Mungo Scott Flour Mills, Summer Hill NSW 2130

April 2, 2014

Summer Hill Flour Mill 1Automatic formatting in WordPress is particularly bad today (some days are better than others), so just keep scrolling through. I’ve tried to caption each image with some text. Apologies for any inconvience!


A warm-up in soft graphite on A4 cartridge paper, prior to meeting sketching colleagues. This is on the rise on the main road to the south-east of the complex and this view will be completely obscured by a Meriton residential apartment high-rise in the immediate foreground.  Sydney Trains workmen were clearing their storage sites nearby, with the new light rail service up and running just two days before. The new Lewisham West light rail stop is visible behind the palm tree in the middle-distance. The main Mungo Scott Flour Mill building dates from 1922 and bears a distinct similarity with similar former flour mills adjacent to Newtown Station, a little further in towards the city. In the early 1920s of course, Newtown and Summer Hill were at the extreme edge of Sydney city. The flour mill took advantage of the adjacent goods railway line built after World War I. The silos in the background date from the 1950s.

Summer hill Flour Mill 2

Today was the very last day of business for artists who ran the Mungo Artists group on the flour mill property. Part of the premises seems to have been leased to Sydney Trains while they constructed the light rail extension from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill. By rights, one ought to eschew watercolour impressions for something more detailed, such as carefully-considered graphite drawings,  in the case of architectural reportage. Today ought to have been an occasion to document the buildings and especially those parts of the architecture extraneous to any re-purposing as part of the site’s redevelopment. Rightly or wrongly, I chose to work on my own issues – working in watercolor for 30 minute stretches. The morning ought to have been raining – this was the eighth or ninth day in a row of rain in Sydney – but miraculously there was sunshine and deep shadows. Conscious that the contours of the silos will remain in the redevelopment, I chose to note those outbuildings and fittings which I know will be swept away. A4, Arches Smooth 185gsm, W&N watercolour, 30mins.



Summer Hill Flour Mill 3

































I’m not preoccupied with “correct” watercolour technique as with simply learning to manage materials and get down something – anything – in just half-an-hour. The Malcolm Carver travel palette allows minimal time spent mixing colour, allow me to paint in two steps – pigment to paper – rather than three: pigment, mixing tray, paper. I’m painting purely tonally with scant regard for local colour. I was intrigued in this view by the fact that the mechanics for dispensing flour to trucks at the bottom of each silo was still in place. This was painted at the top of some stairs adjacent to the east boundary fence and over my shoulder was the railway line and Lewisham West light rail station. A4, Arches Smooth 185gsm, W&N watercolour, 30mins.

Summer Hill Flour Mill 4
































The view looking south between the silos showed a most wonderful sky blue and that competed with the fittings on the side of the silos adjacent. A4, Arches Smooth, 185gsm, W&N watercolour, 30mins.

Summer Hill Flour Mill 5
















We decided on a final sketch before lunch and I chose to revert to the graphite of the initial sketch, here capturing the fast-moving shadows on the silos. Beyond were the trees and carpark of the Mungo Artists’ Studios. A4, 150gsm cartridge, graphite pencil 3H.






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