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).

June 20 octopus
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!!

June18 echidna2
Echidna #3

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

June 18echidna1
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!

June 19 echidna4sml
Echidna #5 Products with this little echidna are available at 

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.

Day 14 of 30×30 directwatercolour challenge

Today, I didn’t feel like painting.  I have found that sometimes this mind-set, of not feeling like painting, produces extremes: total flops or amazing successes.  Not feeling like painting can help me paint looser, simplify and not overwork things.

It intrigues me how sometimes a painting can reflect that you didn’t feel like painting in a negative way.  How does a painting capture a feeling?  I think the trick is to still muster some caring or feeling among the ‘not feeling’ like painting.

Anyways, while not feeling like painting, I tackled this Cyclamen plant that my daughter gave to me for Mother’s Day 5 or 6 years ago that still flowers prolifically each year.  The soil is contained in a ball of string.  This is my ‘loose’ interpretation, using paint only, for day 14 of June’s  30×30 challenge.  I could add more definition but for now that is all that I feel like doing.

June 14 flowerssml

Thanks for stopping by!  🙂

Day 12 & 13 of 30×30 Challenge

I’ve decided to stay with the whale theme and explore what effects using different paper has.

I painted yesterday’s Orca on Aquarelle 300gsm New Grain Aquafine paper, made by Daler-Rowney, Bracknell, England.  It has a very uniform quilted texture.

June 12 Orca
 Orca painted on Aquarelle watercolour paper

Today, I painted the whale below on Khadi paper – handmade paper from the Khadi mill in south India. The paper is made from recycled cotton rag and is more absorbent than cold or hot pressed watercolour paper.  The 20 x 20 cm paper is flexible with random unevenness. The watercolour does not travel across the surface of the paper well, which isn’t ideal when you are painting wet-in-wet and wanting colours to bleed.  Nevertheless, I think it worked out quite well but it felt like you were wrestling with it more because the paint didn’t move across the paper with the usual ease.

Orca painted on Khadi paper

I painted this Orca on Arches watercolour Rough 300 gsm 100% cotton paper. This was the easiest paper, out of the three, to paint wet-on-wet.  Watery paint glides over the surface of paper with less effort on your part.

June13 Orcasml
Orca painted on Arches watercolour paper

All in all, each paper variety had slight differences to adjust to but delivered good results.  I think painting fish on the quilted texture of Aquarelle paper would create an eye catching added dimension of scales, if the paint is applied not too thickly.

Now what to paint tomorrow for the 30 day direct watercolour June challenge????

Thanks for visiting.

A well-fed whale for Day 11 of the 30×30 Challenge

At Salamanca Market, a grandmother said that she wanted to buy my small original kookaburra painting (20 x 20cm) for her granddaughter but would also like to buy an original for her grandson, who loves whales. She said she would be back at the markets next weekend, so I told her I’d try to paint one during the week. This is number four whale, a well-fed Orca or Killer Whale, done directly with paint, without using any pencil, to meet the criteria of June’s 30×30 direct watercolour, and grandmother’s, challenge!

June 12 Orca

The previous whales I painted were Humpbacks.  This is the first time I’ve painted an Orca.  I really loved painting this one.  I’m now going to try to paint it on some different types of paper and see what effects that brings.

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Creative Juices are Flowing!!

The car parks, and creativity, were overflowing on a brilliant blue sky winter’s day at Birchs Bay Art Farm’s Sculpture Trail in southern Tasmania.  The farm grows and harvests native pepper, thousands of bunches of Dutch Iris each year and has a large organic vegie patch on its more than 100 acres of diverse native bush land.  It also has a growing and thriving sculpture crop, as each year it purchases and adds to its collection of permanent sculptures.

King Lizard by Jivanta Howard is one of my favourites.  It is made from recycled truck mufflers, mower blades and the toes are trampoline springs.  It is the coolest bench around!!  The farm has purchased two sculptures, this being one of the two.
happy face
I love this one too.  It is called Rumple Steelskin, made by Richard Whitaker, stating that “this sculpture possesses no underlying message.”
weather girl
This is a stunning sculpture.  The photo doesn’t do it justice. There is so much exquisite detail in this piece. Near her hands there is a little person with an umbrella.  This piece, sculpted by by Pirjo Juhola, is titled Weather Girl .  The Kingborough Council purchased this sculpture.

