Fear Burning

Hobart’s winter festival of Dark Mofo, created and funded by self-made multi-millionaire, David Walsh, and the Hobart City Council, came to a close, ushering in the Festival of Voices. David Walsh is the founder of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and single-handily put Tasmania on the map and increased the state’s tourism.

Each year, a massive sculpture for Dark Mofo is created, to make a large fear-jar, so-to-speak, for people to write and deposit their fears into. This year’s sculpture was a huge spider.  People’s fears were collected and stored in the spider’s egg sacks.

A large fear-jar

With much-a-do, music, dance and costumes, a procession walks the sculpture, and the fears of Hobart, down the city streets for it to be annihilated by fire.

Dark Mofo

I found it to be quite powerful imagery, and the act of articulating your fears then witnessing the burning of it, gone, ka-poot, liberating.  The ball of fire was enormous when the spider caught fire.  Here’s a couple of photos of the spider’s web and egg pouches burning.


I like Salvador Dali’s gem of wisdom, “have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.”

Soledad O’Brien is quoted saying that “I’ve learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom – how great is that?”

On that note, here’s to fear-burning, whatever the fear/s may be.


PjPaintings at Salamanca Market July 7, 2018

It was somewhat difficult to enthusiastically approach today with the bleak weather forecast of rain and strong winds but it turned out to be much better than what was predicted. There were short bursts of rain and light winds but nothing severe. I think the weather forecast put many stall holders off because there were a lot of empty sites today.

Despite the poor weather forecast, there were a lot of people about, maybe because Hobart is hosting the Festival of Voices? One of the first visitors was a young couple, she was from Brazil, and he, from Germany. I had to pass on my condolences for the World Cup Football (soccer) as Belgium defeated Brazil. I overheard three women speaking French while they were looking at my art. They were visiting from Quebec, Canada, so I took the opportunity to give my French a short workout.

I met a lovely lady from Ballarat, who also participated in the 30x30directwatercolour Facebook challenge, and her daughter-in-law, who lives in Hobart, originally from Lithuania. We decided that we have the love of urban sketching in common.  Urban sketching is rather new to me.  Here’s one of my most current sketches.  I’m not sure what to do with the tree in the extreme foreground, so I’ve just left it blank for the time being.

A family from Sydney, whose son plays the saxophone in the Sydney Youth Orchestra, purchased a ‘Black & White + One’ print for his music teacher or conductor. I can’t remember which one.

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Black & white + One (the red is a much brighter red than in this photo).  I collaged the background with bits of sheet music and treble clefs and then applied three coats of water colour to achieve a rich red background.

A senior lady, from Launceston, Tasmania, bought a ‘Glamour Girls’ print for a member of their “Hens’ Group”. They have been meeting fortnightly for 56 years now! She said that she was the young one and she is in her 80s. Another ‘Glamour Girls’, along with an ‘Outback Glamping’ print, is heading to Victoria, and another ‘Glamour Girls’ print is going to Sydney. The original Glamour Girls painting is going to Jakarta, Indonesia. It was bought at the very end of the day, in the midst of packing up.

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Glamour Girls I

A lady bought prints for her two friends’ 50th birthday. ‘Poppy Fields’ is for a friend living in Hong Kong and ‘Glamour Girls’ for her friend living in Australia. A ‘White Faced Scops Owls’ print is journeying to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. The organiser of the New Zealand and Australia Health Educators Conference in Hobart stopped by too. She said that she was too exhausted to go sight-seeing. She bought a small print to take back with her.

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Poppy Fields

Often children are given a few dollars to spend at the market. I thought it would be nice to have something available in the small-change price range. I was able to source stickers and debuted them today. Some children bought them.


Tote bags arrived during the week and they went quickly again.

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One of the tote bags with my painting of Scarlet Robins 

This week’s most popular print was ‘Glamour Girls’.

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Glamour Girls (I’ve put one in foils in this painting)

A thought to ponder: “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” ― Dieter Uchtdorf

Wishing you a creative and happy week,
from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.

