KALGOORLIE / COOLGARDIE

kalgoorlie map

Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie are the two major towns in WA’s Southern Goldfields. They are both typical of the over the top gold mining towns of the late 1800’s. The banks, government buildings and, most noticeably, the pubs are all very impressive and contrast sharply with the humble dwellings constructed by the miners.

IMGP1501

One of the more spectacular gardens in Coolgardie relies less on water and more on discarded junk to keep it vibrant and attractive

IMGP1512

.

IMGP1518

The main streets in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie are wide enough to land a jumbo jet on. Apparently they had to be that width to turn a camel train around.

IMGP1526

Frightening statue of man trying to turn around a camel train. – Coolgardie

IMGP1521

Interesting tall corrugated iron building – Coolgardie

IMGP1524

Attractive stone government building – Coolgardie

IMGP1527

Coolgardie RSL and Marvel Bar Hotel

IMGP1539

One of Kalgoorlie’s more spectacular hotels

IMGP1545

Exchange Hotel in the center of Kalgoorlie

IMGP1556

Metropole  Hotel in the Boulder district on the outskirts of Kalgoorlie

IMGP1562

Court Hotel – Boulder

IMGP1570

A couple of hundred kilometres north of Kalgoorlie things are a little less opulent. The Kookynie hotel is the only remaining business in town. The faded for sale sign on the wall suggest its days may be numbered.

MARGARET RIVER WORKSHOP

Our Accommodation for the first few days of the Margaret River Workshop was at the old Karridale  Homestead Complex. The homestead was built in the late 1800’s and moved to Margaret River in the early 1960’s. Motel style accommodation was later added, the homestead serving as a restaurant and conference room.

IMGP1235

Our first morning painting was in the comfortable courtyard of the Homestead.

IMGP1426

After going through all the techniques and materials I like to use everyone chose a small part of the courtyard and, using just two colors, concerntrated on composition and tonal contrast to squeeze as much out of their subject as possible.

IMGP1425

That afternoon we walked down to the river. The overcast sky illuminated the gatehouse on a small foot bridge. It was a great subject, but the chilly wind forced us to retreat around 4:30

IMGP1170

Next day we traveled down to the South West tip of WA to Cape Leeuwin where the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean meet.

IMGP1251

We found a small sheltered beach and spent the morning painting the lighthouse and surrounding buildings.

IMGP1423

.

IMGP1283

The old Post Office and general store at Witchcliff was closed down a few years ago and is slowly starting to crumble

IMGP1424

The interesting shapes and textures kept us busy painting for the afternoon

IMGP1287

A workshop in Margaret River wouldn’t be complete without painting in one of the wineries. We chose a windy hillside in Voyager Estate. The cold breeze and beckoning cellar full of excellent wines just up the path, meant the painting session finished fairly quickly.

IMGP1288

IMGP1422

IMGP1307

Voyager brought out some of their best wines for us to sample before sitting down to a great lunch in the dining room.

IMGP1311

IMGP1421

After lunch we found an interesting door at the back of the winery.  A simple subject, great surroundings and the warm fuzzy feeling brought about by good food and wine made this a lot of fun to paint.

IMGP1366

The next day we traveled to Pemberton and the giant Karri forests of South West WA.

IMGP1360

IMGP1326

IMGP1348

After the windy weather near  the coast, the stillness of the Karri forests was a welcome change

IMGP1420

Vertical lines of the Karri trees descend into a chaotic mixture of bushes, ferns and flowers. The formal verticals and varied colorful textures make a great subject.

IMGP1390

The last three days of the workshop were spent at the Kari Valley Resort just out of Pemberton. You can hire a fishing rod and catch trout from your balcony.

IMGP1382

IMGP1400

The resort is on the edge of Lake Beedelup. There are walking tracks around the lake and a suspension bridge over the spectacular falls

IMGP1419

IMGP1428

We had our own private dining room perched over the lake.

IMGP1441

Our farewell dinner was a great night – Steak, Barramundi and local wine. It’s always sad saying goodbye to everyone but hopefully we will all catch up again sometime.

Many Thanks to Amanda Sloan, our tireless, hardworking tour guide, for making this such a great workshop

INDUSTRIAL STUFF

If you’re into over the top industrial hardware, then Western Australia sure is the state to visit.

These giant pieces of apparatus look almost organic. It’s hard to imagine someone sitting at a drawing board, under a cold fluorescent light, creating this sort of stuff. It looks so random and chaotic.

I hope you enjoy the photographs. It’s a dangerous business, standing on the roof of a landcruiser pointing a long lens over five strands of barbed wire. I’m sure I was viewed with much suspicion and, in a different country, would have probably been shot on site.

