Urban Sketching at Lennox Park

May 29th, 2023 § 0 comments § permalink

May’s Urban Sketching meetup was again on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. This time we met at the Nara Peace Park and the Canberra Beijing Gardens in Lennox Park. It was a chilly but magnificently clear blue morning that showcased the Autumn colours. Before I show you my sketches I want to show you how beautiful my surrounds were. There were families everywhere having picnics and cycling and enjoying the day! Perfect day for sketching!

The Chinese pavillion matched the colourful leaves.

Traditional Chinese gate to welcome visitors to the park. I was besotted with the stone stairs. The people at the top are my fellow sketchers having show and tell time; sharing their sketches and telling their tales. I forgot what time it was and was still finishing up my painting at that point! This photo was taken from where I set up my easel. The Beijing Garden was a gift from the Beijing Municipal Government, and was designed in the style of the imperial style of the Qing Dynasty.

Two of these lions sat at above at the entrance to the welcome gate.

This was one of five stork sculptures in this group. They watched over my shoulder!

This is the first time I’ve taken my full setup out with me in a very long time … since before the lockdowns in fact! It’s a bit of a fiddle, but it was worth it for the experiment that I wanted to do with the style of painting this time. I needed to let layers dry and work on the two paintings simultaneously, which would have been night on impossible if I was juggling everything on my lap! The drying time was rather slow given how cool it was.

As always I prepared my spread with the title and a little map to show the location. This is the finished spread. The two paintings were done on location, and the photos and journalling added at home.

My experiment this time was to create the painting without using ink outlines like I usually do. I started by blocking in the shapes in pale blue pencil to get the proportions right, and then did a more detailed graphite sketch before several layers of watercolour. I LOVED painting all of the rocks in the staircase!

I had two lovely chats this time. The first was with a shy little girl with a big smile who eventually told me that she liked to draw rainbows, and then a brief one with an elderly Chinese fellow via mime and made up sign language. Whilst these interactions break my concentration, they one of my favourite parts of getting out and sketching on location.


Materials:
Windsor and Newton A4 watercolour sketchbook
Daniel Smith watercolours

washi tape for masking
Uniball gel pen – for journalling
photos printed on HP Sprocket

hand carved M stamp

Procrastination, thy name is knitting!

August 22nd, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Alternate title : an update on the Canberra Churches Calendar.

Why is it that when I get close to a milestone in a project that I choke and do everything in my power to sabotage myself? I don’t think I am alone in this dilemma. There are any number of memes around the interwebs that show writers and artists cleaning out fridges and answering ancient correspondence and the like in an effort to avoid the fact that there is a deadline looming.

procrastinate-productively-work-hacks-02

I’d like to present the following two photos as evidence of my extremely well developed ability to put off starting what will likely be the last painting for my Canberra Churches Calendar project. In the past three weeks I have finished a scarf I started two winters ago (bottom grey, chevron pattern), finished off the last of that grey yarn with a bias knit cowl in a honeycomb sort of pattern (right side middle), used up an odd ball of pink 8 ply from my stash for a super warm cowl (middle left), tried my hand at lace knitting with a shawlette in a cream 2 ply merino yarn, and then started a brightly coloured patterned scarf in 2 ply yarn (that is not working as well as I had hoped). I have knitted approximately a billion stitches in order to avoid putting paint to paper. Sigh. At least it is crafty… and I have justified this obsession as a change of scenery that will help me paint when I get back to it.

*ahem* *cough*

Right.

They’re pretty though… and we are forecast to get snow again next week… so totally useful…………. ok…stop talking now Michelle…….

This is a particularly good piece of procrastination if I do say so myself. Blocking knitwear is stupidly satisfying.

So.

Here’s where the Canberra Churches Calendar is up to. I have painted eleven of the twelve buildings, and whilst I appear to be procrastinating by writing a blog post about procrastination, I have actually finally started the last painting. I am still enjoying the project … but speed bumps are normal and inevitable. It has been a busy couple of months at work, and concentrating on painting just wasn’t happening, so I wasn’t going to push it and make a mess of it. But I am back in the saddle again now – no I have not run out of wool – and may even do a thirteenth painting so that there is something different on the cover of the calendar. I love the way they all look together and am excited about doing the scanning and pre-press work to get it all ready to upload.

I will be doing a series of blog posts with a little history for each of the churches over the next few weeks in the lead up to release day. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter so that you have access to the pre-release special pricing that will be available only to newsletter subscribers. There’s a link over on the right-hand side of the page there.

December 17 to April 18 Sketchbook flip through and a speed-draw video

May 6th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

I finally got around to filming a flip through of my most recently finished sketchbook! I really enjoy seeing the things I’ve played with over the course of a couple of months. I hope you do to!

I also filmed a timelapse video of the latest church drawing for my upcoming Churches of Canberra calendar (available early November). This is the first process video I’ve made, and I am really pleased with how it came out. I love watching other peoples’ work in progress videos because they inspire me and give me tips and tricks for my own work. I plan to show more of this type of video in my Instagram stories.

 

Here’s how my calendar paintings are looking so far. I am so excited to see the project coming together! If you want to keep up with release dates for the calendar and special deals on originals and prints please sign up HERE.

Sketching at the NGA

January 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

After I’d been through the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition and made sure I got thoroughly lost exiting the gallery, I spent some time sitting in the sculpture garden enjoying the solitude.

There are some truly beautiful pieces in the garden. I was visited by a blue wren and his harem as I sat in the shade and sketched.

sculpture garden

Oops! The Carillon has a bit of a lean to it 🙂 One of the pitfalls of drawing with my sketchbook on my lap. Hope it doesn’t fall into the lake!

carillon

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