A Love Pack

I painted this greeting card called “Lovebirds” because Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

Lovebirds

The origin of Valentine’s Day is not definite. Historically, February has been celebrated as the month of romance and St. Valentine’s Day has connections to both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. Who was, and how, did Saint Valentine become associated with this day is unclear. This link provides some theories and possibilities about who St. Valentines was and the evolution of Valentines Day. https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2

Through the centuries Valentine’s Day has evolved and changed, and spread across the globe into Australia, and consequently, its spread is now encompassing the Australian emu!

The emu is quite well represented in this Love Pack of greeting cards that I have put together.

Holding Hands

Each greeting card is featuring a love theme. The beauty of a greeting card is that the recipient can get that warm, fuzzy feeling over and over again, each time they read its penned words. Some may choose to frame the cards. It’s a gift that keeps on giving and the recipient could be wearing the smile you gave them for weeks, and in this case all year, if you spread the love pack out over the year. 

Who Says Emus Can’t Fly?!?
Two to Tango

Here’s a link to order your Love Pack of original Pj Paintings greeting cards. https://pjpaintings.com/collections/cards/products/love-pack-of-greeting-cards

I hope that all is well wherever you live. Thank you for visiting.

Franklin Square

On the second Sunday of the month, the Hobart Sketchers group meet at a chosen location and we sketch. Today we sketched in Franklin Square which is in the city of Hobart, about a block from the water of the Derwent River. We each sought a shady spot and drew.

I focused on the Elizabeth Street Post Office’s tower. I took this photo from where I was seated to do my drawing.

The drawing and painting that I did in 1 hour and 10 minutes. A large blob of ink unexpectedly came out on the right side of the dome, where I wanted to leave white paper, as this was where the light/sun was hitting it. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to capture the light on the dome.

The statue of Sir John Franklin, husband of Jane Franklin, is in the foreground. The power couple came to Tasmania in 1837, when Tasmania was called Van Diemen’s Land. They intended to bring culture and improvements to the penal colony. She established the Lady Franklin Gallery that today is again the home of the Tasmanian Art Society. The gallery has had a bumpy ride and even served as an apple storage shed for a period of time. It is a Greek style building that looks a little out of place in the Hobart suburbs. An ABC reporter asked and answered the question Why there’s a Greek-style building at the back of Lenah Valley? https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-17/history-of-lenah-valleys-greek-style-lady-franklin-gallery/9054468 tm

A front view of Sir John Franklin. I like the way the photograph has captured and frozen the water spray.
Here’s a link if you’d like to learn more about this couple’s time in Tasmania. https://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/F/John%20and%20Jane%20Franklin.h

Thanks for visiting and I hope you are able to make time to draw. It is so much fun!

Our Mountain

I love wandering on our mountain, Mt Wellington/kunanyi in Hobart, Tasmania. It’s always different and so inspiring. This time I actually saw two animals. We had to stop the car to let the cutest little echidna cross the road, and on the track, a padymelon stopped us in our tracks.

a padymelon on kunanyi

The Organ Pipe track to the kunanyi’s organ pipes.

on our way down the mountain we had to keep an eye on our step

The organ pipes look quite different close up. They are very dramatic. There were several rock climbers climbing the organ pipes. We encountered some climbers on our way down and asked them how their climb was? They answered that it was awesome. They were absolutely beaming with happiness. Here’s a link for more information about climbing the organ pipes on kunanyi. kunanyi https://www.wellingtonpark.org.au/rock-climbing/

the majestic organ pipes close up
the organ pipes viewed from Sandy Bay, Hobart
organ pipes view from the kunanyi track

I found this fern striking. It’s one plant with different coloured frons. It reminded me of the punnet of lettuce seedlings I recently purchased.

multi-coloured fern
multi-coloured lettuce
We passed by moss covered boulders
striking moss covered boulders on kunanyi
it’s not the season for waratahs to be flowering but there were a few strange looking flowers around. I don’t know if this is the remnants of a former full waratah flower?

As usual, on the way up the mountain, the lichen on the rocks totally inspired me.

I love the green and black lichen
A limited pallet of lichen

This one looks like an outer space scene to me.

such a fabulous set of lichen!

I would love to paint a section of the lichen on a large piece of paper. I think that they are so awesome. I LOVE the patterns. It certainly resembles Aboriginal dot painting to me. But, first I want to paint this picture that I’ve drawn up about three months ago. It’s a continuation of my Bunk beds series. Limited edition prints of “Bunk beds” are available at https://pjpaintings.com/collections/wombats/products/copy-of-sleepy-head-series-bunk-beds-wombat-watercolour.

A wombat family relaxing under the shade of a gum tree – This painting is titled “Bunk beds”
extending the “Bunkbeds” series with “Bunk bed trio”. I’m not sure about what to title this picture? I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Thanks for visiting. I hope that COVID is under control where you are living so that you are able to enjoy the nature around you. Take care, from Patricia (PJ).

