Wednesday, 10 May 2023

Sketching the Coronation 2023

Sketching from live TV coverage on my comfortable couch at home was better than being there!  Thank you BBC! 

I should have sketched scenes in the abbey when people were mostly stationary but I was too afraid to miss anything. 

A page in history.

#Sailorfude pen, watercolour, #Stillman&Birn Zeta Sketchbook, 7.5”x 7.5”

Saturday, 29 April 2023

Anzac Day 2023

I love sketching action so the parade and ceremony at the War Memorial in Berwick, Victoria for Anzac Day was too good an opportunity to miss. It was just a small ceremony in this outer suburb of Melbourne but nonetheless meaningful. Quite well attended and the cafes did well after.

Note the soldier in the photo below marching in a WWI uniform. 

People were watching one of two big TV screens. We got the works – Hymn Abide With Me, a flyover, the Last Post, a gun salute and the New Zealand and Australian anthems!

Soldiers in the parade started to line up after the ceremony. There wasn't much time to sketch them before they marched away. I was sorry not to be able to get a sketch of those in WWI uniforms. 

#Sailorfude pen, watercolour, SeawhiteTravelJournal 5.5" x 5.5".

Thursday, 20 April 2023

Cruden Farm (second visit)

A timely visit to Cruden Farm after watching Episode 1 of the documentary The Murdoch Empire. This is the main house at Cruden Farm in Langwarrin, east of Melbourne. It was the childhood weekend home of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. His mother Dame Elizabeth Murdoch spent her long life (she lived till 103) redesigning and maintaining the lovely garden. It is considered one of the most significant gardens in Australia as the initial design was done in 1930 by the renowned woman landscape designer of the day Edna Walling and the estate still maintains many interesting features from that time. The giant tree in front of the house is a magnificent hybrid oak, a cross between a Pin Oak and a Macedon Oak. It is known by the Cruden Farm gardeners as the Laughing Oak as it sheds its leaves at a different time from other oaks.

To read a post on my first visit to Cruden Farm click here

#Sailorfude pen, watercolour,#Stillman&Birn Zeta Sketchbook, 7.5”x 7.5”.

Pioneers Park

After the coldest start to April in umpteen years, I wasn't expecting to feel hot sketching in Pioneers Park, Berwick. I don't know what trees these are but they are pruned hard each year and look cute as they start to sprout.

#Sailorfude pen, watercolour,#Stillman&Birn Beta Sketchbook, 7.5”x 7.5”.

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Garden Moves

It’s been 5 months since I added anything to my Garden Sketch Journal! I think our potted plants need to be featured so here’s two sketches which also takes me to the end of this sketchbook dedicated to my garden which I started in October 2021!

Our ferns and Elephants Ears are doing so well after we moved them to the shady side of the deck last winter. 

Moving the potted Mona Lavender and the Curry Leaf Tree to where we can see them from indoors has given me much pleasure. The Blood Leaf plant (given to me by my friend Carmen) is now three plants!

#Sailorfude pen, watercolour,#Stillman&Birn Beta Sketchbook, 5.5”x 8.5”.

One Price Store

I was trying out a few new techniques here – painting in the shadow areas first instead of the usual method of doing them last, using more water in a wash at the bottom to give some variation in paint thickness and leaving some of the sketch unpainted. The shadow areas needed to be much darker than I had anticipated so they required a couple of layers of paint. The thin wash areas at the bottom ended up somewhat insipid and timid but I liked the unpainted right side of the sketch. So all in all, mixed success. 

This is One Price Store, Emerald Hill, one of my favourite places in Singapore. I have sketched this building on-location twice before but this is a virtual sketch from Google Maps.

#Sailorfude pen, watercolour,#Stillman&Birn Zeta Sketchbook, 7.5”x 7.5”.

Loveridge Walk

This is Loveridge Walk, Berwick from the south end. That's a big clump of bamboo on the right. The lane is named after the Loveridge family who opened a hardware store in adjoining Peel Street in 1888. The store moved to nearby High St, Wilson St and then Kangan Drive before like many other independent stores, the Loveridges decided to close its doors. Their garden supply section continued for some time after making them an institution in the area for 120 years. That big W in the background of my sketch is the Woolworths supermarket. 


This was a problematic sketch – sitting on an uncomfortable sloping street bench required a delicate balancing act of board, sketchbook and paints on my knee. I got yellow paint on my fingers which transferred to the page and then it started to rain! 

The afternoon was saved by a sketcher friend who walked by and stopped for a nice chat.

#Sailorfude pen, watercolour, #Stillman&Birn Beta Sketchbook, 7.5”x 7.5”.