THURSDAY APRIL 11
What a stunning day. One out of the box.
A perfect day for an adventure.
At 10am everyone managed to be at the Info Centre ready for our trip down the bumpy ol’ road to the Quarantine Station on the foreshore of the harbour.
For 140 years new arrivals were brought here if anyone on the ship was suspected of having a contagious disease.
Smallpox in the 1800s, Bubonic plague in the 1900’s, Spanish influenza 1918 -19, typhoid were all dealt with on this isolated headland.
Many deaths occurred and it became a tradition to carve the ship’s name and those who’d died into the sandstone rocks surrounding the bay. There are over 1500 of these.
These carvings are our first sketches of the day.
As you look into the rock shadows you begin to read dates, names and stories begins to reveal themselves.
The water is clear and turquoise blue, the sand pale gold. The sun sparkles across the bay and we breathe in the calmness and quiet of being far from the madding crowd. But there it is right across the bay.
Our sketches reflect the different spots people found to record their discoveries.
A very pleasant day, with a picnic under the shady Coral trees by the beach.
We didn’t even scratch the surface of all there is to see here, but we really enjoyed our day, and we have our sketches to remind us.
Warm up sketch was the carvings into the sandstone wall, and observe the silent stories that unfold as you quietly sketch.
Inside the Museum are many indoor showcases with pieces from life as it was then for people in quarantine from first class to steerage. The sketching choice was wide and varied.
The wharf is a tempting subject and beside it the turquoise water lapping into the sand.
Here is a chance to look at the colours as water comes in over sand. The way it appears greenish on the edge ( yellow sand + blue water = green/aqua )
I use a washed out pink for the wet sand at the edge of the ripples, bringing a colour change to where you want some warmth.
Lunch was at the Boilerhouse Bar and served under the umbrellas outside. Some of the group sat under the trees beside the beach and enjoyed their picnic while completing sketches.
Everyone explored styles and techniques and shared ideas on colour and different ways to record their day.
You will see some delightful sketches telling the stories of Quarantine Station in very personal sketches.
SATURDAY APRIL 13
Third time lucky. Three magnificent blue days.
Again we walked down the pathway and steps where the old funicular railway once ran down the hill, and all the way out to the wharf.
Starting sketches were the carvings in the sandstone and each one managed to show the textured rock.
Rock and stone are important textures to master in a few strokes, as they’ll occur in any water or rockscape and you don’t want it looking like a Laura Ashley wallpaper.
Next we were working on the beach vista with all the yachts and kayaks, and getting those colours in the water, including the sparkles.
There’s a lovely sketch of one of the girls with a view through the museum to the far water view beyond, and Karen continued with her vignettes close-ups of the details around the area.
This inspired quite a few who are about to travel, and could see that a doorway, signpost, window etc can tell a whole story, and doesn’t take a whole lot of time.
That sums up travel sketching indeed.
Lunch was under the big umbrellas outside the Boileroom Cafe and restaurant.
We spotted two former sketchers having High Tea, so we checked it out and it definitely looked very sketchable.
Who knows, we could have one of our ‘SketchyourCake’ High Teas here before long.
It was time to make our way home, and this time we went UP the funicular staircase! Did anyone else having aching calf muscles later?
A good feeling to end our wonderful Term1 sketching.
More adventures next term.