TOWNS AND VILLAGES

The towns and villages of Puglia are similar in style to the villages of Northern Italy, but the earthier colored sandstone and marble is replaced by lighter, often whitewashed surfaces. The most obviously different architecture is found around the town of Alberobello in the Itria Valley.

ital7575Martina Franca – a labyrinth of pale marble and white walls.

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ital7601Autobianchi

ital7579Main Square – Martina Franca

ital7558Dry stone walled and conical roofed Trulli buildings of the Itria Valley

ital7420Immaculate old Fiat.

ital7404Trulli houses, Alberobello.

ital7386Well worn stairs – Alberobello

ital7542Rain in Lecce

ital7545Lecce Piazza

ital7759Cruising the hills around Pisa in a Fiat 500 driven like a Ferrari – What a lot of fun.

ital7661Barga – back street bikers

ital7682Herbs and spices and a blue Vespa.

© John Lovett 2016Barga Rooftops

ital7733Retired Fiat Fire Truck

ital7738ital7813Down the mountain to Monterosso

 

 

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KAKADU

We entered Kakadu National Park from the south, via Pine Creek with a 3 day permit to enter Koolpin Gorge. After collecting keys from the ranger station, we bounced our way down the road towards Gunlom. Crossing the South Alligator River, we turned South East to Koolpin.  The road was badly corrugated with some nasty twists and turns.Roll Over - © John Lovett 2015
This poor guy found out the hard way that taking it easy gets you there quicker.

Koolpin - © John Lovett 2015
Koolpin Gorge is a string of waterholes linked by waterfalls in the wet season. The three lower pools are the home to salt water crocodiles, but beyond those it is safe to swim.

Koolpin - © John Lovett 2015
Koolpin - © John Lovett 2015
Walking up through the gorge is spectacular. The track cuts up over the ridge in places with great views of the surrounding country.
Koolpin - © John Lovett 2015

From Koolpin we moved on to Red Lily Billabong. There are no facilities there, and the track in is pretty rough at the moment, so not many people head out that way. We had the place to ourselves. A young couple with a tent called in, and seeing the number of crocs there, decided it wasn’t the place for them.
Red Lilly Billabong - © John Lovett 2015

Red Lilly Billabong - © John Lovett 2015
The billabong is a large expanse of water and covered with huge red water lilies. Lots of bird life and numerous large crocodiles.
Red Lilly Billabong -© John Lovett 2015

Crocodile - © John Lovett 2015

Croc - © John Lovett 2015

Sandy Billabong - © John Lovett 2015
Sandy Billabong is a favourite spot. The early morning light, rising mist and lurking crocodiles make the twisted old paperbarks look kind of creepy .
Sandy Billabong - © John Lovett 2015

Yellow Waters Cruise on Jim Jim Billabong at sunset is one of the highlights of Kakadu. This is the fifth time we have done the cruise and it is always spectacular.
Croc, Jim Jim Creek - © John Lovett 2015

Crocodile - © John Lovett 2015

Sunset - © John Lovett 2015
Afternoon fires turned the setting sun into a glowing red ball.

Sunset Lillies - © John Lovett 2015

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Kakadu Birds                                                 Slide Show Not Working?


Water Buffalo - Kakadu - © John Lovett 2015We saw a number of small herds of water buffalo scattered through Kakadu. They had almost been eliminated but over the past few years are breeding up again.

Bull Catcher - © John Lovett 2015This old landcruiser was used to chase down buffalo back when they were in large numbers.


Kapok Flowers - © John Lovett 2015Kapok Flowers

SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco was a busy couple of weeks – 10 workshop days and plenty of good restaurants, bars, shows and museums to see. Fantastic catching up with old friends and meeting new students from all over the US and beyond – a great couple of weeks.

USA16569 Powell street cable car

USA16568 Union Square

USA16547 Bay Bridge

USA16543 Fire Boat under the Bay Bridge

USA16528 Red’s Java House

USA16507 Jimi Hendrix’s Red House, Haight StreetUSA16506 Haight Street power pole –  staples accumulating since the 60’s.

Kombi

USA16498  Medicinal Dope – Haight Street

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USA16480 USA16466 Skull Exhibition – San Francisco Academy of Science

USA16412 Air Show over Alcatraz celebrating Fleet Week.USA16252 Blue Angels – doing crazy things very fast.

USA16221 USA16190 USA16129 The Stinking Rose – Garlic seasoned with food.

USA16092 Under the Golden Gate Bridge.

USA16497San Francisco is dotted with (mostly) immaculately kept Victorian architecture.USA16043 USA16031 Some awesome, but not so immaculate.USA16029 USA16022 How to squeeze more into a pickup truck than should really be possible.USA16010 USA15998 Jack’s Bar – Cannery building Fisherman’s Wharf.

USA15992Fog over the Golden Gate.

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NEW YORK

After our workshop at Dillmans we went New York to rest and relax before two San Francisco workshops. We didn’t do too much resting and relaxing, but had a mighty week with Dane and Zoe, visiting bars, galleries and restaurants all over Brooklyn and Manhattan.

