I thoroughly enjoyed my day in Oatlands, Tasmania, about an hour’s drive from Hobart. The town is packed with gorgeous scenes, surprises, and history. The Georgian architecture, sculptures, rock walls and gardens are such a treat for the eyes.
Along High Street (the main street through Oatlands) there are gorgeous houses and gardens.
The cafe has a wonderful outside seating area, including an abundance of fruit trees and this cool stork sculpture.
Further down High Street, there’s another stork sculpture!
The Oatlands Court House was built in 1829. Many death sentences were handed out here however, all but eighteen were later commuted to life sentences. The eighteen men were executed in the nearby jail. One poor soul was innocent of the murder he was convicted of, but it was too late for him. The real murderer confessed of his ill-deed on his death bed. Solomon Blay, who resided in Oatlands, was the executioner for Oatlands, Launceston and Hobart.
We visited the remnants of the heritage listed jail in Oatlands. Oatlands was established as a military garrison in 1827 and was the primary military outpost in inland Tasmania. Over the next decade, close to 90 buildings were constructed in the town using convict labour, including the court house, soldiers’ barracks, watch house, and officers’ quarters. Today, the town has one of the largest collections of intact Georgian architecture in Australia.
Completed in 1835, the Oatlands Gaol was designed to hold over 200 prisoners but was never fully occupied. Used as a military gaol and municipal prison until 1936, the complex was closed and largely demolished in 1937. The gaol’s main use since the 1950s has been as the site of Oatlands’ municipal swimming pool. https://www.southernmidlands.tas.gov.au/oatlands-gaol/
You can pick up a key from the Oatlands council building that gives you access to three buildings, the gaol, courthouse and the commissariat https://www.southernmidlands.tas.gov.au/oatlands-commissariat/ The council had had some reports about problems with the electronic key and I could confirm that there are problems. Only one out of the three keys worked.
The block of land that these cottages stand on was granted to John Goulder, a freed convict in 1839. Goulder settled here in 1832and built a large weatherboard house. By 1839, he had fenced his land with stone walling and built another house, a two-storey house with 8 rooms and outbuildings. In 1940, he bought the Kentish Arms and continued to expand his real estate portfolio. He died in 1880 and by 1885 the original stone house was replaced by these cottages. It is believed that the materials from the original house were used in the construction of the cottages.
Near these two cottages is this building. I found the three different materials used to make this three-in-one type of building intriguing. There’s stone, pressed tin and wood.
We also visited the lovely Weaver’s Cottages Studio. They want to stock some of my cards and prints. 😊
Visitors coming into Oatlands from the opposite direction that we entered, are welcomed by cool cow sculptures in Lake Dulverton. May be they are possibly trying to convey that … if you find yourself knee-deep in water, be like the cow and stay calm??? Do you think?? Well, cows used to roam the streets and wander down to the lake to eat the native grasses. Apparently, collecting the family cow from the lake was an after school chore assigned to the children in Oatlands. https://www.southernmidlands.tas.gov.au/cows-in-lake-sculpture/
Of course, you can’t visit Oatlands and miss the windmill that stands out proud and tall on the landscape.
If you’re driving up the Midland Highway in Tasmania, I recommend that you take the time to turn off and visit enchanting Oatlands.
This is the view I decided that I would attempt to draw. Note the Cormorant standing on the rock near the shore and the pelican in the middle-ground approaching.
There was some drama on the water while sketching. A pelican made a b-line for a Cormorant standing on a rock, minding its own business. It had to make a quick exit along with the seagulls! I thought the pelican was going to try to eat it!
There was a very friendly magpie on the scene too.
I hope everybody has also had an enjoyable Sunday and that the upcoming week goes well for all.
The drawing 100 people in five days challenge has come and gone. I have come close to drawing 100 people in the past but have never quite got over the line. Last year, I didn’t even attempt it and the same almost happened this year. But I attended the Summer Salt Music Festival, in Hobart, Tasmania’s Botanical Gardens https://summersaltmusic.com.au/past-events/hobart/ on Friday, March 12th that coincided with the 100 people challenge. So, while standing in line, I pushed myself to start drawing people. I drew 22 people and then it just got too dark to see. Also, once seated, there were mainly backs of heads to draw, which didn’t inspire me very much.
I won’t bore you with all 22 drawings because frankly most of them are pretty ordinary. I’ve chosen what I think are the best of the lot.
