Thursday, August 31, 2006

Norton Summit views

I know I did these yesterday, ah well I am not always quite up to date with my walking but I did walk around the little township of Norton Summit in the Adelaide hills and found that really the best and most interesting views were from where the car was parked in the car park. Of course I didnt have my camera either. Mostly because I thought I was going to have to go with John to this boring opening and when I saw where we were I decided against it.
The house roof and chimney were poking up on eye level over the ridge behind the car park and the view down the valley across Adelaide and to the sea was spectacular. The odd pink bushes were the blossom trees that were in various stages of flowering, some not out at all these may even have been Hawthorne I am not sure.
Both done in my tiney Moleskine caheirs notebook with creamy pages, one with ink and the other with Pitt brush pens.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Prunus tree

I was trying to convey what the big plum tree in full blossom in the orchard looks like. I really wasnt sure how to go about it but it is so spectacular I had to try. Still some bare branches around, the apple and pear trees havent started yet.
I love painting with watercolour but I must practice more, there are some bits I like in this and some I dont like at all!.
Again this wasnt really a walk but is usually where I end up at the end of my walk with the dogs.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hyacinth Flower

I know this isnt strictly on a walk but I did find this extroadinary coloured Hyacinth in a very neglected pot on my way out to the back gate. I smelt it first and then remembered that I had meant to pot the bulbs out and here was the poor thing flowering in this odd colour, I think it had been stressed by no rain and then probably got wet because we had been watering. I have brought it inside, not because it is beautiful but its scent is.
I was going to add water as they are watercolour colour pencils but didnt think it would work.
I may not post tomorrow as my mother has broken a bone in her ankle (so they tell me) and I have to go to Adelaide to see her.
Oh and I did walk, but I have done it so often there isnt much I can do with grass and more grass at the moment.

Monday, August 28, 2006

favorite trees

I took a photo of these trees on the hill a few nights ago, I have been trying to find time to paint them since. I have to say that they are a bit enhanced by photoshop, just by asking to add contrast. Some one wrote on EDM that they liked what photo shop had done to their painting better than the painting, and I tend to agree. I must be more definite with my colour.
I was happy with this before altering, now I am not so sure.
Adelaide yesterday, walked in the Botanic Gardens, always nice to do, caught up with old (very old!) school friends, we all left school 50 years ago. Just five of us and we had a lot of fun reminiscing.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Well after yesterday's rather messy painting of daffodils I have sat today and drawn some more and on the whole they look a lot better.
I walked the long way up the hill tonight and then was caught by the cows coming past the back gate after milking.
John is still not 100% but is slowly getting better.
Tomorrow I will have a busy day as I am supposed to be in Adelaide for afternoon tea at 2 and then have someone for dinner tomorrow night. I think I am organised.

Friday, August 25, 2006

daffodil and scilla

I had another fairly quick walk this afternoon as I have been looking in my mothers boxes and sorting out what I want to keep and what the children can have. I think they can have pot luck boxes and just get what is in the ones they choose.
I think with the change in the weather my hands and knees are playing up again, so I had picked these to find a bunch I could paint, not much in the garden at all, so I ended up very quickly, in poor light painting these. The daffodils are almost over but I found this orange capped one and the Spanish bluebells, not proper English bluebells are out in some areas, they are fun to paint, felt more pleased with those than the daffs.
I thought I was going to have more time to paint today but it didnt happen.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Grey damp day

I sketched this from the sunroom window, grey sky, misty grey hills, stark dark twigs of the fruit trees misting into the gloom.
It didnt look much better while I was out walking the dogs either, and I was rugged up to the eyes in parka and cap and rubber boots.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pussy Willow catkins

I walked this evening in drizzle, but the drops of rain are very far apart. I did get wet pants at the top of my rubber boots tho as the house paddock has grown, I just hope it keeps on growing, with 4oo hungry cows to feed we need all the grass we can get.
There is supposed to be more rain tonight.
I picked these pussy willow catkins last night when I walked and found a few minutes in my busy day to draw them, all done with pencils. I am glad that the fire didnt get to these trees, I know there is a lot of discussion on willows, they are not native and they do cause havoc in waterways but these are a lovely shade tree with these huge flowers.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cliff top garden

I am not sure if this is actually conveying what I want it to. This was my impression of what the running postman (red dots, represent a bright red pea flower) on the limesone cliff with a large rock that was surrounded by the flowers. I must say they dont make a huge statement but are very attractive.
Of course being limestone there were a lot of varying colours of grey and I am not sure how well I have done this. I think I need more lessons.
This was done after Sunday's walk, I have walked today but with John ill I am not going very far.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sandhills behind Parsons Beach

