Category Archives: Melbourne

East Melbourne travel sketchwalk

If you have been reading my weekly blog recently, you will have noticed that the focus has been on my East Melbourne Library Travel Sketchbook exhibition and the associated Sketchwalks.

We had clear crisp skies to start the Sketchwalks each day on Friday and Saturday and everyone had their warm layers on. 

My two sketchwalks were wonderful experiences. Each day a group of 13 enthusiastic participants arrived and embraced the concept of travel sketching . After a short introduction to the watercolour pencils and the idea of travel sketching,  we headed out into crisp winter East Melbourne day, drawing trees, leaves, houses, fences, signs and whatever else attracted each person. They only had 15 minutes at each of the three locations, so it was all about getting marks and an impression down on paper. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A giant orange crane working in the street attracted some people on the Friday. It was not there on Saturday, so those Friday sketchers had really captured the moment !

Saturday sketchers had the football fans walking past on the way up to the MCG , so some sketched the scarves and team colours.

I think that most people finished the day with a new way of thinking about travel sketching and eager to put their newly found skills into practice, 

Each day we headed back to into the warmth of East Melbourne Library to chat, share and look through some other examples of sketchbooks (my own and published books) that I had brought in.  

They are not’ how to draw’ books, but rather show different people’s sketches and styles. I’ve put links if you are interested, I will often borrow a book from my local library before deciding to purchase it.

An Illustrated LIfe by Danny Gregory

Reportage and Documentary Drawing by Veronica Lawlor

London You’re Beautiful by David Gentleman 

Taking a Line for a Walk by Christopher Lambert

Drawing Paris by David George Holm

Manchester Sketchbook by Manchester Sketchers

An Eye on the Hebrides by Marie Hedderwick 

A great book to start drawing is Danny Gregory’s book  Creative License .   It will open your eyes to creativity and drawing. I return to it regularly to refocus and relearn.

Here are the links to my previous blogposts about the East Melbourne sketchwalks and my exhibition. 

Preparing for a travel sketchwalk 

East Melbourne Sketchbook 

Video of my East Melbourne Sketchbook

 

Happy sketching !

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

preparing for a travel sketchwalk

I am preparing for my local Travel Sketching ‘walk and talk’ that are on this Friday and Saturday. Both sessions (1pm -3.30pm ) of 15 people are fully booked out and there is a waiting list ! The wonderful Melbourne Library Service have promoted the sessions widely and there has been a lot of interest to run repeat sessions. 

Yesterday I spent time walking the route and stopping at my planned locations.We are only walking a few blocks and there is so much potential to draw. The idea of the day is to inspire people and  to open their eyes to the possibilities and concept of travel sketching (not to try to teach them to draw in two hours) .

 

We start in the Library, where I will talk a little about travel sketching, my own approach and what we will be doing. Melbourne Library Service is supplying watercolour pencils, waterbrush and paper for the day.

There are three stops along the way once we leave the Library, each with so many potential things to draw – up close or vistas. We will stop for about 20 minutes at each .  I walked the walk yesterday doing my own sketches which I can show as examples on the day.

These are very quick sketches, as sometimes when you travel you do not get the opportunity to sit down and sketch for a long time.  I also don’t want people to stress about the drawing and getting caught in the details. 

Stop 1
Stop 2

Stop 3.

After the final stop, the plan is to retrace our route back to the Library, giving people the chance to spend more time on a previous sketch or do some more. 

When we arrive back at the Library, afternoon tea awaits and also time to talk about the day and share experiences and sketches if people are comfortable with that. I also have some examples of published travel sketchbooks from my own collection for anyone to browse through to inspire  them to continue. Ad there is my own Travel Sketchbook display on in the Library. 

It will all be very flexible on the day. This is the first group talk I have given and it will be a positive learning experience for everyone. 

My only concern is the weather. It is Melbourne in winter. This week has been 14 degrees and sunny blue skies. Fingers crossed that this continues. The wet weather alternatives are not exciting. However that is all part of travel sketching. Sometime weather changes your plans and you have to make do with alternatives.  

Sketching in Fitzroy Gardens

Today I sketched with a friend and her 12 year old grand daughter in Fitzroy Gardens. We are three people who love to draw. Not everyone is as fortunate as me to have the time and opportunity to draw. So it is always special to spend time with other people who do. We each had different styles and approaches. I feel that it is so important to encourage young people and anyone to draw, especially if they show an interest. 

Colours

Grass Green

Chrome Oxide Green

Earth Green

Hookers Green (it is too bright. I am going back to Derwent Mineral Green)

I love a combination of a sketch on location and then finer details of smaller objects. This works for travel sketching, as I will have a ticket, or souvenir (or leaf) that I can sketch at home. Trying to capture the autumnal colours that are coming through after our late summer. A sunny 26 degrees today. Perfect for outdoor sketching.

I also used a lot of Light Chrome Yellow, Light Yellow Ochre and Bistre ( a new colour in my pencils, replacing Raw Umber, which had too much yellow in it).

