Sunday, December 31, 2006

Steam cockle train

This is what I had hoped to get up last night, somehow the foreshortening of the engine isnt quite right, actually the whole thing was harder to do than I thought and although I thought I had time to do it, suddenly it was going and I forgot to turn my camera on so had nothing to refer to.
The foal who had colic suddenly was a lot better after the vet had been and although I was up every 2 hours through the night was brighter everytime I saw her. Another, I think our last foal was born last night too on one of my forays down to the stable I looked in the paddock and there he was. Yes he, another colt. I think that makes about 10 colts and 3 or 4 fillies. I need to check my foal book.
Happy New Year to everyone, I am baking a herb loaf of bread and have made the cold cucumber soup. We are going to friends and we all bring something. Heating up at the moment.
No New Year resolutions, it is hard enough sketching everyday for any more!

Saturday, December 30, 2006


aThis is a drift wood and found metal snapper made by Indiana Jones on Kangaroo Island.
I was going to do the steam train we saw while in Victor for a coffee but I came home to a distressed foal with either a blockage or colic and had to get the vet out and that has taken ages.
Not sure of the prognosis I am up to do this and eat and then down to watch her.

Friday, December 29, 2006


I did these using the inktense Derwent water colour pencils, I think they came out a bit brighter than I wanted, but then its better than being wishy washy.
I have spent a mostly boring day shopping, cooking and cleaning. Then I hope I can spend some time for me.
We picked some plums and I have stewed them, I am waiting for the parrots to come and clean us out of fruit but the gum trees are all flowering like mad so mostly they are in them. I wonder if the gums are flowering because they are worried they may die like so many in our scrub.
Getting hotter and a bit humid, came back from walking the dogs a bit hot and bothered. One mare still to foal and I hope within the week.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

View from the Penneshaw house

This is what we saw every day when sitting in the house at Penneshaw, a few pots in front of the windows , quite often a boat trawling in the bay and the mainland across the water. Absolute magic.
I have of course vaguely indicated the road, the agapanthus and left out the roof of the house to the left!
Tony F, I am sad to hear you are carting water but we gathered that was what was happening on most of the north coast. Marron? Perhaps one day we can meet and have some, not that they are my favorite crutacean but then again they dont often come my way!
We are heading up for 40 degrees next Thursday, I think the day I am going to Adelaide, typical.
Today was more boring washing and cleaning after a delightful night at D'Arrys 80th and a wonderful night and morning spent with the Johnstons in their lovely house, came home and decided mine was disgusting but it looks better tonight.
A long walk with the dogs checking water in troughs, they didnt enjoy it and I am not sure I did either, the flies are getting bad again.
I can look at this sketch and dream.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas on Kangaroo Island

This is a bit of a composite of all the strange creatures who come with me to the Island, Some I have made and some friends have made. The tree is surrounded in a collection of bathing beauties or exercise freaks, the very odd collection of Father Christmases that have taken my fancy over the years, the carol singers, angels, stars, nativity scene, candles etc.
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, we certainly managed to relax, walk, catch up with friends, eat good food and drink good wine and I thought came home fitter and less uptight but getting home and unpacking seems to make it all seem far away.
We got off the ferry yesterday, I was damp and frozen, 13 degrees on the Cape Jervis wharf, having sat out all the way home as I usually do, so as not to get sea sick, she rolled a bit but I was ok, the Island disapeared into the mist and light rain and the mainland appeared the sam way.
Up to Pt Willung to a friends boxing day lunch lovely a walk on the beach and some beach cricket and then home to collect the cat and unpack.
All is back in place now but we have to go to McLaren Vale for a friends 80th birthday this evening he is one of Johns fishing mates and a good friend and a wine maker so it should be a good evening.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cast iron gate

