Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Governor General's residence

Government House- side view-Botanic Gardens
It was a beautiful day to be in the Botanic Gardens in Sydney on Sunday.  This is the official residence of the Governor General, Dame Marie Bashir, who was home the day we were there.  There was plenty of security about, ensuring we were no threat with our pointy paintbrushes and pencils.
My sketch is of the eastern side of this glorious building.  Goverment House was built between 1837 and 1843 and is a Gothic revival style.  It is located in the Royal Botanic Gardens, south of the Opera House and overlooks the harbour.  The building is used for a wide range of ceremonies, receptions and cultural and community events.  When Sydneysiders turn 100 years, they are invited to go to this building and are presented an award by the GG.  I will look forward to that!

eastern side of building

front of Goverment House

Friday, 25 July 2014

more living room

It was raining today so my original sketching plans went out the window.  Ended up spending the afternoon drawing another view of my living area..

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Looking around Home

Reading the paper-watercolor and pen

Here are a couple of sketches of my living area.  Seeing it in paint makes me wonder whether I have too much stuff!!

watercolor and pen

Saturday, 19 July 2014

North side of the Harbour Bridge

Pylon , north side of Harbor bridge

The Harbour Bridge in Sydney is an icon of our city.  It was finished in 1932 and this made it much easier for people to get back and forth to the city, previously only accessible by ferry.  There was a piece of property on the north side which was used in the construction of the bridge for equipment and material.  The end of the project meant this property was available for other uses and Luna Park was built in 1935.  This is an amusement park which is still there today.  Sketch club went to this area today in cold, windy and a little wet conditions.  A group of us sheltered in the ferry wharf waiting area which was under cover.  The famous Luna Park face is the gate to the park and you walk through the mouth to go in.  I am sketching below the face and a ramp to the wharf is blocking my view but I am sure you the idea.

Luna Park-ink and watercolor

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Harbour glimpse

This is a glimpse of the Sydney harbour from East Balmain.  Balmain is a peninsula and this view is from the very end of it.  See the map below from 1930, Balmain is there, left of centre on the south side of the harbour.  I was stting just off the end of Darling St.  At the very end of Darling St is a  panaramic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and it's fantastic.  This is a wonderful viewing spot for the fireworks on New Year's eve

1930's map of Sydney harbour

View from the end of Darling St

Friday, 11 July 2014

Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Curry

Ingredients for the recipe and a Babushka doll tea towel from my sister

We are in the winter season and even though Sydney's temperatures are quite mild, it is still cold enough to enjoy hearty meals.  This is a recipe which I make quite often and enjoy.  We, in Australia, call the main ingredient pumpkin but in some parts of the world, like Canada for instance, it is called butternut squash.  This recipe is based on one by Jamie Oliver.

Butternut Squash Curry

serves 4, prep time 10 min and cooking time 35 min

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 inch piece fresh lemon grass chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
chili, however much you like
1/2 tsp tumeric
splash of soy sauce
juice of 1 lime (I use lemon as rarely have lime)
1 butternut squash chopped
2 sweet potatoes, diced
1 can coconut milk

1. Put the onion, garlic, lemon grass, ginger, chili, soy sauce, lime juice, oil and salt in a blender and puree to make a paste.  I don't have a blender so omit this stage and go straight to the next stage.
2. Heat paste in a pan stirring for a couple of minutes before adding the squash and sweet potatoes.  Turn them around to coat with the curry flavours
3.Pour in the coconut milk and mix well
4. Cook gently, uncovered, for 25-30 min until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened.  Stir occasionally so that the mixture doesn't burn.  You may need to add a little water from time to time (or a little more lime juice) to prevent the sauce from becoming too dry.
Serve with rice or naan bread.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Fortune of War Hotel

Fortune of War Hotel-watercolour and pencil
This hotel is in the Rocks in Sydney.  It is not on the main street, which is George street, but is located down an alleyway called the Nurses Walk.  It is at the site of the first hospital in Sydney- which I learned when a walking tour came through when I was sketching.
The Fortune of War is reported to be the oldest licenced pub in Sydney, built in 1828.  It has a long term reputation as a popular first and last stop ashore for sailors and  troops of the Armed Forces as they departed Sydney Cove to defend the country.
There are some interesting shops around it, a Button Shop was of great interest to those who passed me while I was working.  A journalist from a Swedish magazine asked if she could take a picture of the sketch for an article she was doing about the Rocks.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Gordon's Bay and Clovelly

Gordon's Bay-watercolor and charcoal
 What a beautiful day in Sydney today!  It was soooo nice sketching in the sunshine with my daughter, Claire today  at Gordon's Bay which is in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, a secret gem of a place, tourquoise sea and charming boats.  We sat on the rocks, having a cup of tea, working away.  Then we went to the next bay along which has a beach called Clovelly and had a picnic  under a Banksia tree before doing some more sketching.  There weren't many people on the beach but there were some people in the water and I think they would have to be reasonable brave because the water is quite cold this time of year.

Clovelly-watercolor and charcoal

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


Balmain-watercolor and charcoal
Balmain is a inner west suburb of Sydney, 6 km west of the central business district.  It is on a peninsula with Port Jackson surrounding three sides.  The urban landscape is mainly a result of the industrialisation of the area.  In the 1800's onwards into the 20th century there were shipyards, metal foundries, boilermaking, a coal mine and many other industries and engineering companies.  These industries created a demand for cheap housing and this is what we still see today.  Gentrification began in the 1960's as industries moved out and people wanted to live close to the city and  the harbour. It is a charming area and now an expensive suburb in which to buy a home.
I sketched this scene from the car on a cold and windy day.