A combination of old and new, looking through trees to a modern building in Clarendon Street.

A family picnic across the park. I am not sure if I am finished yet. Maybe some more colour and detail. Alternatively I may move onto my next project……

All in watercolour pencil and also Lamy Safari Joy ink pen in Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook.

Lunar New Year sketching

Over 40 (perhaps up to 60) Melbourne Urban Sketchers met on a blue-skied sunny day at Queen Victoria Markets to sketch for Lunar New Year. Although the markets are busy, especially on weekends, we found spacious, shady places to sketch. 

 

such a wonderful sight to see sketchers all around

The Queen Victoria Markets have been operating in Melbourne for more than a century. This historic landmark is spread over two city blocks, and you can shop for everything from Australian fruit and vegetables, and local and imported gourmet foods, to cosmetics, clothing and souvenirs . A place to visit for locals and tourists ! (www.qvm.com.au/about/)

There was so much to sketch, and I choose two of the mythical creatures that were between the market sheds. I used my Lamy Safari Joy ink pen and watercolour pencils. I wanted to capture the people as well as the Lunar New Year.

a group photo at 1pm

We were one of at least 25 worldwide Urban Sketching Regional Groups that were sketching for the Lunar New Year.  

and here are some roosters I sketched a while ago . For Year of the Rooster

Urban sketchers in Ivanhoe

About 30 people from  Urban Sketchers Melbourne  met at Hatch Contemporary Art Space in Ivanhoe, Melbourne at 11am, then once again at 1pm after the sketch to share. This event is part of 2016 Pinpoint Contemporary Art Fair held by Banyule City Council. We sketched for the morning on postcard size paper (and some larger) on location in Ivanhoe. group

The sketchers included Lionel King visiting from Sydney and a few newcomers, including Colin, a local, who could give us local knowledge of where to sketch – a big thank you !
It was very surreal to be with Angela Williams, Alf Green and Lionel King, as the last time we were in one place together was in Manchester, UK in July this year for the Urban Sketching Symposium.

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looking down a driveway/laneway near Upper Heidelberg Road

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War Memorial on Upper Heidelberg Road

Above are my two postcards from the morning.

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The sketches were laid out on the tables at Hatch, as we chatted and enjoyed their hospitality of tea, coffee and biscuits !
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The finished “Postcards from Banyule” were then put in a display cabinet at the Ivanhoe Train Station (work will be displayed for 2 weeks).It is in the area where people buy their ticket or shelter from the weather, so should get a lot of people looking at them. (Ivanhoe is a suburb in the City Council district of Banyule).

MRBW Day 9

Melbourne Rare Book “Week” actually goes for 11 days, culminating this weekend in the  ANZAAB Australian Antiquarian Book Fair (Melbourne Rare Book Fair), held in the University of Melbourne’s historic Wilson Hall.

I am flying to Manchester for the Urban Sketching Symposium tomorrow and will miss the two days of the Rare Book Fair.

Today I sketched at two events.

ARTISTS BOOKS: A ‘QUINTESSENTIAL’ ART FORM

State Library Victoria

Des Cowley

22Jul2016 MRBW Day 9am

Despite there being no agreed definition of what an artist book is, it is generally defined as a book made by an artist and intended as a work of art. This session looked at a selection of books made by artists, drawing from State Library Victoria’s collection of over one thousand artists’ books

LEGAL LUMINARIES AND THEIR BOOKS

Law Library of Victoria

The Law Library of Victoria brought together eminent members of the legal community to share their passion for books. Held in the iconic Supreme Court Library, the session celebrated the importance of the written word and the beauty of the book in people’s lives.

 22Jul2016 MRBW Day 9pm

It seemed very fitting for my final sketching session documenting Melbourne Rare Book Week events was held in my workplace, the Supreme Court Library. I have sketched in the library in the past. But they are more detailed studied drawings of the books, shelves and ladders of this beautiful space. They are available as Greeting cards from my Esty online store (I am away until 17 August and will take orders after then) or at stockists around Melbourne

IMG_001622Oct14 shelves229Oct14 old Commercial law bookalissa duke library shelves

 

 

 

The past 9 days have been a wonderful experience for me, as a sketcher and book lover. I have met an amazing array of people who are passionate and generous in sharing their knowledge of their specialist area of books. Thanks to everyone who has discovered and followed my blog, some who have introduced themselves to me at events. A special thank you to Kay Craddock, Chris Browne and the people who worked so hard to produce this event. It was humbling and exciting to be involved.  See you all next year.

MRBW Day 4

A quiet Sunday, with only two Melbourne Rare Book Week events on today.

REMINISCENCES OF SECOND HAND BOOKSHOPS IN MELBOURNE: 1970-2015

17Jul2016 MRBW Day Four am

John Arnold is an Associate Professor at Monash University lecturing in publishing and communications. He has been involved in the second-hand book trade as a dealer and collector for over forty years. In this talk he reminisced on bookshops past and present.  Lots of people in the room nodding their heads as he mentioned various people and businesses. This talk was held in beautiful room in the Old Treasury Building, so I decided to colour the room in this sketch.

