Why I Like Being a Stallholder

Yes, there are some cold, dark, Saturday mornings in the winter that I moan and groan with the thought of struggling all day to keep my toes warm, despite wearing three layers of everything.  It is really not an enticing prospect to help motivate me to get out of bed but most of the time this is not the case.   I really like having a Pjpaintings permanent stall at Salamanca Market.

Setting up and taking down each Saturday is not as bad as it sounds and it is a source of weight lifting and exercise without the gym fees.  During the setting and packing up time, before the gazebo walls go up, is actually the easiest time to chat with your neighbours and the market community around you.  Close bonds are developed as we get to catch up every week over many years.

The best thing about having a stall is the conversations with people from all over the world.  Salamanca Market is a major Tasmanian tourist attraction that gives me the opportunity to meet and interact with people from everywhere, including Canada and Belgium, where I have spent some of my life.  I sometimes even attempt to have a conversation in French.

Meeting a fellow Belgian

Art exhibitions or galleries’ privacy clauses prevents me from finding out who bought, or where my art work went, whereas at Salamanca Market I can interact with those that are taking home my artwork.  It is such a buzz to be able to talk about your art work with those that love it enough to buy it, to hear how they connect with it and their stories.  For example, a couple who sold their house in Brisbane and moved to Emu Park, Queensland, were looking for a piece of artwork featuring an emu and were thrilled to discover my stall-full of emu art.

Family Outing


The motto of my art is “helping put smiles on faces”.  It is lovely seeing all the smiles at my stall and when people see the perfect gift for a baby, daughter, son, family members and friends or gifts to take with them to give to hosts when travelling and relatives abroad.


Also, you meet many people that are attending all sorts of conferences, competitions and events in Tasmania that I would have never had known about, if it wasn’t visitors telling me about them.  I am amazed at how much we host here.  Recently we’ve hosted the Australian Society of Micro Biologists Conference, Sausage Conference, Underwater Hockey Championship and much more.

Some sort of event taking place in Hobart

And finally, all the great stories I hear on Saturdays and the interesting characters I have the privilege of meeting, makes great weekly writing material and another avenue of connecting with people through the written form.

Regular bagpipe group meet-up at the top end of Salamanca Market


Defend – Conserve – Protect.  Do you know whose slogan this is?

If you guessed the Sea Shepherd, you guessed correctly.  The Sea Shepherd movement involves defending, conserving and protecting our oceans and marine wildlife, combating illegal fishing, sea life rescues and many years of pilot whale defense campaigns, actually virtually forty years of campaigning.  Their 40th anniversary is quickly approaching and one of the ways they are marking this momentous occasion, and organisation, is by hosting an art exhibition at the Waterside Pavilion at Hobart Docks, Tasmania, commencing Monday 2nd October through to Sunday 8th October.

I was thrilled to have been asked to participate.  The theme is quite broad – conservation. I thought I’d have a go at what most people associate with Sea Shepherd and that is whales.  I’ve never painted a whale before and I have always found painting water particularly challenging.  So, my first plan of action was to buy paper that had some resist (unfortunately I didn’t take note of the name of the papers I bought.  I just went with feel but I will go back to the shop, buy more, take note of the names and will come back to report my findings).

Watercolour paper absorbs the paint too much for the watery effect that I’m seeking. This is a painting I did two years ago on Daler & Rowney 300gm Aquafine Aquarelle Watercolour paper.

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I wet the paper and then applied watered down Ecoline ink to create a watery background.  Aquarelle paper has quite a bit of resist and this lack of absorbency allows you to create this look.

Ecoline ink
liquid watercolour

I tried doing the background for a whale painting on the Aquarelle paper and I wasn’t impressed with the first coat.  It doesn’t have as much resist as I would like. I wet it all again and tried lots of splattering.  I’m happier with this and will give it a go.  I’ll see what the end outcome brings.

background painted on 300gm Aquarelle Watercolour paper

I painted this humpback adult and young whale on a paper with a lot of resist.  It feels like it almost has a plastic coating.  It was so much fun to paint on.

Humpback Whale
Humpback Whales for Sea Shepherd Art Exhibition

I wet the paper and then applied the watercolour paint.  It was really, really wet so I left it to dry and went upstairs to make a nice cup of tea (I love hot cups of tea!).  A couple of hours later, I checked on it and discovered the paint in the bottom part of the painting, had formed the coolest bubbles ever!  They are soooo cool.  I’m just in awe of them.  Had I known this was going to happen, I would have applied this colour to a lot more of the painting.  I think this colour may have also helped to make the whales look more like they are underwater too.  Unfortunately the photos don’t accurately capture the life-likeness of the bubbles created.


