SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco was a busy couple of weeks – 10 workshop days and plenty of good restaurants, bars, shows and museums to see. Fantastic catching up with old friends and meeting new students from all over the US and beyond – a great couple of weeks.

USA16569 Powell street cable car

USA16568 Union Square

USA16547 Bay Bridge

USA16543 Fire Boat under the Bay Bridge

USA16528 Red’s Java House

USA16507 Jimi Hendrix’s Red House, Haight StreetUSA16506 Haight Street power pole –  staples accumulating since the 60′s.

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USA16498  Medicinal Dope – Haight Street

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USA16480 USA16466 Skull Exhibition – San Francisco Academy of Science

USA16412 Air Show over Alcatraz celebrating Fleet Week.USA16252 Blue Angels – doing crazy things very fast.

USA16221 USA16190 USA16129 The Stinking Rose – Garlic seasoned with food.

USA16092 Under the Golden Gate Bridge.

USA16497San Francisco is dotted with (mostly) immaculately kept Victorian architecture.USA16043 USA16031 Some awesome, but not so immaculate.USA16029 USA16022 How to squeeze more into a pickup truck than should really be possible.USA16010 USA15998 Jack’s Bar – Cannery building Fisherman’s Wharf.

USA15992Fog over the Golden Gate.

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NEW YORK

After our workshop at Dillmans we went New York to rest and relax before two San Francisco workshops. We didn’t do too much resting and relaxing, but had a mighty week with Dane and Zoe, visiting bars, galleries and restaurants all over Brooklyn and Manhattan.

DSC07415Greenpoint mural

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Metropolitan Ave

USA15253Dealers Merc

USA15946Brooklyn Mustang

USA15310New York Dolls

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USA15576Murray’s Cheese Bar

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USA15264Commute

USA15249Home Sick

DSC07448Under Williamsburg Bridge

USA15535$399 Divorce

USA15514Halloween

USA15432Bridge across the Hudson

USA15502Manhattan Kindergarten

USA15539Brooklyn cat yard

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USA15780Dome headed policemen

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USA15891MOMA PS1 Retrospective – Xavier Le Roy

USA15805Time Square selfies

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USA15593Birthday Beers

USA15538Brooklyn campervan

USA15528Airstream

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ACROSS THE ROCKIES

The drive across the Rocky Mountains, from Banff to Vancouver, has to be one of the most spectacular drives on earth. With Lyla’s knowledge of all of the out of the way attractions and the leather lined comfort of a big BMW, it was fantastic experience.USA14515

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Vancouver is a beautiful city. It’s waterside parks looked pretty dramatic with the Fall colors and backdrop of surrounding mountains.

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USA14698 USA14744 Shannon Falls shrouded in fog.

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Vancouver fish markets and harbour

USA14797 USA14798 USA14832Granville Island cement hoppers

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Camouflaged Hire car took us inconspicuously through the Northwoods of Wisconsin to Dillmans at Lac Du Flambeau.

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Dillmans Bay Resort

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DSC07406Dillmans Workshop

ALBERTA SNOW

Right now in Canada trees should be turning brilliant colors, temperatures should be starting to fall and preparations for winter should be just around the corner. We arrived in brilliant sunshine, enjoyed that for a couple of days then woke up to a huge dump of out of season September snow. Overnight temperatures dropped to minus 10 degrees, roads were closed, power supplies were interrupted and tree limbs littered the streets – inconvenient for the local residents but an amazing site for us.

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Twisted foothills of the Rocky Mountains

IF8A3642 Elbow River
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These guys are the double decker bus version of a domestic cow

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Wyeth like.

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Warm fire on a cold night at Lyla and John’s

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Small lake in the mountains above Banff

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Mountain Goats learning to eat rocks

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Driving through the snow covered prairies north of Calgary was a fantastic sight – soft, bleak and grey.

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USA14263 Canadian optimism  -  Solar powered stop sign  USA14331

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Badlands

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Winter wood

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Kila

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CARNARVON GORGE / BLACKALL

A workshop in Blackall provided a great excuse to head off a couple of weeks early and spend some time in the Carnarvon Gorge / Salvator Rosa area of central Queensland before settling in for the workshop.

gorgeCarnarvon Gorge is a spectacular collection of sheer sandstone cliffs, narrow side gorges and pockets of rainforest.