26 + 4 = 30: finishing the 30×30 challenge

Surprisingly, I finished the June challenge of producing a daily paint-only painting.  I was doubtful that I would be able to go the distance, but I did!

Here are my final paintings:

On June 26, I painted another echidna.  It’s the biggest echidna out of the echidnas that I painted (painted on a 20 x 20 cm paper made 100% from recycled cotton rags).

A hungry echidna

Next, I painted a platypus diving into cool, refreshing Tasmanian water.

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Platypus diving session

On Day 28, I quickly painted a kangaroo and joey.

June 29 kangaroo
I’m watching you!

On day 29, feeling buoyed by what I have been able to paint without using a single pencil mark, I thought I would tackle the BooBook Owl, an owl that I have been wanting to paint for a long time.

June 28 Southern Boobook owl
Southern Boobook Owl

On June 30th, the final day of the 30 x 30 challenge, I tried the Boobook owl again.  I didn’t quite finish it, but I think I did enough for it to count as my final painting of the challenge.

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A Boobook pose

So, what did I learn from this challenge?  Well, I can no longer use “I forgot my pencil” as an excuse to not paint!

One benefit of participating in these types of challenges for me, is that I always paint something I’ve never painted before. I get quite desperate trying to find things I can paint quickly to meet the quota.  This challenge’s newbies were bees and an octopus.  I have had an unsuccessful attempt with an echidna prior to this challenge, so echidnas were a winner also, and falls into the new category for me.

I’m surprised that I could paint as many things as I did using no pencil.  From my understanding, the premise of direct watercolour painting is to assist in producing ‘loose’ paintings.  Without a few pencil guidelines, I found myself concentrating and giving more thought of where to put the paintbrush on the paper each time.  It impacted my painting choices and my looseness.  I think I paint looser when there are a few pencil lines to inform me.

All in all, in was a great experience and I loved seeing the posts of the amazing direct watercolour paintings from the participants in the #30x30directwatercolor2018 challenge.

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market June 30, 2018

I left in the dark for the market taking comfort in the knowledge that the days in the southern hemisphere are now getting longer (sorry northern hemisphere). It was rather chilly setting up and I was glad I was wearing three layers of everything. The rain and wind stayed away and it ended up being a rather busy day.
Two girls visiting Tasmania, one from Melbourne and the other from Brisbane, hurriedly bought a print in the morning because they had an extremely busy day planned; firstly, Salamanca Market, then travelling to MONA, Mount Wellington and Wineglass Bay in their hired campervan.
A rather large group of year 6 students from Ballarat visited the market. A family visiting from Philadelphia, USA bought a little original painting of a wombat and platypus as their Tasmanian souvenir and a couple from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA purchased a ‘Suspended’ and ‘Weightless’ print.

A young lady got a print for her friend’s 18th birthday and showed me some of her step dad’s cow drawings. He’s writing a children’s book. They are very cool and funny drawings. Two ballerinas from the mainland, performing tonight at the Theatre Royal in the Snow White production, visited. They are playing many parts requiring heaps of costume changes. A lady, originally from the UK, now living in Adelaide, loved the print ‘Who, Who, Who are You? II’ and is taking it back with her. 

Who, Who, Who are You II
Who, Who, Who are You?II
A lady connected with ‘Salamanca Fresh’ because three generations of her family visited Salamanca Market often when they lived here. The three emus represented the three generations.
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Salamanca Fresh
A young lady couldn’t decide between ‘Sea Life’ or ‘Suspended’. She returned with four family members to get assistance with the decision but they weren’t much help because two chose ‘Sea Life’ and the other two ‘Suspended’. Then there was the suggestion that I just pick one, wrap it up and they will open it when they get back home. Eventually, she settled on ‘Suspended’.
A ‘bird watching’ card was bought for a retired boss, living in Queensland, who raised an emu and had a wide range of animals.
A ‘Three Amigos’ print was bought by a young lady for her father’s birthday.
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The Three Amigos
This week’s most popular print was ’39 Keys to Life’. I gave it this title because I painted 39 piano keys in this painting.
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39 Keys to Life
 A thought to ponder: “Create with the heart; build with the mind.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy
Wishing you a creative, happy week,
from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market

21 + 4 = Day 25 of 30×30 challenge

Hello everybody!  I’m somehow keeping up with producing a direct water colour painting every day but have fallen behind in the posting, hence five paintings in one post.  Most days I’ve painted things in my comfort zone due to lack of time and/or motivation.  Last week, I tackled a never-been-painted-by-me-before octopus and this week I’ve attempted to paint some little beasties.

