering right now and that is what is in the foreground.  The bike belonged to one of the sketchers.  
The sketch below is a view of further down Darling St in Balmain.


Friday, 31 October 2014

Millers Point

            Millers Point is one of the earliest areas to be settled in Sydney.  There was a large windmill on what is now Observatory Hill, overlooking the harbour and nice and high in order to catch the breezes.  Flour was needed for the locals and this was where it was ground.  The windmill is long gone but there are lots of Colonial and Victorian buildings.  There is quite a bit of development in this area.  The sketch below shows the new casino.  We were sitting in the shade in front of a gate to more development and got moved along.  The new spot didn't have quite the same view/perspective which made it a bit tricky to finish.  However...

Monday, 27 October 2014

Rozelle Markets

                                                                         Rozelle Markets, Sydney, is a weekend market held at a primary school yard.  This school was built in 1877 and the sandstone it was built from glows in the sunshine.  The market has been going on for years and is open both Saturday and Sunday.
It has a great atmosphere and there is always the excitement of finding a treasure.
This sketch was done last Sunday morning on a hot, sunny day.  I had a quick look around and then found a shady spot to sketch.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Hunters Hill

                                                                   This is the Congregational church in Hunters Hill, circa 1876. The sketch group met here today for a morning's fun.  The sketch below shows some of the church grounds.  Weather was beautiful and we enjoyed a sausage sizzle afterwards.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Harbour Bridge

It was beautiful this past weekend in Sydney.  Friends and I spent some time in the Rocks sketching this scene.  There was a wedding happening in the church just out of sight on the right of this sketch.  It was fun watching the guests and then the wedding party arrive.  The bells were ringing and it was a very happy event. It felt like we were a bit involved ourselves.
Before we finished our sketches a bus pulled up right in front of us and parked, blocking our view.  That was the end of our sketch!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Interiors at the Ranamok Glass prize

Sketch club went to the Ranamok Glass Prize in Pitt St, Sydney, today and there was some beautiful work there.  Many of the sketchers did drawings of the glass but I was more interested in the high ceiling room.  Here are two views of the exhibition and you can see a few of the sketchers.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

More Hooking

 Seeing my mother's and her friend's hooking projects inspired me to do a little work myself.  This is a small piece which will be made into an ipad mini cover.  The design was from one of mom's hooking magazines which I changed a little.
Below is the frame which makes it easier to work on the linen.  The fabric stretches across the frame and the metal Velcro holds it on.  My father made this particular frame and it works a treat.

Now I just have to sew a backing onto the hooked side and the ipad cover will be complete.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Sydney Central Station

Central Station Sydney
Central Station is the largest railway station in Australia and suburban and country trains both leave from here.It was built in 1906 after they decided that the main station at Redfern was not meeting rail needs.  Under the clock tower is the entrance to the area where the country trains leave.  Sometimes there is a steam train there for a special trip.  I have fond memories from a few years ago of arriving here on a rainy dark morning about 6 AM.  There was french music playing and the atmosphere was wonderful inside.  It also helped that a nice weekend away with a friend was in store.
I sketched this yesterday morning before meeting a friend for lunch.  I was amused when a 10 year old boy stopped to shake my hand and congratulate me on my work.  Very cute.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Parasol Building, Seville

Parasol building, Seville
 I sketched this very modern building called the Parasol a few weeks ago when in Seville.  It is a massive structure, reported to be the biggest wooden building in the world.  It's amazing to think that it is made of wood.
The Parasol was designed by the German architect Jurgen Mayer-Hermann and was completed in 2011. An Australian engineering firm in Brisbane built it.  The structure consists of 6 parasols whose design was inspired by the vaults of the cathedral of Seville and the ficus trees in the nearby plaza.  This building is located in the old city on the site of a market.
I sketched this one Sunday morning, sitting on the step of a bank which was closed.  There were quite a few cafes serving breakfast around me and it was a lovely atmosphere.