For our monthly Perth Sketchers meet up I decided that Wolf Lane would be the place to visit. There’s so many laneways in Perth that have been “funktified” (is that a word? I don’t know sounds good though).
Not a huge laneway but interesting in that there’s little cafes and bars that have been re-established from derelict buildings, and amazing street art on most of the building walls.
After scouting the laneway with the other sketchers I was drawn to two things, not the pretty planter boxes, not the buildings with the amazing artwork, not looking down an alley way with cafes off to the sides, but an uninteresting building that looked like it had no purpose but existed from many decades ago, surrounded by wire fencing, a brick laid house like building that was framed in the background by the modern architecture of the Holiday Inn, Central Park Building, and I think the Commonwealth Bank. (The other ‘scene’ if you can call it that was the row of full bins).
Not sure what attracted me to them. Maybe the story it told of back alley bins and late night jaunts?!!
I kind of regretted plonking my stool across from the modern church (which didn’t look like a church at all) . I only knew this from the plastic “A” frame sign that had a white piece of paper stuck to it that said “Church Parking” . So,why did I regret my location? Well after settling into my sketch (which didn’t take long) I got a waft of drunk (and I’m assuming men’s) urine that seemed to surround me intermittently as I was sketching. I wasn’t tucked in a corner, nor was I up against the wall, but obviously there are favourite pissing places in the laneway after exiting a bar at night *sigh* . (And yes I just did use that “P” word, I apologise if I have offended but this situation I was in highly warranted the use of this adverb). Oh! but this wasn’t all, this lovely stale urine fragrance was married with the odd occasional aroma of sewer (you know that rotten egg methane smell?!) Urggh I’m dry reaching as I write this!
But like a true sketcher I kept on sketching!!! I was on a sketching mission!! You see I decided that today I would challenge myself to do a sketch of an urban scene with lots of lines and angles. It’s not something I’ve done before.
I very rarely sketch with pencil first, in fact I never do. But today, with all the angles and lines I just felt the need to do some quick light sketching before going over in pen. When it came to adding colour, I had always wanted to add colour to just one aspect of my sketch, and after much encouragement (from fellow sketchers) and ….yes, much reluctance, I only added colour to one building! Now, I am a colour person and I love my colours, so it was very difficult for me to not keep fiddling and restrain myself from adding just a touch more colour. So I’m quite proud of myself for just leaving the sketch as is.
Dial 000 Emergency Just in Case
Did I also mention that cars would turn down the alley way at a rather fast speed (for a laneway) and come to a somewhat quick slow down realising that there’s a little person sitting on a little Kathmandu fold out camping stool, sketching. Most of them had to make this awkward turn into the underground carpark to attend Sunday mass. The others drove into the fenced off area of the building I was sketching. Because the majority of people that parked there were Asian, I wondered if there was an Asian eatery on the other side that they worked at. Hmmmm…… I’ll have to check it out.
Oh yes, I forgot to add that the exhaust fumes the cars added to my pleasant laneway sketching experience. I didn’t realise that sketching can be such a health hazard! Might need to take out some urban sketching insurance (don’t think there’s such a thing really).
Ahhhhhh but…………….. freshness, warmth, and clean laundry!! Fortunately for me I wasn’t’ too far away from the back of a, I assume laundromat. How did I know? It was that familiar dryer fabric softener fragrance that every laundromat has when all the dryers are in full operation. I really should have thought about positioning my little stool closer but that would mean I’d be sketching a completely different scene.
A Sunday Morning Laneway Party
There’s so much that happens in a laneway on a Sunday morning that I had no idea about. Groups of tourist on a walking tour, photographers capturing aspects of Perth CBD and laneways, and photo shoots. I thought it was going to be quiet morning of sketching.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a complaint, I actually enjoyed it, it was just unexpected. So don’t let the array of fragrances deter you from visiting Wolf Lane, you probably won’t even notice it at all. It’s only because I was still for over an hour in the one spot that I noticed the smells and the fragrances.
So where to for my next sketchventure?!