Monthly Archives: March 2022

Our Place

“Our Place” Neocolor II and Luminance. 26 x 30.6 cm. March 2022

I walk into this scene on a blustery winter’s day in August 2020. A strong westerly air-stream prevails and the watery sun is setting.

A few people with strong constitutions brave the wind gusts (and probable approaching rain). Some hold fishing rods, others simply recline – staring into space.

Fremantle Inner Harbour – familiar, casual, a bleak kind of beauty. We know it intimately. Our place.

And…my place.

New View

“New View” Neocolor II and coloured pencils. 28 x 32 cm. March 2022

Last year I actively searched for new views. I studied maps and took myself on numerous reconnaissance missions in my car. I made a ‘directory of views’ which I could refer to when I felt like going out with my camera. For example what vantage points would be best for sunrise or sunset?

During my search for new views I found Mount Lyell look-out and gazebo. This is a wonderful bush-clad hill accessed from McCabe Street, Mosman Park. Ascend 20 limestone steps and from the gazebo at the top you can look east, west and south FOREVER!

On a winter’s day last July I got up before dawn and drove to Mt Lyell, ready to greet the sunrise. It was the morning after a tempestuous day of thunderstorms which had caused flash flooding and wind damage. There were still plenty of clouds about but in the east it was clear so I knew there would be a rich light-show looking west at sunrise. I aimed my lens at the cliffs of North Fremantle. The Swan River was in front, cranes of the port behind, with a glimpse of Garden Island in the distance.

I took photos as the rising sun cast its intense light onto my view. I expect the storms of the previous day were responsible for the quality of light. Everything including the air was as if gone through a washing machine cycle – dazzlingly bright! I chose to work from an impressionistic soft-focus photo. It had captured the light, rich colours and atmosphere without fiddly sharp details.

During the drawing’s execution I photographed several stages…

Neocolor II undercoat stage finished
Pencil work begins with sky
Moving down with my pencils
Now picking up the gold reflections in the apartment blocks
“New View” completed

A note to local readers – I highly recommend taking a picnic or merely a coffee to Mt Lyell gazebo, especially on a calm sunny winter’s day. I took Matthew up there last winter during one of our lock-downs when cafés were closed for dining-in. We spent a beautiful hour, mostly in silence, sipping our coffees and – gazing.