I’m going to continue to try a variety of papers with resist and I will let you know how this goes.  Do you think I’ll have a repeat of unintentionally creating the coolest bubbles ever?  Has any of your painting experiences resulted in cool bubble-making??  I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks for reading,

by Patricia (Pj), the unfurling artist

Bad Ink

I’ve started using ink a lot more since doing the Inktober Challenge in 2016.  I mainly use it to outline Australian native animals that I draw.  I mix Indian and Quink ink together and use a reed to apply my outlines.

My inks and reeds

I usually have a few on the go so one of my kitchen counter tops has been taken over by these.  Having them accessible lets me add to them during those short down times.  For example,  while I’m waiting for the kettle to boil, I paint a few blades of grass or I use it as a motivational tool before I try to make myself start making dinner. For example, I’ll allow myself to only paint a platypus’ beak and then I tell myself I can paint more when I finish making dinner.

The kitchen counter top with three platypus drawings in progress
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Platypus I was inking up before going to work

I was inking up these platypus before work, and hadn’t quite finished the third platypus in the top drawing, when I realised that time had gotten away from me.  I quickly started packing up.  Ink is a fantastic median on paper to work with because it is bold, dramatic and versatile but when it gets knocked over and spills everywhere, ink is bad, which is what happened.  It fell off the kitchen counter onto the floor, splashed up onto the cupboard doors, dining room chair, dining room table and me.  Charli, the dog, immediately wanted to smell it.  I chased her out the door, tried to clean up the best I could and threw my clothes into the washing machine to soak before I rushed out the door.

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ink clean up
ink bowls
Anyone for yummy ink soup??

I got to work and discovered I hadn’t got all the ink off of me and that my shoes had taken on a more authentic artistic look!

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Ink work that I didn’t have to pay for
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My shoe taking on a more artistic look

I’ve had other unfortunate experiences with ink.  A while ago, I placed my art bag on the front passenger seat and when I removed my bag I discovered that my ink bottle had leaked.  So, as a result, the front passenger seat has a permanent rather large ink spot on it.  Another time, an ink bottle leaked in my generous sized pencil case.  What a mess that was, and a job to clean!

Despite my bad ink experiences, I’m still a big fan of ink and use it almost daily.  Has anyone else had any “bad ink” experiences???


3 platypus
inking finished and watercolour being added
August 2017 platypus
painting finished despite all the drama!  🙂

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market August 5, 2017

It was a fairly slow day under blue skies and temperate temperatures.  Early in the day, the stallholder from the upper part of the street exercised his creative flair with some street and tree art.

street art
Colourful Salamanca Market personality making his mark
tree art
He also decorated the tree near his stall site

A lady, attending a vigil marking the atomic bombing of Hiroshima seventy-two years ago on August 6th, bought a platypus original painting for a baby’s gift.  A grandmother from Western Australia, expecting her first grandchild, which they have named Baby-locks while it is in the womb, chose Duck Crossing.

I met the son of my friend who bought some of my very first paintings.  She has been a great supporter of my art over the years.  Her son bought “39 Keys to Life”.  I gave the painting this title because I painted 39 piano keys.

39 Keys to Life copy Simonsxsml
39 Keys to Life

A father purchased “Joy ride” for his young son.  The print is going to make its home in China.  Two ladies, visiting from Sydney, bought a “Who, Who, Who are You? II,” “All Ears” and “G’Day” print.

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Joy ride!

I met two young ladies from Newcastle, Australia.  They are planning to watch the Matilda soccer team play Brazil in Newcastle.  It should be a great and competitive game.

Four pjpaintings prints went to be auctioned to raise money for the Stay ChatTY not for profit charity that works to help prevent suicide by spreading the message that nothing is so bad that you can’t talk about it.

Today’s best seller was: Who, Who, Who are You? II

White Faced Scops Owls xsml
Who, Who, Who are You? II

A thought to ponder:   “Every artist was first an amateur” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wishing you many happy, creative moments, from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market July 8, 2017

Today was another cold start at Salamanca Market but the sun was out, and with a predicted high of 13 degrees and school holidays, the people came.  Early in the morning, I had a few visits from teachers attending the Reading and Literacy Conference taking place in Hobart.  Surprise-surprise most of them bought Story time prints!

Story time. This print is available for purchase at http://www.pjpaintings.com

A family purchased a “Spanish Eyes (Red)” print for their Spanish exchange student living with them.  A couple, who just sold their house in Brisbane to move closer to their daughter, living in Emu Park, Queensland, purchased a “Story time” print.  They’re very keen to hang an emu painting in their new house in Emu Park.  And another “Story time” print was bought and this one will be travelling to South Africa.

