FLINDERS RANGES WORKSHOP

We left Arkaroola and headed down to Adelaide, exploring Wilpena, the southern Flinders and Burra, on the way. Our truck was parked in secure parking for the two weeks of the workshop. We spent a night in Adelaide, then we joined the painting group and travelled back up to Wilpena Pound Resort by coach for our first 5 days of the workshop.

The Flinders Ranges are a great place to paint – interesting buildings, spectacular gorges and a backdrop of magnificent purple mountains.

Here we painted the old Wilpena Station store where all the stations provisions were secured back in the 1800’s

This old door has been patched and repaired over the years, keeping the blacksmiths cottage secure for over a hundred years.

We painted the stony outcrops surrounding the Aroona Valley before going down into the Brachina Gorge to explore the rocks and pools

 

Brachina Gorge

We had two great indigenous guides to show us around the Brachina Gorge area. They took us to see these ancient rock engravings with all sorts of interesting details.

Leaving The Flinders, we moved on down to Burra, a beautiful little town with magnificent stone buildings built in the boom days of the towns copper mine in the 1800’s. We spent a few days in Burra exploring the area and painting.

Burra Main Street.

South Australia has a lot of old abandoned railway stations, some with old rolling stock, some with wheat silos and most of them built beautifully from local stone

One of our group has explored all the old abandoned stations in the lower Finders. He got permission from the owners of this beautiful old station for us to visit.

We spent a morning painting the old Farrell Flat Station.

 

Skillogalee Vineyard made a good painting destination. We sampled their wines, had a fabulous meal and painted in the vineyard garden – What a great day.

Lunch on the Skillogalee verandah.

Our last couple of days were spent in Hahndorf in the Adelaide hills. We visited The Cedars – the home and studio of Hans Heysen.

A beautiful studio with huge, frosted, south facing windows and a large open fireplace

 

We were lucky to have “The Two Marks” on board as we travelled around South Australia. Mark One , the driver, had a terrific knowledge of the area and kept us entertained and informed with some great stories. Mark Two,  a local watercolourist and long time traveller through the region led us to some great painting locations we would have otherwise missed.

The passing vista of old abandoned buildings, big skies and bare rolling hills is unique to South Australia and is something that keeps drawing us back to this part of the country.

 

ON TO FLORIDA

Our workshop at Dillmans was a lot of fun – catching up with old friends and meeting new people. We were a couple of weeks early for the full Fall colors, but White Sand Lake is spectacular any time.

 

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Great View from our cabin on the lake

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Sandhill Crane – Dillmans

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From Dillmans we headed over to Boone, North Carolina to meet “Cheap Joe” Miller – What a great guy – A real gentleman and character, the only person I know that can play Pachelbells Canon on a specially tuned wooden stick

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Rocking Chairs on Cheap Joes Studio Verandah

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Cheap Joe’s Workshop Studio is fantastic – lots of space, great light and a big overhead screen and camera

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Beautiful old wooden Barn near Todd NC

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Todd General Store and Bakery, near Boone NC

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Bob and Tom – Irish Pub, Bradenton FL

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Great to catch up with Joe Costanza in Florida – Crazy sense of humour and lots of great stories

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Curious Squirrel

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Gulf backwater near Mobile AL

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Tupelo Honey

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Old fish processing building as the sun rises – Apalachicola FL

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Fishing Floats

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Sad to see the Hurricane damage around the Gulf of Mexico. This, once grand, building in Apalachicola has an optimistic ‘Opening Soon’ sign, that appears to have been in place for quite a while

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Old Jetty – Cedar Key

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Cedar Key – Bar on the water as the sun goes down

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Cedar Key

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Roseate Spoonbills – Cedar Key

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Pink Ibis

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Young Herron

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Egret

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LONG DUSTY ROADS

All Text and Images © John Lovett 2019

After 660 kms of dusty corrugations down the Gibb River Road, we enjoyed a brief stretch of bitumen across to Halls Creek. An overnight stop and we were off down the Tanami Road to Alice Springs. The Tanami Road is 1100kms of mostly well graded dirt with some patches of bulldust and rough corrugations. The Aboriginal Communities of Billiluna and Yuendumu sell expensive diesel.

