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 (https://www.brumbiesrun.com/). 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…..love camping

 

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Somerville outdoor cinema, UWA

Spent a pleasant morning out painting with the Plein Air Painters Perth at the lovely Somerville Auditorium. This is a gorgeous outdoor theatre set in the University of Western Australia (UWA) grounds. This area of the university is also known as the “cathedral of pines” because of the huge Norfolk pine trees that were planted by William Somerville to create an open air venue sometime after 1927.

The Somerville is home to Perth’s International Film Festival with nightly showings after sunset in the summer months, the public gather to eat picnics on the grass surrounded by the massive trees before settling down in deckchairs at sunset to watch the film.

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On my bike ride into the city there was a yacht race on the Swan river just outside of Elizabeth Quay….the city makes a great back-drop for the race.

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Hike along the Blackwood River, Mauritius


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Hired a car for a few days to explore the island of Mauritius, it’s about 60 kms long North to South and 40 kms wide East to West…..Short distances to travel (compared to Australia). The Blackwood River runs down from the central mountain with lake filled volcanic crater. The lake is a holy site for the Hindu population – there’s a massive 35m high statue on the edge of the lake, very impressive, lots of shrines with incense wafting through the air. Winding little roads down weave around fields of sugar cane down to the coast.

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Wildflowers Kings Park, Perth, 2016

Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia this arvo, a quick cycle around (glad I didn’t drive –  it was very busy) to see this years wildflowers…. I probably should have come a week earlier but was too busy. These pictures all taken with my smart phone….I’m still astonished….the quality of picture for a little phone…..I scribbled a few quick sketches too….

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Quick A6 sketches of some of the wildflowers…Giles Mallee above (Europeans first discovered this plant in 1876) was thought extinct but was rediscovered in the Little Sandy Desert in 1991.

Sturt’s Desert Pea on the left.

Carriage Cafe Fremantle

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20160209 Carriage Cafe Freo PhotoThis is the Carriage Cafe in the Esplanade Park, Fremantle this morning. The park is surprisingly pleasant on a hot day…. there was a cool breeze from the Indian Ocean and lots of shade from the huge Norfolk Pine trees. (According to the Heritage Council of WA the Esplanade park is land reclaimed from the sea around 1900 and originally the seafront was the aptly named Marine Terrace).  The cafe really is made from an old train carriage and has been in existence since 1912. There’s a corrugated roof giving shelter through which two pine trees are growing …. holes cut into the roof to accommodate. The coffee wasn’t the greatest but it’s a lovely spot.


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A sandstone water fountain in the middle of the park, brass bubblers and wrought iron decoration.

Pilot Parallel Pen 1.5mm with De Atramentis Document Ink, various watercolours with Pentel waterbrush, Pentel waterbrush with Liquitex acrylic ink, Pentel waterbrush with water and a few drops of sumi ink (grey), Holcroft sketch and draw diary 225gsm.

Moonlight Cinema Perth

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Moonlight cinema in Kings Park Perth last night….went to see Star Wars – The Force Awakens. It was a perfect night for being out and about….had been a hot 37’C day and was still 30’C at midnight….no warming blanket required! We have seen the film before and I have to admit I slept through parts of it…I think one viewing is probably sufficient! But it’s so relaxing to set up a blanket on the grass, surrounded by the big gum trees and have a picnic as the sun goes down. This was sketched in about 15 minutes as it was going dark quickly.