I think I originally thought this was a wrought iron gate until I realised my mistake and it is cast. I went to visit a friend yesterday and we spent about an hour out looking at her ponies and this was on the entrance to one of her neighbours properties so as it was a different gate I sketched it. My friends think I am very strange. The entrance as you can see has two gates, the old original one and then a younger more modern style welded up and added so thar large machinery can get through. While I am about it I should draw some stock ramps. I love these cast gates but we have none. Hmm wonder where I can find one!
No more sketches up until I get back from Kangaroo Islans around the 26th but with the new lap top will be able to keep in contact. Seasons greetings to you all and stay safe and happy.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

One Wise man

I am having a few problems with the finger I tried to take the top off, what with that and a hot and busy day in Adelaide yesterday, I am afraid you get one of the 3 wise men that was in the Christmas pageant today, We have someone who gives camel rides on the beach and the three big camels very phlegmatically took part in the pageant, this was the last one, actually a composite of 3 as my sketching was done under pressure and camels are not as easy as they look! Instead of shops I transplanted a couple of palm trees.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Another gate

This gate has some colour added, somehow I like the ones with no colour better. But it does give the impression of seeing through the gate. This is the one to the stallion paddock with the pine forest in the background. Done with pen and then water colour pencils.
Very cold overnight, warm days. Off to Adelaide delivering Christmas presents. Thursday seems not so far off now for Kangaroo Island. Sounds as if the weather may be cool with a possibility of some showers. I hope so.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Pageant

This was done last night in a great hurry and slightly touched up when I got home, we went in for a pre Christmas drink with friends in the town and then walked down to see the pageant, bigger and better than ever and I tried to get this done with people jostling me. The final float with the band in front, managed one man! and the big truck with Father Christmas and the fairy on the rocking horse, not sure why but we always seem to have a fairy on a horse.
We then wandered down the main street meeting friends and some family and on to the pub for a meal and walk up the hill in the dark to friends house and our car and home. I tried to take some photos but ran out of battery so I will see what I got. A great community night.
Had a giggle at our new Mayor wearing next to nothing and the Mayoral Chain, she is going to be different, but at least she is enthusiastic and willing to join in, not like the last one.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Finally some colour

I finally had time to paint the sketch I had done a few days ago of the Willunga hills and vineyards.
AND I am back on the old keyboard and computer and feel so much more comfortable, I really fought with the laptop last night and lost my other blog entry four times and then it published it when it shouldnt have. The joys of the computer.
Everything is a mad rush at the moment and I know this is a bit of a cheat on my walking and sketching but it is a change from gates, more of those to come!
I promise I have been walking but the flies are now back and I hate drenching myself in fly away or whatever before I walk, I dont think it is good for me, and any way, do you really want cow pats, stones and dry ground?
This painting really looked good when I stood a bit away from it, not quite so good close up but I love it, didnt in my wildest dreams ever think I would be able to paint anything like this.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Cocky gate

I said I was going to do gates! This is a dreaded cocky gate, dreaded because whatever you did you managed to pinch your fingers both opening and closing it, and as it had two barb wires it inevitably fell on your feet and tore your pants as it went down. Called a cocky gate because in the old days that was all a poor "cocky" (farmer) could afford. Usually from the malee where times were hard. I had trouble finding one still on the place as with the advent of large tractors they have all been replaced.
Basically it was like a piece of fence with a dropper to hold it up in the middle and a length of wood or pipe, attached to a wire, that went around the strainer post and back onto the gate, held to it with a circle of wire on the top barb.
Yesterday we had rain, lovely gentle rain, only 4 mm but wonderful, cool, clean and smelling wonderful. Now to get some more, which doesnt look as if it will happen for a while unfortunatly.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pot plant

