VIETNAM 2017

There is nothing like the chaos of Hanoi to jolt a visitor into the strangely functional confusion of Vietnam. We had a couple of days in Hanoi to adjust to the pace of Vietnam before heading north to the mountain village of Sapa.

A low pressure system off the coast made the weather less than perfect, but we managed to find sheltered painting locations and were lucky to have a fine day to walk through the Hmong Valley and do some sketching.

From Sapa we travelled by coach back to Hanoi then flew on to Da Nang where we were taken by bus to Hoi An and the luxury of the Anantara Hotel.© John Lovett 2017
Rice Paddys near Hanoi

© John Lovett 2017
Hanoi Back Street

© John Lovett 2017
Electrical repair workshop – Hanoi

© John Lovett 2017
Hanoi Flower Vendor

© John Lovett 2017
How many flowers can you pack on to a motor scooter?

© John Lovett 2017
Portable kitchen – Hanoi
© John Lovett 2017
Party Time – Hanoi street bar

© John Lovett 2017
Midnight peak hour – Hanoi

© John Lovett 2017
Hanoi Rain

© John Lovett 2017
Coke and Hot dogs – Hanoi

© John Lovett 2017
Unidentified Delicacys – Hanoi

© John Lovett 2017Stainless steel tuk tuk

© John Lovett 2017
Mother and five chicks – Hanoi

© John Lovett 2017
Small police wagon – Hanoi

© John Lovett 2017
Hot water, Pumps, Microwave specialist – Hanoi

© John Lovett 2017
Dangerous Verandah – Hanoi

 

© John Lovett 2017
Dangerous front yard – Hanoi

© John Lovett 2017
Mix your own paint.

© John Lovett 2017© John Lovett 2017
Most of the Hanoi motorcycles are pretty mundane, but there are some stand out models.

© John Lovett 2017
Sapa Evening

© John Lovett 2017
Sapa Duck

© John Lovett 2017
Rice paddy fire – Hmong Valley

 

© John Lovett 2017
Crazy Dancing Chicken

© John Lovett 2017
Hmong Valley

© John Lovett 2017
Black Hmong woman with pedal sewing machine.

© John Lovett 2017
Grant sketching in Hmong Valley

© John Lovett 2017
Sapa – small buildings replaced by tall skinny ones

© John Lovett 2017
Our painting group with Hmong women models – Sapa Markets

© John Lovett 2017
Hmong Women sewed busily while we sketched

© John Lovett 2017
Water everywhere as we left Sapa.

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© John Lovett 2017

 

Hoi An

© John Lovett 2017© John Lovett 2017

© John Lovett 2017
Rosa hijacks a river boat to get us to the Red Bridge Cooking School

© John Lovett 2017
Net Casting – Hoi An

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Red Bridge Cooking School – where we all became excellent Vietnamese chefs.

© John Lovett 2017
Painting by the river on the verandah of an abandoned building – Hoi An.

© John Lovett 2017© John Lovett 2017

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CENTRAL AUSTRALIA WORKSHOP

A couple of weeks before Winter is the perfect time to be in Central Australia. The days are warm and sunny, the nights are still mild and the chance of rain is close to zero.

We flew to Alice Springs via Sydney which took us across the top of the Simpson Desert. It is amazing how big and empty it looks from 11000 meters.© John Lovett 2017

 

We also crossed the Birdsville and Strzelecki tracks that we drove down last year

© John Lovett 2017

 

Flying over the MacDonnall Ranges shows just how ancient and distorted the landscape is in that part of the country.

© John Lovett 2017

When we arrived in Alice Springs we met our Bus driver Natalie and her awesome big Mercedes Bush Bus. She was passionate and enthusiastic, showing us all there was to see around Alice Springs, the Western MacDonnalls and Uluru Katajuta.

© John Lovett 2017

Our first stop was Glen Helen Lodge. We based ourselves there and visited the gorges of the West MacDonnall Ranges. A great spot with fantastic food and a view from our cabin door to die for.

© John Lovett 2017

Late afternoon Glen Helen

© John Lovett 2017

Piano with boots

© John Lovett 2017

I took  a helicopter ride over the Glen Helen Gorge/ Ormiston Pound. These ranges sure are impressive from the air.

© John Lovett 2017

© John Lovett 2017

© John Lovett 2017

 

Ringneck Parrot

© John Lovett 2017

 

Ellery Creek Big hole

© John Lovett 2017 © John Lovett 2017

© John Lovett 2017

© John Lovett 2017

© John Lovett 2017

© John Lovett 2017

 

Painting at Ormiston Gorge

© John Lovett 2017

 

Ochre Pits

© John Lovett 2017

 

Standley Chasm

© John Lovett 2017

 

We were lucky enough to be at Uluru for the annual camel races. The traditional Calcutta is held at the pub the night before race day. Lots of excitement and some hefty prices paid for these racing dromedaries.

© John Lovett 2017

The races were wild and crazy – Camels seem to have limbs all over the place when they run…  © John Lovett 2017

…handsome animals though!

© John Lovett 2017  © John Lovett 2017 © John Lovett 2017

 

The day following the races we spent the morning painting at the camel farm. Some of these animals looked to be suffering severe, post race,  hangovers.

