Monday, April 30, 2007

Seeded paddock

This is the paddock on the hill behind the house that has just been seeded, not easy to paint!
A very grey morning again, but not lot of rain.
I have just been to Adelaide to see my mother as John had a late afternoon meeting. Not a good time to see her, she kept saying that my sister had sold her house and she hadnt given permission and she hated where she was and she needed the money. Over and over. It is all so depressing and she doesnt want to accept that she is nearly 95 and needs looking after.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fallen leaves

I spent most of the day in the wet Adelaide hills at our Welsh Foal Show, luckily in an indoor arena and so had very little time to walk the dogs, enough to go out for a short distance and back and underfoot were all the leaves that have fallen off with the rain, I think these were mostly off the glory vine and the oak but the colours were lovely.
We did well at the foal show but it was so cold I came home with aching knees. My Section B filly was Supreme of Show and our Welsh mountain colt was reserve.
I really had no idea what the judge would do so it was a lovely surprise to scoop the pool so to speak.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Study in Grey

This morning I took the friend who had been staying with me for a bit of a look around the area, it has been raining and showery all day and this is what it looked like when we went to the look out at Pt Elliott looking back towards Victor Harbor, all greys and damp and misty.
We have had over 2 inches of rain and there are more showers to come, a wonderful start to the season so long as we get follow up rains.
Of course it doesnt mean we are in the clear, John has been doing cash flows and looks gloomier and gloomier, we still need hay until the grass grows and then some good prices would be lovely. We are still here tho' and that at the moment is the main thing.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Braken frond

I am never sure how to spell braken, any way this will do.
I have had a visitor staying and we have walked up hill and down dale looking at ponies and cobs with her, so I certainly got my walk but no time to sketch.
I brought a frond home and did that here.
It has rained off and on all day, and we had about 40 mm over yesterday, wonderful steady rain and the garden is smiling, what there is left of it.
I am smiling too as this will be a huge help, although one rain doesnt mean that the drought has broken, we need more and more and more.
Today is Julies last day of her one mile from home blog and I will miss her. Alison has nearly finished too but Hashi is going to walk with me so that is a new area to explore and I am looking foreward to it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ant Hill

When Iwalked the dogs through the old pine forrest I found this quite big ant hill with areas around it where an echidna had been poking his nose, the central dark spot is one. There were some green bracken fronds poking up behind it and lots of bark on the ground.
The forrest is really no longer, most of the trees have been cut out and only a few remain dropping pine cones I use to light the fire, and Yes it is raining at last, slow and steady at the moment, 5mm before 9 am not sure what since. So we may need a fire although it is quite warm still. I am expecting a visitor for this afternoon and tomorrow so not sure what I will get done tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


walked the dogs down to the dam and when I came home I painted my sketch, the flowering reeds look quite fantastic in some lights, really pink at times or a pinky beige at others. the water in the dam is a pretty awful green.
Today is ANZAC Day when we remember all who died in the wars and commemorates the landing at Galipoli in 1914. I have no relatives who I know of who fought in that war but I had two uncles who fought in the WW2 and were prisoners of both the Germans and the Japanese.
I think it is a vague hope that we will not have wars, as today we seem to have smaller but nastier wars all the time.
On a lighter note this morning this came over our CB radio, a small exchange between our son and a guy who is rabbiting with ferrets. Son, Did you go to the dawn Service? slight pause, reply I dont think I know any one called Dawn. I couldnt believe my ears but it was funny.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Birds in a dead tree

I walked the dogs up the hill behind the house and sat on another dead tree, minding the ants, to draw this one which had a magpie and two rosellas in it.
Came home and more or less coloured it.
I am slowly getting back into walking although at the moment the house is being re organised and having an autumn clean. John has been on the roof blowing all the leaves out of the gutters in preparation for THE RAIN if it doesnt come I think the weather fellows will be hung drawn and quatered as they have said we will get at least 20 mls. I do hope they are right.

Monday, April 23, 2007


As I walked the dogs around the orchard last night, turning on sprinklers and wondering what was going to live and what would die I noticed that the pomegranite, which is one of those trees that loves the dry had some lovely bright red fruit on it, some whole and some eaten by the birds. I certainly felt a lifting of the spirit seeing these lovely things still giving of their all.
The scan seems to have dulled them down a bit.
The weather forecasts are for rain starting on Wednesday night and some places getting up to 40mm. On the strenght of that John has sent out our son to start seeding so I just hope that they are right.
Why am I watering, well we do have some water and if I am careful with any luck I can save some things. I just cant bear to see things dying.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lanterns and the moon

This is technically not what I did today or yesterday but the night before but as i spent most of yesterday in bed asleep and today trying to clean a house that hasnt seen a duster or vacuum cleaner for about a month it will just have to do. This was the scene from the balcony of the Golf Club at Yankalilla on Friday night, a huge moon with Venus and these wonderful lanterns in the shape of shells.
I still have a very red and sore arm from the vaccination I had and still feel a bit off the planet.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fence line

I am not feeling very well today, had a pneumovax innoculation which has made my whole arm go red and i feel sick and wizzy and my joints all ache, so my lovely day that we had planned probably isnt going to happen.
We went to the Opening of the Leafy seadragon festival at Yankalilla last night, a lot of speaches and a lot of standing which didnt help, but also a lovely display of lanterns in the shape of shells which I tried to take photos of but i dont know how well they came out.
we were going over to see the art exhibitions, probably the only day we could do it but no point when you dont feel well.
This is the fence line along the track I have been walking in the mornings.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dry dam

