Aquawash Rocks

Today, we went out to Lake Burragong, which is approximately 1/2 a hour drive away from where we live. Lake Burragorang, when full (like it is now), holds 4 times the amount of water of Sydney Harbour. We have been there many times and it is a most beautiful and relaxing place.

I took my Winsor and Newton Field kit (which now has both Winsor and Newton, and Daniel Smith Watercolour paints in it) plus my Aquawash brushes and a small sketchbook.

I wasn’t all that excited about the sketch/painting I did first out there but it did give me an idea to painting a similar subject but in a different way, and more from my imagination.

Day 1,270 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day

I’ve had my Aquawash brushes for a few years now though I’ve only used them sporadically and I need to watch some videos on how to use them with greater effectiveness. I rather like how this sketch turned out, though and I will be using these type of brushes more in the future.

I’m due to go on my first field trip with the Sydney Urban Sketchers next month and I think it would great to take these brushes.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

24 July 2022

Escape!

Last Sunday, we went on our first day trip since coming out of lockdown, which we were in for three and a half months. We live approximately 60km / 37miles South of Sydney, Australia.

First on our visit list was one of our favourite cafes, which is situated in Picton about 20 minutes drive South of where we live. They have indoor and outdoor seating and (as normal), we chose to sit outside. It was a perfect Spring day on Sunday, 24C / 75F with a slight breeze and glorious Sunshine which was particularly pleasing after about a week of rain.

Leaf & Bean Cafe, Picton

We had a delicious Chai Latte, Scones with Jam and whipped cream. Yum! Lots of calories but we have been doing more exercise lately. After enjoying that and a brief chat with the owner, we set off to our next stop, Lake Burragorang Lookout at Nattai.

Lake Burragorang is part of the Warragamba Dam Catchment which is Sydney’s main water supply and it is also part of the Blue Mountains National Park which extends way beyond Katoomba, to the West (home of the world famous ‘Three Sisters’ rock formation). Lake Burragorang Lookout is also approximately 30 minutes drive to the South West of where we live.

There is no better place to soak up the Sunshine and relax in the region. The view is simply a sight to behold! Travelling light today, I just took a small sketchbook, some pigment liners and a pencil and eraser and managed to do some rough sketches of rocks and trees which I hope will turn into (at least) one or two of my Watercolour Sketches a day.

All-in-all it was wonderful afternoon of relaxation and Sunshine!

Till next time.

Written by David Johnson

20 October 2021

A Beautiful Place

Last Sunday, after enjoying a nice afternoon tea at one of our favourite cafe’s in Picton which is about 15 minutes drive South from where we live, we decided to head out to Lake Burragorang which is part of the Sydney Warragamba Dam Catchment, Sydney’s main water source.

We are so fortunate to have such a majestic and beautiful spot that is only 32 minutes drive away.

Lake Burragorang is a man-made reservoir that was created by a Dam. Unfortunately, to create the reservoir, it was necessary to relocate residents who had lived farming towns in the Burragorang Valley since the early 19th Century. The lands actually belonged to Gundungarra Aboriginal tribe.

Construction of the Warragamba Dam commenced in 1948 and was completed in 1960 and is surrounded by a 3km exclusion zone to ensure the integrity of the water supply. It is sad that such a beautiful spot was created in this way, however, the end result is certainly a jewel to the eye.

My first visit there dated back to the 1980’s when I was just getting into Photography. I’ve been back there with social clubs and with my SLR/DSLR on a number of occasions. It has BBQ facilities, seats, amenities and is a great place for a picnic.

My previous visit was back in 2018, a year before those horrendous bushfires ripped through various parts of the state, including the Burragorang Valley. Even the though a lot of the green has returned in the past year, down in the valley, you can still see clear through to the ground where there is still little or no undergrowth. It will take time, but it will eventually recover.

The only camera I took this time was my phone as I wanted to concentrate on sketching and also writing some Poetry (if the mood captured me). My wife, Susan took her Crotchet with her, and after a brief walk we settled down to enjoy the surroundings for the next 2 1/2 hours.

The light was impressive throughout the afternoon as it danced and highlighted different sections of the landscape intermittently. I felt so relaxed.

I went away with the feeling that ‘I had indeed been away’ and not just been on a Sunday drive. The light, the ambience felt almost Spiritual.

We certainly won’t be leaving as much time between visits next time.

Written by David Johnson

16 February 2021

Sources of Historical information:

https://www.theland.com.au/story/5702018/painting-revives-rich-burragorang-history/ ; https://historyofaboriginalsydney.edu.au/south-west/location/burragorang-valley ; https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-03/how-sydneys-water-needs-drowned-burragorang-valley/9390170