This is a large pot of succulents on my front terrace, It may survive. Part of my evening ritual at the moment is watering the pots, it probably doesnt come under walking but at the moment I walk the dogs aroung the paddock out the back, and feed three ponies by the back gate, do the rounds of hoses that I can turn on in the 2 acres of garden that probably wont ssurvive. Then I water the pots, and that may be all that I keep, the big pots who have more hope of survival than the small ones. I noticed this morning that all the more advanced mulberries on the tree have shrivelled in last weeks heat. Summer pudding made with mulberries is just the best so I hope the ones that were less advanced may ripen, if the birds dont get them first.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I think this may be the first in a series of gates. I open and shut at least four gates when I walk the dogs at night and it suddenly struck me that they are all slightly different. This is an older version of the normal gate with electric fence on either side. These gate posts were made from timber cut on the property, pink gum I would guess.
I am having trouble facing the dryness of our countryside at the moment and keep trying to find something that looks a bit different.
They are forecasting rain today or tonight, only 2 - 5 mm but I will be glad of any, 5 would be nice, but so often we miss out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Palm tree

These big palms are a part of the Victor Harbor landscape, many planted along the main roads in the centre of town and with the Norfolk Island pines on the beach side. I even have one that came up as a seedling in our back garden.
This one tops the two storey bank building by the railway tracks opposite my second favorite coffee shop.The other night we watched some teen agers having a massive sword fight with a couple of the fronds! They rustle quite alarmingly in a high wind.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Abalone shells

It was cooler in Victor in the afternoon yesterday but still hot and humid and uncomfortable at home so we went in to walk on the beach. I found these Abalone shells, only very small black lipped ones but they have the prettiest insides.
Back in the days when we were diving and there were no such things as permits for taking abalone we used to feast on them. They are wonderful sliced thinly and fried in olive oil with milled black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Food for the Gods. Shows my age too.
The beach we walked on had a dead whale wash ashore on it when we were first married, and I remember we went down to look at it. In those days, well over 40 years ago whales were a rarity in the area, not like now when they are a regular occurrence and I think the whole district turned out to look. It was a huge southern right and I think they had to bury the carcass which must have been a job and a half.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


This tap with its brass bird as a handle has been much used in the past few days. I have been filling a bowl with a rock in it for the small and sometimes the larger birds to get water.
It was sooo hot yesterday, well over 40 degrees and the garden was shrivelling almost before my eyes.
The water I put out for the birds was also going fast.
too hot to do anything, but a pleasant evening in Victor with friends where the temps were 10 degrees cooler.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shopping mall lunch

we have just got a new computer, a lap top for John and at the moment that is what we are on, I hate typing on a flat bed, I keep hitting all the wrong things and I think I am too low. I also used the new scanner and have managed to get this very quick sketch on an angle, there were so many people when we finally stopped for lunch between visiting my mother and the dentist, we were going forJapanese but it was very much a hybrid Japanese obento. Any way I tried to sketch people, something I do very badly and in public, dont mind doing it outside but inside I feel I am really being looked at. Oh dear now I have done something and my sketch has moved. I will stop in a minute, just to say that we had 40 degrees here today and looks like at least 41 tomorrow with high winds, we were going cockling but I think we need to be close to home. Everything in the garden has wilted and it is still too hot to water. Tiring.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Smokey Moon

Last night there was a full moon and it looked really strange as there had been a bad bushfire to the north of us and the smoke was making everything a bit hazy and odd looking.
Very hot and windy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Back Valley hills

I did this while I was out feeding ponies, it is looking across our sons property to the neighbours, once all of this was owned by us but not any more.
I was going to colour it but really the shade of brown becomes rather boring and I like the black and white at the moment.
The black dog has been sitting on my shoulder this week and I am finding it hard to get stuff done. I have been really pushing it as so much should be being done.
Today I go to a Christmas lunch, I hope that brightens my day.

