Having a go in Lisbon

Lisbon is a gorgeous city and an urban sketchers dream, or nightmare, depending on how challenged you like to be.  It has thousands of ornate and exquisite buildings. I got up early and drew this building located in the suburb of Alfama in Lisbon.

Lisbon building

Then I returned back to my B&B and set off to have a renowned custard tart (a Pasteis De Nata).  Most businesses don’t open before 10 am, so while waiting for the Patisserie to open, I started to sketch this building.  The Patisserie opened before I could finish the drawing. It has hand painted tiles for fire protection covering the  front of the building.

Then, as recommended by the tourist guide books, I experienced a ride on the Elevador Da Gloria.  It is an well-admired feat of engineering.  The tram system was built in 1885, originally powered by water displacement, then this system was superseded by steam and then eventually powered by electricity. While waiting for the tram, I did this quick and tiny sketch.

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The Elevador Da Gloria

At the top, this house caught my eye and I sketched part of it.

Then I returned to my initial morning’s sketching spot and applied paint to the drawing.  This time there were people constantly streaming by and the consistent theme being discussed was directions and trying to determine which direction to go.  Where I was drawing from was a five way street corner.

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I tried to have a go at drawing as opportunities arose as I explored this awesome city of Lisbon.

Thanks for stopping by. Cheers.

Lisbon Food Tour

A morning Food Tour in the old city of Lisbon is an awesome way to explore the city, hear some of the history, learn, experience and taste what the local Portuguese eat for breakfast and lunch. The meeting point was at the Largo das Portas do Sol.  While I was waiting for the tour to commence, I quickly tried to sketch the entrance to the Museum of Decorative Arts, which was directly across the street.

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The Museum of Decorative Art’s entrance, Largo das Portas do Sol, Lisbon

 

The Food Tour commenced with a to-die-for custard tart, another sweet made featuring a crunchy sugary top and bean centre accompanied by an espresso coffee.  At this stop, I tried to do another quick sketch of one of a row of balconies and lamps but I didn’t get very far with the drawing before we had to move along.

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In 1755, on the morning of November 1st, on the Feast of All Saints, when people were in church worshipping with many candles alit, Portugal was hit by a massive earthquake.  Building crumbled and candles fell causing multiple fires. Those that escaped collapsing  buildings ran down to the river to escape the fiery inferno and then were met by a tsunami. 75,000 people in Lisbon died as a direct result of the earthquake.  People were traumatised, to say the least.  When Lisbon was rebuilt, tiles baked at over 1000 degrees Celsius were applied to the outside of buildings, to protect them from ever having to suffer the same demise if a fire erupted again.  Tiles baked at over 1010 degrees Celsius,  will last up to five centuries, are fire resistant, hand painted, heritage protected, and are beautiful and varied.

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Rita, our Food Tour guide, in front of a tiled exterior wall

Apparently, this laundromat and scrub boards are used daily and it is said that the hilly terrain and washing is a staple form of Portuguese exercise.

A curious spectator watched the group pass through.

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We made room for trams to pass.Lisbon tram

The spectacular Church of Santa Engracia was able to be seen from many vantage points.

Santa Engracia

Everybody thoroughly enjoyed Ruthy and Rita’s food tour, “Lisbon’s Best Flavours”, and I highly recommend this informative, fun and tasty exploration method!

 

 

Early morning discovery

Went for a wander early in the morning in Dubai before the heat set in and heading to the airport and came across the Garhoud Mosque.

My sketch of the mosque.

Some more discoveries.  I thought this collection of cranes looked cool.

On the trains in Dubai, you see such a variety of dress, races and cultures. It is all so seamless, ladies dressed in full black burqas, white, black, beige or colourful hijabs, colourful saris, Arabian white robes, western clothes and nobody stops to have a second look.  It’s such a good example of acceptance and respect that countries around Dubai should aspire to.

