Category Archives: Victoria

Exploring for a travel sketching workshop

I am very excited to have been asked to hold a Travel Sketching Workshop by Sarah at Arts On Burgundy in Heidelberg, Melbourne. 

On Friday I took a day off to meet Sarah, discuss the January Workshop and explore Heidelberg, as I have never been there. I wanted to see where I could take the Travel Sketching group on a walk on the day.

I will base it on the very successful plan of my East Melbourne Library Travel Sketchwalk except this is a full day workshop, not just an afternoon. 

I am not teaching how to draw, but how to see and to sketch an impression of your moment. No erasers or rulers,  wobbly lines are  just fine. Nothing matters but enjoying what you do. 

I also want to introduce people to watercolour pencils as a everyday art medium or a travel sketching tool. 



I also took the opportunity to catchup with sketching friend and artist Jodi Wiley. We started the day sketching our food and talking a lot.  I got a lot of ideas for where to sketch locally from Jodi and then Sarah.

I walked around and around the streets of Heidelberg.  I stopped at three places and did two 15 minute sketches at each.

This will hopefully give the participants an idea what can be sketched at each. I  looked for places to stop where we could stand or preferable sit for 15 to 30 minutes.

I need to know about the potential for shade as it will be January in Australia. However it is Melbourne – so who knows what the day will bring.  


My day ended at Heidelberg Railway Station, knowing that I had just missed a train and had 19 minutes to wait. Time flies when you are sketching !!!

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 ! (

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

Drawing in books

Last Christmas a good friend gave me a book to draw in.
But it is not a book of blank pages, but a printed book.
In fact it is not a book, it is The Acts of the Parliament of Victoria”  1894, Index 1890-1894. It is A4 size, only 24 pages but bound in hard cover and leather. It was bought at a second hand book store.


This gift was both apt and prophetic. Apt, because I have been a law librarian for many years, using the laws in research. But little did any of us know last December that I would move from Sydney (New South Wales) to Melbourne (Victoria) to work in the Supreme Court Library, where Victorian (and Commonwealth Laws) are enforced.

Last December when I received this I immediately knew that I wanted to draw grand and beautiful Parliament of Victoria building in the “Acts of Parliament” legislation.

I sketched some then and have continued this last few weeks. I have sketched on seven pages so far (see below)


Inside the front doors -The Vestibule

Floor tiles have beautiful colours and patterns

As a librarian it has taken many years to be able to draw in books. I was ok drawing on scrap paper, flyers, tickets. Then I drew on maps. I have recently bought old published cheap books especially for drawing in.. still working on those projects.

I am still not sure if the of concept drawing in this legislation is good or not. Is it legal ? disrespectful and irreverent ? It probably would have been thrown away otherwise. This is all online now and shelf space in libraries is at a premium. Sometimes it is impossible to giveaway old law reports and legislation. So it is a good thing that I am giving it a new and continuing life…

This pondering deserves another blogpost oneday.