PjPaintings limited edition print A-4 and A-3
Spanish Eyes (Red)

A lady from Wollongong showed her friend the prints that she bought when she was in Tassie last year.  She had “Off to the Races” and “Hayride” framed and they are hanging up in her granny flat.

Two Quink Ink platypus and a Tassie Devil were purchased today.  I have to try to paint more during the week.

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This original painting was in a frame but then the frame fell. Thankfully the glass didn’t smash but the corner got dented. So, I sold the painting unframed, which was better for the travelling couple who bought it.

Quite a few locals stopped by the stall today, too.  They bought a “Poppy Fields”, “Snowbirds”, “Rising Above it” and “Unfurling” prints.

A group of dressed up young ladies went through the market today.  I don’t know where they came from, or where they were going or why they were dressed up.  Lots of unanswered questions.


Today’s best seller is: Story time

A thought to ponder:  To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at – Claude Monet  This saying really resonates with me.  Many times I fall into the trap of listening to my brain instead of my eye and then I draw the perspective incorrectly.

Wishing you many happy, creative moments, from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market

Salamanca Market July 1, 2017

At 1 degree Celsius, it was a cold start at Salamanca Market. My toes are still unthawing! 🙂 Despite the cold, people were out and about. The Festival of Voices has started and the Australian Society of Micro Biologists is having a conference in Hobart this weekend.
cold Pj
Feeling rather chilly at the Pjpaintings stall, Salamanca Market.
I chatted with a couple living on the mainland of Australia, but the man had lived about 10 years in Canada. Most of that time he lived in Nova Scotia, but he lived a few months in the Northwest Territories. They moved there in the winter! That would be a shock to the system. Despite temperatures well below zero, he said he thought winter was better than the summer because the warm weather brought a relentless and enormous amount of mosquitoes and black flies. He left Australia with an Australian accent, picked up the Canadian accent, but when he returned to Australia at 15 years of age, the Australian accent slipped back effortlessly.
I told him that both my boys had Canadian accents until they started school, when in a matter of a couple of weeks, they were speaking with an Australian accent. People used to be quite bewildered when they heard one speaking with an Australian accent and the other with a Canadian accent, when the youngest hadn’t started school yet. This seems like an appropriate place to wish the Canadians a Happy Canada Day, celebrating all the wonders of the special place that Canada is.
I met two young ladies from San Francisco. They described the emus as adorable. A couple bought “Spanish Eyes (Red)” to send to a friend living in the U.K., and a lady, down for the weekend, is taking back to “Burnie Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania” and “Beauty Queens”. Another original platypus picture, painted with Quink Ink went, along with some little 3×5” Cheer ‘em Up postcards.
Spanish Eyes II (Red) pj(1)
Spanish Eyes II (Red) with treble clef collage work on Mr Emu’s waistcoat and the top of Ms Emu’s dress.
My new friend from the Devonport Dental Surgery visited the stall again. She has “Duck Crossing” and “Helping Hands” hanging up in her surgery. It helps put smiles on faces and make the experience of going to the dentist a little more light hearted and pleasant. This time she bought “Snowbirds”. She wants to keep changing things around so that there are new images to help bring smiles to people’s faces.
This print is titled “Snowbirds” and is also a greeting card. Both are available online, at http://www.pjpaintings.com
A gentleman, carrying a rather large box of fresh vegetables, stopped by and bought “Rising Above It” and told me that he volunteers somewhere where counselling is available. I can’t remember where. Nevertheless, he told me that “Thunder” (the print of the two elephants) is hanging up in the counselling room and that the counsellor refers to it to help convey the idea of individuality and being yourself or something along that line. So, my art is also serving as a counselling device.
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Print titled Thunder! available at http://www.pjpaintings.com
There was a four way tie for today’s best sellers: The Three Amigos, Thunder!, White Faced Scops Owls and Who, Who, Who are You? II
A thought to ponder: “Art is literacy of the heart” ~Elliot Eisner
Wishing you many happy, creative moments, from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market

Where are the Clowns???

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. It 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.

Arthur Circus B
One of the quaint cottages surrounding the green space of Arthur Circus.

Arthur Circus is located in Battery Point.  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, were built for officers of the garrison.  When the cottages were originally built in the 1800s, they probably consisted of just two main rooms.  They are in stark contrast to some of the extravagant houses in the Battery Point neighbourhood, many that, including the Arthur Circus’ cottages, are heritage listed by the National Trust.

Battery Point House
A grand house located very close to Arthur Circus in Battery Point, Tasmania.

