Thursday 23 July 2015

A Gold Coast Escape

Last week, on the spur of the moment,  I decided to take a couple of days off. Friends on the Gold Coast are always very welcoming and provided very comfortable accommodation.
The weather in Queensland has been colder than is usual for winter, and some places have even had snow. While I was there, the days were sunny but the wind was rather icy so it was important to stay in a sheltered spot. 

I explored Paradise Point and did a bit of sketching while listening to music from the nearby market.  I decided to re-visit a previous favourite place for lunch. Madam Tojo's Coffee Palace has a fascinating collection of books, shop dummy's, red roses, draped fabrics and feathers, all creating an eclectic quirky atmosphere. 

It's definitely a 'slow food' place - if you want fast food you're invited to move off elsewhere, so it's the perfect place to sit and sketch. No one is going to hurry you along and want your table for someone else. I decided on the special and it was delicious. My modus operandi when sketching my meal is to do a rapid sketch of the elements of the dish - sometimes in ink, sometimes in graphite; take a couple of photos for reference, and then enjoy the meal. Definitely no cold food for me! Then afterwards I can take my time with the sketch, adding ink and watercolours. I had forgotten my white gel pen so details of the chalk board menu were added at home later.

Slow Roasted Pumpkin, Baby Spinach, Poached Egg, crispy Bacon with Peperonota
ink and watercolour 

On Monday, a friend and I went further down the coast, stopping along the way at Kirra Beach and driving on to Currumbin. Here the Currumbin Victory Surf Lifesavers Club provided a warm and cosy place to enjoy the view, a coffee and share a slice of cheesecake. The clubhouse with huge windows facing the sea meant that I could do a sketch of the sea and the rocks below, while staying warm and comfortable. 

View from Currumbin Victory Surf Life Savers Club - ink and watercolour 

The tide was low and the sun was bright. A meandering stream of silver curled its way through the sandbanks and back to the sea - I know this will be inspiration for a painting or two.

On Tuesday morning I had time to be a tourist. I decided to have a ride on the new tram which runs from the Gold Coast University Hospital down to Broadbeach. On the way down I had my eye open for suitable sketching opportunities as well as a spot that would be sheltered from the icy wind. Cavill Avenue tram stop looked the most interesting so I returned from Broadbeach and alighted there. The Clock Hotel, its intricate clock tower all the bells was an obvious choice. Baritalia café situated directly next to the hotel provides both a sunny position as well as coffee and lunch.

Clock Hotel - ink and watercolour  Carol Lee Beckx 

I often wonder what people think when I'm searching for a good place to draw. I sit at one table - check the view - no good - get up and move to another table - better but not great- ah - third time lucky, a perfect view of the facade of the hotel and a good sunny position. 

After I had completed the drawing of the Clock Hotel I decided I had time for lunch. I wasn't intending to draw my meal but when it arrived it looked so delicious, and begged to be sketched. 

Ravioli Fritti at Baritalia - ink and watercolour ©2015 Carol Lee Beckx

And my Ravioli Fritti tasted as good as it looked. 

It was a lovely escape to the Gold Coast. A complete album of my sketches can be found on here my Flickr site.

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