Saturday, 31 December 2016

Sydney Town Hall Grand Organ


Sydney Sketch club attended an Organ recital at Sydney Town Hall a few days ago.  The organists, all young, were great.  The organ, itself, is spectacular, installed in 1890 and at the time was the best and the biggest in the world.  There are nearly 9000 pipes which seems rather a lot!

The organ was built by William Hill and son in London and to replace it now would cost around 20 million dollars. 
This is a sketch of one part of Sydney Town Hall facade, around the side facing St Andrews Cathedral.
Great to enjoy one of Sydney's significant buildings on a hot summer day.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Fire stations

I have a few days off work due to public holidays and a couple of extras. When this happens I like to have a project...this time it is looking at fire stations. We don't look at this type of building often  as they are just part of a streetscape and have been around forever. They are closing down though with councils amalgamation, which is a shame.  The charming  station above is in a suburb called Campsie, built in 1912. The script on it is lovely.
This fire station is in Newtown. One of the firemen came over to see what I was doing and then posed out front.  I wasn't quick enough to capture it though and then they had a call and left, sirens blazing.

   This is Marrickville fire station on a very hot, sunny day.  Many of these buildings are built in the early 1900's when horse drawn equipment was still the go. They were built for this and the doors are a little narrow.
More fire stations to come.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas


It's nice to have a day off before Christmas Day, a day to tidy up and start some cooking. There were plans to make shortbread today but I did this sketch instead. Presents are ready and under the tree.
Merriest of Christmases to you! Have a lovely day and a wonderful year ahead.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

One good idea

Every Christmas I scratch around my mind for an idea for the annual Christmas card. I have friends who get very cranky if they don't receive a hand made card in the mail, so it is important not to disappoint. The idea doesn't often present itself easily and time is spent in a little state of frustration.  The subject  usually ends up being something that is of interest at that time.  For example, last year I was thrilled to see a Supurb fairy wren in my yard and so this was the subject on 2015's  card.  
Recently I saw, and also sketched, a vintage Ford half ton truck from a nearby street. About the same time I started to think about Xmas cards, so the Ford became the subject. The truck is like one my dad drove , he would cut a tree down and it would come home like in the sketch, although the tree wasn't usually so symmetrical!
I've printed the linocut on a vintage map of the south Coast and this is where Christmas holidays were often spent in my Australian life.  Everything came together and so I was pleased with this year's effort.

At work we have a competition decorating ginger bread houses.  Each office has a kit and we can do anything with it. We pushed the idea a little by, again, using the truck idea and making it out of gingerbread. You can't see it but there's a gingerbread tree in the back. 
So, one idea spread across a couple of idea requiring projects....done and dusted.


Saturday, 17 December 2016

Fire Station Leichhardt


I love this Arts and Crafts style fire station in Leichhardt, built  between 1905 to 1909.  It was  designed by the Goverment architects for horse drawn fire fighting  carriages. 


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Back to Leichhardt


Sketch club met in Leichhardt on Sunday and I started with the sketch below of the town hall. It's a beautiful building , a confection of colour.
I then  looked to the corner diagonally from town hall to the scene above. The colourful awnings and funny little structures built on to the original Victorian building attracted a few of us to sketch.


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Revolver Cafe


A friend and I sketched the side of this Annandale Cafe yesterday.  We came here last year and sketched from the front.  At that time one of the cafe staff came over to inspect our work.  Again, this time the same girl came over to have a look. She even remembered us from last year which was nice.
This is the earlier sketch from the front.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Lavender Bay


Urban sketchers gathered at Lavender Bay which is close to Sydney Harbour bridge on the north side.  I sketched the top drawing from the end of the pier. A few people came along and were then picked up by yachts of various levels of luxury.  The house on the left was originally owned by the mayor of North Sydney. A lovely spot.

I was sitting overlooking Wendy Whitely's garden for this sketch. I was a little surprised when a bush Turkey strolled past.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Vaucluse House


Vaucluse House was built for William Charles Wentworth (1790-1872) and his family.  Wentworth was an explorer, journalist, barrister, politician and entrepreneur and his wife, Sarah was the daughter of a convict.  They and their family moved into the house in 1828. There were 515 acres and the property is on the harbour in the suburb of Sydney's Vaucluse.
In 1911, NSW Goverment acquired 28 acres of the property, including the house and out buildings, to use as public parkland.  In 1981 the property was transferred to the Historic Houses Trust of NSW.


Saturday, 19 November 2016

Fourth Day at Queen Victoria Bldg

A Bagpiper was serenading Queen Victoria yesterday which added to the atmosphere. Above is the south entrance to the building with a large statue of Queen Victoria which was shipped from Ireland in the 1980's when the site was refurbished. It had been made in the early 1900's but the Irish weren't that keen on English royalty after some time. 

The is the west entrance to the building.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Tempe Railway Station

I saw two vintage cars near Tempe railway station on Saturday and so returned on Sunday to sketch.  It was a hot sunny day but managed to find some shade, first to sketch the cars (see below) and then to sketch the eastern entrance of the station. A rail employee was very kind, offering to get me some water and letting me know that I could sketch on the platform as well. I'm quite happy with this rail sketch.


Saturday, 12 November 2016

Morning at Coogee Beach


I went to lovely Coogee Beach yesterday morning to sketch.  It was raining earlier but cleared and became very warm. The yellow and red structure on the beach is a shelter for the life guards.
The building below overlooks the beach.  There were quite a few picnickers in the park on a lovely warm spring day.