A Big Garden Project

For some this may not be a big project, but for me this is massive. I have never attempted a landscaping project of this scale before but I’ve started now and I will see this to the finish. These plants came with the house. I don’t know their name.

Apologies in advance to those who find them attractive, and I suppose they could be, if well maintained, but they are time intensive and as far as I’m concerned, time wasters. They always need trimming. It’s hard to prune back their dead leaves and honestly, one month later there are dead leaves again and the monthly cycle is never-ending.

Impossible to keep up with dead-leaf trimming. Take note of the plant in the upper left corner. It’s an unattractive look. In addition to the front of the house, these plants line the driveway and were also planted on each side of the front steps!!

This project is inspired by my succulent garden which, in this space, one of these great big plants used to reside.

There are a lot of varieties of succulents in this fairly small patch of garden.

Here’s a photo of the flowers that my most abundant succulent produces.

Firstly, I have to remove all these big, ugly plants and rocks. Soooooooooooo many rocks!!!

Not quite halfway

Lucky my neighbour lets me use his green bin too because I’m starting to get quite a pile of green waste.

Over flowing green bins is my normal
my rubbish pile which has grown significantly since this photo was taken

I’ve named my blog The Unfurling Artist and have painted cups of teas with “unfurling” steam ladies because I love the look of curled fern frons and the unfurling process.

So, this is the plan… to create fern frons embedded into contrasting lines, all with succulents.

Fern frons with different coloured stripes made with succulents
fern frons designs

I will post updates on this landscaping project as it unfurls into reality. 🙂

Fur Day

I’m still working on my painting titled “Goldilocks and the 20 Penguins”. Hopefully I’ll soon be able to announce it finished. It will be well worthy of some celebrating as I’ve spent many, many hours on it.

Today was a fur day. This is the way my finger looks when I’m painting fur.

Wiping excess paint off on my finger so the first stroke of fur is a fine line.

I’ve painted the fur grey, blue, burnt sienna, raw sienna, burnt umber, purple and mixed some of these colours together to create a smoother graduation of colours too. Each time I rinse and put paint on my 000 size paint brush, I wipe off the paint on my finger to ensure the first stroke isn’t too thick. As a consequence of removing most of the paint, I can only do about two or three strokes before I run out of paint on my brush and have to start the process again. It is a time consuming process!

A wombat getting furrier by the hour

I think the wombat is about done, except for the foot. I have to add more shadow. They have such gnarly, gorgeous feet for all the digging they do.

https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/wildlife-management/fauna-of-tasmania/mammals/possums-kangaroos-and-wombats/wombat

wombats have gnarly, cute, pink back feet

I’m planning to get cracking on the penguins in the next couple of days and I look forward to showing you the finished painting. In the meantime, I hope that you are finding time to relax and rest in the busy lead up to the festive season.

Wishing you a safe festive week, from Patricia (PJ)

http://www.pjpaintings.com

Battery Point, Tasmania

Well, to be more exact, Arthur Circus, located in Battery Point, Tasmania. This is where today’s urban sketch-meet took place. It was so peaceful and quiet sketching under the shady trees. Even visitors that came through with their children to use the swings, were telling them to speak quietly. It was like they were entering a library zone. It was quite surreal really.

I drew two cottages located in Arthur Circus.

my first drawing of the day – a heritage listed cottage at Arthur Circus
photo of the cottage I drew

For over 100 years, the crowded working-class cottages in Arthur Circus housed large families whose livelihoods were reliant on the waterfront.  Each cottage is now valued over $1,000,000. Battery Point is a postcode held in high esteem, close to the city, waterfront, and in such a quaint, well-kept, prestigious, historical suburb of Hobart, Tasmania. https://www.discovertasmania.com.au/about/articles/battery-point

Arthur Circus Bsml
One of the quaint cottages surrounding the green space of Arthur Circus

Battery Point derived its name from the presence of a battery of cannons placed around the shoreline to protect the Hobart coastline. The cottages surrounded the village green of Arthur Circus, where children used to gather in the 1930s to play marbles. The cottages were built for officers of the garrison.  When they were originally built in the 1800s, they probably consisted of just two main rooms.

Arthur Cirsml
Houses are built around the green space of Arthur Circus

Arthur Circus is reportedly the only street named “Circus” in Australia.  Given the shape of the street, one would think it would have been named Arthur Circle.  But, in fact, “Circus” is an appropriate name for this special place because apparently “circus”, in Latin means “circle”, a round open space at a street junction.  Who knows, maybe a clown or two visited the grassy area to add to the festivities and fun of the birthday parties hosted there. Piccadilly Circus in London is a busy meeting place, and Arthur Circus seems to serve much the same purpose, especially with urban sketchers as many, many artists paint these cute cottages.

My second drawing of the day, #47 Arthur Circus, Battery Point.

I even drew in part of a car! Unusual for me because I avoid even attempting to draw cars.

A photo of #47 Arthur Circus. This house has a unusual roof. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another like it.

The house and car I drew from a standing position. I drew the first one while sitting on the grass.

