Thursday, July 27, 2006

Aboriginal artefacts

Adelaide for 3 days, I had Monday to myself so I went walking all around the town and ended up at the Museum looking at the Aboriginal stuff. It is quite fascinating, but hard to draw as it was dark, and no seats!
Tuesday was an awful day, the day we put my mother in a nursing home and she was so angry and afraid and upset and it was awful, but she has become a danger to herself. The place is very nice but i dont think I would want to be there either. She had calmed down a bit by the time we went back in the afternoon with some of her furniture, but on Wednesday when we went back with some paintings she was very angry and aggressive again.
I hated it and still feel very upset about it all.
We had to clean all her valuables out of her unit incase it was broken into, I now have 4 boxes in my house waiting to see if she wants any of them. I am housing the china collection.
Today I am home, I ache all over and am not sleeping.
Tomorrow I go away until Monday, not sure how much work I will get done, it is a Grumpy womens week end and I feel grumpy.
My two sisters will look in on our mother as they live in Adelaide.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Opening of the cycle bridge

Today I know I did at least 9 km's!! I did the feeds early and we were in Victor by 10.30 for "breakfast" at Whalers, well John and I had a coffee each as our breakfast was at 7. We met up with friends, one is the Council's works manager who was organising the opening of the cycle bridge over the River Inman, Victor Harbor is bounded by two Rivers, the Inman to the west and the Hindmarsh to the east, and we have this fabulous dual bycicle, walking trail that now goes from the Bluff (Rosetta Head) all the way through to the neighbouring council and to Goolwa which is the mouth of the River Murray. If you google Victor Harbor and Goolwa I think you will find all about our area.
So after a leisurely breakfast, coffee, we registered and began the 4 km walk along to Kent Reserve, did that in 1/2 hour, walked over the new bridge, which I had done last week, socialised and then we had the opening and this is the bit just before the official opening, a large standard poodle, Peter, the works manager, the Rotary President as the bridge is to be called the Rotary Bridge as they did a huge amount of the financing, and leaning on the bridge itself, the sound man! We had our sausage sizzle and decided to walk back the 4 kms. Bonus was seeing a whale tail or fin not sure which near the Bluff.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Willunga farmers Market

This morning I went with John to Willunga, he had an official function, I am never invited to these and didnt want to be as I very rarely get to Willunga and they have a famous farmers market, its not very big but I had a lovely time wandering around and bought some succulents and a rabbit pie (which was very good) for lunch. Being mid winter there wasnt a lot of colour except the vendors and this stall selling fresh proteas.
Because it is in such a small area it was hard to find somewhere to sketch so I took photos and even they didnt come out very well, people moving in front of me, and all the chairs seemed to have bodies on them.
I walked for a good hour all around the town until John had finished. That should make up for a few skimpy walks.
I have another sketch done in Willunga and a bit about the town in my other blog BackValley seasons.

Friday, July 21, 2006


The Banksia's are flowering at the moment, named after Sir Joseph Banks who was the botanist with Captain Cook and when they discovered Australia on Cooks round the world voyage.
A pretty strange flower full of necter and much loved by honey eaters and the smaller possums alike. I dont think my flowers look much like them but done under the small tree they were on while I walked.
Also the dead cones were made famous in the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie stories by May Gibbs as the "Bold Bad Banksia Men"

Thursday, July 20, 2006


This is Spot, my daughter and grand daughters dog, he has come to visit while Tabby is away and I have the girls, Gaby, aged 14 arrived this evening and I have had Celina for a couple of nights. I walked the dogs miles tonight while the girls were at netball practice, Spot of course thought this was pretty good and kept disapearing off looking for rabbit holes. At least he comes when called.
I cant draw dogs, I cant draw people either, but it was the best I could do as when I got home I had to get itno feeding mode, and I am not used to feeding 4 any more. A roast which I know they will eat.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Celina's drawing

We went to Adelaide today, haircuts, my mother, Celina's great grandmother, and my sister, her great aunt. A lot of people she doesnt normally see. This was drawn in my mothers sitting room and it was the flowers in the white jug on her table. Well not the flowers that were in the jug but Celina's idea of what they should have been. I thought it was rather good for a 9 year old.
The walk as such didnt happen to day so I have fallen down on my resolve, unless you count feeding the ponies this morning but that isnt much of a walk.
Oh and Julie, yes she found lots of puddles to stamp in yesterday and I should have drawn those but I think at the moment I am feeling mentally drained and very very tired.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I have my grand daughter Celina staying for a few days, I had a lot of bookwork to do this morning and she drew and looked for stuff to print off on the computer. This afternoon we took the pugs aup the big hill behind the house, two paddocks away, she raced around in her new rubber boots and I slogged my way up. I am trying to diet and all I could think of when I reached the top was this, a cafe in Queensland, so when I got back that is what I sketched. A bit better than yesterday's appalling effort.
I am still into pencil.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Wind Surfer

