Urban Sketch

I felt so inspired and motivated when I left the house but once I arrived at our monthly Hobart urban sketch meet, the inspiration had exited somewhere along the way. I wandered around looking and discounting buildings: too complicated, will take too long, too exposed to the wind, too cold, no where to sit and more excuses were applied to the various sites under consideration.

I finally settled on drawing the entrance of the newly opened hotel on Murray Street, in the city. I drew it standing up with my book awkwardly balancing on my open left hand. The unsteadiness of the book contributed to looseness and wobbliness of the lines. Usually I avoid including cars, but because this one was blocking part of the view of the entrance, I felt compelled to attempt drawing it.

My approximately half an hour drawing of 12 Murray Street, Hobart, Tasmania
I drew some loose guide lines with a watercolour pencil and then drew the rest with a Fude pen.

Wishing you an inspiring week.

Cheers, from Patricia (PJ)

Government House Urban Sketching Day

We were lucky enough to have an urban sketching meet-up on the grounds of the Government House in Hobart, Tasmania, thanks to Dennis Pang for organising.

https://www.govhouse.tas.gov.au/gallery/history

My usual approach to tackling a building when I’m drawing on location is to start with some loose guidelines using a coloured watercolour pencil and then adding ink. Usually I add the watercolour paint at home.

a section at the back of Government House
photo of the section I attempted to draw on the day

When I attempted to draw this front part of the Government House, I flipped my approach and went with paint first. It looked terrible but it is surprising how much it improves when you add ink. I worked into the picture at home with an Artline pen.

Government House tower

It was a lovely and fun day. I hope I have the opportunity to draw on the grounds of the Government House again.

Thanks for visiting and take care

Urban sketching in North Hobart

For today’s urban sketch meet we met at a funky little cafe in North Hobart called Pigeon Hole Cafe. Our small group of eight sketchers dispersed and drew a variety of buildings and houses. The hills and slopes added an extra level of perspective-challenge.

A church built into the slope across the street from the cafe where we met

I chose to undertake this challenge on Goulburn Street. I liked that I could see a little of kunanyi/Mt Wellington just peeking over the roof of the building.

building built in 1924 on Goulburn Street, North Hobart, Tasmania

This is what I drew and started painting outside before I decided it was time to seek warmth and a well deserved cup of coffee.

plein air

…. and the finished wonky attempt.

a Goulburn Street building

I hope that everybody has had a lovely weekend and wish you an equally lovely upcoming week.

Thanks for dropping in for a read. Cheers, Patricia (PJ)

Franklin Square

On the second Sunday of the month, the Hobart Sketchers group meet at a chosen location and we sketch. Today we sketched in Franklin Square which is in the city of Hobart, about a block from the water of the Derwent River. We each sought a shady spot and drew.

I focused on the Elizabeth Street Post Office’s tower. I took this photo from where I was seated to do my drawing.

The drawing and painting that I did in 1 hour and 10 minutes. A large blob of ink unexpectedly came out on the right side of the dome, where I wanted to leave white paper, as this was where the light/sun was hitting it. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to capture the light on the dome.

The statue of Sir John Franklin, husband of Jane Franklin, is in the foreground. The power couple came to Tasmania in 1837, when Tasmania was called Van Diemen’s Land. They intended to bring culture and improvements to the penal colony. She established the Lady Franklin Gallery that today is again the home of the Tasmanian Art Society. The gallery has had a bumpy ride and even served as an apple storage shed for a period of time. It is a Greek style building that looks a little out of place in the Hobart suburbs. An ABC reporter asked and answered the question Why there’s a Greek-style building at the back of Lenah Valley? https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-17/history-of-lenah-valleys-greek-style-lady-franklin-gallery/9054468 tm

A front view of Sir John Franklin. I like the way the photograph has captured and frozen the water spray.
Here’s a link if you’d like to learn more about this couple’s time in Tasmania. https://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/F/John%20and%20Jane%20Franklin.h

Thanks for visiting and I hope you are able to make time to draw. It is so much fun!

Magical Corinna

I have been living in Tasmania for 25 years and have not properly explored the north west coast of the island and there are so many hidden gems! One being Corinna. All the accommodation in Corinna (it’s a popular destination!) was booked out weeks in advance, so I was only able to spend a day there. https://corinna.com.au/ It is a small, historical and isolated settlement (no wi-fi, petrol station, shops and the like) nestled along the Pieman River.

Corinna, once a thriving gold mining town, is rich with history and stories. Its ancient forests, originally housing Aboriginal hunter-gatherer society, now provides the backdrop to a largely undisturbed village as when the Europeans explored and prospected here.

After a long and bumpy drive from Arthur River, the first stop was the cafe, which is also the shop, accommodation reception, where you purchase barge ride tickets and more.

