Wintery day

Blustery and overcast winters day in Perth….quick sketch of the Cottesloe Pylon with the waves rolling in…


South Western Australia

It’s been a while since I last posted….here are some sketches and photos of a holiday over Christmas and New Year to the South West of Western Australia. We visited Margaret River, Walpole (Warren River National Park), Denmark, Albany and Esperance. It is a truly beautiful part of the world with stunning sea-scapes and the whitest sand imaginable…..

Top of Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges… Flowers clinging to the summit of Bluff Knoll…Top of Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges…. Albany windfarm…  “The Gap” in Torndirrup National Park…Raging water beneath the lookout platform….hypnotizing…

Karri forrest drive… The “Giant Tingle Tree”….estimated to be 400 years old and is still alive despite the middle hollowed out…the outer edges of the tree carry nutrients to the top….  Circular Pool, North of Walpole… “The Old Northcliffe Trading Company”….looks like it is undergoing very necessary restoration….Close up of the door, and beautiful cracked paint…..The “Bicentennial Tree” just outside of Pemberton…. a 75m (246ft) tall Karri tree originally used as a fire look out (the view from the platform fixed to the top is spectacular). But you have to climb up 165 metal spikes that have been hammered into the trunk to get there (and there is no safety net between each spike!) 

 Rope and plank bridge next to “The Cascades” Pemberton… View looking North from Stoney Peak (Torndirrup National Park)Trail to Stoney Peak, looks like a bush fire has gone through here at some time…. View of “King George Sound” Albany from the top of Mount Clarence….Local kids playing in the beach (I forget where) somewhere near Denmark WAView from the top of “Monkey Rock” Denmark… (and my feet!) Greens Pool (Denmark)….a still and hot afternoon…Horse riding lesson with Justin from “Brumbies Run Horseriding Tours, Denmark ( I highly recommend Justin for his horse knowledge and calm teaching. Three boys who had never been on a horse before thoroughly enjoyed their first ride and learnt so much about horse mindset, character, temperament and behaviour in a 3 hour lesson….highly recommended (again)….   More Karri trees…..they’re everywhere! Even in the rain the trees are beautiful…..luscious olive greens turn into yellow ochre, burnt sienna and quin gold…

One of the 3 caves that you can explore along Caves Road just outside of Margaret River….(I forget which one this one was in…a spooky face…) More trees (in the rain)… View from inside Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, it was “blowing a hoolie” when we were there…over 50 knot winds (more than 100 km/hr) so we couldn’t go outside at the top of the lighthouse (too dangerous) but wonderful stormy seas….where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean…. Getting blown off your feet…hard to stand your ground… Pounding sea…  Thistle Cove in Cape Le Grand National Park….simply gorgeous beach wich dazzling white sand and turquoise sea… Tin shed at Northcliffe rail yard… Lucky Bay, Esperance….officially the whitest sand in all of Australia (according to National Geographic Australia)…Cheynes Beach Historic Whaling Station, Albany….the Cheynes IV is thankfully now permanently moored at the former whaling station and whales are no longer slaughtered for whale oil or fertilizer….It’s well worth a visit around the station, it has a fascinating history…Whalers Cove, Albany..  Original fibro and weatheboard house along The Esplanade in Esperance…. Big guns at the Albany War Memorial…Banksia mural painted by Amokisland on the side of grain silos in Ravensthorpe…. Kerosine Lamp sketched at dusk on our campsite in the Warren River National Park… camping


Crawley Edge Boathouse

The iconic Crawley Edge Boatshed along Mounts Bay Road (just up from UWA) sketched about noon today. Constructed in the 1930’s I think this must be the most photographed building in Perth…There’s always a stream of people walking along the boardwalk to have their picture taken or to take a selfie, loads of wedding photos here on the weekends. But I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a boat inside the boathouse!

Claremont College


A quick, 10 minute sketch of the grand old Claremont College in Claremont, Perth….it was the only senior school teacher training college between 1902-1981. When it opened there were separate wings for male and female students with a matron who occupied a room positioned over the main entrance to the building – separating the two wings. It is currently owned by UWA.

Swimming with Whale Sharks – Ningaloo Reef

Swimming with Whale Sharks just outside of the Ningaloo reef…. an amazing experience to be in the water so close to these graceful creatures of the ocean…. We motored out for a day on the boat “Prime” with Exmouth Diving Centre, all these photos were shot by the professional photographer on board the boat – Jess Hadden (just as well as we don’t have an underwater camera and we could concentrate on snorkelling). The water wasn’t too cold but a wet-suit helped keep warm for multiple snorkels and also gave buoyancy. There are a number of charter boats operating whale shark tours. A spotter plane in the sky directs the skippers to the shark when it is about to surface then the boats head over, taking it in turns to drop their passengers into the water to swim. We had 5 swims with the Whale Sharks, the largest we saw was around 8 metres long… we swam along side for 5-10 minutes until the shark dived down to the deep for 20-30 mins before it returned to the surface. Being sharks they don’t breath air (have gills) but they do skim the water just below the surface with their mouth wide open to scoop up krill. We could get really quite close….within a few metres…. but not too close as they are very large creatures with a powerful caudal (tail) fin.

We also sighted Humpback Whales in the distance coming up for air as they migrate North for breeding.

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Garip Ay – Starry Night – Ebru

I was amazed by the skill and technique of this artist (Garip Ay) that I just had to share…. it’s beautiful….This technique is apparently called “ebru” and is a form of paper marbling using pigments that float on top of water or another sized liquid, which is then transferred onto paper to produce a monotype print. Apparently this technique has been around for over a thousand years (first recorded practice in China) but more commonly seen in the recent West as marbled book covers…..enjoy a master craftsman at work….