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.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bridge over the creek

Yesterday the computer was so slow I couldnt load anything, so here it is this morning.
I walked in the morning yesterday as John had gone fishing, and came home with some lovely big whiting.
At risk to life and limb I climbed down by the little bridge that goes over the Back Valley creek to a neighbours and there was this incredible picture, dark shadows and a splash of orange light. Not the best painting but does give the impression of what it was like.
I had a lovely long walk with Jake and had also taken my camera so I took photos of things I dont usually take, they may appear as sketches later on. Normally the road is pretty busy but on a Sunday morning it was quiet.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


It was freezing cold tonight as I went for my walk and foolishly I had just popped on my sleevless vest and not a proper jacket, I think the wind was off the antartic.
I didnt know what I was going to do as I had hoped to paint earlier in the day and that was interrupted by family coming to talk about the new foal ( a dizzy little blonde bombshell who arrived just before lunch, her full sister is a multi champion and so is her mother so we hope this one will be too.)
So when I saw this collection of grasses in head along the fence I picked all the different ones and brought them home to draw.
I can see prairie grass, yorkshire fog (I think) and barley grass, barley grass is the bane of our lives, gets into your socks, the dogs eyes and ears, ponies eyes. Awful stuff.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Roses on the fence

Well today we had overcast skies and actually a bit of misty rain, about 1 mm but it didnt last for very long. Has got a lot colder tonight though.
My roses are looking lovely and try as I might I couldnt really get these lookng right, they are a lovely little pink single rose that smothers itself on the fence, I cant remember its name, could be something like pink cushion. I am very partial to single roses. I also love the David Austin's but no rose lives very long here in our deep sand, mostly because I cant buy them on the right root stock.
We had another foal last night a Welsh Mountain colt, very strong and the girls say he hasnt stopped running so he is to be called Rivington Vroom his mother is Virginia and we name all foals with the first letter of the mothers name.
I felt very tired today, not sure if it was Wednesdays late night or the change in the weather! A long day of shopping probably didnt help either.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


My walk this evening with the dogs was interrupted by a huge flock of crows who flew cawing across the paddocks. They have been busily raising young ones and I think are not finding muchto eat in our dry and sandy paddocks.
Done very quickly as I was tired and needing to get back and feed up the animals and get our meal together. (Left overs from last nights dinner party.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gum leaves

Hot and windy today, not nice out walking but I picked up this branch that had been whipped off a tree and brought it home to paint. Done with watercolours size about A5.
I love gum leaves but I do have to say that mostly they all look the same. I am trying to get enough courage to paint a garden scene but I really think I will make a toal mess of it, paddocks and hills and trees are ok but my garden?
I pulled weeds in the garden this morning and then washed the floors and tidied up my work room. So finally the house is clean and tidy all through but for how long?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Browning off

I finally got to some paints tonight because as I walked I couldnt help but think how brown everything has become, still patches of green where the heavy ground is around some dams but these hills are brown. We havent had any rain for 3 weeks, not much for our summers but not at all normal for spring.
Busy tiring day, cleaning my house! It had so much dust through it after the hot north wind days, but sounds as if we may have more tomorrow. I hope not, I have 4 friends in for dinner on Wednesday night.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fresh eggs

I am not sure if these actually look like eggs but after I had hobbled around looing at the mares and walking the dogs I collected these eggs from the chooks. We went to a cheese festival this morning at McLaren Vale (pictures to come), and in for a salad and a coffee at our favorite cafe in Victor and then home and I filled four huge wheelbarrows full of forget me nots which with the weather we have had have all dried off and look awful, of course I said I would do 2 barrow loads and ended up with 4. By then my knees were killing me, I think because of the high heels on Friday night so that was why I was hobbling.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


While waiting for John to have his hair cut I wandered around the area the hairdresser is in and came across this corner, it is under a shop front looking at the driveway next door, fresh wisteria leaves and ivy climbing up under the shop wall. I didnt have time to do much as yesterday started off badly with the car needing a new battery and here we were all ready to leave to go to see my mother, so after replacing the battery we were late leaving for town and then there was a mad rush for hairdressers to get hair done before going to the Museum Gala dinner at the Town Hall. More on my other blog for that.
I did get to see my mother but late in the day and she wasnt very reasonable then which is why we try to see her in the mornings.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Still in the night cart lane

