Saturday, April 18, 2015

Reaching Shangrila in Cairns Australia.

The Shangrila is a five star hotel right on the water in Cairns (Pier Point Road, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia). The room was spacious and well appointed with large photos of reef Corals decorating the walls. Terry went for a walk after we checked in, so I did a sketch from our balcony. As you can see, our view was of the expansive parking lot. I kept the sketch loose by putting watercolor washes down first and only adding line work where it was needed. I should work this way more often. In the distance I could see crowds of tourists walking the main street shopping and looking for restaurants.

After the sketch was done, I flicked on the TV and found a fascinating program that showcases artists who explain their painting process. It was a fabulous show and I got to watch a painting develop from start to finish. I don't know why there isn't a show like this in the states. I guess the audience might be consider a bit limited but I thought it was an awesome show. Another program featured four portrait artists who were all assigned a commission to paint a military veteran's portrait. Only one artists work would win the grand prize and hang in a British museum. With high stakes, it was fascinating to see how each artist handled the commission. There was yet another show that featured a convicted forger teaching artists how to paint like John Singer Sargent. I was transfixed. We need programs like this in the states. The arts are so revered and appropriated in Australia.

Shangrila was our home base for a day trip to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. After my bout of sea sickness while whale watching, I did research online to find ways to avoid it happening again. One remedy suggested saltines the day before, so I got a box of saltines and popped some Dramamines and drifted off to sleep. Tomorrow would be a long day.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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