PjPaintings at Salamanca Market May 26, 2018

Aw…, the familiar feeling of cold toes and fingertips while setting up for Salamanca Market in semi-light conditions…

A young lady from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, donning a beanie, scarf and puffer jacket, was one of the first to visit the stall.  She chose a small ‘Suspended’ print.

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Suspended

A young family, visiting from the north of Stockholm, Sweden narrowed their choice down to a print of ‘The Three Amigos’, a small original painting of a Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and a ‘What the Devil?!?’ greeting card.

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Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

‘Glamour Girls I’ is travelling to Adelaide.  The new owner of the print told me that her sister works as a hairdresser and kindly cuts her hair for free at the salon.  Each year they give the owner a thank you present for this arrangement.  ‘Glamour Girls I’ will be 2018’s gift.

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Glamour Girls I

An auntie bought a ‘The Three Amigos’ print for her third nephew.  He has two brothers and gets the hand-me-downs. She thought this would be nice to hang in his bedroom, something new especially for him, and three kookaburras like three brothers.

A family from Malaysia that have toured Tasmania bought an original painting of platypus.  They had visited the Seahorse and Platypus House in Georgetown and were quite excited to get a platypus souvenir.

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Platypus

This week’s most popular print is: Suspended

A thought to ponder:  Imagination is more important than knowledge” ~ Albert Einstein.

Take care and enjoy your imagination,

from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.

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A first

Somebody has asked me to paint a fox for them.  I’ve never painted a fox and my previous attempts painting fur has not been too successful.  I approached this challenge rather apprehensively.  I decided that I should try to take a loose and laissez-faire tact.  I lightly sketched a fox and then I splattered paint to help move me into a loose and relaxed mode.

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Fox

I applied the water colour paint wet-in-wet, which helped the colours to blend and bleed.

The person who asked me to paint it, loves it, so the first fox I’ve ever painted is soon going to commence its journey to the UK.

Thanks for visiting.

A little humour

Ideas float through my head when I can’t sleep at night.  Sometimes I remember them and sometimes I don’t… This one stuck in my head, so I painted it.  I think birdwatchers would get a real kick out of receiving this card.

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It’s available at:   https://www.redbubble.com/people/pjpaintings/works/31879245-bird-watching?asc=u&p=greeting-card

Thanks for visiting. 🙂

Decisions and changes

Composition and coming up with a title for my painting was almost as challenging as painting the male and female Superb Fairywren.

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the initial sketch
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Male Superb Fairywren painted
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Then I decided to change the drawing – I changed the gate, instead of painting two males and females, I painted one of each and drew the female on a branch.
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More work done on the female bird and I started the gate.
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More progress
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…and then I ran into difficulty making decisions about the composition.  I painted and cut out leaves and placed them in various positions to help me decide my next step.
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Finished painting.  I decided to name it “Meet Me at the Gate”.  What do you think? Do you like the title and composition?

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

The painting is on my website: http://www.pjpaintings.com

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market May 19, 2018

More than 900 women descended upon Hobart for the weekend’s national convention and to compete in the Sweet Adelines competition. Twenty-three women’s barbershop quartets and twenty-three choruses are contending for a chance to sing in the USA World Sweet Adelines competition.  I didn’t notice them at the market.  I would think that they would be protecting their voices and choosing to stay out of the cold.

I did notice AFL Kangaroo supporters at the market and a dozen women on holidays together, all wearing pink beanies.  The Housing Industry Association was also in Hobart, hosting an event in one of the large sheds on the waterfront.  Early in the day, I met a Loss Assessor from Townsville.  She is here to help RACT with their inundation of claims from last week’s storms. She said that there are assessors from across Australia here to help with insurance claims.

A grandfather deliberated long and hard for the right pictures for his 2 year old granddaughter, Emily.  He decided on ‘Richmond Bridge, Tasmania’ and ‘Who, Who, Who are You? II’.

A couple from Sydney bought an A-2 sized print of ‘Suspended’ and a smaller ‘The Three Amigos’ print.