Monday, December 04, 2006


With the drying weather and no subsoil the gum trees are losing their leaves in large numbers, the patterns they make are quite interesting and this is what I was looking at while walking last night.
I have a dreadful worry that we are going to lose a lot of old and mature trees this year and the gums on the hills faces will be particularly vulnerable. We lost a lot in the 1982/3 drought and this year is far far worse.
On a brighter note we went to the first of the Christmas parties for lunch yesterday, a gorgeous day, blue sky, not too hot and a breeze with lots of people to catch up with.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Across the railway tracks

Yesterday we wandered around Victor Harbor and I took some photos and did some sketching as well as a cup of coffee. The photo I took from almost the same place as this sketch is in my other blog.I hadnt realised quite how comples this bit of the back that no one goes to was, with a few old walls, old stone buildings, new, new apartments, and the imposing chimneys etc of Adare in the background on the hill. Adare was one of the stately homes so to speak but is now a Christian holiday camp for children. Some bits are a bit "sketchy" but I love doing scenes like this, they are a bit like a jigsaw.
I had a very depressed day yesterday so hence the walk and coffee, I dont know how John can keep on going without getting depressed but I am afraid I do, not helped by hearing that a friend of a friends husband has committed suicide on their property.
Blogger was being odd last night and I couldnt load any photos but after reading the help bit and clearing my cache in fireox it seems to be ok again.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Memory grove corner

While sitting in the car waiting to get Harry off the school bus I sketched this corner opposite. A shed, a very old holding yard one of the Memory Grove trees which is now huge and the sign post. Trees were planted along this little stretch of road to nowhere after I think the 2nd world war, maybe some from the 1st but I dont think so. Pine trees were planted, of course now some of them are betting old and dangerous so I dont know what will happen in the future. These were just the very local farmers boys who were lost not the big one in Victor.
I managed to collect Harry at 12.45 this morning I just hope I manage to do the same tonight, I feel rather weary.
Horrible day yesterday, my eyes are still full of dust, blew like mad and very dusty, a combination of dust and smoke made it look as if it might rain. No such luck.
The second cricket test is on in Adelaide, and according to the commentators it was a lovely day there so perhaps they didnt get the wind.
John describes watching cricket as worse than watching a hen laying contest, I must say yesterday was a bit slow I think the Brits want a draw after the first defeat.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Tree trunk

This interesting bit of tree comes from a huge callistemon near the house that is about35 years old. Lots of cracks and crevises but not the sort of bark you can peal off.
Yesterday was hot and windy, today a bit cooler but our morning started very early with the bellowing of cows. The fellow who was to milk them hadnt turned up, with son in law in Melbourne John had to contain them and then ring to find out what had gone wrong. At least there is someone there now and the dreadful bellowing has stopped.
I am getting lots of exercise feeding all the extra ponies and trying to find where taps for water are.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Willunga hills and Mclaren Vale vineyards

I drove up near Adelaide to do some shopping and always want to do this view that I see as I am driving home so I stopped and sketched it. One of the delights of living in this area, One day I would like to paint it but some how I am always in such a hurry.
Extra ponies to feed today so lots of extra walking as well as the usual with the dogs.
Harry to look after as well, and it is hot and windy again.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lone poplar

This huge poplar is growing in our house paddock. We planted this when we were first married, on the site of our then rubbish tip! That has since been filled in andwe now have our rubbish collected once a week, although there is a huge graveyard for old fencing wire and cars and sheets of metal in the middle of the property.
This was supposed to be a non suckering tree and for years it was but with the chemical weedspraying that is now done I notice that a few suckers come up now and then. They dont last long as the cows eat them.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ducks on the dam

I did this quick sketch while feeding one of the stallions in his paddock. There are lots of ducks on this dam, I think because the heifers are being fed grain nearby.
I used another pen and I dont think it was waterproof and I smudged it a bit when I came home and put on some watercolour pencils.
Getting hotter again today.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Rivington Shearing shed

We dont use the old shearing shed as such any more, sometimes it gets used as a storage area but I can remember when we had sheep and old Andrew our shepherd was always up at the shed, maintaining and repairing and the excitement of shearing, getting in the sheep and sorting them out. We only had a two stand shed as we only had a few hundred sheep but it was great fun to go and watch the shearers who were very quick and very rarely made a mistake and to help with the cleaning up of the fleece and the grading and then getting the wool bales all done for the next sale.
I like sheep much better than cows but the cows are supposed to make us some money. Sometimes I wonder.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fertiliser bin

