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/

The first six months

If that short video grabs your interest and you want to learn more, you can watch the long version here.

Posts from my blog

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...

Instagram – #brunswickstreetsketchography 

I returned to Mark Denver Antiques in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy today to draw the other side of the street.  I especially wanted to capture Rustica where I picked up some yummy sandwiches yesterday on my way home, and the Fitzroy Nursery, covered in wisteria. I needed a bike to anchor the left of my sketch and @diannecolk kindly moved hers to pose for me. It gave me a chance to combine my favourite leaf green and cobalt turquoise :) #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetfitzroy #brunswickstreet #usk #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #cityofyarra #streetscape #melbourne #fitzroy #watercolour

I returned to Mark Denver Antiques in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy today to draw the other side of the street. I especially wanted to capture Rustica where I picked up some yummy sandwiches yesterday on my way home, and the Fitzroy Nursery, covered in wisteria. I needed a bike to anchor the left of my sketch and @diannecolk kindly moved hers to pose for me. It gave me a chance to combine my favourite leaf green and cobalt turquoise 🙂 #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetfitzroy #brunswickstreet #usk #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #cityofyarra #streetscape #melbourne #fitzroy #watercolour ...

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Outside Mark Denver in BrunswickStreet, Fitzroy - a shop full of curiosities that I would love to sketch inside, but the window will have to do. Sadly, due to the pandemic people can only shop through their website which couldn't possibly replicate seeing these vintage curiosities in real life. #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetfitzroy #fitzroy #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #urbansketchers #sketch #bockingford

Outside Mark Denver in BrunswickStreet, Fitzroy - a shop full of curiosities that I would love to sketch inside, but the window will have to do. Sadly, due to the pandemic people can only shop through their website which couldn't possibly replicate seeing these vintage curiosities in real life. #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetfitzroy #fitzroy #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #melbourneurbansketchers #usk #urbansketchers #sketch #bockingford ...

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My rainbow boots may be getting a bit scratched, but they are firmly planted back in Brunswick Street as I continue drawing it brick by brick. It has just been wonderful to leave home for something other than exercise- I could never draw on the run like some others can! #brunswickstreetsketchography

My rainbow boots may be getting a bit scratched, but they are firmly planted back in Brunswick Street as I continue drawing it brick by brick. It has just been wonderful to leave home for something other than exercise- I could never draw on the run like some others can! #brunswickstreetsketchography ...

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This was a three morning effort at the corner of Westgarth and Brunswick Streets. People came and went from the mosaic seat in front of me. I wanted to be able to show the times we are living in, so thank you to the masked pair who may or may not have noticed they were being drawn. Not one car parked in my view on any of the mornings which tells a story of its own in this usually busy street. #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetfitzroy #fitzroy #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #usk #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #streetscape #melbourne #urbansketch #watercoloursketch #bockingford

This was a three morning effort at the corner of Westgarth and Brunswick Streets. People came and went from the mosaic seat in front of me. I wanted to be able to show the times we are living in, so thank you to the masked pair who may or may not have noticed they were being drawn. Not one car parked in my view on any of the mornings which tells a story of its own in this usually busy street. #brunswickstreetsketchography #brunswickstreetfitzroy #fitzroy #brunswickstreet #cityofyarra #usk #melbourneurbansketchers #urbansketchers #streetscape #melbourne #urbansketch #watercoloursketch #bockingford ...

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Brunswick Street prints

2 Comments

  1. Dennis Toth

    I like your sketches

    Reply

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