Sydney’s Inner West

December 14, 2012

Visited the current group exhibition of the Inner West Artists at Croydon: some “urban painting” (as opposed to ‘urban sketching’) in the works of Ellen Feidler (Cezanne-like colourwork in depictions of Enmore Park) and Tom Parker (pen & ink of Croydon, also some tight colourwork in some oils). Meng Woo did a great job in her landscape of Coledale rockpools and for me the standouts were two abstract works by Jane Cascoigne, remarkable for small works in acrylics. Show finishes tomorrow!

I went out today with just two Staedtler fineliner pens, 0.1 and 0.5mm, and a sketchbook: not even a pencil wrap. Staedtler 0.5mm was completely useless. I stopped off at some railway stations on the way back. All these railway stations are late C19 with various modern additions. I simply hopped off, stayed on the platform and picked something interesting before the next train(s) came along taking me back to the city.

Petersham Railway Station

The very grand Petersham railway buildings on the north side are no longer a functioning station, built in the days when the Sydney railway only went as far west as Parramatta. There is some wonderful brickwork in grey and cream here.

Stanmore Railway Station

Some great greys, including corrugated iron roofs,  in this view looking west of Stanmore’s railway station. Standing up, but will take stool next time.

Newtown Railway Station

Newtown’s station  has just been upgraded and has imposing post-modernist lines. The overarching roof begged to be done in Terracotta colour, Neo-color II Caran d’Ache water-soluble crayon (thanks Jenn) as a result of a recent demonstration of Caran d’Ache media at Kadmium in Bay Street Broadway.

Wanted to move on the test spots of wet media on my new Stillman & Birn 5×8″ sketchbook (Gamma series, Ivory surface, 150g): the paper feels heavier than 150g and responds transparently and authentically to whatever media I throw at it. The integrity of the medium is retained on the paper.

Not up to ‘full’ sketches today but dashed off these off, imagining getting down some very quick impressions while standing up, e.g. in a place like Bangkok. Do members of the Bangkok Sketchers not use sketching stools, I wonder? What’s the minimum amount of materials I can get away with while on location in a very busy city? Did all thse with sunglasses on to block out details. Lots of distractions from Highly Dubious/Unstable people around me (as there usually are after peak hour on inner west trains), so didn’t linger longer. My time was measured by the number of trains stopping – they blocked my view every 15mins.

My own Sketch Crawl

Have left the LH pages free for more considered detailed sketches at some point in the future, because some of the geometric shapes are very impressive – will take a sketching stool next time. Very overcast weather, quite muggy, which I think shows. Eschewed a coffee break (and Portuguese custard tart, hopefully burnt on top) at Petersham, but will keep that in mind next time: a solo Sketchcrawl from Redfern to Strathfield, stopping for 15mins at each railway station. Petersham for morning tea? Flemington (Sri Lankan) for lunch?


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