After stocking up in Alice Springs, we spent a couple of days in the Eastern MacDonnell’s before heading East along the Plenty Highway – a long strip of corrugated dirt that cuts straight across the Northern Territory into Queensland

Freshwater Crocs are thriving at (an almost dry) Windjana Gorge

The Tanami Road cuts through the Tanami Desert from Halls Creek WA to Alice Springs NT

We spent a night at Wolf Creek Crater – Dianne, having not seen the movie, was pretty relaxed about camping there under a full moon, I had a bad nights sleep with a wheel brace under my pillow.

Believe it or not, this piece of corrugated iron architecture was on wheels.

Tanami Roadtrain

Finches at a rare waterhole along the Tanami.

Billiluna Community

Billiluna Footy Field – all dust and rocks

Can’t drive past a wrecked car without stopping to take a photo. This one was so good we camped the night to get the early morning sun.

Wedgetail enjoying breakfast.

After stocking up in Alice Springs, we headed out to the Eastern MacDonnell’s for some pretty spectacular walks.

Not far down the Plenty Highway we came across this rolled Toyota. It must have been there a couple of days because all the wheels were gone. Judging by the scattered debris, it must have been some Japanese Tourists heading off on an adventure.

The white dot in the middle is our camp . Huge amounts of nothing through the middle of the Northern Territory, but when you stop and look around the scenery can be spectacular.

Budgerigars

Stockmen at Tobermorey Station

Tobermorey Horse Breaker

Tobermorey Sunset

Red dust

Crossing into Queensland, the Plenty turns into the Donohue. This was the smoothest dirt road we encountered

Donkeys watching Humans come to a sudden halt in a big cloud of dust.

ARGENTINA

From the Falkland Islands we made our way to Argentina, stopping first in Montevideo, Uruguay, then ending our cruise in Buenos Aries. After the workshop finished, Dianne and I stayed on in Buenos Aires for a few days to explore the city.

© John Lovett 2019
Montevideo Doorway – Orange Bike
© John Lovett 2019
260 air conditioners – Montevideo
© John Lovett 2019
Beautiful old timber dock crane cabin – Montevideo
© John Lovett 2019
Buenos Aires skyline
© John Lovett 2019
Buenos Aires looks very European – many of the buildings were designed by French architects in the early 1900’s
© John Lovett 2019
Buenos Aires
© John Lovett 2019
Buenos Aires
© John Lovett 2019
La Boca is an old area of the city full of bars, restaurants and tourists. Lots of artists, musicians and tango dancers fill the spaces between wandering visitors. The old buildings have all been brightly painted but kept authentic by maintaining an interesting state of semi disrepair.
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
Buenos Aires sketches – lots of great subjects all over the city, but I love the old buildings in some of the back streets
© John Lovett 2019
Buenos Aires – San Telmo Markets – great stalls, food and fantastic street music.
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
Buenos Aires – The guy in the background is busking – stands like that for hours. The girl was just walking by as I passed.
© John Lovett 2019
Peter, Maree, Yves, Dianne, Margaurite and Evelyn at the famous Cafe Tortoni, Buenos Aires
© John Lovett 2019
The beautiful old training ship, Sarmiento, has been converted to a museum and moored permanently at the docks in Buenos Aires
© John Lovett 2019
More back street sketches – As amazing as these areas look, they are not safe. we were warned a couple of times not to enter some parts of the city.
© John Lovett 2019
Our workshop included a great trip out to a ranch for a barbecue and demonstration of riding by the Gauchos
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
Chimango – Small South American bird of prey
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
This little guy looks like a bulletproof rat, but is a hairy armadillo, native to Argentina
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
Another Argentinian native is the Rea. Similar to an Emu, but smaller and more muscular
© John Lovett 2019
This little bird is a burrowing owl – nests in a hole in the ground and only as big as your hand.
Argentine guanaco
© John Lovett 2019

FALKLAND ISLANDS

After a second smooth crossing of Drake Passage, we stopped for a day at Stanley in the Falkland Islands. The islands are low, treeless and windswept. The older architecture in Stanley is interesting. Apart from a few buildings made of brick or stone, most construction is of timber and corrugated iron. The design of the buildings are still traditionally British – even down to the picket fences, but the unusual materials take some getting used to. An attempt to make the place feel like home I guess, but they miss out on that balmy British weather!

© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019

There are many of these old Nissin Huts, left over from various wars. All the buildings have a flaking, rusty patina caused by the constant freezing and thawing and the continuous howling wind.

© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019

An interesting graveyard for wooden boats at the end of Stanley Harbour.

