urban sketching

A rural life of dreaming

Let’s face it I live almost a rural life anyway. I have had chickens (now replaced with feeding cockatoos and galahs and pigeons!) , numerous cats and dogs, I have to use my own chain saw occassionally, and I can burn my own wood (preferrably if its dried out not like my fiftieth,, oh the smoke!). So I do have a semi rural existence.

I was fortunate enough to rent a little place in rural France , Les Arcs sur Argents, where I convalesced a little after hurting my knee during our trip last year.

Fortunately having to rest up meant lots of sketching opportunities, and since then I have been able to add a few more at home.

Like many places there were some requiring a bit of work.Mind you I loved the patching up of the old buildings, the addition of new wiring was haphazard, especially for TV aerials, satellite dishes and external lighting. IMG_6108.jpegles arcs door.jpeg



They don’t have to worry about mosquitoes so the shutters are for security and sunlight, there were a few times in Europe I worried about T falling out the window to bring them shut!


Coming back from getting our baguettes.


This was our place, (not lower apartment). three levels the balcony was above the roofing clay you can see. Had to crawl through a door1/3 size of normal to get out, not easy with unbendable knee! I banged my head every second time!new black whites 3.jpegThis was from our bedroom window listening to ABBA music being played from somewhere below,, on and on and on……..

Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 21.27.40.png

Another from the balcony, sitting under the umbrella drinking local french wines! (well tehy told me they were local)

IMG_5601.jpegThe fountain above was at the bottom of our one lane one way dead end street. I am unsure of its purpose but the local kids had fun in it unless their soccer ball rolled into it. The creperie was very nice. The whole place ahd a very relaxed atmosphere except when the fun run came to town.

We seemed to draw fun runs/triathlons, there was one in Berlin, and Salzburg when we were there too.

new black whites 14.jpeg

Our place is on the right. An ancient bell tower at the end of the street, and clock on the wall. I did try to turn car up top of the street like the locals but alas I reversed down in the end.

England, the mother home?

The European migration of Australia may be a mute point in some regions, and I have learnt quite a bit that you main language could have been Dutch if dirk Hartog and Abel Tasman 1642 and others had stayed and maybe even French even Spanish ( reading David Hunt’s Girt funny and factual). Alas we are a British colony and I have these links. But most of my links are from TV. British TV. Many of the places we visited were things we knew of, but one of our favourite spots was StPauls Cathedral. Inside and out. We breakfasted nearby, then went in, under and up to the top. I drew it during breakfast and fell in love with cafe pret a manger granola yoghurt breakfast.

I drew. Took some photos for later sketches. At lunch under it.there we were around the side in a lovely garden central London and not many people around. They were around the front!

Then we walked the streets past the treasury exchange, and windy streets with buses and taxi filled streets. And bike riders. Crazed people with death to the pedestrians on their mind!! I’m sure I saw one with little human symbols on their cross bar!

So my message today is the abuse and cabs you may hear but the stalking London cyclists might getcha!

London, capitol of England, Rainy one day warm the next.

Many people not from Melbourne often say it has four weather seasons in one day. Sometimes I am inclined to agree. While we were in London it felt pretty much the same in April  but we were prepared forit. Sketching also required a little forethought, such as fingerless gloves to keep warm but allow a grip on the pen and brushes, and make sure my journals were in plastic bags. They survived pretty well and I didnt allow them to get damaged or lost. Unlike a pair of sunglasses and two sim cards....

The first day it was rainy, but just brought many images seen on TV of wet London (unfortunately the spooky days of a pea souper fog are apparently over…). It didnt pour on us and it didn’t inhibit our walking . It did give me memory of the walk to out hotel from Earls court to the Ibis via a real crescent.earls crt unground sign copy.jpgibis hotel earlscrt.jpgearlscrtcrescent.jpg

Urban Sketching a great way of making your own record of what you see

On Saturday night I was drawing cars, (as is my want), and one chap came up and said it would be faster if you used a camera. Ha haha. I just laugh now and play along but it made me think about what I am doing.

I’m interpreting what I see my own way, not a perfect picture but what I see. He did say he liked what I was doing and asked if I would draw his car.


holden coloured.jpg

I am lucky and grateful, my wife allows me time to sketch when we are at places. In Europe recently she allowed encouraged me and made me feel no need to rush. Thanks TB.

I sketched all over the place.

p1020371Buckingham PalaceP1020382

IMG_2635.jpgimg_3329-3At the Sherlock Holmes Pub

IMG_6543.jpgp1050056On the French Rivieria in Cassis


p1050092ON the Mediterranean St RaphaelIMG_2384.jpg

img_3327Trafalgar SquarLondon Europe 18

eimg_3568Gardens of Luxembourg Parisnew black whites 1.jpgimg_3915Venice