Tag Archives: Fremantle


A small coloured pencil/oil pastel piece which I’m drawing at the exhibition.

I am spending a couple of hours each day at my art exhibition “Entranced”.  In this exhibition I have several works from the past five years as well as a series of 2017 drawings.

While at the gallery I am listening to the opinions of visitors.  What I am hearing is that many people prefer drawings with a more interpretive impressionistic bent than the detail-filled sharply focused pieces.   Indeed, the first to sell at the opening was “Daydream” and many visitors have admired this piece and others like it.

August 2017
coloured pencils on top of an undercoat of oil pastels.

I am happy that visitors are responsive to the impressionistic work because this is a type of drawing I am enthusiastic about as well.   After years of detailed work, it is a pleasure to work in a looser interpretative style.

“Sideshow Alley” – coloured pencils/oil pastels
also in the exhibition.

Kidogo Arthouse (Bathers Beach, Fremantle) is open from 11 – 4 Tuesday to Sunday (but closed on Sunday 17 September) until September 20.  I am on site from 11 until 1.  I am giving a talk on Saturday 16th at 2 pm.  All welcome.



On the Rocks

“On the Rocks 1”

“On the Rocks 2”

The latest additions to my drawing series headed for Kidogo Arthouse in September 2017 are “On the Rocks 1” and “On the Rocks 2”.    These drawings will be the smallest in the exhibition at 195 x 200 mm each.

In the past three weeks I have been to New Zealand and back twice.  Each time I flew, one of the drawings went with me so that I could work while away.  These well-traveled crested terns were worked on in airport transit lounges, my sister’s house in Wellington and in the hospice where my brother was being cared for in Christchurch.  It was calming to scratch away with pencils in the unusual circumstances in which my drawings and I found ourselves.   They were both completed back home in my studio.

When holding an exhibition it is good to have a range of art sizes.  Not everyone has huge wall spaces (or wallets) for one’s major works.  A small sized drawing (or two) may be just the ticket for an intimate space.

“Entranced” opens on 7th September at Kidogo Arthouse on Bathers Beach, Fremantle.


Stepping Out

“Stepping Out”
A silver gull in Fremantle drawn with coloured pencils, Neopastels and Neocolor.
205 x 250 mm. March 2017

Sometimes I am forced to fully prostrate myself in order to get the reference shot I need for a drawing.  Such was the case for the series of photos I took of this particular silver gull last August.  If anybody saw me lying flat on the dirty concrete at the port, well, too bad!  I needed to be at bird level so I had to pretend to myself that I didn’t look ridiculous.

“The Humble Seagull” is a drawing of the same bird which I drew several months ago.

There are people who tell me they like birds but not seagulls.  Yes, seagulls may act aggressively if they feel threatened, or greedy when they want our fish and chips.   I am quite sure that seagulls have variable personalities just as we do.  I’ve met some friendly and inquisitive gulls during my photography trips who come close to see what I’m doing and then linger with me for a while.  I think they are handsome birds with quirky and gregarious personalities.

“Port Side” – drawn at the same time as “The Humble Seagull”




Just Looking

"Just Looking" Coloured pencils and Neopastels on Arches Aquarelle smooth. 195 x 375 mm. February 2017

“Just Looking”
 195 x 375 mm. February 2017

Scattered between reconnaissance missions and precision dives for fish are periods of standing still – while ever-ready to take off again in an instant.  The tern regards his environment as the light fades around him on a summer’s evening in Fremantle.

The drawing “Just Looking” is a combination of coloured pencils with Caran d’Ache Neopastels on Arches Aquarelle smooth watercolour paper.


Transit Lounge

"Transit Lounge" 200 x 230 mm February 2017

“Transit Lounge”
200 x 230 mm
February 2017

Just as we humans wait in designated areas of airports for connecting flights, so birds have their own transit lounges where they rest.  Time for a little preening, gathering of breath, formulating plans, or just looking about.

At the port of Fremantle there are plenty of transit lounges, each a perfect size for one bird.  From my observation, a flying-in bird will kick off a lounge-occupying bird. “You’ve had your turn, Tern.  Hop it!”

Fly in, fly out.

I will be having a break from posting for the next two to three weeks.

Rain Birds

"It's raining!"

“It’s raining in January!” a rufous night heron exclaims.

What an unusual event!  Steady rain in Fremantle in January.  And what is more, it is forecast again for tomorrow.   What do the seabirds think of this?  I will head down to the river to see.

Pondering the situation...

Pondering the situation…

"Yes I can"

“Yes I can”


On the other side of the great leap

A good spot to contemplate rain (and food sources)

A good spot to contemplate rain (and food sources) at East Fremantle

Further up the river a pelican meditates.

Further up the river a pelican meditates.

Close up and personal with a juvenile rufous (otherwise known as 'nankeen') night heron.

Up close and personal with a juvenile rufous (otherwise known as ‘nankeen’) night heron.

Pied cormorant observes me.

A pied cormorant poses elegantly for me.

"Which is my best side, do you think?"

“Which is my best side, do you think?”

Sadly in the world of seabirds, fishing line is a curse. If only I could have cut this tangled line off the poor little leg.

Sadly in the world of seabirds, fishing line is a curse. If only I could have cut this tangled line off the poor little leg.

I had a beautiful morning down at the port.  For a while I forgot about the human world and relished the bird world; blessings bestowed by birds.

And now its time to fly...

And now it’s time to fly…


Rain Bird

"Rain Bird" a crested tern at Fremantle. 195 x 240 mm. January 2017.

“Rain Bird”
a crested tern at Fremantle.
195 x 240 mm. January 2017.

Do you remember that a few weeks ago I showed you a drawing of a flying tern?  I called the drawing “Liberation“.  Back when I drew that bird, I also began another drawing of  him (or her), standing on a post seconds before take-off.  The barely-begun drawing was interrupted by my trip to France so it sat in a folder until this week when I felt like returning to it.

Though it was pouring when I took the source photos, I hadn’t made any suggestion of rain drops in “Liberation”.  Also in that drawing I decided to leave out the post completely.  This time the rain drops and post are in.

Alternative titles for the two drawings could have been…

Tern On

Tern On

Tern Off

Tern Off

“Liberation” had already sold so I couldn’t compare the colours of the two drawings – until now – when I am viewing these two images together.  I wonder if all those Paris drawings done in between these two bird drawings had any influence on my treatment of “Rain Bird”?

I have so many source photos for Paris but I miss my birds AND Kyoto.  My various subject matters are going to have to take terns (I mean turns) so that I don’t mourn their absence from my drawing life.