Cockatoo Island Sketch Adventure

The girls sketching on the hill

The girls sketching on the hill

This is a little bit back to front, as I’ve shown the Wednesday sketching first. But I like it. And the girls were deeply engrossed. Let me introduce you. Meet Therese, Karen, Elaine and Jenny.

We arrived on Monday morning, left bags at the office, and met at the only cafe for a warm up sketch and coffee.

Absolutely great weather, and what’s more it got bluer every day. Decided to do a tour of our island home and become familiar with how to get about. Well that took a while I must say. We all got so excited at the discoveries we made as we meandered along.

The convict cells and where the 500 or so were locked up at night had our imaginations working overtime. There was the exercise yard and mess hall where they were fed, the guard house where the Red Coats were stationed. You can feel it in the stone.

Down and along tracks and pathways we clambered where the girls’ reform school was, and looking way down to the dockyards below and all the old cranes and abandoned buildings. Passing the grain silos cut in the bowels of sandstone,

Inside massive planning buildings with floors to lay out plans, through buildings where pattern makers worked, fitting and turning was done, timber stored, metal was poured, propellors lifted, more cranes….it’s living history.

4pm was time for tea on the lawn, finishing off sketches and seeing what everyone had achieved.

Relaxation, wine & cheese, dinner, conversation and a few yawns and it was time for good nights.

After breakfast (and a run 3x round the island) – I’m giving the impression we all did this! – was a gathering of people, starting their new day’s sketching round the dining table.

And so we enjoyed a lovely routine of total immersion in our own sketching worlds. Recording, and making notes. Getting the essence of this place. Coming to grips with perspective, angles, wheels, cranes, pipes and buildings. An unending supply of things to sketch.

Tuesday brought 3 more sketchers, Jo, Barbie and Lydia and we showed them some of the big cranes at one end and the convict area at the other. These were great for sketching spots if one has only a few hours.

Wednesday was a brilliant blue day, so we chose to do our afternoon sketches in the sun on the hill overlooking the harbour towards Sydney. So quiet and away from the world here on the Island. Over there was the place of we would return to.

The ferry was there, a hurried good bye and off we went, back to our other lives. It was wonderful.

Now for the pictures. Enjoy.

On our way

On our way

Looking from the cafe to the Industrial precinct

Looking from the cafe to the Industrial precinct

Selected sketches-Jenny, our house, Elaine, inside staircase, Karen, Guardhouse, Therese, far view with foreground tents.

Selected sketches-Jenny, our house, Elaine, inside staircase, Karen, Guardhouse, Therese, far view with foreground tents.

Our 5 Star home

Our 5 Star home

Our 5 Star home

5 Star camping below

Milton, our Butler arrives

Milton, our Butler arrives

4pm Cuppa

4pm Cuppa

Afternoon Glow

Afternoon Glow

5pm Sun setting

5pm Sun setting

Look I got that sunset

Look I got that sunset

Watching the Sunset

Watching the Sunset

Sketch and Eat!

Sketch and Eat!

Milton taking breakfast on the lawn

Milton taking breakfast on the lawn

View to freedom

View to freedom

Tuesday morning warm up sketch

Tuesday morning warm up sketch

The Red Coats Guard House

The Red Coats Guard House

Layers of brick and stone, the convict's guard house

Layers of brick and stone, the convict’s guard house

Pipes in the sandstone

Pipes in the sandstone

Rock wire rust

Rock wire rust

Cogs & wheels

Cogs & wheels

Firing up the restored steam Crane

Firing up the restored steam crane

Closed to the public but not us

Closed to the public but not us

The Powerhouse

The Powerhouse

To the manager's office

To the manager’s office

Pumps and turbines

Pumps and turbines

Water metre

Water metre

Pipes & Taps

Pipes & Taps

Who took the soap

Who took the soap?

Time to take our leave
Time to take our leave

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