 

BLAC2978Light spills briefly into one of the damp, narrow side gorges.

BLAC2997Palms and ferns grow in the protected pockets of the main gorge.

BLAC3004x_1Strangler figs engulf anything in their path.

BLAC3011The surrounding country side is in the grip of drought, but permanent springs keep the creeks and waterholes in the gorge full of water.

BLAC3045Strange textured fungus.

BLAC3083After a few days exploring Carnarvon Gorge we looped around to the North and came back into the western end of the Carnarvon Ranges at Salvator Rosa. The access roads quickly become impassable as soon as rain falls. With no prediction of rain we were confused heading into this looming black sky. It turned out to be a mixture of suspended dust and smoke from nearby fires. It made for an amazing orange light as the sun set.

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BLAC3126Exploring some of the tracks around Salvator Rosa was hard peddling in the sand and bulldust, but a lot of fun.

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BLAC3127The fine bulldust mixed with coarse sand make this kangaroo’s footprint so detailed you can even see the texture of the pads on his foot.

arts centerWe left Salvator Rosa and headed via Tambo to Blackall where we stayed in the Living Arts Centre for the workshop.

The Living Arts Centre was formerly a hostel for school students from the outlying stations. Students now attend boarding schools in the city, so the premises has been converted to accommodation and studios.

DSC07191The studios are spacious and filled with light. Our painting was punctuated by excursions to numerous places of interest around Blackall. We visited “Alice Downs” where Jacky Howe broke the record for blade shearing – 321 sheep in 7 hours and 20 minutes back in 1892. The record still stands today. We enjoyed great meals supplied by the “Marmaladies” from Blackall and also dined at a number of restaurants around the town, including a memorable feast, slow cooked in a wood stove at the wool scour.

BLAC3201Another local hero was Roy Dunne, who jumped his goat, Nugget, over a 3’6″ bar in 1905 – another world record feat.

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BLAC3194Mustering cattle for the Thursday cattle sale in Blackall.

 

BLAC3185Long neglected fuel pump.

BLAC3296xStu Benson first drove cattle at the age of 12 and has been a proud Blackall resident all his life. His stories of the town and knowledge of the area are captivating.

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BLAC3407xHypnotic local goats.

BLAC3453Blackall wool scour – amazing steam driven chaos brought back to life.
Many thanks to Sally Campbell and her enthusiastic helpers for a fantastic workshop in Blackall.

 

VILLEFRANCHE SUR MER

Following our week in Annecy, we headed south by coach, via Avignon, to Villefranche Sur Mer, an historic town between Nice and Monaco on the Côte d’Azur

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FRAN1780Villefranche Sur Mer Sculpture by the sea

FRAN1709Enjoying the scenery – Annecy to Ville Franche sur mer

DSC06973Pondering history – a Kronenbourg, Exile on Main Street and Villa Nellcote straight across the Bay.

DSC06988A happy man with a half bottle of Chianti not so Classico

DSC06989Eleanor and a plate of Mediterranean delicacies.

DSC07005 DSC07015Our Hotel balcony was a hard place to leave.

DSC07089A quiet little square slowly transformed, by workmen and passing tour groups, to a place of confused chaos, but we pressed on with confidence and determination.

FRAN1698Pont d’Avignon

FRAN1752Pink Neon

FRAN1771Pathway to the water

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FRAN1786 Cocteau sculpture near the little church he decorated.

FRAN1787 Pink Chairs

FRAN1793 All of life’s luxuries packed into a spare plot of (very expensive) land.

FRAN1833 Vive la France

FRAN1850 Pink Roses

FRAN1853 Stacked market boxes

FRAN1860 Sweet, fresh and juicy

FRAN1918 Old Town, Nice

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FRAN1930Butcher shop mascot.

FRAN1971  Negresco, Nice – Where Isadora Duncan fell victim to a long scarf and a Bugatti in 1927.FRAN1991

FRAN1995Fantastic Paintings – no photos inside – see it if you are in Antibes