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The Three Amigos

A family, with grandparents, also from Sydney, spent quite a long time at the pjpaintings stall and were quite intrigued how I came up with my ideas for various pieces of art.  I told them the newest ideas occupying my head when I should have been sleeping.  I described some of the images, which reassuringly made them smile and chuckle.  They purchased two prints from the Cheer ‘em Up series: ‘Duck Crossing’ and ‘Helping Hands’.

A lady bought a framed original platypus painting for her husband’s birthday. Two sisters holidaying together bought card packs of the Cheer ‘em Up series and friends from Launceston bought a small framed (5×7”) ‘White Faced Scops Owls’.

This week’s most popular prints are: Suspended and The Three Amigos

A thought to ponder:  “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” ~ Salvador Dali.

Take care and I hope that your upcoming week is great, from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market May 13, 2018

The last few days have been surreal.  Thursday and Friday, Hobart broke a 100 year record.  We copped 200mm of rain in a 24 hour period causing flash flooding and havoc in the city and suburbs.  I faired quite well with just a flooded garage and water coming in six different windows.  I was able to keep it at bay by rotating all the towels I owned, through a spin cycle and trying to dry them as much as possible in front of the heater (I don’t own a clothes dryer). Lightning lit up the sky virtually for four hours.  By 10 pm, I was exhausted and piled up the window sills with towels and went to bed.  I got up at 2 am and lightning was still lighting up the sky.

Friday evening, I braved the winds to see Eskimo Joe and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) at the Hobart Federation Concert Hall. It was an awesome concert.  The conductor was such a joy to watch.  He was totally into the music and expended so much energy. No wonder he is thin and fit!  During the rehearsal, he broke his baton with his incredibly enthusiastic conducting.  He had it taped up for the night’s performance.  We sat five rows in front of the drummer, who was equally impressive.

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The main road in front of the concert hall and the footpath on the other side street was still covered by water.  There was debris and mud everywhere.

The next day, all was calm for Salamanca Market. I had a very articulate two-and-a-half year old, Patrick visit the stall.  The ‘Family Outing’ print caught his eye.  “That’s my car!”  His mother said that they didn’t have a Mini.  I said maybe it’s the colour, but no they didn’t have a red car either.  He had a lot to say about this car and the emus driving it.  He also told me that his brother fell on a hill yesterday and that it got lots of blood all over him and his brother.  Apparently there was no blood but his brother did fall.  He went to ZooDoo and talked about the animals there, about his and his brother’s hats, that they lived on a plane (they took a direct flight from Adelaide to Hobart) and much more, with the conversation returning back to the Mini several times.  His mother ended up buying the ‘Family Outing’ print for him because he was so captivated by it.

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Family Outing

I met a young lady from Germany, doing her PHD on Humpback whales in the southern hemisphere exclusively, investigating how the melting and diminishing ice is impacting on their food sources.  She started her undergraduate in Townsville, is doing her PHD in Brisbane and examining her samples at the CSIRO here in Hobart.  She purchased a small ‘Sea Life’ print.

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Sea Life

A ‘White Faced Scops Owls’ print was purchased for a sister who is mad about owls.  She lives in Scotland and it will be delivered in person by her brother.

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White Faced Scops Owls

A lady exclaimed, “that’s the print a friend gave me!” as she singled out ‘Glamour Girls I’.  It’s hanging in a prominent spot in her hair salon in Brisbane and draws many positive reactions and smiles she told me.

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Glamour Girls I

A group of young people, visiting from Taiwan, bought ‘Who, Who, Who are You? II’.  They had visited Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and were visiting Richmond on Thursday when 200mm of rain was bucketing down.

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Who, Who, Who are You? II

I met a lovely couple that drove from Brisbane to Melbourne, took the ferry across the Bass Strait to Devonport and are now touring Tasmania.  They were particularly impressed with “The Wall”, which is a massive wall carved by Greg Duncan.  It is indeed impressive.  He’s even included the leg of the Tasmanian Emu, now instinct, in his carvings.

A lady stopped by the stall and in her hand, she had a Cary Lewincamp CD, the one that I illustrated the cover.  She asked me to sign it and started telling me how much she loves Tasmania.  She moved here 10 years ago from Canberra. Her husband is #15 of 17 children and she has 48 nephews and nieces!