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.  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, and this is where our Urban Sketch Weekend commenced!

Arthur Cir
Let the sketching begin! Arthur Circus in Battery Point, Tasmania
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Yours truly, sketching in Arthur Circus, before we sought refuge from the rain and wind.

Friday, June 23rd, urban sketchers from Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart met and began sketching in Arthur Circus.

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My rain affected drawing

The weather started off promising but soon the rains came so we were in and out of cafes, dodging the rain for most of the day.  Regardless, it was such fun and some great sketches were produced.

Inside the toasty warm Jackman & McRoss Cafe, Battery Point, sketched by the very talented Janice from Melbourne
Jane and I were sketched by the very talented Evelyn from Melbourne in Jackman & McRoss Cafe

The day consisted of fabulous food, conversations and sharing.

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I ordered, drew and ate a chocolate eclair
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Some of the day’s sketches
In the evening we ate at Lighthouse Habour Cafe. This is my yummy meal, with my paints close by. One of the hazards of being an urban sketcher is that you firstly paint your food and then eat an un-hot meal. 🙂

In the evening, there was laughter and joy, as we challenged ourselves to 5-minute portrait sketches of each other.  It was timed, and exactly 5 minutes per sketch and not one second more!  This was a first for me and, I must say, I loved it!

My 5 minute sketch of Angela
My 5 minute sketch of Evelyn
My 5 minute sketch of Marta
Some of the 5 minute sketches produced.

We took home the mini-portraits of ourselves.  A nice souvenir of a fabulous and memorable day spent in picturesque Battery Point, Tasmania.

The Emo Perspective

An international, enthusiastic group of twelve, including myself, enrolled in Liz Steel’s urban sketching course.  On day two of the course, we visited Emo (pronounced A-mo) Villa, in the Vicenza area of northern Italy for the day’s urban sketching assignment.

Emo tour guide

While Monica, our lovely tour guide was giving us the history of the building, I did a quick sketch to capture and familiarise myself with this very long building with eleven archways on either side of the central main house.

Emo pen drawing
An extremely long, grand villa with 11 archways on both sides of main dwelling.

Frescoes adorn most of the inside walls. The “holy” frescoes hang on the north walls above the door in each room.  Many frescoes were painted to create the illusion of making the room look bigger than it actually is. For example, painting three dimensional columns, windows and having legs/feet hanging off balconies.

emo fresco grand
This scene is two-dimensional but painted so it looks like the columns are three-dimensional – but they’re not.

In one room, the walls are covered with “Grotesque” art. Grotesque comes from the word, “grotta”, meaning “cave”. Apparently, the ground collapsed in front of the Coliseum in Italy and the men that disappeared into the ground, discovered a large underground room full of this Grotesque style of art. It was a very common art form in the 15th and 16th centuries. I love this image on one of the Emo Villa walls, the shape and the sense of movement with the necks.

Emo Grotesque art

The walls in one room was full of frescoes depicting artists working on their various crafts.  It impressed me that all the artists were females.

emo frsco women

After our guided tour, we observed Liz drawing Emo Villa, which was designed by Andrea Palladio. Palladio is the only architect that an architectural style has been named after. Other architectural styles have been named after eras, not a person. Palladio means “Protector of the Arts”. Palladio respected Roman tradition and his buildings strictly adhered to symmetry.

emo demonstration

The sketching assignment’s focus was on perspective, drawing vanishing points but not worrying if they go off the page. I’m frustrated that I didn’t take a photo of the end of the building because I am quite certain there was a statue at the far left too. This would have further magnified the perspective and added an element of drama to the painting. I would think that some of the statue would have been above the roof line, which, once again, I think would add drama to the picture.

emo drawing1
Drawing on site using a Lami ink pen and water colour. Some of my lines depicting vanishing points are visible. Drawing perspectives is tricky business! :-/
emo drawing
Finished the painting of Emo Villa back at the hotel.
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Photo of the Emo perspective I was trying to draw.

Thank you for reading this post.  I’d love to hear from you.  Have you tried to draw an Italian villa? Do you struggle drawing perspectives? Does your brain try to override your eye?

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market June 17, 2017

This morning was a bit of a struggle, with a later than intended Friday night enjoying Hobart dressed in red and Dark Mofo, and some lingering remnants of jet lag hanging on, but despite this, it was great being back and chatting with people from all over the world.

Dark Mofo 2017
Entrance to The Feast

I met a young couple from Israel.  They’re working on a potato farm in Devonport, Tasmania.  I met another young couple that are living in Melbourne.  He is a Melbournian and she is Swiss.  She’s been living in Melbourne for four years now.  It was nice to be able to have a short French speaking session with her. 

