Month: June 2015

Relaxing on a catamaran

We took a relaxing day on Australia’s largest man made lake, Lake Argyle, in Western Australia. Sailing on a catamaran was fantastic, and I also got to do art!   This lake also has 25,000 fresh water crocs. Not like the salty below., these ones are less aggressive, but when we went for a swim and two submerged my wife decided not to swim. I still have all my toes and fingers.


The next three do not do the real view justice but I tried painting without ink. I will redo these. The boat was moving so the view changed, slowly but angles differed. The last was as the sun was setting the sun behind the hill.


This was as T sitting and me sketching from a seat on the bow. Needs colour and shade.


 Ait was an amazing trip, flat water, shade, lunch, tea,coffee, and not another boat/person to be seen.

Every where you look you see something to draw

over a year ago I read Danny Gregory’s books creative license and every day matters (and now all the others). He talked about how sketching makes you see and experience evreything you see and do differently. You see a sketch in everything. 

You almost crave a pen in your hand and something to draw on. 

Add on holidays and you have lots to choose from but only so much time. But I am not a fast sketcher. So I get picky. Then there are times when you are given opportunity.

At Longreach caravan park( they called it that, me I call it a dust bowl with toilets from the 1970s but at least they were warm showers.

But these Brolgas appeared and I was able to draw and colour most of them at the same time



At Mataranka, where at least we got shade and beautiful hot springs, we also got lyrebirds. It’s the males with the colours.

Not happy with what I have done here but will keep trying. 


 unforunately I am not that attractive to them to make their tail fan stand up.

At 3 in the morning we had wild pigs snuffling outside our van.. I couldn’t get a photo , so how about a dead grasshopper, who very kindly posed for me


An oasis on the road 

When you drive in 30′ heat for four hours across red dry soil lined roads with trees tha look parched, the flattened remains of road kill drying on the side of the road, and miles and miles of nothing but trees soil and nature and come across a place like Mataranka. 

A true oasis with palms and trees and hot water springs where one can sit and relax (for me that means sketch as  well as dip). In world awar two the U.S. army made the natural spring into a pool but only for their officers. There is a lot of old Ww2 sites along here where both the U.S. Of A and Aussies were based and trained. Very interesting and grateful


 When we were here 13 years ago it looked like it was still from that time. It’s a little better now

 It’s a popular place with families and oldies. The oldies we call grey nomads. Retirees who wander Australia in their mobile homes. Does that make us grey nomads although not yet retired? I drew and painted this while Therese  soaked a little longer.

You can see the nomads floating on their rubber nood. They stay in the water so long I am unsure if they were that wrinkled before they got in!

At the caravan park we saw lyrebirds, Falcons, wallabies and last night at 2 am wild pigs searching for food. Scared the willies out of me.. They ran off before I could get a photo. Should have left my shorts in a handier spot.

Bitter springs is a nicer more natural swimming hole where you drift along for 15 minutes among a natural setting with turtles birds and beautiful trees, as well as European and American tourists you also see more of the grey nomads. 

Longreach. Stock mans hall of fame

I have always wanted to come here. I don’t know why. I just did. Very moving stories of our farming past and those who tried to conquer the interior with knowledge and without, all the way from settlement to the WW2 soldier settlement stories.

I didn’t know that my uncle was a shearer, he did swear at the sheep and sometimes they got him back. 

I drew this thinking of him, here you Uncle D. His Jackie Howe, there were tributes to him along the Matilda highway including where he lived at one point. The statue was in he hall of fame near the cafe and toilets so every time I went that way I drew him. I added colour rather than the brass version.


 It was back breaking work

I have learnt a lot, from the early droving days to the shearer a strikes and the formation of the Labour Party under the tree of knowledge

There was also a droving show by Lachy Cossar which highlighted many of the droving skills and he sang whilst sitting on one of his horses too.


The great pearl trip 9 days in

it is the first of winter, but here I sit in 30′ shade  4 hours out of Darwin. T&i have been driving everyday for 10 days and this time she is sharing the driving. Very proud of her she is getting used to passing the road trains. 

53.5 metres and can feel them go by as they suck you in toward them. 

On the road here we saw this monument to an Australian version of the headless horseman. I have been reading Henry Lawson takling about drovers, and how superstitious they were and afraid of the night. Mainly that when they slept how their stock could scatter causing hours of extra work.

The idea that a headless horseman would frighten them and their stock was a myth in the Burke region. This tribute was up along the highway with nothing around it for miles. Each character block was one peace of metal, which was good for my continuous line drawing.


So far the only thing to wake us was a sprinkling of rain at 0200, unexpected as it was we were out of bed as if James Bond had hit his ejector seat button.