Wednesday, January 31, 2007

House in Victor

I love this odd little house which I think is now a shop, it sits at the end of the car park and I sketched it while waiting for John and added the colour when I got home.
Had a dreadful day yesterday, well the day was ok but my mother looked so lost and forlorn and really wasnt with it. Tabby my youngest daughter, came with me and we went out for lunch which Mummy was very pleased about, the food in the nursing home is appalling and she was so pleased to have a smoked salmon salad.
I was so tired when I got home and then didnt sleep at all well. it is so depressing.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Manned Space Station

I caught the end of the weathermans comment last night and it was something about the manned space station going over head just before 9pm so John and I walked up the hill to see it, that small orange dot, the yellow are the couple of stars seen between clouds. We were lucky and it came between the clouds for a few minutes. We dont have mountains, they are supposed to be trees but, well somehow they look more like mountains.
I have walked today but thought this was much more interesting to paint oh and we also saw McNaughts comet as well a week or so ago, so lots of standing looking at the night sky.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Inman River

Our little Back Valley creek, wich can turn into a raging flood if we get enough rain, runs into the Inman River, to the people who live in Victor at the moment it is That Stinking pond, actually what is stinking is the sea weed that is on the beach at its mouth.
I had done a bit by the mouth in our painting class and wanting to get some more practice in I went down looking for a pool and reflections and bigger trees and this is the result.
I didnt have much time, when do I ever have time!
Tomorrow I go to Adelaide to see my mother, so less time to walk and sketch. Getting hotter and stickier too.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Pt Elliott High Street

Damp and drizzly this morning so we went to Goolwa but couldnt get a park after we had been to look at the barrages so we stopped in Pt Elliott for coffee and as the street is on a slope we sat outside and I sketched this looking down towards the main road. I would like to expand on this one day.
This little town still has a village feel about it but I hadnt realised how nice it was until I got this really good seat and view.
Coffee was ok.
We had had a pleasant damp walk along the River Murray but I was wanting to take photos and the batteries on the camera died after 4 photos. There are two on my Back Valley seasons blog (links).

Broken gate

I have had awful problems connecting in the last day or so. I am here at last with ANOTHER gate.This was done very quickly as when I walked the dogs last night I noticed that one if the stallions was in the race next to his paddock. He is likely to kick the dogs so walked back and put them away and walked down to get him back, discovering this gate off its hinges and two broken bottom wires, I dont think he did it but we did have neighbours sheep in the other day and they may have caused the damage. Any way tired and sore (my knees are not brilliant) I did this very quick sketch as the only thing I could think off after all the traumas (wont tell you about mares getting out and nearly running over me etc etc!)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Man and dogs on the beach

Well from the sublime to the ridiculous, we had gone for a walk along the beach at Pt Willunga and I sketched this man and his 2 dalmation dogs 3 times and still didnt get him right. A long day, up early to feed the ponies and then be in to Victor for the Australia Day celebrations by 9 then home and did dishes and up to Pt Willunga for lunch with Paddy, a lovely few hours and then race home to feed dogs and ponies and us.
As John had an Australia Day award a few years ago we always try to make the effort to go to the ceremonies.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Preliminary sketch

We did portraits today and this was one of many preliminary sketches. I was sitting right at the side and found we had very few shadows and the very side on view difficult to do. I think this was the best of a long days not so good paintings.
Great to do it but I am so tired again all I want to do is collapse, just as well there is no more tomorrow although I am hoping that more classes eventuate.
I have fed the ponies, walked and fed the dogs and John wont be back until late, I could well be asleep by then.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This mornings painting

I think this comes into walking and sketching, it is the mouth of the Inman River in Victor with Granite Island beyond. I walked and walked mostly back to the car for 'stuff' but I also did the dogs this evening.
I was actually quite pleased with this one, but I am so tired tonight, we painted outside for 3 hours and then did another 3 on tecniques in the afternoon.
I am sooo tired. A lovely day, tomorrow we have a model for portraits, that could be interesting. Another painting on my other blog.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pt Willunga painting

Sorry this is very small, It is what I did or part of what I did at painting class today. I had to cut a whole heap off that I turned into mud! Also I put my photo up load thingy for blogger on small.
absolutely shattered but think I am getting somewhere, at last, at least I got praise and those who do know how to paint felt overwhelmed while I liked the free and easy style we were being taught.
My usual day of feeding ponies walking dogs, all done in a mad rush and tomorrow we start at 9 and do plein air or whatever, going outside for the morning any way.

