MINI SKETCH TRIP – DAY 1 – Sunday August 5 ’12
Our 3 day, 2 night Sketch Trip this time was to the Central Coast, about 90 minutes north of Sydney. We decided on Ettalong as our home base, and each day we could go to a different coastal village.
Our meeting place was Ferry Road Cafe, to down our first coffee of the day, and think about not thinking about the city we’d escaped from, and immerse ourselves in sketching and taking in new sites.
We’d heard about the Italian complex which sprawls over several blocks, has Italian tiled streets, painted frescos, statues, and is home to the weekend markets. So this is where we would sketch and think of Rome. When the Italian singer performing on the promenade belted out some Mario Lanza numbers, we knew for sure we were not in a seaside village on the Central Coast.
We were staying at the very large Ettalong Mantra, a multi storey apartment complex, next to the water. You could never get lost up this way, because this shining white complex could probably be seen from the moon.
Next door and equally large was the Beach Club where all dining took place, plus a little gambling or bingo or keno – if one was so inclined. And it looked as though there were a few.
For us it was the great value meals and spacious lounge and dining areas where we could spread out and sketch. Perhaps some tea, coffee or a drop of wine. Don’t mind if I do.
We loved our choice of meals with drinks to go with it, and some very yummy squishy desserts to follow. Then it was coffee and goodnights and sweet dreams. Tomorrow would be a whole new adventure.
MINI SKETCH TRIP – DAY 2 – PATONGA – Monday August 6 ’12
After a morning Tai Chi workout by the pool with Jo, everyone feeling very centred, we headed up and over the hill to Patonga.
First stop was with Jocelyn Maughan at the Bakehouse Gallery she shares with Robin Norling ( unfortunately he was in hospital with a virus). The gallery isn’t usually open on Mondays, but Jocelyn had very kindly left Robin in Sydney to be with us on this magnificent August day. This is not a gallery you wander in to and wonder what you’ll be expected to buy before you can escape.
Nothing here is for sale. It is purely a place to hang and store all the paintings they’ve ever done. Of course you can commission a fishing scene, a people or animal portrait. You’ll have to wait, but it will be a classical piece which will be delivered only once they are happy.
The passion which drives these two is evident the moment Jocelyn begins her tour and explains sketches and then the completed ones. Worked on that for two days she quips as you look at something they’d have a team of minions working on in renaissance times. After years of painting and teaching their main ambition now is to give back to art. To new artists, art schools and the public who come in on Sundays. They just want people to leave with a warm feeling for art. Well we did I can tell you, particularly after she’d given each of us a critique of out little sketches.
We farewelled our hostess and our tum tums reminded us it was lunchtime. Then headed to the best fish & chip shop on the Central Coast just round the corner. Nine packets of fish and chips please. For a mad moment we thought the lady was out of fish! But no she could do ours but was definitely waiting for the boat to come back. Our world returned to normal again.
We found some tables by the beach and under some trees, only joined by a bush turkey, one pelican, 2 kookaburras and 6 seagulls. Back to nature.
Now we were ready to sketch. With so many possibilities people scattered from one end of the beach to the other. As you’ll see in the sketches all of these are a little moment in time at Patonga. Later as the shadows lengthened I managed to gather all the sketchbooks for a happy snap. Then it was back to our seaside home for some relaxation after a big day in the sun.
MINI SKETCH TRIP – DAY 3 – PEARL BEACH -Tuesday August 7 ’12
Another unbelievable day. Chilly as we made our way to poolside Tai chi with Jo, but as the warmth sank into our bodies we stretched to reach the sun.
A quick ride over the hill to Pearl Beach and a slow wander about taking in the views of the beach, the cliffs round the sea pool and the colour. Such a cobalt sky and sap green trees with a blush of cadmium and ochre all revealed.
The pool area was a great attraction to our 2 olympians. Pam won gold for completing 2 laps, possibly 3. Robbie won gold for one armed wave making. All which helps the mind create beautiful images
The rocks here have always fascinated me. The pattern of the holes and the pastel colours blended through.
Thinking time needed, and it’s already mid afternoon. so a pavement table for coffee, lunch and thought gathering takes place. By day 3 we are definitely in a fun holiday mood. Time doesn’t matter. We laugh a lot together and don’t care what’s happening in the world. For now this is our world.
After a lovely long walk along the street, looking at the homes, which ones we liked, which ones we didn’t, we then took a return via the beach. So beautiful with it’s big surf at one end and a millpond at the other.
Somehow the moment arrived when we felt we should depart. Farewell everyone. Wonderful memories and sketches. We hear that one car of people were having a big sing and dance routine down the highway. Saw nothing in our rear vision, in fact didn’t see them at all. Bet a few other passing cars did.