One good thing that is coming out of the time in Quarantine, is that I’m getting stuck into tidying and re-organising my house – big time!
During my intensive tidy up, I have found forgotten and not-forgotten pieces of artwork.
These were forgotten pieces that I painted about five years ago.
I’ve often wondered why Sympathy cards overwhelmingly picture fields of flowers, a beach or ocean scene, a fence with the sun setting over the hills and the like? These images don’t reflect or acknowledge the pain that many people feel at terrible times in their lives. I understand that the images are trying to help a person to focus on the “the half-full glass” but I sometimes think that an image like “Heartbroken” can help somebody feel that the sender of the card understands the pain and emptiness that they are feeling right now and their immense grief during the early weeks, months, and years they are living with.
I’d be really interested in hearing what you think of this, or am I odd?? Would you send a “Heartbroken” card? Would you like or prefer a card like this over traditional imaged sympathy cards if you suffered a loss? (which I really hope you haven’t or don’t).
I’ve tried to research this topic but I have found very little about it or explanations about the reason behind the image choices of Sympathy cards. Apparently there are cultural differences with grief. I read an article that has studied differences between how Germany and United States respond to grief. According to this text, American culture encourages people to avoid negative emotions more than the German culture. American expressions of sympathy focus less on the negative and more on the positive than the Germans.
I hope that your heart is happy and healthy.
Take care and thank you for visiting, from Pj Paintings
I mostly painted birds until Sea Shepherd asked me to paint something for their anniversary fundraiser and that is when I stepped out of my comfort zone and painted my first whale.
Since then, I have painted many more….
….including my urban sketch of my see-sawing whale. It’s a great de-stressor, especially during the latest quarantine measures. I give it a push, the mouth opens and shuts, the eyes move from side to side and this gentle movement gives the illusion of ocean waves rising and falling. I find myself giving it extra pushes this month. Do you have a calming object in your house?
This is my latest whale painting, an Orca, titled “Life is but a Dream”.
I hope that life is being relaxing and dreamy for you despite the world being in quarantine and having changed so much.
Having been in lock-down for several weeks, Kingston, and its beach, was an enticing location to personally deliver a website order. There were a lot of people out and about! While doing the beach track, I came across this! Something every beach should have! It is awesome and gave me joy seeing that the council fostered such a creative and beautiful approach to a common problem.
The Kingborough Council came up with an innovative response to residents’ request for a Lost & Found receptacle for goggles, towels and such things left behind on the beach. The council asked local students to design a dual purpose sculpture. The students endeavoured to have the sculpture reflect the local land and sea scape, culminating in a stylised light house concept, which includes some smaller collection spaces for little items found. The choice of colour was inspired by the Southern Aurora (Southern Lights) that puts on a spectacular show of green lights.
Lets have a look inside….
The students also wanted to reflect the traditional owners of Iutruwita/Tasmania, and use reclaimed She-oak (Allocasuarina verticillata) for the sculpture. A She-oak limb that was broken during an extreme storm in 2018, was retrieved from the beach, and used. She-oaks were an important resource for the Tasmanian Aboriginal people for food, shelter and fire.
Too often a problem is addressed in a boring, conservative manner. Art, and its economic contributions, are being better recognised and valued. It gives me such joy to see more public art and that these teenagers had an opportunity to produce something so quirky, beautiful, unique and useful.
I did an indoor-urban sketch of a corner of my lounge room. In this corner, some of my favourite things are displayed but they are difficult to see. So, I would like to introduce them to you and tell their stories, starting with the painting sitting on the coffee table.
I bought this painting when I was visiting my son when he worked for three years in Ethiopia. I asked his driver if he could take me to to an art supply store. He told me there wasn’t any in Addis Ababa and he took me to what may have been the only art gallery in the capital city. In the entrance, photos of past American presidents visiting the gallery greet you, giving the immediate impression that the gallery is highly esteemed and has a good reputation.
This painting moved me and I immediately connected with it. I think the composition is brave. I’m not sure what it is, on the side background but I think that is a courageous way to deal with that space. The lady’s face looks so strong and confident, yet there is a tear balancing on a lower eyelid. Her face holds my attention and I find it difficult to take my eyes away from hers. I like the colour scheme of black, blue and red too.
I decided I had to buy it otherwise it will be a lifelong regret. When I was paying for it, I asked if I could have some information about the artist. She replied that she didn’t know who the artist was. She was the lady in the photos standing beside US President Clinton and Obama, so I was rather surprised that she didn’t know who the artist of a painting she was selling was. I asked if she could find out and email me because I’d really like to know. I never did find out. I also, asked if they had bubble wrap because it was going back to Australia and to my horror it came back wrapped in newspaper. There are some marks on the painting from the newspaper but I don’t mind because it just adds to the authenticity of the African experience and I love it.
