SketchingNow Adventure: Marrickville

September 23, 2015 | Leave your thoughts


Last week I headed to the inner west suburb of Marrickville (not too far from Petersham that I visited a few weeks back) for my final SketchingNow Adventure associated with my Edges class (the last lesson is just about to go live … very exciting … but I am digressing!)


I have been wanting to visit Marrickville for ages as I keep hearing about it and have never been there as an adult. So what’s the fuss about this suburb? One word says it all – Coffee. Marrickville is home to the best coffee in Sydney and the best cafe too – according to the Good Cafe Guide 2014. So basically I was hoping for a cafecrawl!


Not too far from the station is Cornersmith (the best cafe) so that was my first destination for a late breakfast, coffee and tea!


Here is coffee (very good) and also a very rushed sketch of my yummy breakfast of poached eggs. Just for the record they were not green – this is an example of powerful dispersing Daniel Smith watercolours and working too fast. But, I will never sacrifice a good meal for a sketch!


It has been fairly crazy lately for me (this is an understatement) and I was feeling a bit sluggish, so it was time for a leisurely ink first then wash sketch over a cuppa tea to get myself motivated to start walking and sketching on the streets.


It was a glorious day and I had a wonderful time, walking and walking and enjoying the variety of building forms in this eclectic suburb. The main shopping area was nothing flash (architecturally) and contains lots of Vietnamese and Greek shops but there were a few quirky things such as the presence of a row of houses in the middle of the shopping precinct. And I just love the Pork Roll place – I will have to stand in that queue on another visit to see what the fuss is all about! There are a lot of other ‘must visit’ food places in this part of Sydney and I would love to hear of any recommendations!


Before I headed to another cafe, I thought I better do my example for my Edges lesson, so here is a sketch of the delightful old Police Station that is located a block away from the main road.


I walked up Illawarra Road, enjoying the mix of residential styles, the presence of a lot of corner shops and then mixed in some garages…. and of course the odd out-of-the-blue serious coffee shop.


My next destination was Coffee Alchemy – the cafe that has held the ‘best coffee’ reputation for a number of years, and was responsible for making Marrickville a coffee destination. You wouldn’t pick it from the outside hey? Right on a main road in an industrial area…but inside…


They only serve coffee – no food and definitely no tea. I did ask about the tea but it didn’t go down so well as they didn’t realise I was being sarcastic. Sketching coffees is a bit stressful for me as coffee art is so precise and fine (not to mention being white on a darker colour) so it is hard to do in my loose style. Added to that is the fact that I am not happy with a cold coffee! So it is a high pressure sketching situation.


On this occasion I drew the empty cup as well experimenting with empty latte cup textures! And for the record the coffee WAS good! (and also so was the Cornersmith one!)


Time for a little more walking and then lunch… industrial area and flight path. Ok! that photo was just an excuase to share with you how gorgeous the day was….look at the blueness of the sky!


In the middle of a block that was transitioning between industrial and residential, there was another out-of-the-blue cafe: Two Chaps. This cafe’s specialty is the tea – Sticky Chai to be precise – honey soaked chai made by hand and with a bit of a kick!


So of course I needed to order that – wow! amazing! I also sketched the building opposite and then it was time to head back home.

I didn’t feel like I sketched much of Marrickville, but I got a feel for the place and am VERY keen to come back.  I really loved the mix of everything in what I saw!

Finally, just a quick thanks for coming along with me on my recent SketchingNow adventures! I haven’t been able to have the big days like I did last year but I have still had some grand times. It is truly insane that the only time I do these outings are in the most busy weeks, when my weekly online class is running. But getting out and about is so good, that it is worth the extra effort. I have two resolutions:
1. I want to make a commitment to continuing these adventures on a regular basis. If I can fit them in while my classes are going, I should be able to fit them in during normal periods!
2. I want to become a little more systematic about the way I explore a new area of Sydney…. but more of that on another occasion. And it also ties into my thoughts as I start to prepare for my upcoming travel sketching workshop in Launceston.

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