In a way I am going to be cheating this week as I can see that I am going to do the same rather boring walk all week as John has gone down with a virus and I am not going to have a lot of time so although I will be walking my drawings and paintings will be of other walks I have been on. I need to have some time to paint properly and not sketch quickly.
I made a bit of a mess of this one in the middle when I tried to add some shadow, and it is definetly rather impressionistic. Lots of mistakes but at least I am back to watercolour.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I am taking a leaf out of Alison's book and drawing an night scene, not as good as Alison's tho. The moon had a huge halo around it and was quite enormous, slightly dry (on its back, no rain). There was this silvery shimmer across the grass. I have to say that my walk was a secondary one, out to the vegetable garden to get some parsley when I saw it.
I am struggling with my walks at the moment as my joints dont seem to like me much at the moment, bit much to have to take pain killers to walk.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Scarred tree

This tree has a scar on it from a fire. I have been walking past it for weeks and suddenly "saw" it.
Talkng of fires a neighbour lit a heap on the very windy day this week and it escaped and burnt through one of our swamps taking two fences with it. This is still winter for goodness sake.
He is now busily re fencing.
I am finding it an effort to walk at the moment, now the days are getting longer I am spending more time working around the house and garden and suddenly it is dog walking time.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Bird in bullrushes

This stupid great bird, that I call a blue coot but I think is a Moorhen was sitting in the top of old bullrushes in the dam the other day when I went to feed the ponies. This is one of my walks, walk with hay to feed ponies. I think I get my weight lifting exercises at the same time.
It is the most impossible looking bird all navy blue and red. It didnt even move away when I threw the hay.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Finally I can post an image.

Well what seems like weeks and is probably only days I can finally post an image.
I have had to install firefox and that seems to be doing the trick, although blogger say they are trying to sort out the problem. I really dont like having to use another server.
I have been to Adelaide for two days, and am very tired but we have finally had some rain, which is better than nothing but we have had hot days and gale force northerleys so things were looking pretty grim.
This sketch was done on my normal walk around the house paddock, I was using my new Derwent Inktense pencils to see what they did. I quite like them although they dont appear to be selling well here in South Australia, I had awful trouble getting the 12 pencil set.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Just imagine

I still cant get any images up on my blog so I am just going to have to give you word pictures instead. That will test my and your imagination.
My walks usually start by letting the dogs, two pugs and a rescue black kelpie type out and we head out the back gate into the paddocks. It has been very dry lately so we are experiencing a rather worrying early spring. The birds are loving it, as I walk I can hear the call of the currawongs, large black crow like birds with white tails and a lovely lilting call. They eat fruit and we only see them down here at the house at this time of the year and when the fruit is ripe. Dozens of scarlet and blue rosellas are flocking in the gum trees which are flowering, also chattering away and making their bell like calls.
Further down the rough track the spectacular pink and grey galahs are walking importantly around seeng what grain is left in the cow pats, or being rude to me from the trees as I pass by.
Well we have only got a few hundred yards from the house, but that is probably enough descriptions for today.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Not able to put scans up

I have spent the last few days trying to get a scan up on my blog but havent been able to. I have walked, I even sketched, I dont know how to fix it as what I did on the other blog worked. This one keeps on saying error on page. I will try publishing this and see what happens.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


As I was walking this morning I suddenly realised that my neighbour over the road who has a very suburban house right on the road and looks a little out of place in our very rural landscape, had planted daffodils along the front fence and so I sketched them then and there and came back to add some colour. I am having terrible trouble getting lines straight at the moment, I think it has something to do with my wonky eye.
The neighbours are in Queensland at the moment so we are keeping an eye on things . It is a very strange house as there is a car port and then you look straight out to the paddocks and hills beyond from the road. Still it is a huge improvement on the derelict fibro that used to be there.
I have done a bit of weeding today and feel very bach achy again, not surprising as I am still cleaning out cupboards inside.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Dry land plants in the Botanic Gardens

Aftaer spending over 4 hours yesterday norning packing boxes of my mother's stuff (Who will pack mine?) we called it a day and I went into the Botanic Gardens for a couple of hours while John went to a meeting.
I had a lot of trouble finding domewhere with out the sun in my eyes but did this little painting looking towards the succulent and dry land garden.
I had bought a little hand made paper book for about $6 in an art store ages ago and I found the paper delightful to paint on. I had a tiny bottle of water in my bag and my toothbtush container with about 8 pans of watercolour in it and it was really quite succesful.
So peaceful except for the helicopters arriving and departing on the helipad at the hospital next door. What can you expect tho as our gardens are set right in the centre of the city.
All up today I have walked and walked, I did an early morning one as well!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Trying to sketch kangaroos