Thanks for visiting.  I’m off to explore Lisbon, Portugal!

Stop-over in Dubai

My urban sketching journey has commenced with a stop-over in Dubai along the way. Flying Emirates, which incidentally gives quite generous leg room in economy seating, and arriving in Dubai after a 14-hour flight at 5 am, there was a wait in the Flora Hotel reception area before the room was available.

I drew some of the indoor view as the outside view from the reception area was quite industrial…

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Reception are at the Flora Hotel, Dubai – black & white

… and then as time passed, I thought that I might as well try to add paint to my drawing…

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Reception area at the Flora Hotel, Dubai in colour

… and then more time passed, and I ordered a Moroccan Tea. It came in a funky, ornate, shiny, silver teapot with a teapot cozy covering the handle. It was a refreshing and delicious mixture of camomile and peppermint tea.

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The room still wasn’t ready, so a blockie of exploration was undertaken. Here’s some of the things I took note of.

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ornate window covers
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cleaning lace decoration on a building near the Flora Hotel

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It’s almost time to go to the airport to fly to the next destination.

Thanks for stopping by…

Giving the eye

I’ve read and generally follow the advice that when painting an animal, paint their eye first.  If you don’t get the eye right, give up and start again because no matter matter how good the rest of the painting is, the totality of the painting is going to leave you feeling disappointed.

Seahorses

I like painting the eye first for this reason but also because with the eye painted, I feel an immediate emotional connection developing with what I’m painting.  With that connection there is also the difficult to explain or describe feelings that I want to finish the painting to ‘give it life’ and welcome it to the world, even though it’s a life on a two-dimensional piece of paper. But to me it is more than just the life on a piece of paper, paintings go on to inspire, cheer, awe, provoke thoughts or consciences, ignite imaginations, memories and dreams, and more.

Seahorse

I gave this one the eye and will be bringing it to full life but not until after I return from my urban sketching holiday, which I hope you will be able to share with me via my blog posts.

Until then, take care, Pj Paintings

Funky Gastown in Tasmania

I moved from Canada to Australia about 28 years ago.  During all the years I’ve lived in Australia, I have never come across a restaurant that had a menu dedicated wholly to serving Canadian food, until Gastown East moved into my neighbourhood, walking distance from my house! It is an awesome restaurant with the best coffee, yummy food, excellent selection of wines, awesome atmosphere and views. It even featured in the weekend’s paper.

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There are tables outside on the deck and this is the view that awaits you.  I love the reflection of the red boat and the zig-zaggy masts.  I once painted this but I cannot find the painting or a photo of it.  I used a wax candle and oil pastels to create some resist on the paper.

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The restaurant looks out over Kangaroo Bay, Bellerive

Gastown East is nestled in historic Bellerive, right across the street from the Historic Police Station built in 1842.  It’s for sale right now.  I hope its beauty is retained.  I really want to draw it.

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Also, close to this funky restaurant is the old Telegraph and Post Office building, built in 1897 and in operation as a telegraph and post office until 1982.  I sat on the sidewalk and drew this.  I went for looseness so I used a reed and ink.

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Ink and reed drawing
Telegraph & Post Office Kangaroo Bay, Bllvexsml
and then paint was added

It’s very cool having a bit of familiar culture and food so close to home.

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Congratulations, Gastown East! and I’m sure if Gassy Jack was still around, he’d be wishing Gastown East many, many happy returns.

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market April 20, 2019

A long weekend with a forecast of 23 degrees Celsius, and not much else is needed to have people venturing into the city for a Salamanca Market experience.
Early in the morning, at the Pj Paintings stall, a father let his son choose a print. He chose ‘Who says emus can’t fly!?’ and he quite correctly pointed out that the emus’ legs are bending the wrong way. Lucky artists have artistic license.
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Who says emus can’t fly!?
When emus sit, their feet go out in front of them. It looks like their knees are bending forward, but actually their knees are higher up, under the feathers where they can’t be seen. The visible part that bends forward are the bird’s ankles.
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A seated emu photo by Getty Images
A couple bought a small original painting of a Red-tailed black cockatoo for their son, who married a Canadian lady, and are living in Chilliwack, B.C., where my sister lives.
 