Monday, January 22, 2007


I am doing my 4 day watercolour class and this iron sculpture is in the very pretty garden of the gallery so at lunch time I sketched it. Very quickly done. I had walked half way around the town getting mail and stuff but was very frustrated with my day so the dogs got a quick walk and then I had a wine to restore myself.
All fed, John off to a meeting and I need to go through my watercolour how to books as this is very different from my quick washes of colour!
Poor old Tuppy my male dog spent most of the day at the vets as he had a few "hot spots" on his skin, so now lots of pills and potions for him. He is fine in the dry weather so I hope he doesnt break out again for a while. It is some kind of strep of staf infection, can never remember which.
I have now been blogging for a year on my other blog. Wow.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Morning walk

These are two very quick sketches done this morning. We went in to have a coffee and collect my painting and in between showers we had a quick walk along the fore shore. The first was done in the coffee shop, trying not to look too obvious as I am sure they knew I was sketching them and the second was a very quick go at the ferris wheel in the fun park. All I had was a tiny notebook and a pen so pretty scratchy.
Still damp and cold and windy.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I had no idea how to convey puddles and this was the best I could do. It is blowing very strongly at the moment and John is stransferring water from one water tank to another.I walked down to look at the race and see how the water looked in the puddles there but they looked the same colour as the race, brown and muddy. we had 40 mm yesterday and overnight, some places have had up to 6 inches and more, we dont need that much all in one hit, as it was I slipped and had to put the toyota into 4 wheel drive this morning. It is raining again now and every one is just so pleased about it. Unfortunatly quite a bit of damage in places.
I just hope every one I know in the UK and Europe is ok with the storms that have been happening there.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Back Valley Womens Institute Building

I am not sure if this is the Back Valley or Lower Inman Womens Institute hall but as the bigger hall next to it is the Back Valley hall that is what I have called it.
Must look up its history. It is stone with brick finishes and a little tin lean to on the back. Very small.
we went down in the pouring rain to watch the Tour Down Under (cycle race) go past only to discover we were too late, fastest time ever for that leg I think, we missed them by about 10 minutes and I had allowed 20 minutes before according to the program. Any way I sketched this little building until we realised we were too late.
I walked the dogs this evening, along with about 10 million bush flies to see if any water was in the dam behind the house but it is still a cracked bare area of mud. We have had all up about 20 mm of rain, it is very warm, tropical and humid and the crickets are all singing, havent heard them for ages.
The drought hasnt broken but at least the garden has had a good drink and the tanks have more water in them, although as John said, now for a huge germination of summer weeds

Old Catholic Seminary

This very quick sketch was done outside in the heat and is of the main building where my classes were being held, it was the old Catholic Seminary up near Morialta, a lovely building rather going to seed inside but still good on the outside.
A good two days but I am now very tired and dont feel like doing much. But I have a full day so I had better get going. A sample of what I did is on my back valley seasons blog.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Dead scrub on our hills

My walks are all over the place at the moment, I went out this morning as it was still relatively cool. this is my interpretation of the dead trees on our hills face, more and more of it is showing up every day. Looks more as if a fire has been through it. 40 degrees plus today and a nasty north wind blowing. Supposed to be a cooler change tonight but Adelaide is still 33 tomorrow which is where I will be until Thursday night, so no posts until Friday. Staying with my friend Paddy, doing a 2 day silk fusion class, see my mother and hope I cope with the heat.
Then the Tour down Under (cycle race) on Friday, we have a finish in Victor always fun to see.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Birds nest

Wendy suggested that I used the birds nest photo as a sketch so for better or worse here it is.Doctors appointments for both of us took most of the afternoon, just check ups but always takes for ever.Then we went back to look together at the art show and look at my painting. I still like it thank goodness.

