Saturday, June 30, 2007

walking to keep fit

I dont usually put photos up on this blog, they go up on my other one but this sketch was so scrappy, I thought a nice photo of the seal carved out of granite on Granite Island would be interesting. We walked over to the Island this morning and then had a coffee, which is where I did the sketcdh.
Friends for dinner, I am almost ready. more photos on my other blog, look in the links, and if you click on the photos you can see a larger version.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Messing with paint

I really didnt feel like doing any structured painting today, so it was make a design and add to it. Lay on paint and see what happens. It actually looks better if you stand away from it than it does in the scan.
A day of rain and sun today, I walked the dogs out the back in a sunny break.
Apart from that a boring day shopping and tidying the house. My new glasses had to go in to be straightened a bit so they dont rub on my nose, actually they still do a bit but I will see what they feel like on Monday.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Egyptian exhibition

This is supposed to be Thursday, I dont know what happens on my date line for this blog.
These are pages from my sketchbook trying to get Anubis in canine form yesterday in a crowded room. Not the ideal place for sketching. I love the clean shapes shown here.
I would have loved to have done more but we didnt have the time.
I also got a really lovely tiny little book at a very reasonable place of the Book of Hours from the art gallery bookshop, a very dangerous place to go..
I would like to use some of it for some future textile stuff.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Buildings behind the Adelaide Art Gallery

While having lunch at the gallery I sketched the interesting barge boards on the buildings along side. I have no idea why they had these holes cut out or even how old the buildings are, about 1880 at a guess.
After hair cuts and a visit to my mother we went to see the Egyptian artifacts from theLlouvre which are on show at the moment, and they were very interesting, I love the simple lines carved into so much of the stone that was on show.
From there we went to the Museum and saw a quirky and fun travelling exhibition of the Alice Springs Beanie show (a beanie is a knitted hat) and the very interesting exhibition of the Muslim Cameliers who were so influental in opening up the centre, both with exploration and later brining in supplies to outback stations.
A great day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Across the valley

Somehow I messed up the trees in the centre and the long curve of trees on the central hill didnt quite work either. Probably a lot of other things too but this was the best I could do.
Things are not quite so green now after the frosts we have had so I will have to record the yellow brown in places where the kikuyu grass really got burnt off.

Not a flower painter

I bought these incredible cyclamen, there is a mass of little flowers looking like arrow heads all at the same level all over this little pot of plants. It seems to like being in the bathroom which is cold at night.
I had lots of trouble painting this and decided that I really am not a flower painter.
I am also having a lot of trouble remembering when to put things up on this blog as the dates are wrong, quite different to my other one.
We were supposed to have rain last night and I dont think we have had any, just cold and overcast. We need more rain here, a lot of it to fill the subsoil.
I have been rather inefectually fiddling with some textile stuff, not really getting any where, trouble is my workroom is so cold, even with the heater on and the warmest place is the sitting room near the fire. So I have been feeling wicked and knitting my second sock.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mt Lofty Golf Club

Yesterday we went to a political fund raising lunch at Mt Lofty Golf Club. This is in the hills behind Adelaide and it was quite interesting, although the setting was more interesting than anything else, tucked away in a valley it was quite beautiful, and as it was a typical early winter cold day, magic to look out over fairways with gums and a few deciduous trees flanking them with a creek running along the bottom.
So while the speaches were on and my neighbours at the table didnt need concentrating on I sketched.
I dont know what I ate but it didnt agree with me very much but John won a rather nice mikimoto clock in the raffle.
There is still a lot of autumn colour on the trees and a few camellias and rhododendrons were out and lots of bulbs in the gardens we passed.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A very cold morning

Blogger wouldnt let me load photos or sketches yesterday which nearly drove me mad. I have no idea why.
Any way we were off early on a very frosty morning to the Willunga Farmers Market and I did a quick sketch of huddled patrons over a hot coffee around the eating area. People were all in hats and scarves and gloves and looking a bit miserable, although it turned into a lovely day.
I bought some seedlings and some almonds, not much for a longish trip, then to another nursery to get more seedlings as we have no where decent down here to get the. we collected the papers in Victor and sat looking at a very calm sea reading them and having a coffee. I forgot to look for whales who I believe are in the bay, the first for the year.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Yet another mail box

I have had an absolutely flat out few days and my sketching has got a bit behind. Up to Adelaide on wednesday to see my mother and although this post probably says Thursday it is actually Friday today, as yesterday I went over to a friends place and we played with textile stuff. A lovely day but boy was it cold.
I have walked this evening the first for two or three days, either I have been gone all day and not back until dark or it has been raining.
Any way here is another in my mail box series.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cattley a Orchid

I wondered if there was much difference in these two sketches, both the same obviously but the second one was going back over it with some water on the watercolour pencils. I dont think there is much at all, sometimes using water makes them pop a bit more.
I didnt have much time to paint yesterday and the cat in the sunroom was looking quite spectacular so I thought it wouldnt hurt to do something a bit fiddlier than I have been doing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Green Bay