© John Lovett 2017

© John Lovett 2017

© John Lovett 2017

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Sturt’s Desert Pea       © John Lovett 2017

 

Mutitjulu Waterhole

© John Lovett 2017

© John Lovett 2017

 

Walking through Bruce Munro’s Field of Lights installation was disorienting and fantastic

© John Lovett 2017© John Lovett 2017

 

Shallow water in Lake Amadeus.

© John Lovett 2017

 

Herons at Glen Helen  © John Lovett 2017

SAN GIMIGNANO

After a great week in Cinque Terre we wound our way up over the mountains and on to Lucca to do some painting, then it was off to San Gimignano for the rest of the workshop. We painted in the the old town and also in the hill town of Volterra. We also managed a day trip to Florence to see the city and the Uffizi Gallery.  dsc00172 We had good weather most of the time in San Gimignano, which was great for painting. The couple of wet days made the town look amazing with reflections, umbrellas and spectacular skies.

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dsc00179The proprietor of the “Best Gelato shop in the world” describes, with passion, the  greatness of his product to a barrage of cameras

dsc00175Savage market guard dog.

316Ai Weiwei’s Exhibition in Florence

317Street Juggler – Florence

318_1Piaggio’s resting – Florence

319Man talks to dog – Florence

dsc00219Countryside around Volterra

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dsc00244 Clouds Gathering – Volterra

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The last day of the workshop we were treated to a typical Tuscan feast – plenty of Beer, Wine and Food and lots of stories of the adventures from the past two weeks.

© John Lovett 2016

Certificates were presented…

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…and, of course, selfies taken to remember what was a great workshop.

CINQUE TERRE

A week in Cinque Terre is a great introduction to an Italian workshop. Great food and wine, beautiful scenery and friendly people. We spent our days moving between the villages painting and sketching. Villa Adriana, where we stayed for the week, provided excellent meals – although Antipasto, Pasta, Main and Dessert were more than most of us could handle!

308Wine Delevery – Manarola

309Manarola – buildings by the sea

310Amanda – Watching Chickens

dsc00029Painting in Riomaggiore

© John Lovett 2016

What I thought was an ideal place to paint in Riomaggiore turned out to be the only place wide enough for delivery vans to turn around, so lots of juggling easels in between washes.

ital7820 Old Town – Monterosso

© John Lovett 2016Monterosso – Small truck pees on sidewalk.

© John Lovett 2016Fishing Boats – Monterosso

ital7875Manarola – from the water

ital7996Very Italian – National Park sign advising against stilettos for the walk between Monterosso and Vernazza.

© John Lovett 2016Cliffs near Monterosso

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Blue Umbrellas – Vernazza

ital7945 Vernazza before sunrise.

ital7976Between Vernazza and Monterosso someone has set up a feeding bay and shelter for stray cats. This guy hung around behind a mesh fence for a pat and a handful of dry cat food.

306Small bridge on path between Vernazza and Monterosso

ital8002Old Town – Monterosso

WISCONSIN

Another great workshop at Dillmans Bay Resort. A fantastic group of people, beautiful surroundings, lots of painting in a big well lit studio and wining and dining in the surrounding towns. What a lot of fun.

193 Chipmunk eating breakfast

194Riveted Tinny

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201 Loon

205 Baby Blackbirds blown out of their nest

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209Woody Guthrie songs on an Appalachian Dulcimer.

210 211 212 Antonio’s new hat

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UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

Looking forward to some great workshops coming up – Australia, Canada, USA and Italy…

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Currumbin Studio Workshop – May 28 – 29 2016

Kelowna, BC, Canada – 2 day workshop on 2nd and 3rd July 2016

Wisconsin USA – 5 day June 12-18 2016

Cinque Terre/San Gimignano – Italy, Sept. 5-17 2016.

QLD. WORKSHOPS

 

June, July and August have been busy months with workshops in Cairns, Gladstone and Blackall.DSC08475

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DSC08493Cairns Art Escape is held annually in “The Tanks” – an amazing venue inside enormous old WW2 oil storage tanks converted to studio and performance spaces.

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July we were in Gladstone at Gallery 67 for a 5 day workshop after which we reloaded the truck and headed out to Blackall for the annual artist retreat workshop.

xNT__0374  Blackall – Artists Retreat

xNT__0359Local Blackall drover, Stu Benson, kept us entertained with stories of the area and spoiled us with tea and damper.

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Old shearing shed at Dunera Station where we were made welcome and enjoyed smoko and an interesting walk around the property.

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Louise and Lexie, who drove out from Currumbin for the workshop, took Dianne and I out to Allendale, where Louise grew up. The old homestead is now abandoned and slowly decaying, it was great to look around at some of the relics remaining from when Louise was a little kid.

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NT__0160Old Allendale Homestead

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Blackall Sunset
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Blackall Wool Scour
Machinery – Blackall wool scour

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We were lucky to be in Blackall for the Camerata of St John’s, Queensland Chamber Orchestra’s performance. It was fantastic – all young, enthusiastic and incredibly well rehearsed players touring through outback regions of Queensland to help raise money for drought relief.