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Sketching Brunswick Street, Fitzroy: crossing Gertrude Street

Sketching Brunswick Street, Fitzroy: crossing Gertrude Street

My friend Alf laughs at how long it took me to draw every building on the west side of Brunswick Street from Victoria Parade to Gertrude Street. He says it was a year, but he exaggerates – it was just six months. It was a special occasion as I picked up my sketching things and we finally crossed at the lights. Back in 1866 they didn’t seem to need traffic lights. Or did they?

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Sketching Brunswick Street, Fitzroy: Victorian terraces and a change of season

Sketching Brunswick Street, Fitzroy: Victorian terraces and a change of season

I have been drawing Brunswick Street for nearly 2 years, and I move along very slowly. You can see how the seasons change from one picture to the next. There are lots of clues about when I was there. Look closely. Were the bins out? Was a house for sale? Were there leaves on the trees? One day I spotted bright pink magnolias blooming and rushed back to paint them. The next week they were gone …

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Sketching Brunswick Street, Fitzroy: It started with the Belvidere Hotel and the 8 hour day

Sketching Brunswick Street, Fitzroy: It started with the Belvidere Hotel and the 8 hour day

I began drawing Brunswick Street at the corner of Victoria Parade in January 2019, starting with the three storey building once known as the Belvidere Hotel. It doesn’t seem to have changed much since 1864,, at least on the outside, although I do wonder what those men with top hats were up to! Old news articles suggest scandalous behaviour and it is where union members started their fight for the 8 hour working day.

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Fitzroy Library Exhibition November 2020 to January 2021: Brunswick Street Fitzroy sketches and urban history

Fitzroy Library Exhibition November 2020 to January 2021: Brunswick Street Fitzroy sketches and urban history

Brunswick Street Fitzroy: sketches and urban history is an exhibition of sketches, illustrations, vintage photographs and clippings from old newspapers that share my long term passion for the architecture, history and community of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. All of my artwork was drawn on location over the last couple of years, with watercolour added to the longer streetscapes in my studio.

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