Welsh Pony Youngstock Show

I went to the show yesterday intending to sketch quite a lot but I kept being needed for things, talked to by people and this very hasty sketch was all i managed! A bit of an evenful day as I was up at 4 am, left with the car and float and 2 ponies at 5, about 6 I hit a very large kangaroo on the road, came around a corner and there he was, luckily I wasnt going fast and after an almighty thump in which I think he got off worse than the car i drove on for a little bit, didnt want to see what I had done to the roo, I stopped, a broken left hand headlight and a few sprung panels which will cost but at least the car was drivable. More nuisance than anything. An insurance claim. Arrived at the showground around 7. A very long day by the time we got home. The ponies did reasonably well.
John had gone fishing and came home with some huge whiting and best of all some squid, calamari for dinner. Yum.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


I have no idea if I have spelt this correctly and again it is a pretty poor excuse for a walk but this is one of my pots in the garden when I leave for my walk. A pretty depressing day, we have about 3 weeks water left in the big dam which supplies the dairy and a lot of troughs and part of my garden. So no watering with the hoses from that dam. usually the springs start to rise at the end of january but who knows what they will do this year.
However last night we went to the opening of the big Rotary art show, I believe the biggest in Australia of its type, and I bought a painting, called The girls it is 3 figures wearing very flamboyant type clothing, very textile and fun. Not a lot of room on my walls so some things will have to get moved.
Very tired and have to get up tomorrow and be ready to leave with the float at 4.45 am. I am not looking foreward to it. Our big Welsh youngstock show, at least I dont have to have the judge tomorrow night.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Our Paddocks

Another very quick sketch and throw on of paint of one of our very dry paddocks. I did this early today as we are going to the local Rotary art show opening soon. This is a huge art show with all types of paintings entered.
I walked across to look at this paddock this morning while I was out the back feeding one of the pony stallions. Very strange cloud formations. It has been cooler but overcast and sticky today.
You will get sick of dry looking paddocks with the odd tree. This is one we planted millet in and the cows had just eaten it off so looks barer than normal. If we get another rain with any luck it may green up again, that is what happened last time.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fallen branch of tree

Whew! I have finally loaded this sketch, it has only taken all day after last night two men played with the computers until very late, and I couldnt go to bed as they were in the little office off the bedroom. Then blogger played up, I didnt know where my scan had gone or how to get it back. Oh hell I am so p... off. everytime they play with things on the computer it makes a mess of it.
Any way a day of visitors as well as people doing things on the computer, I walked, sketched this fallen branch, it doesnt look very big from this angle but it was huge. So is the tree. to do it from the other side it was a tangle of branches.
I am tired and cross.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Old cottage

It is 42 degrees outside and blowing a gale, a huge branch has fallen over two fences by the house paddock. I walked the sea front with John this morning after bloodtests and a coffee, the wind got up then. I had no time for sketching, and no desire to do so. I did walk and this sketch was done inside from a photo I took on Kangaroo Island. I am sorry, a very wicked walker and sketcher but today was just too awful I fed dogs and horses and if it was 42 at 5 what was it like earlier?
Tony F thanks for your comments, I feel a bit frustrated about not being able to ansewr you properly.
Alison, gardener to the Gov Gen? Wow.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


This is what I saw at the end of my hobble (not walk) today, the onions hanging up under the side verandah. At least I could sit and draw them. I have been on my feet all day and walking was the last straw (along with the flies).
I ended my walk as I usually do by watering the pots.
I am wanting to find people to draw, but not having a lot of luck at the moment.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Looking west in the valley

This is looking west past our boundary and towards our son's property. I added a bit of colour as once more I was sick of black and white.
A cool day to start off with and then it has got hot and sticky and the flies are awful. I walked Jake out and wished I hadnt.
Busy day and tried to do a bit of painting, not a good idea. My turn to go into Victor and be attacked by the tourists, I wouldnt mind if they kept their eyes on the road when they were driving and took notice of the signs. Also half the things I needed were not on the shelves, oh well.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Railway gates

