The Urban Sketchers Perth planned meet up at Elizabeth Quay was moved to inside the Art Gallery of Western Australia this morning because it was very wet, windy and cold (Elizabeth Quay is very exposed). One thing we weren’t expecting was to find a contemporary dance company (Co3) performing warm up yoga in the main foyer prior to an actual dance performance. They were of course very fit, supple and graceful, my sketches don’t show how lithe they actually were….I thought sketching them at yoga would be easy because they would move slowly…but no…they moved through all the moves very quickly, flowing from one to another until savasana at the end.
This little sketch is of Aggie the AGWA robot. It walks around the gallery room and interacts with the human guide as part of a gallery tour aimed mostly at children. A bit under a meter tall it can dance, wave it’s arms and sing/talk to the audience (controlled by one of the staff)
A visit to Perth Museum while the rain fell with the Perth Sketchers, the museum is closing soon for a 4 year refurbishment, expected to re-open in 2020. Last and only exhibit on at the moment is the “A history of the world in 100 objects” – items lent by the British Museum. The oldest is a hand axe dated at over a million years old created by one of the first humans, found at a site in Tanzania, quite astonishing the age of this rock shaped by human hands. The most recent object is a credit card (expired)! Exquisite statues from around the world.
The above image is a composite from 4 separate pages of sketches.
A quick sketching catch up at the Aviation Heritage Museum in Bullsbrook this week. Two hangars packed with all sorts of flying machines from gliders made of bamboo, string and glue to a real Lancaster Bomber. There was so much to choose from in the museum it was hard to get pick on one thing to get started, I really like the graceful shape of this C47 DC3 Douglas as it towered overhead with the light shining in from one end of the hangar. This sketch was quite tricky….drew in pencil first the general shapes then ink and watercolour washes, about 1 hour.
A fountain pen sketch of a 17th century statue – head of Christ carved from wood in Goa, India. I haven’t quite captured the serenity of the face (particularly the eyes) but I enjoyed the challenge. This is a really interesting exhibition at AGWA of statues, ceramics, textiles, paintings and miscellaneous objects that reflect the mingling of cultures and religions when the nations supplying and controlling the spice trade came into close contact for the first time.
De Atramentis Document ink black in Lamy Safari EF fountain pen, standing holding homemade sketch book.
Fremantle Prison courtyard this morning, this is a world heritage listed Australian convict site….a very solid looking and imposing building built by convict labour from 1851 to 1859 using local materials…tons of limestone blocks. It was in continuous use for 130 years until 1991 when replaced a new facility partly as a result of a major riot and fire caused by the unhappy inmates. The sketch is drawn from just inside the main gatehouse with the clock above the gateway which chimes every hour. The weathered limestone wall is a lovely mix of white, yellow ochre, burnt sienna and indigo. The doorway I think leads to offices, the main entrance is to the left.
Jonathon’s excellent painting is also shown in the right hand picture below.
The outdoor group met at Fremantle’s Shipwreck Galleries this morning (the “outdoors” was too cold, too wet and too windy so we hid inside the warmth of the museum.) Lots of relics from ships wrecked along the West Australian coast, in particular a large section of the Batavia and various Dutch ships. This diving helmet caught my eye… encrusted with sea corals and with patches of verdigris it was interesting to paint, although the low light throughout the museum made it a little more challenging to pick out colours.
I had to stand to paint this one, holding my sketchbook in one hand, palette clipped to the other side leaving the other hand to apply the paint with waterbrushes and a sweatband on my wrist for brush cleaning.
[Pencil, Lamy Safari with DeAtramentis black document ink, watercolours – Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Rose, Perylene Maroon, Winsor Lemon about 1 hour]
Next I moved to the upstairs part of the museum, to a section of pottery and everyday objects salvaged – some re-assembled, others only in pieces. This stoneware jug is known as a “bearded man” jug as it has a bearded face carved into the neck of the vessel, apparently it was a German traditional design (Bartmann). A couple of pieces of other stone jars are on either side.