A few years ago I sketched this little cottage on Sydney Harbour. It was late in the afternoon and there was no activity – no sign of life at all. As I did the sketch I started wondering what had gone on here in the past. Such an amazing location, I could imagine parties on the verandah, kids running around, boats in the water, but now, nothing – just a little cottage gazing out across the water. It had a kind of empty sadness – a little neglected with vague evidence of lively past.


Quinacridone Gold, Alizarin Crimson,  French Ultramarine Blue,  Phthalo Blue, Medium Magenta Acrylic, White Gesso, White Gouache


White pigment Ink, Burnt Sienna Pigment Ink


White Charcoal,  Black Charcoal, Dark Brown Derwent Inktense

9 thoughts on “LOOKING BACK

  1. You’ve certainly added life to the cottage, John, whether there’s family around or not. This reminds me of my brother, who, as he drives around the countryside, makes up very entertaining stories about the people who live in various houses.

    • Hi Jo,
      I think I suffer from the same affliction as your brother. I’m always making up stories about different places. I will post an article I wrote for International Artist Magazine about the habit!

  2. Thanks for the Art lessons- just keep them coming. I loved the subject.
    Since you introduced the Derwent Inktense in your Blog. I purchased them, have add high lites to old cracked Italian walls , let them bleed.
    Very Happy with results. See you Italy

    • Hi Barbara,
      Glad you are enjoying the inktense pencils. I find I’m using them all the time now too – love the way they draw over wet paper.
      Looking forward to Italy.

  3. I found this while randomly googling… your watercolors are just indescribable! I’m not too big of an art fanatic but I actually, just simply love looking at them. I wish I could paint something even nearly as beautiful. ^^

  4. Hi John
    Just love the expressiveness of your watercolors. The way you allow the colors to blend to show the life of a building is really amazing.

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