ROCKS AND BOABS

Our Outback Workshop moved from Kakadu/Litchfield, over to Kununurra via Katherine. Moving across the boarder into Western Australia brings a change in the landscape from speargrass savannah to rocky outcrops and giant Boab trees. The landscape was unusually dry for this time of year. Normally creeks are full, waterfalls are flowing and the landscape is greener but, unfortunately,  the last wet season was almost non existent.

© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
Spectacular, close up view of Katherine Gorge

© John Lovett 2019
Kununurra sunset changes the landscape completely
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
Couldn’t resist painting this old Studebaker truck at El Questro Station

© John Lovett 2019     © John Lovett 2019
Rock Wallaby keeps watch over Chamberlain Gorge

© John Lovett 2019
Chamberlain Gorge

© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019
Distorted landscape around Lake Argyle

After the Outback Workshop finished, Dianne and I collected our truck we had stored in Kununurra and headed of down the Gibb River Road via Wyndham and Parry Lagoon
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019

© John Lovett 2019

Bell Gorge – one of the many waterholes along the Gibb River Road
© John Lovett 2019
Water Monitor – Bell Gorge
© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019

At the end of the Gibb River Road is the Napier Range. A spectacular band of twisted Limestone running East West across the Southern Kimberley. We spent a few days camped under the range painting, walking, sketching and photographing© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019
Bee hive in a cave in the Napier Range

© John Lovett 2019
Outside Studio

© John Lovett 2019
© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019   © John Lovett 2019 An amazing place to paint and explore

KAKADU

After a long drive and another great workshop in Blackall, we arrived in Kununurra where we left our truck and flew to Darwin to start the Outback workshop with International Artist. Following a couple of days painting in Litchfield National Park we headed out to Kakadu for some painting and exploring. One of the highlights of Kakadu is the Yellow Waters Cruise. We have done it many times and it is always spectacular and always different.

Whistling Ducks  © John Lovett 2019

Whistling Ducks

Jacana Chick  © John Lovett 2019

These Jakana chicks hatch out of the egg with small fluffy bodies and ridiculously over sized feet

Jacana Chick  © John Lovett 2019
Male Jacana  © John Lovett 2019

As they grow the body gets bigger and less fluffy and the legs grow even further out of proportion.

Azure Kingfisher  © John Lovett 2019

Azure Kingfisher

Nankeen Night Heron  © John Lovett 2019

Nankeen Night Heron

Crocodile Smiling  © John Lovett 2019

Deceptively happy looking Crocodile.

Crocodile swimming  © John Lovett 2019

Floating and watching

Crocodile  © John Lovett 2019
Egret  © John Lovett 2019

Large Egret

Egret  © John Lovett 2019
Water Buffalo  © John Lovett 2019

Water Buffalos are starting to breed up again in Kakadu

Yellow Waters © John Lovett 2019

Yellow Waters Sunset

Painting at Anbangbang Billabong
© John Lovett 2019

Painting at Anbangbang Billabong.

ARGENTINA

From the Falkland Islands we made our way to Argentina, stopping first in Montevideo 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.

ANTARCTICA

Heading South from the tip of South America, we crossed, an oddly calm,  Drake Passage and continued down into the Antarctic Peninsular. We had a number of sea days with no land in sight, but much bird and marine life to observe between painting sessions.

Once into the Antarctic Peninsular Icebergs drifted by as we passed through unimaginably spectacular scenery

© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019
Cape Petrels

© John Lovett 2019
Giant Petrel

© John Lovett 2019
Wandering Albertros

© 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 © John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019
Scientists from one of the research stations boarding the Zaandam for lectures

© John Lovett 2019
Argentine research station
© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019
Chilean research station – surrounded by penguins

© John Lovett 2019
Our painting room on the Zaandam had huge windows, so as we worked, we could watch the landscape drift by.

© John Lovett 2019 © John Lovett 2019

HWY 80 to NEW MEXICO

After leaving Bisbee, our plan was to head east across the bottom of Arizona to the Chiricahua Mountains. This road took us through the small settlement of Apache near where Geronimo surrendered to the Us Army in 1886, ending the Indian wars.

© John Lovett 2018

Crossing into New Mexico, we stopped at a roadhouse in the little town of Rodeo. It was an interesting place with great food and an entertaining passage of local ranchers stopping in for coffee and gossip.

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

Further down the road a Museum had a great collection of local desert snakes – all safely behind glass. We hadn’t managed to see a rattle snake in all our wandering around, so this was a good opportunity to get a photograph.

© John Lovett 2018

Crossing back into Arizona, we headed up to Portal in the Chiricahua Mountains. The mountains were spectacular with birds and wildlife everywhere.

© John Lovett 2018  © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

 

 

© John Lovett 2018

Hummingbirds were a lot of fun to photograph, being so small and moving so fast. Even at 2000th of a second their wings are blurred.
© John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018 © John Lovett 2018

From Portal we climbed the mountains up to around 10,000 feet, passing the huge Morenci copper mine.

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

© John Lovett 2018

Old Indian cliff dwellings outside Camp Verde

© John Lovett 2018

TANQUE VERDE RANCH

Just outside Tucson, Arizona, is the Sonoran Desert. Tanque Verde Ranch is situated in the desert and joins the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The ranch was our venue for an enjoyable 5 day painting workshop organised by MISA.

Tanque Verde Ranch was a large cattle property in the early days, but now runs around 200 horses for visitors to explore the many desert riding trails.


Old, now abandoned, homestead.


Original Homestead


One of the ranches horse wranglers


Desert riders – heading for the blueberry pancake breakfast overlooking the mountains


Desert Bunny


Wagon from the wild wild west


Cowboy singer at a dinner under the cottonwoods – only sang cowboy songs.

Javelinas.


Wrangler with his horse


Outside the wranglers Quarters.


Horse yards


I love these American cowboy saddles.


Used horseshoes


Black and White, Red and Brown

Big old French Percheron


Wranglers Ropes


Tired and dusty


Desert Bathtub


Across the desert to the mountains

Saguaro Cactus

© John Lovett 2018
Sticks from the dead Saguaro cactus used for building.

© John Lovett 2018
Cactus Flower

© John Lovett 2018
Humming Bird

© John Lovett 2018Desert House Finch

© John Lovett 2018
Gambel’s Quail

© John Lovett 2018
Happy Horses

© John Lovett 2018
Tanque Verde Ranch accomodation