Yesterday the PM announced that if no substatial rains fell in the Murray Darling catchement area within 5-6 weeks all irrigation would stop and every one would only allowed water for households to save water for the cities.
This is the dam behind the house. Normally it has some water in it and we pump into it but this year no pumping. we are not affected by the non irrigating as such but all prices of food will go up. we are a dryland dairy so with any luck, if we can find some hay, our milk may well be needed and at a higher price. But we will see, the dairy companies only really want profit, they dont help farmers to stay viable, which in the long term may be to their detriment.
Our springs have started to run, but for how long. To be quite honest I have never felt so frightened as I do now for the whole of southern Australia.
I feel black and white sketches are a way of saying how I feel, colour means nothing at the moment.
This is not a cry for help, more a cry for city people to realise what we are going through.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


this is a hasty sketch done while walking this morning as when I got into the far paddock Jake (the dog) and I put up some kangaroos on the ridge of the hill. trying to get them down quickly took some doing so this is the sketch out of my small sketchbook. I am trying to get more accurate with quick sketching.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Early morning

These are the early morning tracks in the sand, bird, kangaroo, dog and I think lizard. this is what the track I take looks like at the moment, much more of this and I will get bogged in the sand.
Adelaide today to see my mother, so an early walk.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Poplar tree

This is the poplar tree in the house paddock. Looking dry and the leaves have gone brown with just tinges of the butter yellow it should be. It is also looking as though bits are dying and there is a split in the middle instead of its normal pyrimid shape.
I have done a lot of deep cleaning, so to speak, not my whisk over the top and didnt get very far.
The plumber was out to fix a blocked drain, we hadnt worried too much about the washing water going into the garden with the drought but the loo was threatening to block too so the septic had to be looked at, all ok thank goodness and all fixed now.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Fuchsia gum

These very spectacular gums are from Western Australia and are found on roadside plantings through Victoria. they dont like my deep sandy soils tho.I drew/painted this one from one of the trees around Longeron College near Horsham where we were doing our fibre forum.
Yesterday was a day of shopping for food, trying to see what bits of the garden I could water and tidying up. I still have a fair bit of unpacking to do.
I walked early this morning as I had to go in for a blood test, arrived before 8 am to find I was 7th in line! So quite a wait.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Back from Fibre Forum

I am home from a fabulous week at Horsham, but didnt get much time for sketching. this was done at about 6.15 am with the sun just coming up enough for me to see the outline of the Grampian mountains on the horizon. I walked early every morning, it was lovely out and the sunrises were spectacular, some mornings earlier than others and it was a bit dark at times but breakfast was at 7 and a lot of mornings I was in our class room by 7.30. Really not a lot of time to just sit and sketch.
I arrived very tired but there. My box making tutor Glen was very understanding, as I was not exactly with it on Monday but we all made a box that day to get an idea of how to actually make one. then the decision about what sort of box to make for our major project. I decided on a Japanese style with a folded hinged lid and two small box drawers and 3 compartments, one with a sliding drawer. I was not sure if this was something i could do but in the end at the end of the 5 days, there it was complete and lovely.
I will put a photo up on the back valley seasons blog but will also try to sketch it up.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Queensland scenes

I hope I am off tomorrow, John found some pills that have stopped the running to the loo every few minutes and I immediatley felt better, so have sort of packed, and do a bit of house cleaning and a bit of lying down, we will see what tomorrow morning brings. Do have a lovely time at Orange Alison and be careful.
the house was one I saw at maleny and sketched over lunch and the other one is across to tin Can Bay from Margots kitchen window. sorry about the capitals, i dont feel up to changing them!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Surfers sketches

these are a couple more of the sketches I did while I was away, the fellow in the big hat was sitting there reading with the ibis standing next to him. I was in an art gallery looking through the window.
I went down with a violent tummy wog on wednesday night and couldnt move except to get to the loo at all yesterday. I feel slow but a bit better today, have just had some dry toast and tea to see if it all stays where it should. Damn nuisance as i have so much to do.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

sketching people

The first one was done in the airport waiting for the plane on our way out of Adelaide, it was delayed for an hour due to fog in Sydney. The second one I did yesterday on the beach, trying to catch attitudes and shapes, no features.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I am afraid that all or almost all of the sketches i am going to put up are black and white pen sketches. I managed to find a few minutes each day but trying to paint was impossible. I de
arly love the friend we stay with but every minute of the day is organised! Here are the first two taken at random. A quick sketch while waiting for them to come in from a surf, and the surf was so washing machine like they didnt surf for long so not much time there, the first is along the beach from Northcliffe and the second is of banana palm fronds.
we had a wonderful time but without access to a scanner not easy to put up anything but photos and they went on the other blog.
Any way we are home but in Adelaide tomorrow, haircuts and see my mother, and on Easter Sunday I will be away at the Horsham Fibre Forum for a week, probably no computer and no scanner!
Home and washing on, bread being baked, dogs and cat and us fed, some unpacking done. We managed a long walk on the beach this morning, I did manage to walk every day and swim most days, but the food and drink rather got to the diet. Last night Moet Chandon champagne and all the sea food we could eat at the Marriott per favour of a very good friend, a wonderful ending to a great 2 weeks.