The sketches are done with a 0.4 Black Artline 204 fibre tip, a White uni posca fibre tip, Indigo watercolor and a tea bag

IMGP1138x-1z

.

IMGP1142x-1
.

IMGP1148xz
.




IMGP5841z

.
sketch1
0.4 Black Artline 204 fibre tip, White uni posca fibre tip, Indigo watercolor and a tea bag
sketch2-1
0.4 Black Artline 204 fibre tip,  White uni posca fibre tip, Indigo watercolor, Tissue paper and a glue stick

FREO

IMGP1105x

Freo (West Australian for Fremantle) was the old, original settlement in WA, before Perth developed. Miraculously, many of the old buildings remain and have been well preserved.

IMGP1135

Not just individual buildings remain in tact, but whole streetscapes have been saved.

IMGP1122

In the downtown area there are beautiful examples of renovated Georgian and Victorian architecture .

IMGP1104

Great shops and lots of cafes and bars are scattered about the main part of town.

IMGP1137

Gothic picnic table lurking outside a Freo church

IMGP1109

One of the interesting features of “Freo” is the Little Creatures Brewery. Great beer and food in a fantastic waterfront location.

IMGP1106

They even hire out bikes for free to help patrons wobble home

STRANGE LOGIC

Fremantle Maritime museum is an impressive building , and so it should be. The taxpayers spent 35 million dollars on it. What a shame someone decided that a saving on outgoings of 3% could be made by not opening on Wednesdays! Why not close every day and save 100%?

IMGP1125

We visited an annexe of the museum dealing with shipwrecks late Tuesday afternoon. The woman at the desk suggested visiting the main museum tomorrow since there was an entry fee and we would not have time to see everything this late in the day.

We arranged to stay another night in Fremantle and next morning (Wednesday) drove in to the museum. The people on the door, with much embarrassment, frustration and apology told us about the money saving logic. I guess with that kind of thinking it is not surprising that the Shipwreck annexe doesn’t know when the main museum is open.

MONASTIC

NEW NORCIA

A couple of hours North East of Perth is the monastic town of New Norcia. Established by Benedictine Monks in 1846, the town is still centred around the Monastery and Church. At its peak New Norcia housed 80 monks and farmed almost a million acres. Sheep, cattle, pigs, goats and bees were raised and grain crops, grapes, olives, fruit and vegetables were grown. They still have a bakery, produce olive oil and wine, and sell the surplus from the orchard and vegie garden through the Museum shop. There are only 9 monks running New Norcia at present.

The museum gives a great insight into the early days of the town. The collection of religious art is fantastic and the Abbey Ale is heavenly.

IMGP1006

St Ildephonsus College

IMGP1004

Former Policemans cottage – looks like he must have been a really tall policeman but, for some reason, the wall is only 4′ high.

IMGP1014

St Gertrude’s College (back door)

IMGP1059

Finely hand carved  and gilded wooden alter

IMGP0987

Monastery

IMAGE_168

Apiary hand made bricks, timber and tin

IMAGE_170

Device for processing honey

IMAGE_171

Inside apiary (panorama from mobile phone)

IMGP1002

Unidentified building with 1 hour late sundial on Northern wall

IMGP0993

Olive oil processing shed

IMGP1095

Old Wine Press

IMGP1035

Graves of 3rd & 4th Abbots – all the former Abbots are buried along a line running through the center of the town. This line forms the long axis of a cross on which the town is laid out.

IMAGE_173

Monastic beer tap pumping Abbey Ale (7+%) in the New Norcia Pub

IMAGE_174

Pub Verandah

IMGP1067

Monks wash basin

TIMBER, BRICKS AND TIN

GREAT NORTHERN HIGHWAY – Architecture

www.johnlovett.com – opens in a new window

nmansthmap

The Great Northern Highway runs from Kununurra in the North of WA right down to Perth in the South. We rejoined the Highway at Newman and followed it south to just below Cue where we headed west to the coast.

There is some pretty impressive architecture along the way, particularly in the old gold mining towns. Here are some of the more quirky examples of buildings we encountered.

IMGP0654

Meekatharra open air picture theater.

IMGP0658

Ralph’s take away food – Meekatharra

IMGP0688

Sadly neglected example of asbestos sheeting at its best.

IMGP0726x

Corrugated Iron opulence – Cue

IMGP0690

Thin House – Cue

IMGP0798

Great Fingall  mine office – Built by Italian stonemasons in 1902 and abandoned in 1918

IMGP0744

Three horse stable, Cue

IMGP0788

Unfortunately, the old hospital at Cue has been left to crumble to a pile of rubble. This building was in use up until 1942. I guess the local councils don’t have the funds to maintain these old buildings and, unless the State or Federal Government can be convinced of heritage value , their plight is doomed. Amazing, the destruction that can take place in less than 70 years.