Brunswick Street Sketchography

Nearly every day for the last thirty years I have jumped on the number 11 tram to travel down Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. I have wandered along the shops, eaten kebabs, and enjoyed cappucinos and eggs benedict in the cafes. But it took a trip overseas for me to come home and truly “see” Brunswick Street. Now I notice the shapes of the rooftops, the ghost signs, the towers and the cast iron lace. I can’t believe all this beauty has been here in front of me for so long and that I have simply taken it for granted.

No longer. I have challenged myself to a very long term project of drawing the buildings along Brunswick Street. As a librarian I also want to research the history of the area so that I can learn more about the people who lived here in times past. I want to learn more about this local community of mine, and discover how I fit in. It’s going to take a very long time – years in fact – so that in itself will be a lesson in patience and mindfulness for me. If you would like to follow along with me you can keep an eye on this blog, or follow me on instagram.

Acknowledgement of country

Before going any further, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land around Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, the Wurundjeri people, and to pay my respects to their ancestors and elders both past and present.

My drawings highlight a fairly recent urban history, only since the 1850s, and I’ll be getting my stories from passers by, vintage photos and old newspapers. The indigenous history of the area is much better described by people other than myself, and you can read more about it here –  https://aboriginalhistoryofyarra.com.au/ and https://www.wurundjeri.com.au/

Brunswick Street, Fitzroy – six months of urban sketches and streetscapes

Almost every Tuesday for the last six months, since January 2019, I have been catching a tram down Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, to draw beautiful Victorian buildings on location. It started as a personal passion project to draw the street, and I have to say that I...

Six month update – Jan to July 2019

Instagram post 17860768105558391 My mission to draw Brunswick Street one building at a time continues ... slowly! This is the community health centre north of Gertrude Street. I’ll confess that I thought it might be boring to draw, but then I noticed the flats opposite were reflected in the windows. While I was drawing I had visitors from the urban grocer outside the flats - that was very special :) #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #fitzroy #citysketch #streetscape #cityofyarra #bockingford #cohealth

My mission to draw Brunswick Street one building at a time continues ... slowly! This is the community health centre north of Gertrude Street. I’ll confess that I thought it might be boring to draw, but then I noticed the flats opposite were reflected in the windows. While I was drawing I had visitors from the urban grocer outside the flats - that was very special 🙂 #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #fitzroy #citysketch #streetscape #cityofyarra #bockingford #cohealth ...

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Instagram post 17866796152505147 Delicious lunch at Bon Ap Petit Bistro in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy today. This is the view looking north along Brunswick Street with one big oopsy that I decided to ignore. I wonder if anyone will work out what it was? We were sad to say goodbye to a fellow sketcher from France, but it was a lovely day with some new visitors, including @jodiwileyart , Lizzy and @paulwang_sg - thanks for the inspiration and company to all! #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #fitzroy #cityofyarra #citysketch #sketchbook #sketch #hahnemühle

Delicious lunch at Bon Ap Petit Bistro in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy today. This is the view looking north along Brunswick Street with one big oopsy that I decided to ignore. I wonder if anyone will work out what it was? We were sad to say goodbye to a fellow sketcher from France, but it was a lovely day with some new visitors, including @jodiwileyart , Lizzy and @paulwang_sg - thanks for the inspiration and company to all! #usk #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreet #brunswickstreetfitzroy #fitzroy #cityofyarra #citysketch #sketchbook #sketch #hahnemühle ...

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Instagram post 18067774054180351 I couldn’t resist the wisteria decorating the Fitzroy Nursery today, but I got carried away with the tram lines and as usual I misjudged the height of the building. It’s just luck I fitted the wisteria in at all!  #usk #brunswickstreetsketchography #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #wisteria #watercolorsketch #sketch #sketchbook

I couldn’t resist the wisteria decorating the Fitzroy Nursery today, but I got carried away with the tram lines and as usual I misjudged the height of the building. It’s just luck I fitted the wisteria in at all! #usk #brunswickstreetsketchography #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #wisteria #watercolorsketch #sketch #sketchbook ...

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Instagram post 18033265300208212 Lunch in the courtyard out the back of Tahina, and Israeli street food restaurant at 362 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. I ate far too much (three plates of food came out to my one small order!) but it was a lovely spring afternoon with good company. Starring colours are my #danielsmith Aussie rose gold and #schmincke #horadam helio cerulean. #usk #brunswickstreetsketchography #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #cafesketch #watercolorsketch #sketch #sketchbook

Lunch in the courtyard out the back of Tahina, and Israeli street food restaurant at 362 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. I ate far too much (three plates of food came out to my one small order!) but it was a lovely spring afternoon with good company. Starring colours are my #danielsmith Aussie rose gold and #schmincke #horadam helio cerulean. #usk #brunswickstreetsketchography #urbansketchers #melbourneurbansketchers #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #cafesketch #watercolorsketch #sketch #sketchbook ...

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Instagram post 17911828435351009 Another streetscape finished in my Brunswick Street project, Fitzroy. Yesterday I drew the Brotherhood of St Laurence building. It was more interesting than I expected, especially when the sun came out and I could see the light and shadows bringing out diamond shapes in the walls. They should be interesting to paint. I’m trying to figure out if I could realistically manage this long zig zag sketchbook enough to paint it on location too. Thanks Alf for holding my sketchbook- always my best supporter :). #brunswickstreetsketchography #usk #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #deatramentisink #twsbieco #bockingford #fitzroy #cityofyarra #brunswickstreet #brotherhoodofstlaurence #sketch  #accordionsketchbook

Another streetscape finished in my Brunswick Street project, Fitzroy. Yesterday I drew the Brotherhood of St Laurence building. It was more interesting than I expected, especially when the sun came out and I could see the light and shadows bringing out diamond shapes in the walls. They should be interesting to paint. I’m trying to figure out if I could realistically manage this long zig zag sketchbook enough to paint it on location too. Thanks Alf for holding my sketchbook- always my best supporter :). #brunswickstreetsketchography #usk #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #deatramentisink #twsbieco #bockingford #fitzroy #cityofyarra #brunswickstreet #brotherhoodofstlaurence #sketch #accordionsketchbook ...

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