Friday, 29 April 2016

Tamarama and Bronte beaches

I took a day off to recuperate from three days of sketching with Urban Sketchers.  No rest though, as I went to a couple of eastern suburbs beaches.  First sketch (below)  was Bronte beach and then walked along the first headland to Tamarama (above). An absolutely beautiful day!


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Hyde Park Barracks


Urban Sketchers met at Hyde Park Barracks on Sunday morning.  After a very cold and wet day on Saturday it was wonderful to sit in the sun sketching this wonderful building. This was designed by the convict architect Francis Greenway between 1818 and 1819 and was originally built to house convict men and boys.   It seemed like the church bells would never end between the surrounding cathedral and churches.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Cockatoo Island Biennale


Urban Sketchers Sydney are getting together for four days.  There are sixty of us from Sydney, it's surrounds and interstate.  Yesterday we went to Cockatoo Island where the Biennale is currently exhibiting.  The sketch above is one of the installations by Xu Zheng.

The weather was wicked, cold, windy and raining on and off.  We hid in corners and under eaves trying to stay dry but often not succeeding. Here are a couple of sketches from the island which holds its remanents of an industrial past.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Back to Coogee Surf club


I spent some time at Coogee surf club recently but got rained out.  I returned since then on a warm and sunny day but moved over to the shade.  Quite a few people stopped to talk to me and have a look at the sketch progressing.  A lovely day!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Gates to Sydney Botanic Gardens


I joined my friends from Sydney Sketch club, at the gates of Sydney Botanic Gardens yesterday to do what we do...sketch.
The Botanic gardens here are Australia 's oldest scientific institution, built in 1816.  There are 74 acres of beautiful gardens, ponds and structures right next to the harbour.  It is open every day and free.

In this sketch the gates are to my right and I am looking toward the Art Gallery of NSW.

Quick sketch of the gallery.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Day Charles and Ray came to Earlwood


I recently toured the Tuck House in Gordon (northern suburb of Sydney) which was designed by the architect Harry Seidler in the 1950's. The current owner entertained Harry  and his wife several times after she took possession of the home.  She described his comments and conversation about the house which, of course, was fascinating 
This made me think what it would be like to have Charles and Ray Eames over for a cuppa and see the Eames coffee table which has recently come into my possession.  I would have them sitting in the red wool mid century basket chairs made by Knoll.  They might recognise a few of their friends and collegue's work which I am lucky enough to have. We would have tea and some yummy dessert and I'm telling you, I would be in HEAVEN!
Charles was an architect and his wife, Ray, was a painter.  Together they were a powerhouse in creativity. They not only designed furniture but also made films, sculptures, installations, commercials and houses.  They were interested in ideas, in experimentation and most of all, in fun.  This all took place in USA from the 1940's until Charles's death in the 1980's.
My coffee table was the result of experimenting with plywood in order to bend it.  During the war they experimented, developed ideas and ended up producing wooden splints by the thousand for the war effort. Afterwards Charles and Ray returned to designing furniture, using what they have learned from the splints.


Well, although Charles and Ray are no longer able to pop round for a cuppa, I can imagine them while I enjoy my new coffee table which is very, very special.... well to me anyway.

Saturday, 9 April 2016



Sydney sketch club went further a field, travelling south to Mittagong.  We went to an abandoned industrial site of multiple buildings in a rural setting owned by Tooth and Co.  Tooth and Co was one of this state's major beer brewers from the 1930s to the 1980s.  At this site they produced the malt for their breweries.  The sketch above is a tiny part of one of the very large buildings.  You can see the roof is very damaged, althou the the building itself seems very sturdy.  

A few of my friends sketching.


After lunch we stayed in the town of Mittagong to do another sketch.  This is the police station.  The tree was beautiful.

A great day at  the fascinating "Mittagong Maltings".

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Moore Park Entertainment Quarter


This is the Hoyts theatre at Moore Park.  This area was formally owned by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and  is where the annual agricultural show was held.  Everyone calls it the Easter Show and is where the country comes to the city.  In 1998 the show moved to Homebush and this area was redeveloped into Fox Studios and Entertainment quarter.  There are produce markets held here as well as restaurants, bars, shops, function centre, sporting facilities, parkland, playground and movies.
Sketch club came to Moore Park over the Easter weekend.  I sat under an awning on a slightly rainy day to sketch Hoyts.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Saturday at Pyrmont


Pyrmont is a harbourside suburb which has been redeveloped over recent decades.  This area was once an important part of Sydney's industrial waterfront with wharves, ship building, factories and wool stores.  Now there is a casino, restaurants, residential and parkland.  Sydney Urban sketchers came here today and many of us stayed all day.

This building has an industrial feel but expensive real estate now.

This is a view of Barangaroo, an urban redevelopment which continues.