I think that the people who supply us with bulk fertiliser have forgotten this bin as it has been standing in the paddock down by the road for weeks so I decided that I should have a go at sketching it. John told me I had the legs all wrong but from the angle that I was doing it they actually looked like that. He should know better!
We are both slowly getting better I think, any way my knees are not hurting as much and his cough isnt as bad.
It is amazing what I have drawn for this blog, and it seems to be getting harder and harder to find something new.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


One of our neighbours down the valley put in this pine plantation quite a few years ago and it always reminds me of castle battlements. I think I like it best when it is surrounded in mist and rain in winter but this evening they looked particularly black and threatening with the shadows running down the hill.
I had to add a bit of colour to relieve the sombre tones.
I did nothing but wash clothes and clean the house so was glad to sit for a few minutes during my walk to do this.

Friday, November 24, 2006

New Zealand Flax

I have several of these plants dotted around the garden as the birds love the nectar in the flowers. I also like them for basket making, if and when I ever have the time to get back to them, split fresh they are wonderful for binding. I pass this one as I leave the garden to go into the paddocks for my evening walk. It has grey bronze leaves as I couldnt find the ordinary old green one, so many with different coloured stripes these days.
One problem is that they like quite a lot of water. Certainly not our tight sand.
I have bought a new pack of black pitt pens, they are so hard to find here and while I was in Adelaide I walked into the little art supply shop on the way between my mother and the hairdresser and there they were so this was a good excuse to try them.
My knees are still being a problem and my back as well, getting old is a b...!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


We had to go to Adelaide, very briefly as it turned out and I did this house while waitng for John to have his hair cut. He is still not at all well but says that he is getting on top of it. I tried to see my mother and the nursing home had big signs up to say that they had a gastric attack, and again it was in her wing and she had it, so I dont know what is going on. I couldnt see her but left flowers.
I rather liked this old house needing some tender loving care.
We came home and both of us collapsed in a heap. My knees have decided to kill me again, not sure if it is because we had a cool change or from all the standing on Sunday. I still have to walk the dogs and check the mares and foals tho'.
I have suddenly realised how close to Christmas we are and I have a very full calender and no presents even thought about.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Rock walls and fences

I have to confess I drew this from a photo that I took while at Stephen's place in Victoria. There were all these wonderful stone walls.
Yesterday was an awful day, over 60 fires started across the state from lightning strikes very high gusty winds all day, so our firefighters were stretched to the limit.
I felt so tired I could hardly move but I did feed the ponies and walk dogs and turn on hoses and water as hard as I could as nothing has been touched for days.
I am up very early this morning as we have to go to Adelaide today and John coughed all night and I still feel rather as if I have been run over by a truck.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


No I didnt do these while I was away, I did these while still on Kangaroo Island. I was very naughty and had no time to sketch at all while I was away butI walked absaolutely miles. We left here at 7.30 am on Saturday morning and after a stop for coffee and another for lunch we arrived in Ballarat at about 4.00 pm. Went to find petrola nd found the Botanic Gardens which were lovely but after all that driving I was very very tired. We had a quick meal and fell into bed. The next day was hot and I judged (and that means I walked) from ( 9am to about 2pm when I finally finished and had some lunch. Back in the ring for the final judging about 4.00 and I have to say I just sat and drank water and watched. Then a friend suggested we went back to his place to look at ponies and have a drink, we ended up having dinner but he lives on top of a mountain so we walked and walked again. Home by about 10.30 finding our way in the dark. Yesterday we were up at a bit after 6 am and on the road by 7 and home to lunch after a stop for morning tea at about 2 to drop Robyn off and I finally got home at about 4 and John was not at all well so unpack, dinner and fall into bed for him to cough all night.
I think all that qualifies for walks but unfortunatly not for sketching. I will see what I can do from memory during the day if I stay awake for long enough.
And it is HOT, dry and windy. Horrid.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rain and lightning storm

