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Trips in 2018 to the Kootenays,
Banff & Australia

2018
*
Michael Kluckner

2018 was a jumbled year with a number of small trips in western Canada to give talks and workshops on my graphic novel Julia. Then, immediately after the touring ended in mid-November we went to Australia, the subject of earlier trips in 2012, 2009 in the campervan, 2001 when we stayed in the Sydney area for 3 months, and of course the period from 2006–10 when we actually lived there in Katoomba, which is memorialized in a blog, a book project, and various art pieces.

It made sense to roll them altogether here, partly because I decided this year to have a real go with the coloured pencils ...


... that I had only used tentatively on the trip to Merida. As explained on my main page, for those of you interested in travel-sketching, I've gradually evolved from big sketchbooks and watercolours to the small Moleskine book and pencil, but missed having colour for some of the non-people things I wanted to draw. The result is an odd combination of outlines and colouring-in – not entirely satisfactory but worth exploring.

Anyway, in a very unedited fashion, here's the sketchbook (the actual size of the sketchbook is 8 1/4 x 5 inches, so the spreads are 8 1/4 x 10).



You hike in about a kilometer to the Weed House on Ingram Mountain east of Rock Creek. It was one of the classic images of abandoned BC that I painted for Vanishing British Columbia – it was the image on the back of the dust jacket. Sixteen years later its portico had fallen off but, amazingly, it was still standing.











Above is the April trip.
I flew to Kelowna in order to go to a conference in Nakusp in May...



...then was on the road in June for workshops and talks in Nelson and the Okanagan...



... always happy to find a café, like the Dragonfly in Salmo, with good coffee and people to draw...



...and aged picturesque hippies on a Nelson street on a hot day.
Road trip #3 in October took in talks at Radium, Banff and Calgary, going "around the bottom"
through the Crow's Nest Pass and through Fernie...



...and the first serious attempt to draw a colour picture with the pencils...



I became something of a regular for a couple of days at Evelyn's Coffee Bar on Banff Avenue ...





Postcardish views of Mount Rundle and the Banff Springs Hotel...



And then to Australia, beginning in Brisbane...



The West End is the "funky" area of Brisbane with little old shops and trendy people...



We were visiting relatives along the Brisbane River when a storm blew up – a wilder scene than on a 2001 visit...



Byron Bay on the north coast of New South Wales was a counterculture favourite that has become incredibly touristy, alas...



...made more crowded by "Schoolies," the middle-class ritual at the end of the school year of high-school kids going to beach resorts
like Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise for a week of sex, drugs, drinking and parties, sigh ...



We rented a house at Lennox Head south of Byron Bay for several days – amazing, beautiful beaches...



Pandanus palms and surf along the "Seven Mile Beach" ...



Not far away is the Byron Bay lighthouse, the most easterly point in Australia...









We moved on to Sydney, then visited our old home in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains about 100 km. to the west...



Barangaroo is the new development around the point from The Rocks in Sydney – restaurants, condos, people hanging out ...
More interesting to me are the old streets near Observatory Hill with a view onto the Harbour Bridge ...



... which I painted in 2001 from higher up the hill...


We then moved about 2 hours down the coast to the tiny village of Coledale and rented a cabin in the forest above the beach...
An amusing sight was the cockatoos sitting in the Norfolk Pines like Christmas decorations;
another was the Water Dragons hanging out in the bush near a small ornamental pond.




A few minute's walk from the cabin was this view: the beaches of Coledale, Austinmer, Thirroul and Bulli lined up along the coast
all the way to Wollongong, with the huge steel mill at Port Kembla visible on the horizon....



... and great plates of rock on the headlands protecting the beaches in small sandy coves.
A very windswept piece of coastline...



Above: another example of Schoolies, I suppose. Five girls, incredibly noisy, in the "Bowlo" – i.e. the Bowling Club
in the next little town 15 minutes walk along the shore. The Bowlo's restaurant and bar competed with the RSL Club
(Returned Servicemen's League) in Coledale...



Last 2 days in Sydney – hanging out in Caffeine Heaven in Glebe, and in Glebe Books next door,
while wife and daughter took in the Saturday market, then a final trip to the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
The never-ending challenge of drawing the passing parade as it passes by ...






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Artwork & text © Michael Kluckner, 2018