Mr. Pelican by Jivanta Howard is a large fun piece.  The pelican patiently obliged to the many photo requests.

Raven’s Return, made with ceramic, glass, beads and steel, by Wendy Edwards. 
The good old Hills Hoist featuring in this sculpture titled: Remnants of a suburban forest by Dan O’Toole.  Once endemic to Australian backyards these iconic structures are disappearing and becoming an endangered species.  Birchs Farm purchased this piece too.

These steel sculptures made by Mitch Evans is titled Pagan Spirits.  To my eye, they have a Picasso feel to them. Very cool.

The Frame by Anna Williams made with angle iron and steel rod

These are some sculptures from previous years acquired by the farm.


I didn’t get very far trying to draw Sparky the Ewe.


There are many more sculptures.  It’s well worth a visit to see all the works of art.  The bush, trail and art is truly wonderful.

Thanks for visiting.

Day 8, 9 & 10 of 30×30 Challenge

I’ve squeezed in painting three small whales: one yesterday after standing outside for 8 hours at the market, one in the morning before I met with the Hobart Sketching Group and then the other upon my return home, before I go out again.  I haven’t got to the echidna and ants yet but hopefully soon.

This is the first whale I painted, adhering to the no-pencil rule, of course.  It is painted on paper made from 100% recycled cotton rags that is approximately 15 x 15 cm square.  I haven’t had a chance to flatten any of the paintings yet.

June 9 whale
Yesterday’s whale

This morning’s whale, also painted on paper made from 100% recycled cotton rags.  It is approximately 20 x 20 cm in size.

June 10 whale
Today’s whale, painted in the morning

Then I went off to urban sketching and it was so nice to hold a pencil and then an Artline texta again.  Upon my return home, it was back to direct water colour for this whale, painted on 310gsm watercolour paper.

June 10 whale2
Today’s afternoon whale

I may add some waves, or bubbles or sea weed to one of the paintings.  I am undecided at this point.

Thanks for visiting and wishing everyone an enjoyable weekend.

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market June 9, 2018

It was a fun and interesting day at Tasmania’s Salamanca Market.

A couple from South Australia bought a whale print and then they saw ‘Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania’ print, which made them laugh aloud, so they decided to add that to their day’s purchase.

Surfing Clifton Beach, TasmaniaPNG
Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania

Another couple, from Canberra, chose ‘Weightless’ and ‘Tu-whit &Tu-whoo’ to accompany them in their travels.

Tu-whit & Tu-whoo

A local stopped by to tell me that she has ‘Retail Therapy, Stockholm’ hanging up at the end of her hallway that she sees every morning.  Her husband bought it for her because she loves shopping.

Retail Therapy in Stockholmsml
Retail Therapy, Stockholm

Another local told me that she sent a ‘Duck Crossing’ card to her father living in New Zealand, who is in his 80s and lonely since her mother passed away.  He phoned to thank her and started the phone conversation with “quack, quack, quack”.

Duck CrossingsmlPNG
Duck Crossing

A ten year old girl from Nepal, bought a small card from the Cheer ‘em Up series to take home with her to give to a relative.  A young lady, from Stockholm, Sweden, purchased ‘Weightless’ and another young lady from the UK, doing her PHD in Marine Science at the University of Tasmania, purchased ‘Entanglement’.  She said that she loves Hobart and wants to live here permanently.


Two ladies visiting Tasmania together, one from Cairns and the other from Adelaide loved ‘Thunder’ and ended up buying an A-4 size.

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

A thought to ponder:  “I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” ― Vincent van Gogh I can definitely relate to this.  Many times my painting ideas wake me up and the excitement they stir up in me makes it difficult for me to fall back asleep!

Wishing you a week filled with smiles,

from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.

Day 7 of 30×30 challenge

Another echidna for another day of the month of June challenge, painted directly with watercolour paint, abiding by the no-pencil rule.  I didn’t get ants in this painting.  I will use higher quality paper for day #8 so that the paint moves across the paper better to try my ant ideas.  I got so excited about my three separate echidna and ant ideas last night that I hardly slept!!   🙂 🙂

June 8 echidnasml
A Short-beaked echidna

Thanks for visiting and wishing everybody a lovely weekend.