But, firstly, for Day #21, I painted a humpback whale with swirly, plant-like unfurling things.

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Day #21

On Day 22, I revisited echidnas.  I drew little ants on some of the quills again.

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Day #22

On Day 23, I decided to try to paint a bumble bee.  I looked up the anatomy of a bumble bee.  It basically has three parts, a strange looking long tongue, which I chose to omit, a large compound eye, hairy legs with definite connection points and wings.  I was hoping to produce a watery, fluid looking bumble bee but have yet to achieve this.

The first bumble bee on day 23 was, and is, a disaster.  The paper was too damp and everything went yuck.

Day #23

Another day, another attempt.  This one worked better but it’s too tight for my liking.

June 25 bee
Day #24

… and the painting I just finished less than an hour ago.  I’m not happy with the legs but it is what it is.  Another attempt is required…

Day #25

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope your week goes well.



PjPaintings at Salamanca Market June 23, 2018

Hobart is feeling energized by redness and Dark Mofo. The procession to burn a massive sculpted spider that has been collecting the written fears of Hobartians and visitors alike takes place tonight. The procession will be snaking its way around the waterfront to the ceremonial fire, where ogoh-ogoh, and our fears with it, shall meet their fiery end.  I’ll be putting on my ‘Salamanca Market’ layers to attend this lively event tonight.

At Salamanca Market’s stall #30, a visitor, from the suburb of Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand, purchased a ‘Scarlet Robins’ print for her mother’s Christmas present.  You have to admire people that have a well-in-advance Christmas presents buying methodology/practice.

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Scarlet Robins

The original painting of a little octopus attracted a lot of attention very early in the morning and sold before 9 am!

June 20 octopus

A young mother, who is visiting Tasmania on her own with an under one year old and a four year old, bought ‘Retail Therapy, Salamanca’ to take back to Washington, USA. She told her husband, who stayed behind, that if she ever comes up with the crazy idea to travel on her own to Tasmania with children, to stop her.  She tries to come her every 9 months or so!!!  That is dedication! It is a gruelling, long, long flight.  She must have a family connection here.

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Retail Therapy, Salamanca

A woman bought a little 5×7” ‘White Faced Scops Owls’ print for her sister-in-law living in Indonesia.  A young couple, from Sydney, expecting their first child, bought ‘Hayride’ to hang up in the baby’s room. Another young couple, from Hong Kong, bought a ‘Sea Life’ greeting card.  She spent a long time deliberating between two cards.  Even though I couldn’t comprehend the spoken language, I could understand that she wanted to buy the two cards and each time she asked, he told her to choose one. She eventually chose the whale and graciously told me that she loves my art and will treasure the card.


The manager of the Tinker Tailor Dancer Trader shop in Mullumbimby, NSW, stopped by.  She has sold out of my art work and wants to order more for her shop. That’s a bit of nice feedback to receive.  🙂

Then sudden and unexpected wind gusts came and wreaked havoc.  Prints flew everywhere and in all directions, a crate of prints and a card stand blew off the table. All sorts of people chased after prints and cards and a thank you to all that I didn’t get a chance to thank during the chaos.  It brought an abrupt end to the day as a quick pack up ensued.  Thankfully, very minimal damage occurred.

This week’s most popular print was ‘Suspended’.

A thought to ponder:  “That’s the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you.” ~Ray Bradbury

Thanks for reading. Wishing you a creative, happy week,

from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market

P.S. Prints of images are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com (except for the octopus.  There are no prints made of this original).