DSC07415Greenpoint mural

USA15640Black Cadillac

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Metropolitan Ave

USA15253Dealers Merc

USA15946Brooklyn Mustang

USA15310New York Dolls

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USA15576Murray’s Cheese Bar

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USA15264Commute

USA15249Home Sick

DSC07448Under Williamsburg Bridge

USA15535$399 Divorce

USA15514Halloween

USA15432Bridge across the Hudson

USA15502Manhattan Kindergarten

USA15539Brooklyn cat yard

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USA15466

USA15780Dome headed policemen

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USA15891MOMA PS1 Retrospective – Xavier Le Roy

USA15805Time Square selfies

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USA15593Birthday Beers

USA15538Brooklyn campervan

USA15528Airstream

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BACK FROM TASMANIA

Our last week in Tasmania was spent along the north coast. We camped on the beach a few kilometres east of Stanley. What an amazing sight early in the morning as the sun came up.

stanly

We met Gus in Bothwell. He is from Bend in Oregon where we have conducted a couple of workshops with Art in The Mountains.

Gus came to Australia, got himself a 1956 Landrover and is in the process of taking it to all the extremities of the country. Cape Byron, Mt Kosciusko and the Southern tip of Tasmania have been ticked off the list so far. When he leaves Tassie, he’s off to Cape York via Shark Bay, WA. Good luck Gus!guss

This outdoor kitchen seems to have escaped all the workplace health and safety restrictions. They did save a lot of space by installing it the electricity metre box.

kitchen

Oatlands cricket nets

nets

Sunrise Reeds

reeds

 

Tasmanian Lawnmower

mower

 

 

Camped by the river in Rossross

No matter how hard we looked, we couldn’t find a Thylacine, but we did stumble across these little critters in our search.

wombatsheep

goats

budgie

horses wet horses

 

Shooting things is popular in some areas of Tasmania – maybe thats why we had such trouble finding a thylacine.

hunter

 

Back across Bass Straight, we spent a few days in Melbourne before heading home via the Hay Plains, One Tree Hotel and Bourke.

one tree

 

The weather turned foul north of One Tree. Pulling off the road quickly bogged us down to the axle. A shovel, frantic digging and a lot of encouragement and advice from the passenger window, soon saw us on our way

bog

The further east we travelled the more saturated the country became. From Brewarrina home all unsealed roads were closed so it was a quick trip back along the bitumen.

floods

MALDON AND THE MOUNTAINS

With 5 days up our sleeve before the Maldon Workshop started we decided to slowly plod our way down to Victoria via backroads and out of the way places rather than race down the highway.

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We camped behind the pub in the little town of Goolma, where the publican spun us a great tale about his favourite dog staring down a possum – neither would give in and they both died without ever moving.

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This is the possum

dog

…and this is the dog

mitsubishi canter 4x4 motorhome

Foggy morning behind the pub

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We wound our way down onto the Murray River before heading across to Maldon. Great to see the river with so much water and the country in such good condition.

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Julienne, the workshop coordinator in Maldon, arranged for us to stay in this fantastic little farm house – complete with chooks and a veggie garden.

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Maldon is a beautiful little town protected by a heritage listing to preserve the unchanged character of the place.

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The 5 day workshop was a lot of fun. We met some fantastic people and really enjoyed the quiet little country town.

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Melbourne was in the middle of the Spanish Festival in Brunswick and the Polish Festival in the City, so there was a lot happening.

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After a few days in Melbourne we took off towards the Snowy Mountains via the Sale Wetlands…

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…a spectacular series of swamps, creeks and billabongs just out of town – made even more dramatic by the approaching storm clouds.

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From Sale we drove up towards the Snowy River and took the long windy track down to McKillop Bridge.

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The mountains were magnificent and the road signs basic.

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MacKillop Bridge across the Snowy River. First built in 1935 and washed away a few days before it was due to open.

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Mmmm – Jindabyne Steak, 4 minutes each side, Yum.

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Above Charlotte Pass there were still patches of snow on the ground.

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Snow Gums

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Thredbo River

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Platypus in one of the small creeks.

mitsubishi canter 4x4 motorhome

Stormy night up near Kiandra

mitsubishi canter 4x4 motorhome

Creek on the Long Plain Road

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Home via Washpool NP.

STUDIO WORKSHOP

For the last two weeks I have been busy conducting a workshop looking at selecting, manipulating and extracting the most from a painting subject. It was a lot of fun, but we worked hard – doing a couple of paintings each day and squeezing in a few critique sessions, where we examined everybodys work and discussed various problems and solutions.

Studio Workshop John Lovett Nov 2011

It is always a pleasure meeting new students and catching up with students from previous workshops. One of our new students for the second week was Carol and her assistant, Kim. What an inspiring lady – taking up watercolor a couple of years ago after a severe car accident ended her career as a lawyer and left her a quadriplegic. Forgetting about her disability, the standard of her paintings is excellent, but to see how she has overcome so many physical hurdles to produce the work she does is just amazing. On top of this, she is determined to keep on improving and works hard to that end.

Thumbnail sketches and simple monochrome collages were used to simplify and rearrange our subjects.

The demonstration paintings below illustrate some of the techniques we explored.

Manipulating a large foreground to lead up to a focal point while not causing a distraction.

Creating depth with hard and soft edges

Flat Ultramarine gouache used to squeeze more vibrancy from the warm, transparent watercolor.

Confining detail and using empty space as an element in the painting.

Practicing the random placement of suggestive abstract marks

Blitz Truck Watercolor

 

Sometimes an unusual subject will free you up to try new techniques.

Making a strong focal point in what was a flat uniform facade.

Starting loosly with a big brush and no preliminary drawing, then adding detail as the painting progresses.

Experimenting with techniques to break up a symetrical subject.