Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meet the Correspondents--Liz Steel

I am an architect, and have been drawing in some way all my life, but when I discovered watercolours just over 2 years ago, I started sketching regularly... and haven’t stopped since.

Whilst I love sketching buildings and urban life, it is impossible for me not to be inspired to sketch some of the natural wonders to be found in Australia, my native land. The bush, the beach, the outback, the land are significant parts of the way that Australians have tried to define themselves over the years and although it is a cliché to say that all Australians are in love with their country - it is certainly true of me!

Sydney, where I have lived all my life, is the largest city in Australia and yet has the most amazing amount of natural bush (forest) within the borders of what is defined as the metropolitan area. So while most of my landscape sketches are done on holidays, I really have no excuse for not doing more sketching in nature, since there is so much around me.

I am no gardener but gardening is a big thing for some special people in my life – my best friend, my dad, my aunt and grandma – so it is nice to appreciate the work of others. Although I am amazed at the variety and beauty of the flowers and plants and their composition in cultured gardens, for me nothing beats Australian trees in their natural setting. My sister, when she lived in Australia, used to work in the bush (regenerating it) and therefore going for a walk with her was a wonderful and educational experience as she would share all her knowledge of plants with me.

I am really excited about being part of this blog, giving me the inspiration to sketch and share more of the nature of my beautiful country.

My flickr

090414 Turpentine Nut
I love the analytical nature of botanical drawings (it’s the architect in me - plan, elevation, perspective) but I don’t have the patience to produce the precise style that is typical of this genre. So here is my own loose version of the curiously shaped nuts that are scattered all over our lawn – fallen from the huge turpentine tree in the centre. I will tell you more about the tree later...

Caught in the act
Didn’t have any photos of me sketching in the bush… this is the best I could find... in the South American section of a Garden of Many Nations.


  1. Terrific, Liz, and I'm so glad you could join us. I need to know more about turpentine trees!

  2. It looks like the bush to me Liz. Glad to meet you and your work is super.

  3. So nice to meet you, too. I've seen your urban sketching on Flickr, wonderful! I'm glad you also do nature!

  4. Sorry to have missed this when you first posted, but I'm delighted to find a fellow architect posting! Must find you on Flickr!


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