This is a terrible sketch but it has been so cold and grey and drizzly for days now and I got absolutely fed up and after going in to Victor to get the mail and go to the bank I went out to where a new bridge has been built crossing the River Inman and walked around over it and along the foreshore and saw this fellow zipping along at a great rate, huge seas, and he was fairly near the shore but even so, what a cold and miserable day it is and the wind is pretty strong too andnearly blew my cap off. Of course weather like this they love, having a son who windsurfed for years.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Rosella parrot

I am afraid that my walking has been sadly curtailed as it is so wet and cold, up to feed the ponies, in and out of the Toyota to open gates and feed ponies to come in wet and cold and with my wretched knees aching.
I think I made this rosella a bit too fat, and perhaps he should be greener on his back but they are the most incredible birds, such bright colours, although we have another variety which is not so colourful and also the young ones are mostly green.
They have been feeding on the heads of the dock, what thistles are left and interestingly the gaura heads that are left. Obviously the olives are ripe too as a heap flew out of those trees this morning. They are a real pest in orchards and that is why we have very little fruit from ours as they tend to eat the fruit when it is still green. They have a lovely bell like call.
I seem to be into birds at the moment but there are a lot around.


This is to prove that I did walk yesterday, and I did try to do a sketch! We walked along to the Bluff jetty and foru seals were playing really close in, of course they moved so fast I didnt have a hope of sketching much except flippers and bellies so I took photos and these are the result.
My dog was found yesterday which made for a messy sort of day, the male pug killed my rooster, also messy, but I was so relieved to find Maggie and in such good condition after she had been missing for 9 days, down in the pit in the vehicle shed with a car over her so it was dark. i think she must have got some moisture off the cement walls.
Then out to a friends Birthday dinner early last night, and John working on farm finances on the computer all day so no time to get this together.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Slip slip slide. That is what I have been doing tonight, very wet, and very cold. The only ones enjoying the weather are the wood duck and all the other ducks on every bit of water, including puddles on the farm.
The first time I saw these ducks was in the very early 60's when one appeared while I was feeding the chooks and we had to look it up to see what it was. Now there are hundreds and hundreds of them, they are probably the most domesticated of our native ducks. The book describes them as a maned goose or wood duck and they do look a bit like a little goose. They nest in the hollows of the trees around here.
I am going through a draw in pencil stage at the moment, trying to get shadings etc, so maybe no colour for a while. Not much colour around the place any way today. Rain and Gloom and about 6 degrees.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A rock in the track

I am back from my day and a bit in Adelaide, no time for sketching, no time for anything.
Tonight I walked up my usual track around the house paddock and decided that a small thing would do, it is very cold and I didnt want to be standing around for too long so I sketched these rocks that are in the centre of the track. A pretty lowering sky as we are supposed to be even colder tomorrow and very wet, the most significant rain event this year I think they are calling it. We need it to put a lot more moisture in the sub soil.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pussy tails

These pussy tails were blowing in the wind next to the fence so I had a few minutes to get them down. It has been raining off and on all day and I had my second watercolour class, do have a look at my Back Valley seasons blog (in the links) to see what I did, I am rather proud of it.
I am afraid my walk tonight was a quick one up to feed the ponies and a short one for the dogs and that was it. At least I didnt fall in a cow pat this time but it is very wet and slippery out there.

Monday, July 10, 2006

White faced heron

I walked last night and it was dark so I didnt get anything done except some reeds, today I went to painting class and learnt about brush strokes, very interesting, using large round brushes and rough paper.
I am now tired and slipped on a cow pat as I went to feed the cob stallion, no time to draw that! So what you have is a white faced heron, we always called them blue cranes when we were children, they are always around, usually only one, I did this one last night more or less from memory. Sorry about the doodles showing through behind, I did it in my doodle book! The reeds may show up tomorrow as I am racing to get feeds done both before and after I go into painting, and find a whole day quite draining. It was good tho' as there were only two of us today.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


We walked along the beach this afternoon, a lovely cold but fairly still afternoon. A few parents with small children and dogs as it is mid winter school holidays.
Too cold to stop but I did take some photos.
We went back for a coffee at one of my favorite coffee haunts (see my other blog, Back Valley seasons) and I saw these clouds, to me they look rather more like rocks but that is what they are supposed to be. They were moving so fast it wasnt easy to really even sketch in their outlines and the shadows were even worse.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


The wattle trees have finally come into full bloom in the plantings around the paddocks and they absolutely glow in the gloomy weather we have been having. This was a very quick sketch last night while I was walking. It lightened my rather gloomy spirits as the black pug still hasnt appeard and I really have given up hope now.
;This was done in a tiny Moleskine that I had in my parka pocket. Ink and watercolour pencils.

