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".