© John Lovett 2019

Young penguin hiding in a burrow above the beach

© John Lovett 2019

Mum and Dad socialising on the beach

© John Lovett 2019

No one climbs through the fences

© John Lovett 2019

Male Upland Goose – common on the islands

© John Lovett 2019

Brand new Landrovers waiting delivery

© John Lovett 2019

Anchorage for fair weather sailers.

The Falklands had a very British feel – friendly British accents, Landrovers everywhere, Pubs serving Ale and money bearing pictures of the Queen.

CHILE

Flying over the Andes into Santiago is an impressive end to a long flight from Sydney.
We spent a couple of days in Santiago, exploring the city and nearby mountains before boarding the Zaandam for a painting workshop down the Chilean coast, down to the Antarctic Peninsular then back up the East Coast of South America to Buenos Aires.

 

© John Lovett 2019
The Andes from our hotel window

© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019

© John Lovett 2019

Giant Condors from a ski resort above Santiago

© John Lovett 2019
Ski Resort – minus snow

© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
The port area of Santiago has some interesting businesses, colorful shops and unattractive vessels.

© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019
Mountains of containers dwarf the local fishing boats

© John Lovett 2019
Leaving Santiago and heading south took us through interesting country under the backdrop of the Andes.
© John Lovett 2019
Stilt houses in Castro on the island of Chiloe

© John Lovett 2019
Castro – beautiful wooden boat takes shape.

© John Lovett 2019
Empanadas

© John Lovett 2019
Fishing Boats – Castro

© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019
Patagonian farm shed

© John Lovett 2019
Rio Simpson

© John Lovett 2019
Rock walls – Rio Simpson, Patagonia

© John Lovett 2019
As we headed south the country became less inhabited, the mountains higher and the temperature cooler. The most common habitation was fish farming settlements.

© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
Ice started to appear in the water and we began to see glaciers.

© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019   © John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
Some ships never made it out of the labyrinth of channels through the fjords

© John Lovett 2019 Carefully stacked containers on the docks at Punta Arenas

© John Lovett 2019
Southern Chile is cold, wet, salty and windy – buildings tend to be functional rather than decorative.

© John Lovett 2019
Punta Arenas

© John Lovett 2019
Shivering Cormorants

© John Lovett 2019
Replica of Shackleton’s modified dingy that took him and five of his men, through mountainous seas, from Antarctica to South Georgia Island

© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019
Ushuaia – the most southern town in the world

© John Lovett 2019
Ushuaia’s isolation meant that building materials were limited to what could be easily transported. They did some fancy construction with corrugated iron.

© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019
The pan America Highway starts in Alaska and ends in Ushuaia, where this tiny Citroen had just arrived, in the process of transporting a family of three 200,000kms around the world.

© John Lovett 2019 Mt Olivia behind Ushuaia

© John Lovett 2019
Tierra del Fuego lighthouse

NORTH TO SCOTLAND

All Images © John Lovett 2018

Following our workshop in the South of England, Dianne and I hired a car and set off north to Scotland via Wales and the East coast of England. We set off in fine, sunny weather, but part way through Wales things turned damp and cool, gradually deteriorating to wet and cold as we headed North into Scotland. This change in the weather made walking unpleasant, but the dramatic skies, fog and wet landscape sure made for some great photographs.

© John Lovett 2018
Exmoor Ponies
© John Lovett 2018
Young Exmoor Pony
© John Lovett 2018
North West across the water.
© John Lovett 2018
Bottom of the hill – Robin Hood’s Bay
© John Lovett 2018
Whitby Abbey
© John Lovett 2018
Forgotten Hull – Boddin Point
© John Lovett 2018
Bayside Cottage
© John Lovett 2018
Boddin Point Fisherman’s Hut
© John Lovett 2018
Stonehaven Sunrise
© John Lovett 2018
Across the Moorings – Stonehaven
© John Lovett 2018
Along The Shorehead Road – Stonehaven
© John Lovett 2018
Dunnottar Castle
© John Lovett 2018
Last Drinks – Lovat Arms Hotel – Beauly
© John Lovett 2018
Blanket Clouds© John Lovett 2018
Winding down the mountain
© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 Eilean Donan Castle

© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018
Eilean Donan Castle
© John Lovett 2018
Eilean Donan Castle
© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018
Small holes in the sky
© John Lovett 2018
Clearing
© John Lovett 2018