Saturday, 25 January 2014

Australia Day in the city

January 26 is Australia Day  and if you were not having a BBQ with your family or friends today,  you were in town inspecting the car show.  Every conceivable brand of vehicle was  parked along the streets from Hyde Park to the Governor General's House and everyone was having a good look. 

Sketch club gathered to do drawings of anything they chose and here are my attempts.  The challenge was the weather (a bit of rain and coolness) and the folks blocking the view, but that's the nature of the beast.  It was a good time and nice to stop afterward for a few hot drinks and a warm sandwich.

 I like the child's trike and luggage on the top of this vintage Toyota.  You don't get venetian blinds in the rear windows of cars anymore.  Shame.... 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Tobias Gutmann

Tobias Gutmann is an artist born in Papua New Guinea who, amongst other things, has travelled around Europe, Africa and Asia with his travelling drawing booth called Face-o-Mat.  I love his idea and the fun he and his patrons have.  He has made a wooden booth which he decorates according to the country he is in.  Tobias sits at the back of the "machine", the patron is at the front with some dials in order to choose the type of portrait they wish.  There is a window so Tobias can see  the patron and in 3 minutes, voila...a portrait is produced.  As the portrait comes out of the "machine" there is a clicking sound to simulate a matrix printer.  How very charming and whimsical!!! Have a look at a video of the process:

I would love to be the artist in the face-o-mat and the patrons have a great time too.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Cockatoo Island

Looking through one of the industrial buildings, Cockatoo Island, pen drawing by me

Sketch club did some sketching at Cockatoo Island today.  Cockatoo Island is a 44 acre UNESCO World Heritage site, located in Sydney Harbour.
Cockatoo has a long history. Prior to 1788 the Aboriginal people would have used the island as a base for fishing and the trees on the island to make canoes.  The island was a penal settlement from 1839 and the prisoners were soon set to work building wharves and servicing private and government ships.
For 10 years, from 1870, Cockatoo was a reformatory and school for girls but then returned to it's previous industry of ship building.  Ship and even submarines were made here until 1992 when the wharves closed down.
Although 40 buildings and several wharves were demolished in 1992, there are still many buildings, machines including cranes left to tell the island's history.

Here is the same view at the drawing-looking through one of the industrial buildings

Ink drawing, crane, Cockatoo Island

Circular Quay

It was a beautiful day today and the harbour sparkled.  Here are some photos taken from the train platform.

Beautiful day in Sydney, view of Circular Quay

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Big Duck

Giant Duck at Parramatta, NSW

One of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's giant ducks has flown south and is currently enjoying river life in Parramatta right now.  Hofman is known for his large scale installations and about a dozen of his ducks have been made, each one a little different.  The duck which is here now was made in New Zealand and has got some high tech features, bits that monitor the wind and heat within the beast, relaying the information to central control.
This duck is a beauty and is pretty big, 5 storeys high and just as wide.
We had a giant duck last year and it enjoyed city life in Darling Harbour, this one is in Western Sydney.  I hope it stays safe as other ducks have met their demise, particularly in Taiwan where a couple of ducks have dropped dead.

They are thinking that this Taiwan duck was attacked by an Eagle in, I assume was, a territorial dispute! 
What is the meaning behind this art installation you may ask.  Well, it is about fun and childhood and hopefully it will make you smile when you see it.

Friday, 10 January 2014


I am a Taurean but even if I wasn't I would still love the stylized bulls made in the 1960's.  I purchased this bull at the Antique and Collectable Fair last weekend.  The lady who sold it to me said it was her favourite item of sale.  She had bought the bull from a deceased estate and it required polishing as was black when she got it.  This metal creature is not huge, it is 12 cm long and about 8 cm high.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Sketching in the Rocks, Sydney

Sketch of George St, The Rocks, Sydney

The Sketch Club got together to draw the buildings along George St in the Rocks, Sydney.  If you don't know the Rocks, it is a heritage area close to  Sydney Harbour bridge and it looks over to  the Opera House. It's very picturesque and the weather was perfect so a very good time was had.  My sketch is above .  I managed to draw 3 buildings and we plan to return a number of times in order to finish the  11 buildings in the block.

Streetscape, The Rocks, Sydney

Work of some of the other sketchers

Glimpse of the Opera House and cruise liner from our spot on George St.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Succulents #2 by me, pen on paper

Succulents #3 by me, pen on paper

It's great to have a bit of time away from work (paid work that is) to do some drawings. Drawing is my way of looking at things.  Lovely friends gave me this pot of succulents for Christmas and here are a few drawings of it.  It's fun to use drapery with lines in it as it is easy to show the shape of the folds.  I have also drawn a vase of eucalyptus and some greenery from the garden that was decoration at my Christmas soiree.
I hope you are having some quiet time to be creative this 2014.

Succulents #1 by me
Eucalyptus and greenery, charcoal on paper, by me