 

PENGUINS ON PARADE

14Jul2016 MRBW Day Four 4

Melbourne book collector, Professor Chris Browne, presented an entertaining illustrated talk about Penguin Books, focusing on their interest to book collectors, particularly looking at early Penguins from 1935 to 1970. He pointed out the important role of Penguin books during the Second World War and show how important innovations in book design were introduced by Penguin, He outlined the history of Penguin Books, both in the UK and Australia, illustrated the talk with examples from his personal collection of around 2000 Penguins.

MRBW Day 3

 

Melbourne Rare Book Week hosted six events today. Some were at the same times, so I had to make a choice about which ones to attend and sketch at. The decision was made easily, as one, A Walk on the Mean Streets, was going to have more sketching potential than the others.

The day began at the Rare Book Discovery Day at Melbourne Museum. It was an opportunity for people to bring along their books, maps and prints to this Antiques Roadshow-style event for discussion and informal appraisals from a panel of leading antiquarian booksellers. I arrived when they opened the doors and sat behind the appraisers.

14Jul2016 MRBW Day Three merged

I immediately realised that my ink pen was empty so I sketched in watercolour pencil. Instead of a quick sketch I stayed there for about an hour, drawing the appraisers first and then adding some people who had bought books along. I was pleased when a family arrived with a stack of books . I had a wonderful time watching, listening to the interesting conversations and sketching.

14Jul2016 MRBW Day Three am merged

 

After rushing home to refill my ink pen I went back into the city for A Walk on the Mean Streets. I knew in advance that the two presenters were dressing in period costume, which is why I wanted to attend this event. We had a perfect winters day – clear blue sky and sunshine.

15Jul2016 MRBW Day Three pm1

This walk was hosted by Dr. Lucy Sussex, an expert on Australian detective fiction, accompanied by Professor Chris Browne. We walked for two hours, stopping at some of the sites of Melbourne featured in the books of Fergus Hume, the author of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.

 

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The walk finished at East Melbourne Library biscuits and coffee and with an interview with the ghost of Fergus Hume. We also viewed some early editions of the Mystery of Hansom cab and related titles and learned more about the publishing history.

 

counting down to travel and MRBW

The countdown is really on to two BIG events for me. Melbourne Rare Book Week in two weeks and UK holiday in three weeks.

Here is an update.

HOLIDAY

Three weeks to go ’til we leave on holidays to the UK – here is this weeks envelope to Mum. I a not at prolific this year and have forgotten to scan them before I send them !. Here are lots from  last holiday three years ago  to the UK.21Jun16 squirrel envelope

MELBOURNE RARE BOOK WEEK  – PART 1 – Sketching

As I have described previously I am going to be sketching the events of Melbourne Rare Book Week. They will be quick sketches in pen, maybe adding a splash of colour. I plan to combine these with some sketches of the buildings or room they are held in to provide context, interest and colour. Yesterday I spent time at the beautiful State Library of Victoria (after dropping some of my greeting cards off at  Readings bookshop – they reordered ! Hooray. But that’s another story) .

Five talks are being held there in two different rooms at State Library of Victoria. I could only gain access to one room yesterday – The Red Rotunda. I sketched from two angles – both sketches are very heavy handed, but they give an idea of the room. I may go back and redo these.

2Jul2016 Red Rotnuda 2Jul2016 Red Rotunda2

 

MELBOURNE RARE BOOK WEEK – PART 2 –  Exhibition

The other part of my involvement in Melbourne Rare Book Week is my exhibition “You Can’t Draw in Books?” at Melbourne City Library. Yesterday I met with one of the Library staff to look at the practicalities of the display. We tried to find display stands to suit the various book sizes and see how they would look in the different areas of the library.

photo 2photo 3photo 1 Life is very busy and exciting !

exhibition preview

Today I held a special champagne preview for some close friends of my upcoming exhibition “You Can’t Draw in Books?” for Melbourne Rare Book Week.
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from left to right. Leon, Alissa, Louise, ,Michaela, Adam

Today’s preview was at my apartment for some good friends who will not be in town while my exhibition is on. The books were displayed, grouped as they will be in the different areas in Melbourne City Library. The difference was that today, they were spread out over a table, mantle piece and my bed, instead of labelled in display cabinets.

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The exhibition is at Melbourne City Library, Flinders Lane from 14 – 24 July. I will be giving a talk with book collector, Chris Browne  on Monday 18 July at 6pm. We will explore aspects of drawing in books, from early manuscript illustrations and the presentation of pictures on the printed page, to my own informal drawing in books. Book here for the talk.

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Above are a selection of the books. There are forty in total.

We are now at the stage of designing the flyer, and writing the content for the different areas of the display. In just over three weeks we will set up the exhibition. Today, it was great to receive some lovely comments from my friends and to get their feedback on some questions I had.  Thanks all for a lovely celebration and sharing my exciting art adventures.