Friday, July 07, 2006


At this time of the year where ever I go on the farm I see these birds. The blacker one is called the straw necked Ibis, although why I am not quite sure, I thought it was because they had a bit of straw colour on their neck but I cant see it on any of ours. They are the most common at the moment and with them there is usually a couple of the white Ibis, some people think they are the sacred Ibis but that is an African variety and not ours.
Wherever we have wet and swampy land there they are, but sometimes they are in paddocks I dont expect to see them in. They are quite large birds and fly around making a mornful honking noise, they also fly in very ragged v shape formations.
I am not at all good at drawing birds so thought I needed some practice with these.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

View across the paddocks

This is the view from our back gate across the paddocks to the neighbours. I am hoping to get this done in paint but was my preliminary for getting lights and darks.
I have to say that I cheated with this, my 66 year old knees dont much like standing for too long in this cold weather so I took a photo and then sketched it.
I did walk actually quite a long one in the evening but the light is usually going by then.
Having been told by my doctor today what a good girl I have been keeping my diabetes right down, I have to say that walking everyday and watching what I eat obviously helps. I just dont seem to be losing much weight!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What is it?

I pass this every day when I walk the dogs and in the drizzle last night I sketched it. It is a large water trough made of black plastic, better than the old green straight sided ones as the cows cant make it buckle as much when a mob of them are drinking. This one is black plastic, and yes it does lean a bit, I think because the ground below has moved a bit.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


While I was going to feed the Cob stallion, not even through the back gate I saw this very red young fox ambling across the paddock from the calf paddocks. He was being harried by a crow and taking no notice of it or me but Jake suddenly saw him and took off. Well the ambling fox turned suddenly into a streaking, very fast fox. I had to walk what seemed like miles to get Jake back, so that was my walk for the day.
I did the very red one from sort of memory, he looks rather more dog like, and then looked for some photos and drew the black and white ones from them. Looking at photos my fox was very red all over, most of the photos had black tips to the tail.
I think foxes as with rabbits came to Australia on almost the first fleet, they have been here a long time and are regarded as vermin, although I once had a fox cub that I reared.
I am making sure that the chooks are locked up.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Whales and seals in the bay

In the afternoon yesterday we decided on a late walk as we had watched the football on the televsion (our team won) so drove over to Pt Elliott to park and walk along the walkway around the point hoping to se the whales, even tho it was pretty rough and normally they go out to sea when the weather gets windy but we knew there were calves as well so hoped to see something, well we didnt see much, just a few blows of water and the dark shape of a back or two.
We decided to walk on a bit further and I suddenly saw what I thought were surfers in the water, only on further investigation to find about 8 seals playing around the rocks, rolling, jumping, flippering, they were gorgeous. All too fast for me to sketch but when I came home I did the best I could with remembered bodies in and out of the water. The seals have been very rare in our area but now there is hardly any net fishing done they are increasing and are another great tourist draw card.
The whale sketch I did while I was there, really only the bay with this black thing lying there, unfortunatly this would be a right whale, the humpbacks are much more fun as they do tail lobs and jump in the air but our normal whale is the right (called a right whale as it was the right one to kill for its blubber).
For years we were lucky to see any but now there are lots more coming in to breed and calve in our more sheltered areas.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Walking in the rain

This is more or less what it was like yesterday when I walked the dogs. It is sort of what I see when we walk straight up the house paddock, so long as the cows are not in there.
I know that the proportions look wrong but the black dog Jake is big and the pugs are not very big at all. The trees are in the distance and I figured that from behind with my gortex shell on I look like this, hands in pockets, hood over my head and my rubber boots on!
Not sure if this is a cross between a childs drawing or what but it is about what I am capable of at the moment!
At least it was a walk, was getting rather late and the light wasnt as good as it should have been.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Brownhill Creek

Yesterday was a day in Adelaide but I had to get John to a meeting in Belair and as we were very early when I reached the city I thought as I was going past I would have a look to see if my grandparents house on my fathers side was still there. I remember it as being about the only one with paddocks on the other side and a magic creek to play in with bamboos all along it which we played cowboys and Indians, making bows and arrows from the bamboo. The house was still there so I went for a wander around the area and found several walking bridges over the creek and loved this one that mysteriously looked down to a footbridge over the creek, the creek moslty runs through peoples back or front gardens. I had bought the landscape pitt pens and this is trying them out. Not sure of the colours.
When I was heading back to my car I was approached by a woman who asked me what I was doing(I had forgotten about city life and the paranoa of people in the suburbs!) Any way I explained about the house which she told me was her brothers house and some stuff about it that I knew was wrong, date of building etc so now I am going to be on a mission to find out more about that side of the family. I asked my mother who told me what she remembered but unfortunatly even those memories are getting clouded.