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.
The first stop in Italy is historic Bologna (actually every town and city in Italy is historic!).
We got caught out again with going to a restaurant and after eating finding out that they didn’t accept credit cards. Two years ago, when Annette and I were in Italy for Liz Steel’s Urban Sketching workshop, we got good at asking beforehand. While waiting in the restaurant, I started practicing drawing arches.
The city is full of arches, providing constant undercover walkways for pedestrians, which came in handy as it was rainy and cold. I had to buy myself a cardigan to help me cope with the fresh temperatures. The shop keeper said that she has been selling an extra lot of warm clothing as many visitors, like me, have been caught out.
I tried to draw more of these tricky things at the University of Bologna, the oldest continuous operating university of the world, being founded in 1088 by an organised guild of students for students.
This building is the Teatro Comunale in Bologna.
I also tried to draw one of the views from the apartment window which looked onto the Piazza dell Agosto.
Thanks for stopping by and I wish everybody a gentle Sunday, whether you’re a mother, or haven’t been a mother, or have loss a child or mother, I hope the day is kind to you.
For over 100 years, the crowded working-class cottages in Arthur Circus housed large families whose livelihoods were reliant on the waterfront. Each cottage is now valued over $1,000,000. It is a postcode held in high esteem, close to the city, waterfront, and in such a quaint, well-kept, prestigious, historical suburb of Hobart, Tasmania.
Arthur Circus is located in Battery Point. Battery point derived its name from the presence of a battery of cannons placed around the shoreline to protect the Hobart coastline. The cottages surrounded the village green of Arthur Circus, where children used to gather in the 1930s to play marbles, were built for officers of the garrison. When the cottages were originally built in the 1800s, they probably consisted of just two main rooms. Who knows, maybe a clown or two visited visited the grassy area to join in with birthday celebrations. I like Tasmanian’s cartoonist, Kudelka’s Arthur Circus’ cartoon.
They are in stark contrast to some of the extravagant houses in the Battery Point neighbourhood, many that, including the Arthur Circus’ cottages, are heritage listed by the National Trust.
A grand house very close to Battery Point and my attempt at drawing it. I completely got the lean wrong, I drew it learning the opposite direction it should be leaning!
Arthur Circus is reportedly the only street named “Circus” in Australia. Given the shape of the street, one would think it would have been named Arthur Circle. But, in fact, “Circus” is an appropriate name for this special place because apparently “circus”, in Latin means “circle”, a round open space at a street junction. Piccadilly Circus in London is a busy meeting place, and Arthur Circus seems to serve much the same purpose, especially with urban sketchers as many, many artists paint these cute cottages, and this is where our Urban Sketch Weekend commenced!
Yours truly, sketching in Arthur Circus, before we sought refuge from the rain and wind.
Friday, June 23rd, urban sketchers from Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart met and began sketching in Arthur Circus.
The weather started off promising but soon the rains came so we were in and out of cafes, dodging the rain for most of the day. Regardless, it was such fun and some great sketches were produced.
The day consisted of fabulous food, conversations and sharing.
I ordered, drew and ate a chocolate eclair.
In the evening, there was laughter and joy, as we challenged ourselves to 5-minute portrait sketches of each other. It was timed, and exactly 5 minutes per sketch and not one second more! This was a first for me and, I must say, I loved it!
We took home the mini-portraits of ourselves. A nice souvenir of a fabulous and memorable day spent in picturesque Battery Point, Tasmania.
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.
At every turn, when meandering through Venice, there’s a building or scene that I would LOVE to paint.
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.
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.
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. 💙💜💚💛
Despite Annette and I somewhat struggling with jetlag, we hit the cobblestones determined to do some urban sketching. We weren’t quite brave enough to bring our stools out and set ourselves up in the midst of the crowds but we did some sketching standing up. I actually did three and will try to finish them off. This is the first drawing that I’ve finished. It is a scene I came across in my wanders in absolutely stunning Venice. The back of these buildings were very close to the Grand Canal. I used a Lami Fountain pen. When I applied watercolour, the ink ran and I lost some of my detail work. 😞
Note to Self: Do not ink the whole drawing when using a Lami Fountain Ink Pen because the ink bleeds way too much!!! Ink the windows, under side of eaves and so on, but not areas where I want light and clean colours. For example, the dome and the patterned eaves. The dome ended up being much darker then intended and I lost the beautiful patterning of the eaves. The top of the dome was virtually a silvery, tinged with turquoise colour. Next time, note-to-self-person, paint the dome and eaves first, then apply the ink. Got it, hope I remember.
When we were leaning against the wall, sketching, a man set up his easel and a lady sat herself on a stool behind us and started sketching. Before we left, I introduced myself and found that the couple knew very little English. Actually the woman knew no English and the gentleman very little. He told me that they were from Belgium but now living in Montreal, Canada. We then had a quite pleasant conversation in French and exchanged our emigration stories.
Hopefully Annette and I sleep well tonight so that we can make an early urban sketching start tomorrow with our urban sketching stools.