It was such a dreadful day today, 37 degrees, in October! and gale force winds and my eyes streamed and my head ached etc etc hay fever at its worst so I went shopping and came home too tired to do anything, finally roused myself and did this from a photo I took in one of the nightcart lanes, a garage door and this wonderful wooden door surrounded in grape vines, looked like something out of Italy.
Not really a walk at all today although I did gallop the dogs around the orchard while I turned on hoses and watered the pots, probably not a mile but it felt like it.
Adelaide overnight tomorrow, to a do at the Town Hall, John gets to wear his AM medals and I think I can still get into the beaded evening dress! (it is the shoes that worry me). So probably nothing until Saturday, hope to go to the Adelaide fresh food markets which are great.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A dilemma

Today was one of the worst days we have had for ages, absolutely blew and blew and was HOT I have had a walk tonight but I wanted to get this sketch up as I loved these row houses that i saw while in town. This is only about a third of them, we dont have row houses like this much in South Australia and I would have loved to have seen inside them. I am trying to find the book about the suburb they are in in the hope they will tell me something about them. They had long back gardens and a night cart lane behind but the fences were too high for me to see over. I think the ones on the ends were the ones to have as they had a bit more garden.
This was done in pen, standing sketching at the end of a morning walk. I love houses.
Oh the reason for the dilemma well I drew the EDM challenge too but put that on my other blog.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Echidna in my pots

Again this is not strictly a walk, but then I did walk out the gate by the back door and find this fellow making a dreadful mess moving my pots around and Jake, the dog having a heart attack about it. Well not a real heart attack but he wanted to show this fellow off and all it did was wedge its front further in among the heavy pots and only show its spiny top and tail. I dont think I have ever had one in the garden before, although we often have them nearby in the paddocks.
I took his photo and sketched him as well as I could. Quite a big older one with distinct yellow tips to his spines.
I have had a tiring day as I finally began to sort out all the stuff I took last week and put it away, a lovely lunch with my youngest daughter Tabby and her two girls Gaby and Celina for my Birthday, so my Birthday is spreading over the week.
I did walk the dogs out this evening but it is going to be 32 tomorrow and I am begining to think I will have to do morning walks as the evenings are full of watering the garden and getting dinner etc.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Garden gate, Adelaide

I am sort of catching up with my walking in Adelaide, as things here are looking dryer and dryer.
A busy day today, AGM of the Womens and Childrens's auxilliary down here of which I am still patron. Interesting guest speaker Professor David Ellis who was a fungi man with some hair raising tales of modern fungus and how we are now getting more and nastier ones than before some which have stopped being transferred from animals like the old ring worm and are now being transferred from human to human.
Also a quote, all mushrooms are edible...once.
On the basis of his talk while at my local docotr's for my 4 monthly blood test check I asked about being immunised for whooping cough as David had said that those of us who were immunised 50 years ago, our immunisation was running out and there now was an adult booster available, so I am now vaccinated for whooping cough once more. I might add he was very scathing about people who dont immunise as they are the hot beds for future, possibly much nastier problems.
On that probably controversial note I will close.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Paddy's garden

I am back from my week in Adelaide doing the Fibre Forum, a lovely week, very busy, very full on and I had fun with my design course.
I walked early every morning, or when I got to the school where it was held and wandered around the streets there. It was the school I left 50 years ago and have never been back. Very interesting to see what had been done and how it had changed.
I have put some of my samples up on my Back Valley seasons blog. (see links).
The lamp in Paddy's garden is on a lean, not my eyes this time, I sat looking back at her garage with a yellow banksia rose scrambling all over it, with roses infront and a hedge and small rock garden.
I have to say I had very little time to sketch on my actual walk as I had to be off early but I did do some and others I took photos.
I had my 67th birthday up there on Wednesday and we celebrated with champagne and take away chinese and phone calls from some of the family The first time I think that I havent had my birthday with John since I met him. The nicest thing was one of the girls in the class bringing in a lovely apple cake for us all to enjoy. The next day I had a celebratory lunch with a friend who turned 80 today and some other firends. Today a 70th Birthday celebration for another friend!! Along with a grand sons on Saturday it has been a week of birthdays.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Off until next week

No drawing, no time I am off to Adelaide until next Saturday night but may not post until Sunday or Monday.
HDowever this is the shearer using blade shears from the Show on Saturday, It didnt come out very well in my grid and it doesnt happen except in demonstrations any more. This fellow used to shear our sheep when we had them.