Monday 9 December 2019

Broome, Western Australia July 2019

In July 2019 I was in beautiful Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. This is a very interesting coastal town of nearly 19,000 people and is famous for pearling. It is full of vivid colour and natural phenomena, as well as having sunset camel rides and dinosaur tracks in the beach rocks, dating back 130 million years. The sunrises and sunsets are unbelievably spectacular.

I had a group of 12. I only take limited numbers as I demonstrate and tutor constantly, so everyone gets the very most out of the tour and has individual tuition and guidance.

Here are some of my sketches from this trip. 

Broom courthouse on left, where markets are held weekly, and Johnny Chi Lane on right, with people waiting for their bus.

We sketched in the grounds of a pearl shop, where there were many historical artifacts from the pearling days.

And a very special sketch from the Japanese Cemetery, the largest Japanese cemetery in Australia dating back to 1896. Most of the graves are of the Japanese migrants who settled in Broome to prosper from the rich pearling industry. It is a memorial to those who were loved and lost.

The wording on one of the gravestone read:

"We did not see you close your eyes,
we did not hear you sigh.
We only hear that you were gone -
without a last goodbye."

Sketching in Bali & Borneo May 2019

In May, I was privileged to take a small group of 9 to Borneo, where we sketched the amazing orangutans of Central Kalimantan. As travel was along the river waterways, the klotok boats we travelled in did not accommodate any more.

Prior to flying to Borneo, we spent three days in Jimbaran, Bali, and I ran workshops on how to sketch the orangutans. We also ventured further afield for more sketching and a little exploring. It is a beautiful place with lovely people, and I never tire of visiting. Over the years have taken many groups to very special places on the island to sketch, away from the crowds.

Le Mayeur Museum, in Sanur. This is a place I try to visit when I go to Bali. I love the history of the Museum and the wonderful detail in the buildings.
We flew from Denpasar in Bali to Surabaya in Java, transited there and continued on to Central Kalimatan. Our aim was to visit three orangutan rehabilitation centres in the Tanjung Puting National Park. 

During this tour we not only saw and sketched orangutans, but proboscis monkeys, gibbons and the long tailed macaque monkeys, all unique. In the ecolodge we stayed there were a troop of gibbon monkeys living in the trees. I also saw a giant monitor lizard stealthily moving along on the muddy river environment underneath the walkway I was sketching from.

There were various colourful birds (the Bornean Bristlehead, stork-billed kingfisher and garnet pitta), and green water snakes which could be seen along the river.

This is my forest scene, showing the various birds and animals to be found along the river environment.

Mother and child eating bananas at the rehabilitation centre. The babies stay with the mother until they are about seven year old. There is a very special affectionate bond between them.

This was my cabin along side the river and set into the forest. The gibbon monkeys would occasionally jump on the roofs of the cabins during the night.  
With the logging of the forests these endangered species may only be with us for another ten years.

I have an extensive article on this tour which will be published shortly in Australian Artist Magazine, where I describe the sketching tour in more detail, and with more sketches.

Melaleuca thymifolia finished

I have completed my Melaleuca thymifolia for the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Florilegium exhibition in 2020. The botanical exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of Sir Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander's voyage of exploration to Australia will be held in Sydney. There will also be a book published of each artist's botanical painting contribution. These will all be plants that were discovered by Banks and Solander during their time in Australia.

Leonie painting Melaleuca thymifolia

Details of plant

Final painting