I sketched this at Baudin Beach on Kangaroo Island while there was a storm coming over the sea. I suddenly realised that there was thunder and lightning and thought I had better get into the car. This is a tiny little breakwater for I should think small boats, I liked the way it was just sitting there. Of course this is not on the open sea but in a big inlet so doesnt get too much heavy wave damage.
John is not at all well so I am now worrying that a/ I will go down with his disease and b/that I shouldnt be leaving him. I really cant do anything about my arrangements tho as you cant get judges at the last minute.
I walked the dogs last night and came across the carcass, minus the head of a large black and white bird which I think must be an ibis, I dont usually see them dead so I dont know what happened to it. Foxes had been at it so really only wings and feathers left.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Frenchman's rock

I sketched this from our friends house while on Kangaroo Island, The odd shaped dome covers a replica of a rock that was carved by the french explorer Nicolas Baudin when he called into what was to become Penneshaw for water and found a spring on the beach. The original rock is now in the Information Centre, although for many years it was under this little dome .I walked past this everyday and I suppose I should add colour but I was actually quite pleased with it the way it was. The very typical shape of the Norfolk Island pines which are along just about every foreshore in Australia as they cope so well with the salt air.
A new foal this morning, a drive to Adelaide to see my mother and then home again, I walked the dogs and it was freezing, we have had a bit of rain but gale force southerly winds made it not very comfortable.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ozone Hotel Kingscote

This is the old hotel on the sea front, we stayed in the new part which has only been opened for a few months. A lovely old style pub but I was glad we were in the newer bit. I tried to get an idea of what the wrought iron on the balcony looked like but I had a few problems actually seeing it so lots of crossing out.
I also think I am having problems with getting my sketches straight on the scanner.
It is raining hard this morning, wonderful to hear it although it is freezing cold.
I have Tabby's dog Spot staying and yesterday he disapeared from the area by the back door and there was a panic on but he re appeared quite happily an hour or so later. So he missed out on a walk. I am walking while I am doing these Kangaroo Island sketches.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back from Kangaroo Island

I am having trouble dragging these sketches around. We had a wonderful few days away, John came home very tired after a two day conference and a two day poetry workshop, while I wandered the beaches, the art galleries, the shops, read, sketched and began knitting my stripey socks.
What should be the first sketch now looks as if it will be the second one is of the lighthouse at Cpe Jervis which I did while waiting for the ferry to load, I get badly sea sick but if I sit up on top I am ok, and it doesnt slop when moored so sketching was ok. An awful trip over, very cold and windy and bumpy.
The top sketch is what I can see from the breakfast table of the friends house we stayed at in Penneshaw for the last few days. I am going to cheat and put up a couple of my sketches a day until I have caught up with them all. Oh this top sketch was done with some watercolour pencils I bought in Kingscote, they are a Derwent pack and had a few pencils and some solid watercolour sticks, quite fun to use, although the sand wasnt really that yellow the sea was pretty much that colour.
Missed you all.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Checking in

Just a quick note to say I am still in the land of the living but I havent had time to do much, no sketching, I have walked, a lot, we had 4 foals over four days, all colts, our two day Welsh Show and we came home with lots of big ribbons and a best in show award. I am now showing our two jusges around and I am feeling soo tired. I take them to the plane to morrow morning so then I may think but I think I would like to sleep!
We go to Kangaroo Island on Wednesday night until Monday so if I dont report in you will know that I havent had time.
Cold and windy and dry.