There are a lot of kangaroos around at the moment, some absolutely huge ones we saw last night while we were going out to dinner to neighbours along the dirt back road, but every morning and evening I see small groups (and some not so small!) They are not easy to get close too and when I do they are always moving but I spent some time trying to get some poses. We have the big scrub grey kangaroos, they can get to 8 feet from nose to tail but mostly I see the smaller and daintier does (females) at the moment there are joeys in the pouches too.
I have to admit that my moving ones dont look at all like kangaroos, and yet those are the shapes I saw.
Up to Adelaide tonight and not back until late tomorrow.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Brown stringy bark leaves, flower and fruit

I brought these back from my walk and did them when I got home, they were off the one I saw yesterday with the broken branch but with Spot with me as well as Jake and the Pugs I cant sit and draw or he disapears (Spot that is) so I did them at home.
An early walk today as we are out to dinner, frost this morning, lovely sunny day and cooling down again tonight.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Incredible sky

I walked the dogs for about 3/4 of an hour tonight and as I came back I saw this incredible sky. I raced home and painted, yes painted it with watercolour, it was orange in the right hand area and then blue and grey, I decided not to add the hills as they really detracted from it. I was so pleased! I have actually painted, and this afternoon I had a bit of time for myself to do the EDM Challenge on souvenirs (Japanese Kokeshi dolls) on my other blog (Back Valley seasons). I have felt so frustrated that everything is just rush rush rush and no time to do any sketching/painting properly.
Loved having the girls last night and this morning but morning means getting up early to make lunches and get one to the school bus by 7.55 and one into school with the bags because they spend next week with Daddy by 8.45. Sometimes I only get up at 8 am!! They were apparently awake and having a mug of tea each at 4 am as the dog was put outside for a wee a disapeared!(spelling?). He did come back. They are delightful girls, 9 and 14 now, but they have stayed with me since they were small ( I had the youngest Celina with me for 10 days when she was only a few weeks old when her mother had a terrible accident and ended up in intensive care, an interesting experience to say the least.) I guess I am closer to them than any of my other grand children because they know me and I know them so well.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Cleaning out the shed

I have walked today, but I have also walked a million steps cleaning out the shed. We took 2 loads up to the dump, put cots and playpens in the garage ceiling, moved some things to other places and generally got stuck in. What I have sketched is only a fraction of what was there. I think I made it all look far too spotty but I had fun doing this as I was so tired afterwards I could hardly walk and my back does not like me at all.
I have been meaning to get this done for months but with the stuff coming from my mother I have to find somewhere to put it while I wait for the rest of the family to sort out what they want.
I rang my mother today and although a bit confused sounding she was quite happy with where she is so that is a relief.
Now to make a lasagna for dinner as the two grand children I have coming to stay over night, love it.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cleaning out cupboards

I know that this isnt stricktly a walk, although I did my usual one with the dogs todaybut no sketch.
I spent all of the day cleaning the house and then decided to clean out the linen cupboard, hoping for a spare shelf to house some of my mothers stuff, which I managed to do, but what I had stored in there was unbelievable, I know I am a horder but this was too much! Three huge garbage bags of rags went up to my sons workshop, some were burnt, some were put in the hard rubbish, I threw out vetinary drugs that are way out of date(yes they live in there too, as well as the shoe cleaning stuff,) and was I hope quite ruthless, probably too ruthless I am not sure what rags I have left for dusting.
To morrow I am going to clean out "my" shed so I have more room while I think what I am going to do with it all. Of course this is leaving me back achy and very tired, yet again!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Flinders Ranges

This was a very quick sketch done with my new Pitt pens, I bought the three sets and I do rather like the way you can play with them.
This was done from the front of the friends farm house that I stayed in for the week end.
From their front you can see the Flinders Ranges and from the back across cropping land to the sea at the top of the Gulf. The Flinders are very old and have the most incredible colours. The ground here tends to be red. I have had a lovely few days but I was so tired before I went that I think I was tired all the time, but lovely to be amongst friends, even tho I had to drive 5 hours up and again home on Monday. More tiring doing it on your own and having to go right through the city doesnt help. I am now catching up on house work etc, have finally unpacked.
I believe my Mother is feeling more at home in her new surroundings and isnt hating us as much. We still have lots of packing up to do. So I will be busy for the next week or so.