Day 20 of the 30×30 direct watercolour challenge

After painting echidnas five days in a row, I felt motivated to try to find something new to paint!  Painting without any pencil drawing makes picking something to paint more difficult.  I thought I would try an octopus.  I’ve never painted one before but I didn’t think you can go too wrong with them seeing as they are squishy, boneless, ever-changing-shaped sea creatures.  Mine has quite an alien looking resemblance.  The photo has accentuated the purple tentacles (they are a little more subdued in the painting).

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An Octopus for Day # 20 of the challenge

It’s actually given me an idea for another painting.  Yikes, not another idea!

Thanks for visiting.  Wishing you an awesome rest of the day.

It’s raining Echidnas

Well, one would think that I’d be sick of painting echidnas by now but because they seem to have the upper hand, I still want to keep trying to paint them. I like the echidna I painted for Day 2 of the 30×30 day direct watercolour painting challenge.  I regret selling the little guy, a short-beaked Echidna. It is an Australian egg-laying mammal, a monotreme. It had a face that I fell in love with (photo above).  I don’t often form an emotional attachment with paintings but I did with this one and I miss this little echidna.

On Day #15, I tried to paint his brother or sister with ants fleeing the scene.

Echidna #1

On Day #16, I had another attempt.  Ants are trying to stay out of sight and hiding in the bottom corners.

Echidna #2

Day #17’s echidna is rather a disaster.  For some reason, I thought it was too light and darkened the whole painting.  What was I thinking!!

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Echidna #3

On Day #18, I attempted to paint another echidna.  I’m not happy with this one either.

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Echidna #4

This morning, I painted tomorrow’s painting for Day 19.  I decided to return to my preferred background for watercolour paintings, white paper.  Echidnas mainly eat termites and ants. A few ants thought that hiding on its spines was a wise strategy to avoid becoming a light afternoon snack!

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Echidna #5 Products with this little echidna are available at https://www.redbubble.com/people/pjpaintings/shop?asc=u 

Thanks for reading and I hope that you aren’t inundated by echidnas in your dreams tonight. 🙂


PjPaintings at Salamanca Market June 17, 2018

Kookaburras have made their appearance at the opening of Salamanca Market four Saturdays in a row now. Last week, one perched itself on the court house behind the pjpaintings stall to perform its loud morning cackle. It is a happy iconic Australian sound.  In the afternoon, we had a noisy screeching group of cockatoos visit the market.

Dark Mofo is on but to my eye it didn’t draw many more people to the market.  Maybe the winter temperatures kept people away??  The weather was coolish and there was some light rain, but nothing in comparison to what we had during the night and Sunday morning.  We’ve had very gusty winds and rain.  I think there was hail too.  It sounded like hail pounding against my bedroom window last night.

A grandmother from Victoria bought an original small painting of a wombat and platypus for her niece’s daughter, Hazel, born yesterday, and a grandchild soon to arrive. A little 5×7” ‘Scarlet Robins’ print is heading to Perth.

The grandmother that asked me last week to paint a whale for her grandson returned and purchased a small humpback whale painting and a Salamanca Saturdays tote bag.  The tote bags debuted today.  These were the three at today’s market ($20 each).  There are more coming featuring different pjpaintings images.

A mother purchased a ‘Hayride’ print for her 11 year old son.  They live on a farm in Denmark.


I had second thoughts about selling my chaotic-looking echidna because I have developed an emotional attachment to the little guy.  It is one of a kind original painting.  Thankfully the young lady, who bought it, really loves it.  She repeatedly said thank you for it. It is going to the Northern Territory, Australia, where she lives.

June2 echidnamatted

Another little original, this time of a humpback whale, framed on-site, was purchased for a 21st birthday. When she came back to pick it up, there were a few others in the stall, and I showed it to her, it drew a gasp and awwwws from everyone. It really did look good framed behind white matting and the white frame.

This week’s most popular prints were ‘Weightless’ and ‘Suspended’.

I had a difficult time choosing this week’s thought to ponder.  There were several that I felt a strong connection with.  I chose this one for today.  There are so many cool shadow effects, patterns in nature, details in buildings, people, poses, birds and more that go unnoticed. A thought to ponder:  “Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” ~E.B. White―

Wishing you a week filled with smiles,

from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.