Friday, November 03, 2006

rainwater tanks

These contain liquid gold, we are all worrying and hoping that every tiny bit of rain that falls will go into these tanks, these are what we rely on and a few more around the place, for drinking water and washing water, if and when we run out we go onto spring water for all but drinking and so far we have never run out of drinking water, touch wood, even when the tanks get low and we have to fill jugs from outside we have always got through, but will we this year?
Alison tells me that they can only have a sprinkler on on saturdays in Canberra, Adelaide is having rationing but so far its not too bad, Melbourne is also under water restrictions, Wendy tells me that Geelong is virtually no watering except by hand and then only for very short times. I am watering my garden but the whole garden only gets watered once a week in total and some I am forgetting about, but its awful to see plants dying and worrying that old established trees may not survive, and when I think of how much money I have spent over the years on the garden it is frightening. I certainly wont be replacing stuff if it goes, but so far we have had a few millimeteres here and there and it has been enough to keep most stuff going.
I have had a very mixed couple of days, a good friend died last night which, although we knew it was likely to happen is still upsetting.
I dont know how many sketches I will get done in the next few days as we have this major Pony show on and then I have the judges so time is going to be pretty tight and I will be tired. Never fear I will be walking everyday and tring to check in when I can.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A bit of colour

Blogger wouldnt let me in this morning so this will ahve to do possibly for today and yesterday, I am totally exhausted, came home form walking around the quilt and craft fair for over 3 hours with bags getting progressively heavier and heavier.
Saw my mother bought my dremel and drove home a totally full on day.
John couldnt work out what the "thing" was until I told him that it was the wheelbarrow lying on its side. More gates and garden this time watercolour and pen, I had fun doing some colour and have decided I really like watercolours better than pencils.
I am going to walk the dogs and get dinner and then collapse.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Neighbours chooks

This is the neighbours chook shed and run, I suppose its really a coop. They move it around from place to place in the paddock next to their house sometimes with cows looking on in great suprise.
I think the eggs are laid and collected in the box at the end. As you can see I am looking for all sorts of interesting "stuff" to draw and put up. I have seen this for years and had not really thought about it. Next I suppose I will be going to draw all the dreadful old cars that are stashed away by various generations on this proerty as they "might be useful".

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A corner of the house

This started out as a quick sketch of my home made wind chime, made out of old forks and spoons and a very worn butter knife, sounds so much better than the bought ones but then I added a bit of the house and some pots and a table and the spade leaning against it and so it went on. This is the side of the house that I very often finish my walks at, I start out on the other side, perhaps one day I will draw all sorts of bits around the house and put it all together!
I quite like this one, I am liking the starkness of black and white as colour is frightening me a bit, I never seem to get it right except for some watercolour paintings. (The bare and stark ones without too much fussiness.)
There is actually a lot more greenery that I left out and things got moved to make a slightly better composition.
I walked twice yesterday, once with the dogs and once to see the foals close up, I dont take dogs with me then as they are likely to be stomped by irate mares.
Consequentially my knees and joints ached like all get out last night in bed, I dont think the cold night helped much either so I am not moving well this morning. I am begining to think that maybe I should get a single bed electric blanket so I can put it on when I need it, but I have never really liked electric blankets.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Garden gate

This is the gate that I was given and the round wheel was used instead. I really dont like this drawing, looks like the ones we used to embroider!
There is a huge amount of dark shrubbery behind it and you cant get along the path any more as this is a bit of the garden I have let go, too much to look after, so there are grape vines growing all around it and it doestn look nearly as neat and tidy as this.
I had a really horrid day yesterday, felt decidedly p.... off with myself and everyone so it was some sort of miracle I got it done at all. I had walked miles, a new foal, daylight saving so the day seemed longer, the mare kept carting the foal off so a/ I couldnt see what it was (a colt) and b/ wether it was drinking ok. So if I walked down to that paddock once I did it four times and it isnt close. On top of that it was cold and windy, we went in to Port Elliott for a walk, my knees ached, and my favorite coffee place had no outside tables so we came home. Get the picture? Penelope in a tantrum.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Old trycycle

