Posts tagged ‘travel’

May 25, 2019

I am going to France!

In about 2 weeks I am flying to Paris for a sketching/painting tour.  Seeing I haven’t done any sketching or painting since I was in high school it’s been a mad rush to practice.

Today I joined a class for learning the art of field sketching run by the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre with Chris Rockley as the tutor. About a dozen people joined in and listened to Chris give a comprehensive outline on what we were trying to achieve in two hours. The class cost $20 and included a journal, paints, a water paintbrush, pencils, ruler, eraser, bird identification booklet and even a muesli bar as well as Chris’s expertise.

From the Underkeepers Quarters in Queen St, Altona we walked through the grounds of the Truganina explosives reserve keeping our eyes and ears open for native wildlife and fauna. Chris was good at pointing out sounds and sights that inexperienced people like ourselves might not notice. A deformed shoot on a she-oak, a butterfly flitting by, magpies in the trees above, scats on the ground that could indicate birds above. It pays to take your time and notice everything around you.

Most of us settled beside the bank of Skeleton Creek just outside the boundary of the explosives reserve. Usually it is abundant with bird life but today not so much. A few ducks, a white-faced heron, a Eurasian coot and a couple of others too far away to identify were all we could see.

I tried to paint the saltbush on the bank and then a duck that was too far away to see. Lucky we had a field guide with pictures! Using the water paintbrush was a different experience. It saves you having to carry a vessel for water but I used the water reserve up too fast. Filling it up is difficult.

Overall I found it a successful day. Being with like-minded people is usually an enjoyable experience and you usually learn from them as well as the tutor.

Each time I try to paint/sketch I hope I am getting better but it doesn’t really matter as long as I enjoy the experience!

July 20, 2012

Walking around Ferme St Justin, Sers, Viea, Viella and Luz

Out bright and early  to be greeted by mist over the mountains. It’s the first day here that hasn’t been bright sunshine! Off towards Ferme St Justin along a walking track in mist like pea soup. Took photos of plants and spiders as there was no view to speak of for a while because of the mist.

Through town of Sers and an old church (another one!) Eglise St Vincent with churchyard. Most towns have a communal washplace (laundromat!).

Viella was a pretty little place where we stopped for lunch next to a fountain with a berger (shepherd) and a dog. Love the photo with a lamp and waterfall in the background. Craig would like the cement table tennis table I found. Bit hard to put it in the luggage! Plenty of veggie gardens and chooks as well.

Found the ruins of Sainte Marie (I think), sort of a castle.

On to Luz-St Sauveur and the Templar church, Eglise de Saint Andre. The history here is doing my head in.

The Promenade Napoleon III et Eugenie (Napoleon III and Eugenie’s walk) went on forever. Apparently Napoleon built a bridge for his wife, Eugenie, from the spa in St Sauveur across the river to their home. Check the photos.

We were let loose in Luz for shopping but I was so stuffed from walking for 7 hours that I just sat at the carrousel (merry-go-round) in the main street and waited for the car to pick us up!

July 2, 2012


Only a few days now and I will be on a plane to Paris! Can’t believe it is nearly here. So peeved I’ve had a cold for a couple of weeks. Really put a dent in my training routine. At least I have a voice now.

Stay tuned for stories from France!