Sunday, 24 July 2011

'Tour de France' - No worries!

Just like half the population of Australia, I was up till the wee hours last night watching the 'Tour de France.'  Cadelll Evans is the new hero over here and what a time trial he did. When you consided that the previous two days in mountains he had battled to stay with mountain specalist Frank Shleck and to overcome a bike failure and get back to the leading group you realise what a good effort he made last night. Cadell is the first Ozy to win the Tour. It has put the event on the map over here in a big way... no worries. The Tour rolls into Paris today for the last stage of a great event. I have enjoyed the way race has not been decided until the near the end. Much better than the usual outxome which is often decided long before the final stages.
Earlier in the day I did a cycle along Beach road on the East coast of Phillip Bay to Black Rock. It is a very popular ride with hundreds of cyclists of all levels heading out and back. My guide Micheal took me through the streets to get threre and back again - a nice way to finish a cycling holiday.

Not long until I board the plane for Edinburgh! I will be going to one more art class before I leave. Here is a still life I did a few weeks ago.

Table with cans and veggies.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Some last minute things to do

I set off from Edinburgh Airport on 19 March and I'm heading back home a week today! If anyone asks me if it's good to travel for a few months I will say 'Yes... if you like travelling, meeting new people and seeing new places.' It may not be for everyone but it is for me. I've now got a whole pile of experiences which are worth their weight in gold, particularly seeing my grandson, Soli grow and develop over the last two and a half months. There as still a couple of things I want to do before I leave. The first one is to take a cycle down the coast, along Beach Road on the east side of Port Phillip Bay. I am told that there are thousands of cyclists who do this one on Saturday mornings, so tomorrow I will be another one of them. The other thing is to attend at least one more art class at Footsctay Community Art Centre. The new term has commenced and I went along to a 'Life Class' last Wednesday. The tutor really gets you to go for it during the two hour class. We start off by doing about five - one minute sketches to get our eyes in and work on proportions and angles. Then there are a couple of three minute sketches and a five minute. After that there are a couple of ten minute drawings and one or two fifteen minutes, depending on how it is going. Not only do we have a pile of drawings at the end but also some invaluable experience with tips and advice from the tutor.
This is one I did last Wednesday.


Sunday, 17 July 2011

A new Life drawing

Adelaide turned out to be a really good trip. My favourite area is around the North Terrace. This is the earliest part of the square mile which was planned and built by the early colonisers of South Australia. The roads in the square are wide and based on European Boulevards and there are several squares and fountains. At Adelaide is different from the rest of Oz because it was settled by free men who paid for the land and not convicts who had been sent over from Britain. Along North Terrace are the State Art Gallery, Museum and State Library. Each one is full of high quality culture and were a pleasure to visit. The east end of North Terrace are the Botanical gardens, which are very pleasant on a sunny, winters afternoon.
I got in a good day-long bike ride along the Torrence river to the West Coast and followed it to the northern tip at Port Adelaide and then down to Glenelg, where I met friends  of the family. They own a Thai cafe and  I was treated to a nice Pad Thai and a cup of chai... very nice!

Before I leave for home I am going to attend a couple more charcoal drawing classes. Here is one I did before the end of last term.


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Adelaide - South Australia

Took an 11 hour bus trip from Melbourne to Adelaide yesterday. This wasn't as straight forward as I thought it would be because the problem of getting my bike accepted onto the bus cropped up again! This time it was a bit unexpected because I had bought a ticket for myself and the bike... the bus driver thought otherwise. Not only the bus driver but his pal as well told me that they don't take bikes on the bus. I pointed out that I had a ticket and me and the bike were getting on. So he went over to have a word with the 'office' and then let me and the bike on. I don't blame him for being bolshy, because by the time we got out of Victoria the bus was full with 58 passengers and their luggage. But all's well that ends well. Travelling on a long distance bus in Oz is interesting, there were quite a few characters willing to tell you their life story and the state of the world and what is wrong with it. The journey flew by.
Today I have been checking out Adelaide and I like what I have seen. It is well laid out with broad avenues and Squares with fountains in them. I spent some time in the Art Gallery which is impressive with seven or eight galleries opening out from each other. There's a  wide range of contemporary and historical art plus some very good indigenous art. They even have a few paintings by Turner and a few by a guy called Charles Hill who comes from Coventry my home town.
I went along to the market for lunch with Angie who is putting me up. There is a big area with about 15 Asian food shops with lots of delicious veggy food... spoilt for choice. Also took a look in the very interesting Museum which is next door to the Art Gallery and the State Library which is next door to the museum!! I'm pretty impressed with the resources around here.
I was looking at maps in the library (which has a statue of Rabbie Burns outside*) - getting ready for a trip down the river to the coast tomorrow when a guy decided to help me plan the route... he told me that Adelaide is the most civilised country in the world!  So now I am sitting in Adelaide Uni with one of Angi's friends who has logged me on.
I go back to Melbourne on the overnight bus on Thursday night so we shall see what we shall see.

*Saw a statue of Rabbie Burns in Dunidon - South New Zealand as well!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Calla Lilies

Charcoal with a bit of chalk

Charcoal drawing

While I've been in Melbourne, I've joined the Footscray Community Arts centre and drawn some still life and some Life. The teachers are great and the centre is a lovely resource.