A mother, daughter and Auntie, visiting from Argentina, spent a long time at the stall and later on in the day, returned to buy ‘Rising Above It’.

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Rising Above It

Pack-up was hurriedly done because I drove straight from the market to a Celebration of Life for a special friend’s husband.  The couple were keen dancers, so she organised dancing after the ceremony.  We danced and cried until 10 pm. I arrived back home late and with a sore knee.

Wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to all, and for those who are carrying losses and Mother’s Day accentuates those losses, I hope the day is gentle on you.

 

Rescue Mission

I recently visited my hometown of Vancouver in Canada.  Things have changed, as expected.  For example, these colourfully painted silos near Granville Island, which brought art’s rescuing powers to the forefront of my mind.  These were an eyesore and now, despite their dominating size, are fun and intriguing.

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Graville Island silos

It reminds me of “the little town that did”, Chemainus, which I visited on Vancouver Island, many years ago.  For years, it believed that the forestry sector was the backbone of its economy

In 1983, after operating for 120 years, the mill closed. Almost 700 people became unemployed in a community of just under 4,000. Businessman and Chemainus resident, Karl Schutz, came up with the concept of painting history on the walls of Chemainus. There were many who were against turning the town into an Outdoor Art Gallery. In 1982, the first five murals were painted.  As word spread, international artists transformed Chemainus into the world’s largest outdoor art gallery with 33 murals and 8 sculptures completed by 1997.  Over 70 new businesses, a museum and dinner theatre have opened, with plans for a hotel, marina and more.

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Me standing in front of one of the first large Chemainus murals 

On the other side of the globe, Sheffield in Tasmania was experiencing a steady economic decline. A committee was set up to try to stem the negative impact of the situation.  Soon after its creation, it began pursuing a suggestion to explore Chemainus’ successful strategy when it faced similar economic downturn in traditional industries. The murals were credited with rescuing the town.  Sheffield followed suit.  Now, it annually hosts the famed International Mural Festival and boasts the mural capital of Australia.

A similar, more recent story, has unfolded in Coonalpyn, 200 km from Adelaide, with a population of about 300. The struggling farming town set out the ambitious project of have its 30 metre operational silos painted.  The silos were painted by Guido van Helten. It features children from the local school, hoping to inspire those children, and the community, to consider creative industry pathways and entice tourists to the town.  The art has attracted more visitors and now the main street, which was dotted with closed shops, has three new businesses. Art rescued this dwindling town.

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Coonalpyn silos photo taken by Andrew Burch 

Art not only rescues towns.  It also rescues and helps people through really difficult times.  I recently did a session with sketchbook artist extraordinaire, Danny Gregory.  He described a difficult time in his life. During that time, for some unknown reason, he drew his wife lying on the couch.  It was true “mindfulness” because while drawing, he wasn’t able to think about the past or the future. When drawing, you are definitely in the ‘present’ trying to figure out how to draw hands, arms, eyes and so on.  He got hooked on drawing and now art and teaching creativity is his full time profession. “I enjoy talking to people who are looking for ways to expand their creativity, see the world in fresh ways, or to heal themselves.”

I’ve heard many similar stories where art has come to the rescue.  I gave birth to my Cheer ‘em Up series during the hardest time in my life. Painting the Cheer ‘em Up series gave me solace during my distressing time and helped me come out the other end stronger.

Art is a well-qualified rescuer and I am forever grateful (and so are towns, communities and tourists).