This is another painting done over at Pt Elliott in a funny little curved bay called Green Bay. I was really pleased with the way it turned out, more by good luck than good management I think but some principles of watercolour painting must be rubbing off.
It has been very wet here so a quick sketch showing the shadings, light and shade and a photo to do when i get home. I agree that it is nice to do plein air but not in these conditions.
I dont think the thermometer got over 10 degrees all day yesterday, it is so long since we have had a really cold wet winter one tends to forget what they are like, the old eiderdown came out a few days ago and on to the bed, now if anything we are having to remember which bits to stick out when it gets too hot! I dont much like doonas and we use wool blankets normally, this is a proper eiderdown and is probably about 70 or more years old.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Morning walk

We drove over to Pt Elliott and walked along a path that I have never walked along before and wasnt sure I even knew it was there, around the edge of the sea which is ringed there with enormous granite boulders.
This was the view looking back towards the Bluff and Victor Harbor and the Islands. It was very cold and quite misty, not at all clear and almost no definitionbetween the sky and the sea with huge pinky coloured clouds which I really didnt get right. apart from that I was quite pleased with this.
We had a coffee at the Flying Fish which was a nice place to stop and then walked back.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

In the next valley

In the next valley there are far more 'hobby' farmers and they seem to cluster their mail boxes together at the end of roads. Some how I seem to have managed to make the fence posts behind larger than the boxes, I shall blame it on the odd angle I was at when I sketched them. This lot had a box in which I presume at one stage bread was delivered, I dont think it happens anymore.
Still very cold and overcast but I am glad we are not getting the rain Sydney has been getting.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mail box

It has been so cold I have resorted to drawing from photos in bed in the early morning when at least my feet are warm.
Yesterday I went to have my eyes tested and no wonder I cant see the lenses on my glasses are badly scratched, so new trendy red glasses frames and new lenses. I am also showing up a diabetic spot near where I had my left eye operated on, does that mean more stringent diabetes treatment? I hope not, I have been keeping things under control well by diet and exercise but perhaps not as much exercise as I really need, more hills to climb. Getting old is a b......

Friday, June 15, 2007

Letter box

I took a photo of this letter box while I was in Melbourne a few months ago, I loved the simplicity of its design set into a fence made of thin overlapping branches. I find it fascinating seeing the various styles people use. This one was obviously very well thought out.
A freezing cold morning this morning with frost high on the hills, I hope I have brought in all the pots that will suffer. -2 by the backdoor at 7 am. No water yet as the pipes are frozen, and so am I!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More playing

Yesterday was not a good day as the black dog sat on my shoulder for a large part of it. I think it is the lack of sun, we hadnt seen any for days and days, and the fact that with no car for me I cant go any where except when it is available, and it hasnt been very available lately.
So today to get out of it I decided to paint, anything, not something structured, although I guess this is but I dont normally do abstracts. I had found some odd tins of watercolour paints that my parents had and I wanted to use them. I would imagine they are student paitns but they are german and a bit interesting.
The sun came out in the sun room after a frost last night and it has been a lovely day and I am trying to fill it with colour. I dont quite think this is finished but we will see it has served a purpose. I would almost like to use it as a base for a collage.
I have also been doing a very bright bit of textile stuff too, the fact that I hadnt quite read the pattern correctly doesnt really matter, it is black velvet colovered in sweets papers and is fun.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Yesterday it was freezing cold when I walked and I picked up these gum leaves to bring home. I thought I would play around with it a bit and do a very soft misty background, which is what it looked like out there and paint the leaves over the top.
Sounded like a good idea but of course it was getting late in the day and it took ages for the watercolour washes to dry, and then it wasnt until I scanned it that I realised the background paint was showing through.
One of those boring housewifey sort of days doing things around the house.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sea to the vines

this was a group of young people around a wine barrel at one of the wineries we visited. Us old people found inside chairs out of the cold and sat but there was a continuous stream of the younger ones coming and going. we actually found it rather expensive this year as a lot of the main meals were about $15 plus $5 for a glass of wine but we did find some very tasty, non fishy ones at lesser prices. As usual with a group of us it was fun.
As designated driver I didnt drink, sipped I think one sip of a very nice white, but sloshed on the free coffee I could get as the designated driver.
The breathalisers were out in full force but for us going home against the flow of traffic we were not stopped.
trouble is that after 3 coffee's I couldnt sleep last night.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Abandoned mail box

this mail box was sitting on the front wall of my sons house. Because they are renovating I guess someone thought it was a good place to leave it.
Another for the mail box series, and another suburban one. I must get on with a few more of these.
I use my sketchbooks a lot but there is a difference between what i do in the sketchbook, ie it is always with me, and what i do on proper and expensive watercolour paper. I guess that as i dont think anyone will be collecting my works in the future it doesnt matter much.
I do however envy those in other parts of the world who seem to have so many types of sketchbooks to choose from with heavier weight paper, the Raffines sound lovely but so far I have not been able to run one to earth here in Australia and if I did i guess they would cost an arm and a leg as the Moleskines do here. So I use my readily available, 100gsm, spiral bound, acid free books from the newsagent.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Walking around the bay