I was doing another wander and poking around the back of the sheds today and came on this old trycycle, it isnt ours so I think one of the workmen must have brought it out to do some repair on. It had such a lovely shape I had to try and sketch it but me and wheels? I wouldnt want to ride on this one the way I have drawn it and somehow I got muddled with the far back wheel but any way here it is, a symbol of a bygone time, I think ones of this shape were around when I was a child.
As usual, I did it in a hurry as my day just went and suddenly it was late, you really would think I would manage my life better, after all there is only John and I to look after, hmm and two pugs, and a black kelpie cross and at the moment Spot, Tabby's dog as she is away for the weekend, as well as Oscar the cat and I dont know how many silk worms who keep hatching, not all together as they should but over weeks plus the chooks, pigeons and ponies having foals, yes perhaps that is why I live life on the run.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Olive containers

Yesterday John had a meeting in Stirling, one of the small towns in the Adelaide hills and I wandered the streets and poked in corners and found this organic shop and cafe and had a coffee, it was freezing cold and damp as only the hills could be, I noticed these containers in the shop part all full of regional South Australian olives, or so the sign said. Plastic containers and lovely old pottery pots with lids so I had a lovely time sketching them.
Then down to Adelaide for my mothers 94th Birthday, we had a lovely lunch and I think Mummy had her birthday and presents over and over again as she couldnt remember who gave her what.
Precious time with her I think although she looked better than I thought she would after all the problems she has had.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The road

This was supposed to be loaded this morning but blogger wouldnt let me in so it is tonight, a day late. I did this sketch down on the old road looking towards the main road, hence the sign you can just see. I wasnt going to add colour but got a bit sick of just black and white, actually think it looked better in black and white.
Some of the gums have very white trunks, some are a bit speckled and some very dark and "barky" if there is such a word. The road is dirt.
People out bringing a couple of mares to the stallions yesterday, I didnt think they would ever leave, wanted to see absolutely everything and they arrived about 10 am and didnt leave until after 2. John had a late meeting, well it started at about 1 and went until after 7.30, so for once I was forced to do the whole dinner. (Usually I do salad and veg and he does the meat unless it is a casserole or some such). I have got very lazy in my old age.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dairy sheds and silo's

Walking around the foals in the evening I see a few new things as I am going a different way. I was walking up the race last night and suddenly realised that I hadnt done these, a little wonky as the dogs thought I was mad stopping and drawing in the middle of "their" walk.
The new dairy is further to the left of these drawings and the old dairy is the shed in the middle, all the silo's interconnect with it now and there are a mass of lines, pipes, wires etc going in all directions.
Ink in my elcheapo Quill sketch book.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A corner of the garden

This is why I dont very often paint the garden, somehow I dont seem to get the look I am aiming for.
This had the light shining through the alocasia leaves with the hawthorn in flower and leaf and the geraniums flowering in the pots. Not quite on my walk, although when I come back from walking and come through the orchard after moving hoses this is what I see.
I spent most of yesterday doing boring things like washing sheets and all the ironing which had built up to a huge basket and needed to be got out of my sight.
Hot and windy John is now worrying about how much water I am using on the garden, as he quite rightly says, we dont normally water much at this time of the year.
I looked up cellulitis on the net as this is what my mother now has and dont much like the sound of it, especially at her age.
Generally a rather depressing day as I also heard bad news about a friend who has a brain tumour.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


This gate was made up by our neighbours after I asked if I could have the very suburban garden gate that was there to put in my back garden, they very kindly gave it to me and this one was put in its place.
A very quick sketch done in pen, trying to show the very few big round bales that they had, and they dont make the really big ones that we do. The creek, the road going to more neighbouring farms, On looking at this the creek looks rather like a large whiskery caterpillar!
I have just been told that my mother has further problems, cellulitis or some such thing with her leg very swollen and on antibiotics for I dont know how long which will no doubt cause more problems.
It is her 94th birthday on Friday and we are all getting together to have lunch. My sister said that she is getting even more frail looking and forgetful.
Very warm this morning and windy, I see that there is a cyclone heading for Fiji, very early and I hope it doesnt cause too much damage.