This gothic young woman was sitting fairly close to us. I found her a great person to sketch with her thick, dark long eyelashes, nose ring, lip stud, lacy black top, black skirt and black hat.
I drew her again when she was holding onto her bare foot. Her friend beside her was eating slices of salami,
The live music was awesome as I hope the start of your week has been.
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.
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.
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.
…. and the finished wonky attempt.
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)
I love Opossum Bay, located in southern Tasmania. I feel like I’ve travelled to another part of the world but it’s only about a 25 minute drive from my house, and the drive is picturesque too.
The stand-out house for me at Opossum Bay is this quirky lighthouse house. Through the darkened lower windows you can catch glimpse of a large wooden boat with a mermaid-like figurehead. It looks impressive from a distance so I can only imagine how much more so close up.
I was keen to try to draw the lighthouse house. I struggled with the perspective but it was still fun to try.
There were a variety of seagulls enjoying the bay too.
I’ve started celebrating my birthday a week early by meeting up with friends to sketch, followed by lunch. I was royally spoiled by receiving a painting of hedges (special significance because a while ago we went around photographing hedges of substance in New Town) and a smooth flowing, beautiful handling fude pen.
We went to Bedford Street, New Town, Tasmania to sketch, which apparently was named after Eleanor Bedford, who was the wife of somebody who subdivided the land in the 1840s. For an interesting read about New Town’s street name history check out this article: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/05/20/3222620.htm
This house was built in 1905.
Roseville, on the other side of the street, is a huge, ornate house.
It is rare that I draw and paint a picture in plein air. Usually I do the drawing outside and the painting inside, but this time I did it all outside in the breeze and while the birds tweeted the entire time. The tweet-tweets from the birds helped to make it feel really relaxing.
I have planned a few other events that involve drawing for my birthday . Fun-fun, here I come!
Take care and I hope you’re able to carve some fun activities into this week.
I teach academic writing, normally in a classroom, face-to-face with students, but now, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, I’m trying to do it via online, while developing content for the online platform. There’s a lot of sitting involved with the marking of assignments, phoning students, online development and delivery. Then for a break, I sit and paint.
Sometimes you just have to get out of the house and away from sitting, sitting, sitting. So, that’s what I did. I thought I might be able to squeeze a sketch in before it got dark. So, at around 4:30ish pm, I sketched this house while “sitting” in the car. (I went for a walk this morning to help combat the too-much-sitting problem). It’s in the Sandy Bay area, around the University of Tasmania. I forgot to take note of the street but I think it is Duke Street??
I used my usual approach to sketch this house. I firstly used a coloured water colour pencil, then ink and then painted it at home. I don’t usually do cars so I left them unfinished. I was noticing in the photo that there are a lot of overhead wires, I wonder if it would add interest or detract from the drawing?? What do you think??
I hope that you get a chance to get out and enjoy some nature.
After Friday’s inspirational walk in Lenah Valley, besotted by hedges, I wanted to re-visit a well-known hedge in my neighbourhood.
I got up early on Saturday morning and set out with my sketching gear. It was a balmy 4 degrees when I left the house and as I was making my way down to this house, I spotted a familiar friend, the Bridgewater Jerry.
During the winter, the Bridgewater Jerry occurs, on average, once or twice a week. Tasmanians like to think it is unique but in reality a lot of places around the world experience similar fogs, it is just that we have named ours. It is believed the term “jerry’’ came from London where it was thieves’ slang for mist or fog and the term was transported to Tasmania with the convicts.
This weekend’s fog had fuzzy edges but sometimes the edges are so sharp and crisp, giving it such an amazing 3-D appearance of a ribbon curving and winding its way in front of kunyani. It looks so incredible that I forget to take a photo of it each time!
At night, in the cooler months, cold air drains down the mountains and collects in the Derwent Valley. Fog will form if this air is moist and cool enough. Then Bridgewater Jerry drains out of the valley in the mornings. The fog mainly affects the Derwent, northern and western suburbs of Hobart, but occasionally it reaches the Eastern Shore. I have seen it once travel all the way across the river to Tranmere.
Some of the hedges I saw reminded me of the Crocodile Dundee knife scene, “You call that a hedge? This is a hedge!”
There is a house along the Esplanade and Derwent River in Bellerive that is referred to the “wave-hedge house’.
My fingers were numb so I sketched it as fast as I could and painted it when I got home.
I wanted to exaggerate the colour of the hedge, almost give it a bit of an abstract look and make the hedge the dominant feature of the painting. I wish I had drawn it from a more side on angle… another time.