A group of us from Melbourne (Evelyn, Angela, Ilze, Muzo, Umut, Anne and myself) packed up our bags and jumped in a car to have a long 4-day weekend sketching in the Grampians in early November. It was an excellent weekend for cooking up feasts, drinking wine, toasting marshmallows, animal spotting and sketching from sunrise to sunset (and usually late-ish into the night as well).
We had many stops along the way including a vintage shop, lots of nature walks with gorgeous views and waterfalls, and who can pass at a chance to stop a winery. We sketched everywhere we went, including on the journey in the car.
We stopped at a massive vintage shop called Mill Markets in Ballarat (they could have left me there for four days to just sketch all the goodies). Followed with a stop at the Lake Wendouree for some lunch, some more sketching, and then headed to see the Ferntree Falls, Buangor State Park. We stayed in Halls Gap, and they have great little markets to pick up some fresh baked goodies.
Another day with nature: We sat and sketched the Silverband Falls, and the Venus Baths. On the evenings we came across kangaroos in the sports field, and also just across from the YHA hostel.
We walked up to the outlook of The Balconies where we took up one end of the lookout while we sketched. A few kids came over, and watched us sketching. One of them said ‘I wish I had my notebook’, to which Angela offered her some paper and pencil. Before we knew it we had a bunch of kids, and we shared our tools around. They sat on the rocks and our group suddenly doubled. We joked that it was essentially was a makeshift Day Centre as we had about 5-6 kids joining us all focused on sketching and painting. The parents thought it was great, as they spend a good 20 – 30 mins with us. They were all really into it, and we showed them how to use the watercolour. The littlest one painted a house in her Grampians picture. They said they are going to get some watercolours when they went home.
The hike down to the McKenzie Waterfalls is well worth the view. Angela, Evelyn and I perched ourselves on a tall rock to sketch half way down.
We went hunting for tour of an old woolshed. It ended up being a half fallen down due to termites etc. We battled the flies, and thankfully didn’t see any snakes.
DAY FOUR – 5 Nov – Melbourne Cup Day
Emus wandering near the camping site are apparently completely normal. I started a list of all the fauna we saw (we didn’t see any koala, but the list was pretty long).
Melbourne Cup day is a public holiday for Victorians. It also happened to be my birthday. The sketchers sang me happy birthday at one of the lookouts. We stopped at a few towns on the way home including the Three Sisters Rocks. Followed with a stop at Seppelt Winery (Great Western) and sketched the Lodge. The girls did some impromptu yoga on the grass, and we soaked up some sun.
We stopped for a late lunch and to see the race. We had one last stop to sketch the Beaufort Fire Station. I drew it and then painted only the sky. As a bit of an experiment – I drew it again and painted just the building and trees.