A lady from New South Wales (NSW) bought a Spanish Eyes (Red) for her husband’s office.  Her friend bought Hayride because she lives in country NSW with an emu farm across the street from her.

PjPaintings limited edition print A-4 and A-3
Spanish Eyes (Red)


A couple, with a young baby, living in London, UK, bought a Bonnie & Me! print (emus riding a Triumph motorcycle) to post to her parents that live in Arizona, USA. I wonder how many US states has a Pjpainting now??!

Somebody who bought three prints last time they were in Tassie bought two more and a couple stopped by and told me that they have Beachside Chatter framed and hanging in their bathroom in their holiday house in Terrigal, NSW.  They said that her mother gave it to them as a gift and that everyone comments it.

Beachside Chatter
Beachside Chatter

A visitor bought Duck Crossing to give to friends who live in Geraldton, Western Australia (WA).  They have ducks and emus on their property.

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Duck Crossing

A cruise ship from Sydney was in for Dark Mofo.  It’s leaving tonight and has been docked in Hobart for a few days.  Somebody, enjoying the cruise to Hobart, bought a Yellow Sulphur Crested Cockatoo ink and water colour painting.

yellow-crested cockatoo
Yellow Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Today’s best seller is White Faced Scops Owls 

White Faced Scops Owls
White Faced Scops Owls

A thought to ponder:  “Every artist was first an amateur”― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Until next week, warmest regards from the Pjpaintings stall at Salamanca Market. 🙂

Villa Cornaro Palladiana, Vicenza, Italy

Cornora 2
The front entrance of Villa Cornaro Palladiana

Our urban sketching group visited Villa Cornaro Palladiana, owned by Carl and Sally Gable, who bought this summer “house” approximately 30 years ago. Carl graciously gave us a guided tour of his home.  Here’s a quick attempt at sketching our guide.

I did this sketch very quickly while listening to the fascinating history of this villa and following Mr. Gable around the different rooms. I am new to drawing people so this isn’t an accurate rendition but I do think it does capture the essence and some resemblance of Mr. Gable.

When Carl and Sally purchased the property, Carl said that they hadn’t even heard of the architect, Andrea Palladio, 1508-1580.  They have done a lot of research since and Carl delivered a captivating and informative tour.  Usually Palladio designed long and one level structures but because the owners that employed Palladio purchased a square shaped block of land, Palladio had to adapt his design to fit onto the piece of land.  To compromise on symmetry was absolutely non-negotiable for Palladio, so he designed his first ever two story building – the Villa Cornaro Palladiana.

The dramatic two storey designed villa – a first for Andrea Palladio..

Inside, there are grand frescoes and sculptures adorning walls.

frescos2 in Cornora
Sculpted oval frames adorned with cherubs surround sculptures on each wall.

The Villa Cornaro remained in the Cornaro family for 253 years, and then three different families took ownership of it until 1951.  It was then vacant for approximately a decade until a church purchased it and ran a kindergarten in the building.  The church thought that the cherubs’ lack of modesty was inappropriate for the four to five year old kindergarten students, so they had all cherubs’ penises removed!

All the villas we had visited so far, had painted pillars in the frescoes, which gave the impression that the room was bigger than it actually was. In the Villa Cornaro they had large sculptures of family members facing real, majestic pillars in the grand main room.

Cornora statues

In 1969, the Villa Cornaro was once again privately owned and restored over a period of 20 years and then in 1989, Carl and Sally Gable purchased the property.  They are the sixth family to occupy the villa in its 450 year history.  The Gables have published a book about their relationship with this majestic building.  The book is titled, Palladian Days: Finding a New Life in a Venetian Country House.

The front of the Villa Cornaro Palladiana with some of the urban sketchers looking dwarfed by the impressive two storey entrance.

After the tour, we went out back and were given 15 minutes to sketch the house.  I was quite pleased that I was able to draw it up in 15 minutes, as speed drawing is not my forte.  I’m fairly new to urban sketching – about 9 months new, definitely wearing L Plates, so I was happy that I remembered the vertical vanishing point.  My brain seems to more easily remember and work out horizontal vanishing points and completely forget about the vertical ones or allows the brain to override the eye, and win that battle and the brain ends up being incorrect! Lesson to self: trust the eye rather than the logic the brain uses to try to manipulate you to believing it (walls and sides of houses are straight says the brain). Has anyone else encountered this battle?  What is your strategy to avoid the trap of allowing the brain to win against your better judgment (eye)?

My drawing of part of the back view of the villa. I applied water colour to the drawing when we returned to our hotel.
A statue at the front of the villa