A History of the World in 100 Objects – Perth Museum

20160607 Perth Museum 100 Objects

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.

Perth City Farm

20160423 Perth City Farm Colour Fix 920160423 Perth City Farm Colour Fix 0

Perth City Farm this morning.¬†This is a community garden next to the main Midland to Perth train line (formerly scrap metal yard and battery recycling plant). The farm was started in 1994 so it’s quite well established now. A smallish garden area was packed with very green and well watered plants (there were bananas and passion fruit growing next to my sketching spot). Organic and Biodynamic fruit, veg, dairy, eggs (free range chickens on site) and honey is sold here every Saturday morning together with other health foods, clothing and body care products. There is a lovely cafe here too.

Two versions of the same sketch drawn on location but photo edited after. The weird and wonderful object in the sketch is a bell made from all sorts of pieces of metal welded together, somewhat rusty in places. The right hand picture is the original as I coloured it with watercolour paints, but the moment that I put the green paint on for the trees…. I wished I had stopped and kept it much simpler. So I’ve made some changes in Photoshop (Elements 8) to remove the green and push it to a more neutral grey background.


“The Green Cactus” – Forrest Place, Perth

20151203 The Green CactusThis is “The Green Cactus” sculpture in Forrest Place – the heart of Perth’s CBD. It’s a large green amorphous structure created by Perth born artist James Angus. There are mixed opinions of the work hence the “cactus” nickname. In my opinion it’s a welcome shot of colour in an area dominated by grey concrete and red brick. I believe that there’s a similar creation somewhere in Sydney but in a red colour.

Lamy Safari EF nib fountain pen, De Atramentis Black Document ink, Watercolour pencils (Faber Castell – Albrecht Durer), Pentel waterbrushes, White gouache on homemade sketchbook, Bockingford medium 150gsm paper.

Karrakatta Cemetery

20151026 KarrakattaVisited Karrakatta Cemetery yesterday and today. …..I was intending to paint something to enter for James Gurney’s graveyard challenge (plein air painting of anything graveyard related but with the restriction of using only 3 colours plus white).

This restriction on colour made painting (for me at least) really difficult and frustrating. I wasn’t happy with yesterday’s painting of this head stone (watercolour raw sienna, quin burnt scarlet and Indigo plus a little white gouache).

So I tried again today with marginally more success a horizontal grave (there may be an offical name for the types of graves, I don’t know).20151027 Karrakatta

Although the grounds were very peaceful with beautiful trees and flowers….I did find it an unsettling place even mid morning….my sense of unease wasn’t helped by a somewhat bewildered lady who was wandering around calling out for “John” (I presume her relative or husband).

The first burial at Karrakatta took place in 1899 when it took over from East Perth Cemetery which was filling up rapidly as the population expanded due to the gold rush. Adjoining¬†Railway Road it covers quite a large area (almost 100 hectares) and there are many different styles of ornamentation (or lack of) according to the deceased’s religion and culture.

Kings Park Great War Memorial

20151015 Kings ParkPainting with the Perth Plein Air Painting group in Kings Park this morning, the day started cloudy and overcast but by mid morning the sun had broken through. This column is a memorial to the Jewish soldiers killed in the “Great War”, it’s a lovely piece of sandstone hiding underneath a giant Morton Bay Fig.

Arches 300gsm rough watercolour paper, Cobalt blue, Indigo, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Winsor Lemon paints, Toffee Brown ink.