The one and only shop/cafe/reception and the like

From the window seat, I started to sketch the first cottage in view, which I later discovered was the Old Pub. I doesn’t look like what I imagine a pub would look like!

my sketch of the pub from the Corinna cafe
The Old Pub, Corinna Tasmania

Apparently it was quite a rowdy place!

After a meal, I started exploring Corinna on foot.

old petrol bowser
One of the many accommodation cottages
The Butcher Shop that is next door to the Old Pub
Another shot of the Butcher Shop. It has the coolest chimney!
The Butcher Shop. I’ve never seen a chimney like this one!
some of the characters and stories of Corinna
The Great Western. The whole time I was drawing this building, there was a pademelon chomping away. It’s difficult to see in the photo, but it is on our right side of the building, in the grass.
I drew in the pademelon at The Great Western, Corinna

We did an hour and a half walk in the beautiful Tarkine Rainforest and visited a patch where the crayfish burrow. There are boat cruises, canoeing and more adventures to be had in Corinna. https://www.discovertasmania.com.au/about/regions-of-tasmania/west-coast/corinna

crayfish burrows

Then it was sadly time to depart, using the Fatman Barge transport novelty ($28 per car). It only fits two vehicles at a time on it, less if they are pulling a boat or trailer.

The only Stop sign in Corinna
Corinna humour
The barge coming to collect us
being transported across Pieman River. Bye-bye Corinna 😦

Thanks for visiting and I hope that you enjoyed the short tour of Corinna, Tasmania.

Cheers from Patricia Hopwood-Wade http://www.pjpaintings.com

More information about Corinna, Tasmania

Love, love, love Venice!

Words and photos cannot do Venice justice.  It is magical, ancient and charming. I would love to be able to do an art residency here. Imagine that!!! For me, that would bring the saying “I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven” to reality.

Venice Grand Canal
Venice, Grand Canal

At every turn, when meandering through Venice, there’s a building or scene that I would LOVE to paint.

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Scuola Grande Di San Rocco, Venice

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My drawing of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco

During our wanders, a set of magnets caught my eye. The shopkeeper asked if I spoke French?  I said, “yes” and we then conversed in French because French is easier than English for her because French and Italian languages are like cousins she explained.

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Magnets by Amarnata De Francisci

There was a “no China” sign in the shop.  She explained that most magnets sold in Venice are made in China but these are Italian, painted by the Italian artist Amaranta De Francisci. That’s what attracted me to these magnets. I could see that they were not made in China. I love this Italian artist’s work and I also came to the realisation that I love speaking my first language, French.   The past few years, I’ve been semi-regularly practising my French by Googling sites that list common French phrases. It has helped rejuvenate my French, that, and my quite regular conversations with French speaking tourists at Salamanca Market, and now, in Italy.

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one of the many gorgeous handbags

There are beautiful shops with quality craftsmen here. I saw a pair of exquisitely crafted, ankle height, red leather boots to die for. Unfortunately we couldn’t stop to shop. When I went back the next day, there was a thick metal shutter hiding them out of sight. 😞😞 I wanted to at least get a photo of them. There are so many amazing leather goods, clothing, masks, quills and ink nib pens, and food, and prices are better than in Tasmania, Australia. Tasmania is an expensive island to live on.

I loved everything about Venice, even the chorus of suitcases rattling over the cobblestones, which usually started at 3 am in the morning.  Venice, I hope I will be back again to spend more time with you. 💙💜💚💛

Ideal working conditions – not

Today was our second day in Venice, Italy, and words or photographs cannot do it justice.  It is just stunning here.

Annette and I hit the cobblestones early this morning, with our art gear and set ourselves up in front of the Scuola Grande Di San Rocco.  This building is massive, intricate and complex.  The man sitting at the front, helps in showing how big this building is.

 

 

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Scuola Grande Di San Rocco in Venice, Italy

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Side view of the Scuola Grande Di San Rocco showing how much the columns protrude from the building

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Ornate columns of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco

One of the things that makes urban sketching so challenging is the working conditions are usually less than ideal. You are outdoors, contending with heat or wind and insects, you’re not sitting comfortably if you’re sitting, often you’re standing, you’re balancing a sketch pad, trying to draw straightish lines without having your arm on a surface and usually you have a short period of time to capture the scene on paper. But it is these difficulties which help to create loose and lively artwork.  The charm of an urban sketch is its wonkiness, looseness and liveliness.

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Sketched in plein air with a blue watercolour pencil

At the hotel, I used an Artline 0.1 pen to add outlines and then applied watercolour. From the photo I couldn’t see what colours the square, circle and rectangular shapes were, nor could I remember. So, back I went wandering through the streets of Venice (such a hardship! -not!!!) and took note of the colours and also noticed the pattern in front of the door that I had not seen earlier.

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I added outlines with an Artline pen and then painted with watercolours

Tomorrow we’re jumping on a train to Vicenza, Italy to attend the Meet ‘n Greet start of Liz Steel’s Urban Sketching workshop. Woo-hoo!