Two ladies from Brisbane, Queensland, stopped in and bought a small original painting of platypus. They saw my painting of a dog and that started a dog photo exchange, as they have two cocker spaniels, named Poppy and Winston. Of course I had to show them photos of my Charli, an American cocker spaniel.
A boy, wearing a Calgary Flames cap, visited the stall with his mother. He was born in Pittsburgh, USA, lived two years in Calgary, Canada and now they’re living in Brisbane. He looked like he was around seven years old. They purchased an A-4 size ‘Lost Worlds’ print.
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Lost Worlds
Two young ladies from France, on a six month holiday in Australia, bought some greeting cards to post to friends in France and a couple bought an A-5 ‘Glamour Girls’ sized print for their sister-in-law, who’s a hairdresser, and moving back to the USA.
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Glamour Girls
 
The time flew by and suddenly it was packing up time. I won’t be setting up and packing up for four weeks now, as I’m off to do an urban sketching course. My prints and greeting cards will still be available at Salamanca but only in the Salamanca Arts Centre at Artefacts Inc Gallery for the next few weeks, rather than at site 30, but I will be back!
 
There doesn’t seem to be a most popular print today as there was an even spread purchased.
 
A thought to ponder: “True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist”, Albert Einstein.
 
Happy Easter!
from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.
P.S. Prints and tote bags are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market April 13, 2019

Hobart is hosting the national hockey championship so there were groups of young people in their team’s uniforms walking through the market today.
Early in the day, I met a mother, grandmother and two year old granddaughter with her unicorn named “Neigh”, from Queensland. They’ll be returning home with a ‘Salamanca Saturdays’ and ‘Glamour Girls’ print in hand.
Ladies, visiting from Taiwan, bought some greeting cards and then one hurriedly returned and bought a ‘White Face Scops Owls’ print to give to a friend in Taiwan. A similar scenario occurred with a couple from Minnesota, USA. She came back to the stall and bought an A-4 sized framed print of ‘G’Day’ to hang up in her Minnesota cabin. She said that it will make friends with all the American birds she has adorning the cabin’s walls.
A boy, from a small town in South Australia, repeatedly asked his mother to buy him ‘Bonnie & Me!’ for his bedroom. She ended up buying ‘Bunk beds’ and ‘Salamanca Fresh’.
A young lady visiting from Singapore bought a whale and wombat greeting card because she loves whales and wombats. A lady, wearing a T-shirt with Vancouver Island printed on it, was in fact from Vancouver Island, Canada. She had lived in Tasmania for a year when she was twelve and was visiting Tassie again with her husband. It was his first-time in Tasmania. They now live in the Kitsilano area on the mainland of B.C., Canada. They bought a small ‘Salamanca Saturdays’ print as a souvenir.
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Bunk beds
This is unheard of … two weeks in a row, I meet a Belgian! On top of that, they live in Canada. The couple live in Edmonton, Alberta, but Peter, the Belgian, has lived in Vancouver for a couple years too. He was born in Bruges. They are on their way to his brother’s wedding in Belgium before returning home to Canada. They bought two A-5 sized prints of Salamanca Market.
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Two Belgians: Peter and I
Only one more Salamanca Market Saturday and then I’m off urban sketching for a month.
The most popular print today is: Salamanca Fresh
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Salamanca Fresh
A thought to ponder: “Art becomes art only when it’s shared with others.” ― Ben Tolosa
Take care and I hope that your upcoming week is great,
from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.
P.S. Prints and tote bags are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market April 6, 2019

At 2:00 am, the wind was howling, driving rain was pounding the roof of the house with accompanying loud claps of thunder and lightning that lit up my bedroom.   Not what you want to hear on a Friday night, despite Hobart, Tasmania, really needing rain.  But that is another aspect of Hobart that I really like, most of our rainfall falls during the night. That’s good for many reasons, including reducing water being lost to evaporation, as Hobart is the second driest capital city in Australia, so we need all the water we get!

