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Brisbane City Sketchers

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by Alison Muirhead (subscribe)
Doting grandmother and grey nomad who should join Volunteers Anonymous and is greatly in favour of a ten day week. So much to do, so little time.
Published September 6th 2017
Preserving history through art, fun, food, and friendship
JJ Bell, Brisbane's changing skyline
Brisbane's Changing Skyline

You may be finding it difficult to adapt to the changes in the city skyline and pine for the Brisbane of the good old days. Some folk are recording Brisbane's built environment through the availability of the mobile phone, but others are harking back to the days of Lloyd Rees and praising the current Brisbane scenes by pollie turned artist, David Hinchliffe. Both have used their artistic skills to record that which may not be with us for much longer. Brisbane City Sketchers are following in their footsteps.

David Hinchliffe, Brisbane politician turned artist
David Hinchliffe - pollie turned artist

The Broadway Hotel is one magnificent building dating back to 1890 which may be lost to "development" after a disastrous fire in 2010. The facade remains. One hopes this is kept intact when "development" takes place in the very near future.

Broadway Hotel, Brisbane
Broadway Hotel 2017

Broadway Hotel, Brisbane
JJ Bell's Interpretation

JJ Bell, artist, Broadway Hotel, Brisbane
JJ Bell, preserving history through art

One early recorder of Australian scenes was Cedric Emmanuel, an etcher, painter, and sketcher. His records of Australian urban scenes eclipse those of any individual photographer, and his drawing of "Brisbane Civic Hall" is a true representation of one of the iterations of our "new Civic Square" aka King George Square.

Cedric Emmanuel, Brisbane Civic Square, Brisbane City Hall
Brisbane Civic Square aka King George Square

King George Square as it is today is extremely controversial because of its lack of sympathy towards our sub-tropical climate.
Whatever our sentimental memories are of this foreground to Brisbane City Hall, this scene may puncture many a fantasized memory. However, there is no denying that the fountain was a tribute to our climate, a point which the current Lord Mayor may finally be recognising by announcing a competition for the design of a fountain for King George Square. One wonders how many folk will remember truthfully today's Square in 20 years' time.

King George Square circa 1940s, Brisbane
Wartime King George Square

King George Square 2017, Brisbane
Until the pavers of KGS Square grow cold

Brisbane City Sketchers puts out the welcome mat for anyone who wants to sketch the beautiful City of Brisbane. You don't have to be a local; many a friendship has been forged with interstate and international visitors who have taken up temporary membership with this friendly group of like-minded folk. It is a very sad day when they return to their homeland, leaving memories of fond friendship behind, and taking artistic souvenirs and best wishes with them. Some of those memories include the delicious food served up at the various Brisbane eateries where the group meets to put their artistic talents into play.

Broadway hotel, Brisbane City Sketchers
Fun, food and friendship

Brisbane City Sketchers enjoy a sketchout twice a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays, using any medium they desire. The sketches are done onsite, in real life, and not from photographs. Their motto is "Impressions of our City through an Artist's eyes". Members are encouraged to share photos of their sketches with fellow members through Facebook and the group's Flickr website. Questions are welcomed by administrators JJ, Brett, Leslie and Tony. You can contact them through

Naldham House, Brisbane
Naldham House

Brisbane City Sketchers
Concentration in a relaxed atmosphere

Brisbane City Sketchers, cottage
Worth preserving - not just on paper

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Why? To join like-minded folk in preserving Brisbane's history through art
When: Tuesdays and Saturdays
Phone: 0413 810 152
Where: Anywhere there is history to be recorded through art
Cost: FREE!
Your Comment
Sounds interesting.
by Jennifer Muirhead (score: 3|1227) 1348 days ago
They seem to have a great social time as well as indulging their passion.
by Alison Muirhead (score: 2|294) 1348 days ago
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