Friday, 26 February 2016

Wendy Whitely's Garden

Wendy Whitely's is well known for being an artist herself as well as being the wife of Brett Whitely, a very well known artist in Australia.  Their home was on Lavender Bay just around from the harbour bridge and Wendy still lives there today.  The land between the Whitely house and the harbour is owned by the railway and until Wendy started working on it, was weed infested and overgrown.  It is now a beautiful garden with paths, sculptures and vistas at every turn. Wendy's vision and artist's eye as well as a gardener or two have transformed this land to somewhere very special.

This is the tower attached to Wendy Whitely's home.
A group of sketchers came here this morning.  There were many others here too, picnicking and generally enjoying the place.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Curlew Camp, Sirius Cove

Tom Roberts, Curlew Camp

Over the weekend I took the ferry to Mosman to join a walking tour to see the site of a camp used by a number of well known Australian artists including Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton. 
A family who had a store in the city used to come to this spot to camp in the late 1800's.  Artists met the store owners and were invited to join them at this beautiful spot.
Tom Roberts

There were about six tents scattered amongst the bush wherever there was flat ground.  They had a dance floor, piano and dining tent and there was even a cook providing meals.  
The artists loved  painting en plein air but would also go into the city to paint portraits. At the end of the day they would take the ferry to the closest stop and then whistle or call cooee for someone to row out and pick them up.

Arthur Streeton, Sirius Cove 1890

Of course there are no tents or buildings left at this camp site but engraved in a big rock  are the words Curlew Camp, 1890.

A little sketch done at Sirius Cove looking at the Sea Scout hall and boats.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Another day in the Rocks


This is a view of the back of Susannah Place, 58-64 Gloucestor st, the Rocks.  There are four houses in this terrace and you can see one of them here.  These homes were built by Irish immigrants in 1844. They are generally unchanged from when they were built now owned by the National Trust.  There is a shop selling old fashioned goods at the front.

This is a pub called Hero of Waterloo, built by a Scottish stone mason in 1843.  Convict labour was used and you can still see the chisel marks on the stone.  Early patrons of the hotel included crews from whaling and sealing ships as well as the local soldiers.
One of the interesting features of this hotel is the secret tunnel running from the basement to the Harbour.  It was used to smuggle rum and for the involuntary recruitment of sailors. A young man who drank too much may have found himself awake in the morning aboard a ship heading out to sea.

A hot and sunny beautiful day in the Rocks.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney


This is the harbourside view of the entrance of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.  It is Sydney's main public gallery for Australian and international contemporary art. This museum opened in 1991 in an Art Deco building which has this modern addition.
I was sitting quite close to the building so the perspective is rather dramatic.  


I sketched this version last year from a site further away.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Morning at Watsons Bay


It was a beautiful day in Sydney today.  A fellow sketcher and I took the ferry to Watsons Bay this morning. The building above overlooks the harbour and is a restaurant and function centre.  There were lots of people and dogs enjoying the water, surrounds and wonderful weather.

I didn't get to finish this scene as the ferry was docking and we had to leave.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Sunday excursion


On Sunday I went to the S H Irwin gallery to hear the artist, Cressida Campbell speak.  The Observatory is next door and it was great to spend a bit of time there sketching.  It was a hot day and the sandstone was glowing in the western sun.  This scene is from the back of the building, not as fancy as the front.

This is the front of the Observatory which was sketched a few months ago.

After the talk at the gallery, driving home, this pink beast was spotting in front of the Langham Hotel.  Screeched to a stop and did a quick sketch. The driver and a couple hopped in before long and it was a fast finish.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Hollis Park, Newtown


Urban Sketchers met in Newtown this morning. We met at Hollis Park which is in an area of large Victorian homes.  The sketch above is looking down from the park at a coffee shop, a number is sketchers in the foreground.
Sketch below is one of the beautiful homes facing the park.


Monday, 1 February 2016

Sawmillers Reserve

Sawmillers Reserve, in North Sydney, is the site of a former sawmill operated by John Eaton Ltd timber merchants.
The heyday of this business was between 1890 and 1920. At that time they had their own power house, 2 sawmills, engineers shop, joinery shop, blacksmith shop and it's own wharf and crane to unload timber.
Timber cut at the mill was used widely during the war including refitting the cruise ships, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary to carry troops.  The even made prefabricated churches to take to the islands.
After WW1 the business declined and the site was vacated by the early 1980's.  It was after this that North Sydney council began the process of making it a public reserve.
The top sketch is an old boat house at Berry Bay where there seems to be a small marina.

This is a view looking south toward the city.  Blues Point tower is the high building and you can see Harbour bridge pylons behind the red brick buildings.
It's a lovely place.