My name is Chris Haldane and I’m from Sydney, Australia (follow me on Instagram, Flickr, and Facebook!) I’ve loved drawing since I was a little girl. My mum used to say that if she couldn’t find me, all she had to do was go to the bookshelf, and there I’d be hiding, drawing in her books! But as I grew up, studies and work became so time-consuming that my art took a back seat until about 6 years ago, when I resigned from a busy teaching career and enrolled in art study. I’m currently working towards an Advanced Diploma, majoring in painting and drawing.
At that time I was thrilled to become one of the founding members of Urban Sketchers in Australia. I am currently the Sydney organizer, and love meeting so many likeminded and passionate people as we get to know our environment better by drawing it.
My favourite subjects are urban/ industrial, especially demolition sites. I think I’m drawn to any subject with an interesting social or historical past, and I feel my work helps to document these fast disappearing sites for posterity. In my local area, I’ve sketched the actual demolition process over a few days of two large factories, which are now being developed into highrise buildings. I find the stories behind these sites and the people who worked in them fascinating and love to record them with my sketches.
But I also love construction sites, particularly the cranes that hover over them ( I have recently been nicknamed Chris Halcrane!). Over the last three years, I’ve done about 40 sketches of Barangaroo, Sydney’s biggest building project down by the Harbour, which is transforming the foreshore. It’s been fascinating to record the changes as the towers soar ever higher, and I plan to continue this project until it is completed in 2020, so I’ll be busy for a while yet! One of my earliest sketches of it is probably my favorite. I called it Dance of the Cranes.
I’ve also recently become interested in visiting remote parts of this vast country, and sketching aspects of our rural or mining past that are so little understood by many city dwellers. In fact, I returned this week from the remote town of Broome in Western Australia, with a unique pearling history, which challenged me to work with a different colour palette to capture its rocks and beaches. And who doesn’t love recording their overseas travel adventures?! I’m looking forward to a trip to Manchester and Ireland in a couple of months’ time to immerse myself in more travel journaling!
My sketches are done on site and watercolour is my favourite medium; those ‘happy accidents’ are so addictive! I use Winsor & Newton with some Daniel Smith favourites like Transparent Red Oxide, and generally work in A4 or A5 Moleskine journals, although I must say I also like the square Handbook. I use Micron pens and a Lamy pen with De Atramentis ink when I want a more definite outlined look. I really enjoy sharing my passion on Flickr, Instagram and Facebook and you can follow along with me at the links below!