This morning we were up early and in to get the papers and then for a walk on the walking/bike track around the bay again. It was a lovely morning and these were a few of the people we saw.
It has got very cold so I am back to aching joints but i wouldnt give this up.
We have a long week end this weekend so are catching up on a few things and Monday we go to McLaren Vale for the Sea to the Vines 2 days where you go around to the wineries and have seafood and some wine. I will be the designated driver so not any more than a sip of wine.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Down the road and across the valley

I had fun playing with the various greens in this one, there are so many different greens around at the moment. I am more confident with the simple lines. I have a lovely photo I took on my other blog that I would love to do but think it is too complicated, but then perhaps I could translate that into simple lines of coulour too. I will see.
Still cold and damp but nothing like Sydney which is really having rain and wind and problems, my computer on the weather page says they had over 108 mm on top of other rain. I hope it goes inland to the parched farms and rivers there.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Another mail box

I walked the other way this morning and this is another neighbours mail box. I got quite wet as I thought the rain had stopped but it mizzled and drizzled all day and was so cold. This is more like a normal winter, we have had so many abnormal ones lately but to feel cold and really get rugged up to go walking is rather nice.
We are supposed to have a couple of fine days but down here on the coast anything could happen.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Suburban mail box

I think this is a bit out of proportion but here it is, after most of the day in Adelaide I did manage this mail box.
a long day, but I think my mother enjoyed it, I took her with my younger daughter to lunch at a friends place, at nearly 95 she cant cope with being out for too long so a couple of hours was about it.
Apparently I am to be a grandmother again and she is to be a great grandmother for the 12th time. I will be a grandmother for the 11th time. I had hoped they would stop at 10 but new relationships sometimes mean new babies. They span from 22 to this one due in November.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

the neighbours mail box

I did a series of photos of suburban letter boxes which I am working on slowly but as I walked yesterday I thought I really should do the neighbours down the road. Very rural as it should be, although there are some pretty strange ones around. I think even us rural types are getting into the bigger and better mail boxes. Ours of course is in the Post Office so no hope of drawing that.
It has suddenly got very cold about 10 degrees yesterday and I hope it is killing off all the wretched little bush flies that are around.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I made a mess of his whiskers, but he was sitting as he so often does looking out of the bedroom window this morning and as normally he doesnt stay in one place for very long I drew him, a huge orange cat. I wasnt very pleased with him last night as he scratched me, he hasnt done that for ages but he hates the rain and although he only goes out for about an hour in the morning and again at night he likes that bit of outside and every time he looks lately it has been pouring with rain so refuses to go.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

This mornings walk

I was quite pleased with this until I put the rainbow in, then I couldnt get rid of it I will know next time.
We walked with friends from the Yilki Store to Whalers on the walking/bike track in drizzle and mist and then this rainbow appeared and the Bluff was in a bit of light and very green.
We got wet legs but a warming cup of coffee and some very naughty cake made us all feel better. We walked back in sunshine.
A pleasant morning, a lot of rain today and the paddocks are getting very wet and slippery but it is so nice to come back to a warm house and the smell of bread baking.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Old car

I took a photo of this old car at our friends property at Mambray Creek while I was walking one morning and it seemed the ideal start for my walking but not always sketching what I see while I am on that days walk. I have taken dozens of photos in the last year of buildings or things I wanted to paint but havent had time, now is the ideal time to do it.
Lets face it here we probably have about 8 months of the year when it is practical to do plein air work, in winter it is so wet and in summer can be far too hot.
My football team lost dismally, John and I went to the hardware shop together and got some onion seedlings, I have done some textile stuff and the lamb shanks are on braising slowly.
John has spent a fun day harrying the white cockies, two sorts, the big whites and corellas, we estimate there are about 600 in two flocks on the property, and keeping the calves and anything else from the grain they are fed, an expense we dont need after all the other problems this year. the delights of farming.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Our House

It has become something of a tradition amongst the walkers, Julie, Alison, myself and now Hashi to on our last day of the year sketch our house. So here is mine, it is not easy to do as from no where could I see the whole house, it is on a rise and is surrounded in trees and shrubs. The large pink tree is the Liquidamber which is still retaining some leaves, I was surprised as with the drought so many deciduous trees lost their leaves early.
As I said yesterday I will continue with this but perhaps not with the worry of posting every day. I have learnt a lot made good friends and tried to improve my work, with Julie's lovely pictures to give me the incentive to improve and Alisons delightful vignettes of suburban life, especially after dark Which gave me ideas of what to draw when I got bored with seeing the same things, it is amazing how differently you look at things and i had fun with the gate series. Now I will do more of the houses and mailboxes that I photographed or sketched too quickly to use or they were not relevant to that day, so I hope with not such a mad rush to get out and sketch and walk the dogs I can hone my skills even more.
It has been a very interesting year and I feel I know a bit more about Canberra about Julies bit of England and I am learning about Hashi's life in Los Angeles, where else but via the net could so diverse a collection of people come together. Thank you for letting me be a part of it all.