Saturday 8 June 2024

A Dog Sketch

You know what they say "don't work with children or animals, neither sit long enough". Our son's dog Peach was enjoying the sun on the deck when I sat down to sketch her. She moved 3 times but I managed to complete a sketch of her...eventually!


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


Auction Sketch 2024

I finally took the time to finish this drawing I did at a recent house auction. Half the neighbourhood was there out of curiosity. We fell in love with the house – a renovated (and extended) 1900s miners cottage, cleverly staged for the auction. It passed at auction but sold later that day. 


Marker pen, #HandbookJournal 5.5" x 5.5".

#singaporeshopfrontchallenge 175.

This is 195 Sims Ave, Singapore. I love the Singapore Shopfront Challenges on Instagram. How could I pass on doing this one as my paternal grandparents lived on this same street in the 1950s. Their place (I think now gone), some distance away along the street was of the same style but with a proper front door. From what I remember it was a plain cream colour and my cousin says it had some Peranakan tiles on the wall. What a nostalgia trip! 



Disappointingly my fude nib insisted on producing only extra thick lines on this watercolour first sketch. 

Thank you Alice Lim #Eurekawanders for the photo.

#Sailorfude pen, watercolour,#Stillman&Birn Zeta Sketchbook, 7.5”x 7.5”. #singaporeshopfrontchallenge 175. 


Friday 7 June 2024

Japanese Windflowers

This very overworked negative painting piece was an experiment but it's good enough to be one for my garden journal.


In March 2021 I planted three Japanese Windflowers (single pink) in a garden bed. They spread so well I was afraid they would take over the whole garden and consequently dug up a good many. I needn't have bothered because the three 40 plus degree days this past summer killed most of the remaining ones off and now I'm glad to have just a few survivors to nurture. Their simple flower heads are so pretty against our brick garden wall and the way they sway in the wind is a delight. Hopefully they will now fill this bed in the shade of a Crepe Myrtle tree before the next summer's heat does it's natural culling.

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

Monday 6 May 2024

Bunya Pine

For International Urban Sketchers Week 2024 I went to draw this unusual looking tree in a suburban street. A gardener came to ask why I wanted to draw this ugly tree. He told me he'd removed some branches without getting Council permission as the heavy branches with their sharp pointy leaves were a danger if they fell. This really tall Bunya Pine is endemic to Australia and harks back to the Mesozoic era when dinosaurs might have played a part in the dispersal of its pine cones. It played a significant role too in the culture of the indigenous people who held large Bunya Festivals to feast on the edible pines. The base of its trunk looks like a HUGE elephant's leg. The more I've read about this tree since this sketch the more I find it a fascinating tree! 




#Sailorfude pen, marker, #Stillman&Birn Nova Series (beige), 8.5" x 5.5".

#uskweek2024 #uskmelbourne


Sunday 28 April 2024

Ferny Creek Horticultural Society Autumn Show

I accepted the invitation of a friend to sketch the preparations for the Ferny Creek Horticultural Society's Autumn Show! Some members were painstakingly laying moss on the Japanese tea garden display when I arrived. The show was being held in their show hall on 10 acres of beautiful grounds near Sherbrooke Forest in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne city. 

On this cool day, the overcast skies and whispy mist in the forest gave it a mysterious prehistoric feel as I looked across to the Gondwana Land plant area. 




With plant and cut flower sales, a Japanese Ikebana display and demonstration, judged exhibits, plant vendors, guided garden walks, not to mention Devonshire Teas, a BBQ and hot soup planned for the two days of the show, it would I'm sure have been a great success. 

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



Anzac Day, Berwick, Victoria, 2024

Every year a small ceremony is held at the War Memorial at the bottom of the High St in Berwick (an outer suburb of Melbourne). Standing at the top end of the street, I caught the start of the parade as it made its way from the RSL on the adjoining street, past the Old Post Office built in 1884 (shown in the sketch) down to the War Memorial where the ceremony was held.

I joined the smaller crowd near the top end to watch a big TV screen showing the ceremony down the hill. Not as big a crowd this day as previous years probably due to the wet weather. A moving ceremony as always especially when hearing both the New Zealand and Australian anthems, two countries I have called home.

Sketch pages with pre-coloured swatch.



#Sailorfude pen, watercolour, #SeawhiteTravelJournal 5.5x5.5".