Alright this is probably my last gate, at last I found a wooden one. These are the main railway gates in Victor Harbor and I must have passed them so many times but this time they were closed and I had a bit of time before the train left to draw them. School holidays are a good thing as this only happens then. I was interested in the long pivot thing that is on the gate, well there are two gates but the other one made for too many confused lines.
A cool drizzly day and we went for quite a long walk, actually came home a bit cold. More heat in the middle of the week though.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Another 'nother gate

As my children used to say.
This one leads up to the old shearing shed and has been bashed around a bit in its time and added on to and is now wired up which annoys me as I have to try and unwire it.
All of my daughters and their fellows here today, must be one for the books, my friend Wendy came over and we were going to have a quiet afternoon but we had the young fellow from the bank who got lost who found us all standing around the sitting room shrieking with laughter and trying to undo knots in some thread we were dividing up, seemed a good idea at the time, daughters helped.
We had 5mm of rain overnight and some talk of more but we will see. Then it blew like crazy and all the good the rain had done disappeared.

Not a gate, a ramp

This is a cattle loading ramp, I think I may be running out of gates but I am still looking for a wooden one. I think every farm has a variation on this, you may get the pipe version at some stage.
Blogger wouldnt let me put up photos last night.
some light drizzle, we need lots more.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

While having coffee

This is a very hasty sketch done of the building what is where I was having coffee, although very hot we sat outside under an umbrella when we got back from Adelaide doing hair cuts and visiting my mother. Adelaide was 38 degrees and Victor wasnt much better but we had to collect mail so it seemed better than going home where it was even hotter.
I did actually manage to get the paints out though to throw over the pen but John was complaining of being hot so it was rather thrown on.
Well after 6 pm and it is still so hot outside, I have fed the dogs but am waiting till later to feed the ponies and water the pots.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Cattle grid

This is an alternate way of getting into a property instead of opening a gate. This one has wonderfully messed up sides to it which look as if it has been hit by trucks or tractors, it is to stop cattle from going through and next to it is a large and unweildy cocky gate, which I havent yet sketched, to allow stock through.
I walked early this morning as it was so hot to find this grid down the road. I saw more on Kangaroo Island, they dont seem to be in use so much here but I think I know where there is another slightly different one.
I have had fun finding rural fences and gates etc.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Children at the beach

I have decided that children do not stay still enough for me to sketch them! This was tryng to get some basic attitudes of children at the beach when we walked. Not that I walked at the beach yesterday, I am cheating again but my feet hurt and it is getting hotter and hotter, I think Xmas and the New Year are all catching up and I am feeling a bit weary.
I did make the dogs walk with me to check the foal, he is gaining a bit of weight and not so ribby but still a tiny little thing.
Hoses are going on early in the morning and at night so it makes for a long day.
Friends tonight to eat the prawns and left over fish and drink champagne, not good for the waist either.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Happy New Year to you all and may you get most of the things you wish for! Couldnt possible get them all. I hope for rain, good milk prices and health, and an improvement in my sketching.
Julie suggested I look at what I had done through the year, I cringe at some of the stuff on my other blog, and some here too, but I think there is a slight improvement, occasionally!
This is John at the computer, cunningly not showing much of his face and he says I have made him too heavy, doesnt he realise that he...., well at 69 he isnt doing badly.
A lovely night last night, a hot morning and day but with a friend staying the night made it more fun. I tidied up my work room when really I was going to paint, I think I am puting it off.
My new foal is tiny and looks a bit prem but is drinking well I just hope the now forecast 2 days of 40 degrees doesnt put him back too far, he is so skinny and has to put his head up to reach the teats, and his mother is only about 11.2 hands high, if that. I am walking to check on him about 3 times a day, but am still in the Christmas spirit and eating and drinking too much good food. yummy fresh fish tonight. I think I am gaining weight not losing it.
Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me through the year with your comments, it does make me try to keep on going.