I had a really big day today – heading out just after 8.30am and returning back to my appartment after 9pm! I had an urge to revisit Port Arthur but was wondering how wise it would be, since it is 1.5 hours drive from Hobart and I am supposed to be relaxing! However I am very glad that I made the decision to go, not just for the visit to Port Arthur (which was great), but because of how good it felt to be seeing some of Tasmania’s wonderful scenery and especially some dramatic coastline. Seeing and sketching the waves crash against rocks always does me good. My first stop was the tessellated platform, where I used a vanishing point for a beach scene!
I had a great time at Port Arthur – I think it was 1997 when I was there before. I remembered some areas distinctly and others I had no relocation of, or have been significantly changed. So there was lots of exciting new bits for me to explore and record. There is so much to draw there! I did a LOT of sketching in the 4.5 hours that I was there – I just counted 9 sketches! I am challenging myself to do quick rough sketches at the moment so they are less polished than my normal travel sketches. For my entire time at Port Arthur, I was able to sketch uninterrupted and only have a few ‘thats great’ passing comments. Oh I also got a unique comment from a staff member who saw me sitting outside a cottage “for vagrancy and squatting you are sentenced to 7 years and 100 lashes!”. I asked if I could keep my paints for the 7 years!?!
On my way out I had another “are you Liz Steel?” moment. This time from a Sydneysider, visiting Tasmania, who had done my SketchingNow Foundations online course! Oh! small world! It was so lovely to see her sketchbook (a “tears in the eyes” moment) and we had a quick silly photo with a convict!
I wanted to make sure that I got back to Hobart before dark, but decided to have a quick dinner at the Doo-lich-us Food Cart in DooTown. Quick? No way! For starters I decided to sketch the food cart while waiting for my fish and chips. This of course attracted attention with the staff.
So anyway, to cut a long story short, I meet Nick from France and his travelling squirrel plus his two other French mates, and then three girls that work at Port Arthur. Of course I wanted to sketch Squiry and there was an idea to shoot some video of me doing it.
However, in true Liz-style, I had finished the sketch before the tripod was found so I did a second sketch (I think this was Squirrel’s better side anyway). A very silly evening making new friends which happens often when I am out with my sketchbook!
To make this article complete, I’m going to add all the sketches that I did on this epic day.