31 August 2012

Artists-in-Residence workspace on the 'Kanangra'

On our first day at the Heritage Dock, I walked on board the old ferry 'Kanangra'.  How different from the days when I rode in her to work each day!

The top deck is our workspace - an art studio and a Mens Shed.
Freshly red-painted windows were laid out to dry on a bench - the golden afternoon light flooded the interior - here was a painting subject and I started work with pencil and watercolour .......

Warm afternoon light through an orange tarpaulin, cool blue interior.
Back at home, I could take my time and develop the subject.  Because the only available canvas was not a matching rectangle, I had to adapt the original sketch and bring the window frames more to the foreground; after all, that beautiful new red paint deserved pride of place.

The finished oil painting next to the sketch.
(I still want to keep the sketch, so made sure it was safe in a plastic pouch from oily splashes .)

28 August 2012

Painting the Lady Hopetoun

I was amazed how difficult it was to paint the Lady Hopetoun at an angle, as her nose was nearly touching the wharf and it is difficult to get a good place to stand because of the forest of iron pipes that stand on the wharf in front of her...

Anyway I found a little 'inlet' and set up my easel and got to work getting her lovely lines onto my board.  I was going great guns when the wind that was forecast came up and knocked  over my easel, and paints  and all my dirty painting water over the painting as well as over my clothes. That's when I packed up.

Painting the Kanangra face to face

Today is my first adventure of being an Artist in Residence for the Sydney Heritage Fleet at Rozelle Bay. I sign myself in at the huge shed and don a bright red safety helmet, which means I can't wear my usual painting hat with the shady brim, but never mind.

The ferry Kanangra

A plein-air artist can look like a beast of burden, bags attached to shoulders and weighing down each arm, all equipped for a good day's painting outside, the easel, canvasses, paints, bucket, brushes and of course some lunch, for this is an all-day affair, I have come a very long way today.

 I wander around all the very important ships and boats - there is the huge John Oxley balancing high above me on rows of blocks, many angles that could become a painting.  Then there is the Kanangra ferry which does not present well from her side, but then I discover her lovely face, wrinkles and all, and that's where I spent the day, face to face with the Kanangra. My easel was lightweight and wobbly and wedged into a tight corner where I watched, overcome by the industrious throngs of men who were refurbishing the boats.  Bob and Peter said they had been there, working on the boats, for 20 years, almost a lifetime.

18 August 2012

Day 1 – Jane Bennett and the SS ‘John Oxley’

On the first day Jane Bennett produced a finished work and impressed the others enormously!

Art and Life

Marijke in action – and Christine's sketch of Marijke in action!

Christine sketching Marijke at work

The sketch