I drove up the driveway in darkness, with mild and dry weather, arrived at the market at 6:40 am and got stuck into setting up. My first customer was a lovely couple from New Zealand.  They purchased a “Salamanca Fresh” small tote bag. Later in the day, they returned and added a “Duck Crossing” tote bag to their purchases.

Then a regular dropped by to buy another card for her father who lives in New Zealand.  She had sent him a “Duck Crossing” greeting card, which was a big hit.  When she had phoned him, he answered by saying ‘quack-quack’. This time she chose “Helping Hands” to send to him.

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Helping Hands

A lady, originally from the UK, now living in Toronto, Canada, is taking a “Bunk Beds” print home for her daughter.  A gentleman from the Isle of Man, who works in a trauma unit, told me about this mad car race that takes place on the island each year, where people drive the dangerous circuit at crazy speeds in about 17 minutes.  There is a history of unfortunate fates with this race but it continues to run.  He’s heading home to this race and not looking forward to it.  I hope it all ends well, with everybody safely crossing or not crossing the finish line.  He’s taking back with him “Salamanca Fresh”.

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Salamanca Fresh

Then I met a big fan of mine, Mel and her husband, from Sandy Bay, Tasmania. They bought earlier in the year “Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania”, and this is where they regularly surf.  It’s hanging in their house and giving them and their visitors much joy, so they have decided to add “Family Outing” and “Beachside Chatter” as accompaniments.

 

A lady bought two prints featuring emus riding motorbikes, one for her daughter-in-law and one for herself.  She said that she has just returned from visiting Vietnam.  I asked her if it was humid and hot? She said it wasn’t, that it was just perfect and proudly told me that she rode a motorbike for several days in Vietnam. Good on her because she was of a rather mature age.

A family from Texas, USA, that have been living abroad for six years because the father of the family is in the military, who are currently living in Japan, loved and raved about “Afternoon Siesta”.  She said she almost bought the original that is hanging in the Artefacts Inc. Gallery at the Salamanca Arts Centre, a centre to support Tasmanian artists. She said that in Japan that the ‘in’ thing right now is learning how to create tranquil art, and she said it’s like I’ve taken lessons from Japan with the white space left in the picture, the pose of the wombat and the gum leaves being gently caressed by a breeze.

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Afternoon Siesta

At the end of the day, I met a Belgian young lady.  On average, I only meet one Belgian per year. She spoke Flemish.

Belgian Ellen

Earlier in the day, two French speaking, Swiss young ladies visited the stall and we had a short conversation in French. They are taking home with them a “Hanging out” print. While they were in the stall, a dear, used to be my neighbour when she was living in Tasmania, friend appeared and purchased prints from the “unfurling” series.

Before my former neighbour had arrived, I drew the initial drawing of another ‘unfurling’ idea.  I can picture so many ideas in my mind.  I have a friend who says she can never see pictures in her head.  This astounds me because my brain has so many ideas and pictures banking up against each other.  I’m going to have to soon find another brain to rent because this one is filling up fast and is going to overflow.

sketching at market

Thirty-two greeting cards went today, possibly more because it is easy to miss a few when trying to track them on paper.  Guess what I’ll be doing tonight?! I hope more arrive before next week’s market otherwise the card selection will be a little thin.

The most popular prints today are: Afternoon Siesta, Bunk beds and Hanging Out

A thought to ponder: “I think being different, going against the grain of society is the greatest thing in the world.” Elijah Wood

Take care and I hope that your upcoming week is great,

from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.

P.S. Prints and tote bags are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com