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Third day at QVB


I had plans for Sunday but my friend was unwell and cancelled. So....back to Queen Victoria Building I went for yet another day of sketching.  The scene above captured my attention with the stairs winding down in front of those gorgeous windows. The perspective was a bit tricky and it took ages to do.

This is a view of the eastern entrance of the building. I was trying to get a close up of the statues.
So, three days at this fab building and six sketches as a result.


Saturday, 5 November 2016

Second day at QVB


This is the second weekend down at the iconic Queen Victoria Building.   The copper domes are glorious in the sunshine so  fun to try to capture on paper.  

The Christmas tree is up inside the building and it's huge, fills the multi levels of the place.  You can see the twinkling lights inside. 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Queen Victoria Building

I remember when I first arrived to Sydney in the 1980's, this magnicent structure,  the Queen Victoria Building,  was boarded up and at risk of being torn down.  It reopened after a massive restoration nearly thirty years ago.  It is a jewel of our city and I love it!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Woollahra Post Office


Alas, this gorgeous post office in Woollahra is no longer a post office.  Woollahra, itself, a inner city suburb is a delightful place with very desirable home and lots of fancy shops, galleries and eateries.  I can't find much history about this building but I suggest it was built in the early part of the 20th century.  It was decommissioned as a post office five years ago and now is a shop. The sun hitting those brick walls made it very warm in colour.

Friday, 21 October 2016

George St , The Rocks

The weather isn't good today, wet, cold and windy but that didn't stop some friends and I sketching at The Rocks in Sydney.  This historic part of Sydney was nearly pulled down for redevelopment in the 1970's. Luckily the unions stopped the tear down from going ahead. 
The building in the middle is the old police station which is now a restaurant. 

Monday, 17 October 2016

Art on the Walk


I was involved in an art competition last week at a plaza adjacent to Central Railway.  The plaza management invited people to create an artwork.  They provided the paper which was very large, 1.5 metres by 1.25 metres.  There weren't any restrictions on what you could create.  Part of the brief was we had to be present in the plaza for at least twenty hours that week. I had three days off work and the the days on site were quite long.
The inspiration for my work was the scene around us at the plaza.  I played with perspective and had a fish eye view.  The people were drawn from people actually there.  I also used collage of maps of the area and rail network
I was lucky enough to win the second prize and here I am with the judge, Suzanne Smith.  I am thrilled!
This is day two of the project. Luckily the weather was pretty good.
It was a fun experience and to win second prize was the icing on the cake!

Friday, 7 October 2016

The Yellow House


This is The Yellow House,  57-59 Macleay St, Potts Point. The artist, Martin Sharp established an artist collective here in 1970. He modelled it on Vincent Van Gogh's yellow house in Arles and his dream of establishing an artist community there.
Every wall, ceiling and floor in the Yellow House became it's gallery and performance space. The rooms were inspired by Pop art, Surrealism, Dada and conceptualism.  Besides the drawing, painting and sculpture there were puppet shows, lights shows, plays and film screenings.
Today there is a gallery, restaurants  and apartments upstairs. Peter Godwin is currently exhibiting here.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

The Sirius Building


The Sirius Building is in The Rocks, Sydney, overlooking the Harbour, Circular Quay and Opera House. What a location!  It is low income public housing designed by Tao Gofers in 1978/79.  This style of architecture is called brutalist .
The building is spread along a ridge on the harbour side of the harbour bridge, the height varies from three stories up to a tower of ten stories.  The apartments themselves vary from two to four bedroom and have balconies, roof gardens and community rooms for get togethers.  The architect thought a lot about a positive living environment. 


Nearly everyone has vacated this building as the Goverment wants to sell it, to be demolished and private development to replace it.  I hope this doesn't happen, it's a wonderful place and well worth saving.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Five Ways, Paddington

Five Ways in the Sydney suburb of Paddington is a hive of activity with cafes, a pub and shops a plenty.  Paddington was originally a working class suburb but now is an enviable inner city enclave that the working class can only dream of.
It's called Five Ways as five streets meet at the one point.  You can see four of the streets in the sketch below, the fifth street is to the right of the awning on the sketch's right lower side.
It was a lovely day, sunny weather with Sydney sketch club.


Saturday, 17 September 2016

Back to St Thomas Rest Park, Crows Nest

I met my sketch friends in Crows Nest yesterday on a beautiful spring day. We trotted along to St Thomas Rest Park.  This is the site of the first Cemetary on the north shore of Sydney.
Above is the Sexton's cottage, now a museum, built in 1850. Dogs are allowed in this park and they were present in abundance.


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Hunters Hill wharf


Sydney sketch club went to Hunters Hill recently.  I sat at the end of the wharf in the above sketch looking up the hill towards Hunters Hill village. The ferry picks up the locals here.  What a beautiful day!

This lovely flower shop is on the corner and has a lady sitting in the alcove at the top.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Planting Dreams Exhibition State Library, Sydney


Urban sketchers enjoyed visiting the Planting Dream Exhibition at the State library in Sydney yesterday. Garden historian, Richard Aitken is the curator and we were lucky enough to have him show us around the show.  
The exhibition celebrates the 200 anniversary of the founding of the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney.  As curator, Richard Aiken got to sort through the library's collections to find rare and interesting items to illustrate the history of garden making. It includes paintings, photographs, books, sculptures and installations.

The show runs until January 15, 2017. Well worth a look around.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Fish eye perspective


I sketched the observatory again using the fish eye type of perspective. Spent time there on Sunday before seeing the Salon de Refuse' exhibition at the SH Irwin Gallery.  Lots of fun!

This scene is in East Sydney where a group of Urban sketchers went on Saturday afternoon.