The weather here on Flinders Island has turned rather wild and woolly! Not really surprising as we are on an island perched in Bass Strait. Not only is it the body of water between Tasmania and mainland Australia, it is also the link between the Pacific and Southern Oceans. So those winds hurtle up over us from deep down in the Southern Ocean
We have had a few days of low temperatures, high winds and squally rain. It’s not the best sketching weather, but I have been out a little. The other day I sat on a step, in the shelter of the building sketching a cleft where the stream plummets down. The wind was howling through the trees and I knew it was cold, but I didn’t feel cold as I sat there. There is something meditative about drawing that takes you away from the immediate. I was very rugged up, and sitting on a piece of plastic to stop the damp. 😉
Later, in the calm and warmth of the bedroom I drew some of the essentials in my sketching kit
There is a warm scarf, knitted by my Mum, which made me feel even warmer, like a big cuddle! A beanie too. The dragons knitted into it by my friend Janet, were an added bonus. And gloves — one with fingers and one fingerless mitten. The fingerless one allowed me to control the pencil while keeping my hand warm. Needless to say I also had on thick socks, a thick coat and layers.
The Strzelecki Range behind the place where I am staying has massive, exposed granite boulders. It took me a little time to work out that one outcrop was actually one side of a valley. The creek that runs through the property comes from high up there.
I was attracted to the large granite outcrop at the top of the gully, and enjoyed exploring it with my pencil. However I realised that I was cramping it too much. It is a large, dominating rock formation and needed more space.
My first attempt:
After a warming cup of tea and a good think, I had another go, including the rocks on the other side of the valley. If you can work out this sketch you will see that I started it larger and vertically. I was still cramping it. It took me all this time to work out that the composition needed to be horizontal. The smaller, rectangular drawing was a thumbnail sketch. That was better.
It may not look fantastic, but it has given me the information to work on at home. However I still need to understand how to create the vegetation around the rocks.
This last photo was taken from the coast of Flinders Island, looking out over another island in the Furneaux Group, Mt Chappel Island, I think. You can see how the rugged beauty of the place has demanded my attention!