To close off our final Hobart Urban Sketching group’s outing of 2020, we enjoyed a social throw down and coffee at Jackman & McCross, Battery Point. https://www.batterypointwalk.com.au/locations/hampden-road-shops/

We’re looking forward to another fun-filled year in and around Hobart armed with pens, pencils, paper and paint.

All the best and thanks for visiting.

Silent Disco

Silent discos are a rave that is growing in popularity.  Apparently it has been around for some time. I’ve only just recently heard about them.

Glastonbury Festival, UK, has been accredited with coming up with the idea. When new noise limiting laws were imposed, festival organisers were struggling to find a solution. The festival organiser’s daughter suggested silent disco headphones. Festival goers were given headphones when the noise curfew came into play, allowing the the revellers to continue their clubbing experience by having a silent rave. It also allowed people to hear and dance to music while others didn’t have to shout over the music if they wanted to talk to each other. 

In 2013, Silent Disco Walking Tours came into being. People are listening to the same playlist, plus hearing fun commentary from the tour guide. It’s about ‘flash mob dancing’, interpretative dancing and singing around local landmarks, keeping fit, community connection and fun. http://www.gurududu.org/silentdisco/

I painted two little penguins enjoying a silent disco on the far-flung ice shelves of Antarctica. Fairy penguins, also called little penguins or little blue penguins, are the smallest of the 17 penguin species. They are about 30 – 33 cm tall. 

                                    The drawing before I applied paint.

They come ashore in multiple locations on the island of Tasmania, where I live. I’ve seen them at many different beaches in Tasmania and I get just as excited and enchanted each time I see them. They are beautiful and precious creatures, as all creatures are.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-20/how-to-see-little-penguins-in-tasmania/8197000#:~:text=But%20the%20only%20species%20to,Tasmania%20and%20its%20islands%20home.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope that life is providing you with many things to dance about.

Prints of Silent Disco are available at https://pjpaintings.com/collections/musical/products/copy-of-emu-boogie-emu-watercolour

A Fish Tree?!

Each year, Art Farm Birchs Bay (AFBB) hosts the renowned Sculpture Trail, featuring Tasmanian and interstate artists. The farm is approximately 35 minutes south of Hobart, Tasmania. It is an innovative working farm in the south D’Entrecasteaux Channel region and home to Diemen Pepper http://www.diemenpepper.com/. Many Tasmanian restaurants source their native pepper from AFBB. Not only are you free to wander leisurely to view the sculptures, you can meander through fields, orchards and an extensive kitchen garden.

Let’s begin our tour and see some of 2020’s sculptures on display:

This is the very first sculpture on the trail
I really enjoyed this sculpture. The birds are so cute!
a close up of two of the birds
an eagle
mobile phone danger
life changes
mushroom types
A cute galah
Another galah
a close up of the galah’s feathers

This is my art work featuring a galah, a watercolour painting titled “Iconic Aussies”. It was tricky incorporating it into this painting because of its bright pink colour. It ran the risk of dominating the painting too much. To help the eye travelling across the painting, I painted pink into the trunk of the tree below the yellow-sulphur crested cockatoo and some pink onto its feathers too.

Similar to this tree spotted on the sculpture trail.

the colourful trunk of a eucalyptus trunk

I hope that wherever you are, that you are safe and in good health. Thank you for visiting.

Penguin

On the coastal road between Ulverstone and Wynyard, on the north west coast of Tasmania, lies a small town named Penguin. It was first settled in 1861 as a timber town. It is named after the smallest species of penguins, the fairy penguins, that come ashore all the way along Tasmania’s north-west coast, but especially at a little beach bluff between Ulverstone and Burnie known as Penguin Point.

Penguin beach and in the far background, a retaining wall being installed to save further beach erosion from severe weather events.

As the name suggests, penguins are a frequent theme in this town. It’s nestled along the Bass Strait and has pretty beach views, walkways, beach decorations and a cemetery.

5 meter tall penguin
More penguin humour
Beach Art
beach themed decoration, a patchwork quilted bikini top
one of the many penguin themed rubbish bins on the main street

Penguin was featured on ABC’s Back Roads show. The cemetery was allotted significant focus and time on the show. It is where apparently many community social activities take place and the best view of Penguin is espoused to be from there. Therefore, I made a special effort to find it and see the view from the cemetery myself. It is spectacular, but I didn’t stay too long because I found it sad. You can’t help but read some of the tombstones that are close to the top circular driveway (the entrance & exit) that are of children who have been lost.

One of the views from the cemetery

I left the cemetery and continued with the next leg of my road trip. Penguin is a quaint and lovely place to stop, relax and enjoy. https://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/penguin-tas

My latest work in progress, titled “Goldilocks and the 20 penguins” featuring the endearing fairy penguins. Just imagine the surprise that these penguins have experienced after their evening fishing session, to come home to find a sleepy wombat in one of their nests!!

Goldilocks and the 20 penguins

I hope your upcoming week isn’t too hectic and that you are able to take the time to relax.