I loved my time in Ethiopia and i love my souvenir painting.
During the Coronavirus lock-down there have been record sales for some items, besides toilet paper. There’s been a surge in guitar and ukulele sales, bicycles and exercise gear, outdoor and indoor games, books, electrical goods (laptops, headphones and etc) and for those now working at home and not having office supplied coffee, coffee sales has increased.
Personally, I’ve been having a surge in re-organising and cleaning out neglected areas of my house. I’ve set up my art room yesterday, so hopefully soon, I’ll have a surge of paintings and drawings!
I moved a two and three seater couch up onto the footpath (they both went within 24 hours).
I wanted to downsize the furniture and create a lighter feel in my lounge room. Once that was set up, I painted a corner of the lounge room. I used my usual approach, first sketching the shapes with a watercolour pencil, then ink (this time an Artline pen) and then paint.
My Tante Yvette, who lives in Armstrong, B.C., Canada, made this wall hanging quilt that is hanging in the stairwell for me. The previous owners of this house added the stairs. Before the indoor stairs were built, to access the ground floor, you would have to go outside and use the downstairs door. There are several houses along this street with this design.
I would love to hear how you are spending your extra hours at home.
During the first week of February, my washing machine filled the basement with water, instead of the washing machine. Yesterday, the final step of the restoration took place. I woke up early, too excited to sleep, because I could finally restore my art room.
Unfortunately, the carpet was still damp and my art room had to wait. So, I turned my attention to my toilet room, which is a small, narrow space (and difficult space to photograph walls in!). Last year, I started hanging some of my black & white drawings (and two bear pictures from a Canadian Artist, which unfortunately I’ve forgotten their name) in my toilet room.
My goal is similar to my succulent garden, where I want my plants to spread so it becomes a solid carpet of succulents and no dirt is showing, I’d like this wall to feature mainly my ink drawings from floor to ceiling – the entire wall.
I added four Pj Paintings drawings today. It’s starting to evolve into an Australian/Canadian wall. That wasn’t the initial plan but I’m happy with this morphing.
I have others that I could add but I’ve decided that I’ll save them for the market. I really like my little echidna (I feel very immodest when I say that).
I also like my Zebra Finches but the red beaks don’t fit the lack of colour theme.
What projects are you undertaking during the lock down? I’d love to hear!
Wishing everybody a safe and happy Easter at home. Where the Easter bunny is in quarantine, emus are trying to help out where they can but this is a strange new world to them and they don’t really know what they’re doing!!!
For my lock-down Coronavirus Pandemic urban sketch this week, I drew my succulent garden. It is my favourite part of my yard. I had to remove two layers of weed mats and a massive amount of white ornamental rocks from this triangular area to create it. The big rock was there so I placed a few more balancing rocks on it.
Experts are warning that rock stacking in nature is endangering Australian animals, causing erosion, disturbing wildlife habitats and damaging ecosystems, and can result in being issued a fine. I’m assuming that in a garden bed it is okay.
Here’s one of my favourite succulents. I love the uniquely shaped leaves. They look like they have mouths.
As a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic, there is more indoor sketching happening than I’ve ever seen before. Myself included, although I would not call myself a prolific sketcher, but I do aspire to do more.
I very quickly sketched a corner of my bathroom. The drawing really features my ceramic toothbrush holders that I bought in Vancouver, Canada, actually at Granville Island in Vancouver. I love them, two moose and a raccoon.
Take care and I hope I will soon have more sketches to share!
A mass teddy bear hunt is under way around the world to help distract the millions of children locked down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Stuffed toys are being placed in windows to give children a fun and safe activity while walking around neighbourhoods with their parents/carers.
Here’s my contribution to the movement…
The grey, green and cream teddy bears are ones that I made before I knew I liked to paint. The three other bears are from Canada. The mouse I fell in love with in my travels on the mainland of Australia. The moose is from Sweden. My son worked three years in Ethiopia and gave me the handmade knitted elephant from Ethiopia. I also added a painting I did of my handmade Christmas teddy bear.
Another act prompted by the Coronavirus Pandemic is that for the month of April, I’ve removed all shipping costs for website orders made in Australia. I have different sized quality prints, some original paintings, tote bags, zipper pouches and greeting cards available at http://www.pjpaintings.com.
I hope my paintings and the window scene brings a smile to many faces.