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market May 5, 2018

There weren’t as many people at the market today, possibly because of the big Agfest event taking place in the north of the state. Agfest draws thousands to its gates.
Regardless of it being down in numbers of people, I had conversations with plenty of lovely people. A young Auntie-to-be bought a “Suspended” print for the upcoming new arrival and parents from Queensland purchased a “What the Devil?!?” print for their son’s bedroom.
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Suspended
What the Devil
What the Devil?!?
A lady chose a “Barn Owls” print. I asked her if it was a gift for someone. She responded that if was a ‘me’ gift, on her ‘me’ time, ‘me’ holiday. Sometimes we just need to treat the ‘me’ in each of us. 🙂
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Barn Owls
Three sisters, visiting from Perth, WA, on a week’s holiday in Tassie, were enamoured with the Cheer ‘em Up series. Two young ladies from Sydney, NSW, one of whom claimed that her friend had an ‘owl problem’ added a ‘Tu-whit & Tu-whoo’ print to her owl collection.
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Tu-whit & Tu-whoo
A grandmother bought a ‘Story time’ print for Lola’s bedroom, her three year old granddaughter. A family from Queensland decided that ‘Helping Hands’ was the print for Grandma. One of the young girls was wearing a Hockey T-shirt. They had come to Tassie via Sydney, where she had played in the National Hockey tournament. She told me that her position is striker.
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Helping Hands
Pack up time came just as the wind began to pick up. It was good to not have to deal with that!
This week’s most popular print is: Tu-whit & Tu-whoo
A thought to ponder: “Inspiration exists but it has to find you working” Pablo Picasso
 
Take care and I hope that your upcoming week is great,
from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.
All prints in this post are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

Gold Creek

We did a family walk along the scenic Gold Creek in Golden Ears Provincial Park, B.C., Canada and saw lots of interesting things along the way.
In the forest we came upon this scene – a tree piggy backing on the back of a stump.
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The colours and upward streaks on the stump reminded me of some paintings that the famous Canadian artist Emily Carr has painted.  I love the way she has depicted the west coast’s forests.
The moss on the tree created some funny cartoon like images.  This one looks like a bird that has been flying for a very long time, wearing a pilot’s cap with ear flaps and has snow (green snow) building up on its beak.
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This one looks like a hand puppet.
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 And this one, this is stretching the imagination, but I think that some of the moss clumps look like koalas.
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 We came across a water-logged fungus, a Salamander, Canada Geese, squirrels, orange breasted robins and we saw a Bald Eagle flying over Alouette Lake.
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a very water logged fungus
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A Salamander
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Canada Geese

At the start of Gold Creek, we came across this very typical Canadian scene that often adorns the front cover of magazines.

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 Gold Creek is fed by water from glaciers and in some parts the creek is a stunning emerald and turquoise colour.  The walk is about 1 km to reach the lake at the end of the creek.
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Gold Creek
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Gold Creek

It is a really scenic walk for all the senses: beautiful sights among the smell from cedars and Douglas fir.

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Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Park where we saw the Bald Eagle flying 

Thanks for visiting and I hope the upcoming week is a great one for all.

 

 

An Eventful Train Ride

My ride from Vancouver to Edmonds, USA (a suburb in Seattle) was quite memorable.  The train was scheduled to leave Vancouver at 5:30pm.  When it got closer to 6pm, it was announced that the brand new locomotive wasn’t communicating to the older control system, so the train was going to be turned around and they will drive the train to Seattle using the back locomotive.  So, we travelled to Seattle backwards.  All our seats were facing forward but now they were backwards, which didn’t matter much because it wasn’t long before it was dark and you couldn’t see the passing scenic views.  The seats were comfortable and spacious.  Heaps of leg room compared to flying!

When travelling, the cars on the tracks do sway quite a bit and I found it difficult for painting or drawing, but I did this quick sketch of the passenger sitting across from me.

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When we arrived at the US/Canadian border, at the Peace Arch, the American border guards came on board to collect train passengers’ Declaration documents and sight passports.  When a border guard collected the man’s, sitting across from me, Declaration card, they asked him what kind of meat is he bringing into the country?  He answered, “what do you mean?”  The border guard answered, “you’ve ticked meat on your Declaration card.”  He replied, “oh, that was my meat sandwich! I ate it.”  That was rather funny.

About an hour out from Edmonds, the train came to a screeching halt.  An announcement was made reporting that “we have a situation”.  I immediately thought that there might have been a person on the tracks.  Many train drivers suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from this type of extremely distressing situation.  Thankfully, after a while, they announced that there was somebody on the track but they were able to stop in time and he was not injured in any way.  We waited for the police to come and safely remove him, did a brake check and then we were on our way again.  I was really amazed that we were able to stop in time, with presumably one less braking system when travelling with one non-functioning locomotive, and with the diminished visibility with the darkness.

The train arrived in Edmonds, without further incidences, an hour late.  Despite the delays, I prefer travelling from Vancouver to Seattle by train than plane.