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

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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.
Belgian Peter
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

The Road to Deloraine

Salamanca Market was cancelled as Saturday involved delivering an original painting and prints to Art as Mania Gallery in Deloraine, Tasmania in preparation for the upcoming annual Square Dancing Convention.  To avoid the ridiculous amount of roadworks on the Midlands Highway, the backroad through Bothwell was used.  Bothwell has a very cool café.  Despite only intending to spend money on a coffee and a date scone, I left with a table cloth, a throw rug and a pair of fingerless gloves!

Here are some photos of the door art of the Bothwell Café.

Bothwell Café.

I tried to do some urban sketching in Deloraine.  I attempted to draw the Deloraine Hotel but it was way too complicated for the short amount of time I had, so I gave up on it and crossed the street and then tried to draw the quaint library.

I was much happier with my 7 minutes of drawing the Deloraine Library.

I had to put the drawing aside to meet friends for coffee, drop off my art at the gallery and then visit the very nifty town of Latrobe.

Deloraine native hen
A Deloraine Native Hen
Deloraine sculpture
Deloraine sculptures on the banks of the Meander River

This house is near to where I stayed in Deloraine overnight.  I thought it was abandoned, but no, there was smoke coming out of the chimney.

Lunch was had at a cool art café called The Crowded coffee Lounge in Latrobe.  It is spacious, adorned with stunning pastel framed artworks, has cool furniture with one table having a puzzle in progress and another with a stack of board games. Many art classes are delivered from this venue.

Photos taken of the back of the café. I really liked Latrobe and I want to return to further explore it.

For now, it is the road back to Hobart, Tasmania and back to work. 😦

Thanks for visiting.  May your travels be gentle and kind for you.

Finds & Gifts

A friend, who works in the Deja Vu Books shop across from Artefacts Inc Gallery in the Salamanca Arts Centre, while trimming a Banksia serrata, found an empty nest in it and thought I might like it as a drawing source.  Bird’s nests are stunning.  This bird used some Banksia leaves, feathers and seeded stems to build their home.

Another friend, while walking on the beach, found this intact little fellow and thought I might also like it for a drawing resource.  And they were correct!

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Now I feel dizzy, my head is swimming with creative painting ideas!  How about you?  Have these images started sparking your creative juices?

Wishing you a great week. Cheers for now.

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market March 23, 2019

I drove in darkness up the driveway to go to Salamanca Market but thankfully the days are still mild, even in the early hours of the morning.
It was a busy day for tote bags and pouches today. A couple from Washington, DC, USA, bought a small ‘Bunk beds’ print and a ‘Salamanca Fresh’ tote bag and a UK couple, a ‘The Three Amigos’ pouch and a “Salamanca Saturdays’ and ‘Scarlet Robins’ tote bag.
A lady, from Toronto, Canada, now living in Wisconsin, USA, purchased two A-5 size prints of ‘Bunk beds’.
A ‘Hanging Out’ print is making its way to Auckland, New Zealand. He was telling me that there is a north, south, west and east. I said that there is a north, south, west and east in most places (lol), but then he elaborated where the wealthier suburbs were and so on.
‘Hanging Out’ made its debut today. A little wombat thought the hammock was looking a little plain, so being a pro-active and industrious marsupial, went about decorating it. Now that it looks much better, and feeling sleepy after all that hard work, it settled down for a nap. I’ve added ‘Hanging out’ on my website: http://www.pjpaintings.com
A framed ‘White Faced Scops Owls’ is heading to Canberra, and a ‘Thunder’ print was purchased for two and a half year old, Jack.
A lady stopped by to tell me the happy story of ‘Glamour Girls’, hanging framed at her hairdresser’s in Ballarat, Victoria. She said it was such fun, looked so good and is just perfect for a business owned by three sisters.
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Glamour Girls
The most popular print today is: Bunk beds
A thought to ponder: “To draw you must close your eyes and sing,” Pablo Picasso. I can’t say I do this. Maybe that’s why I don’t draw like Picasso??!
Take care and I hope that your upcoming week is great,
from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.
P.S. I won’t be at Salamanca Market next Saturday because I’ll be delivering my Square Dancing original painting and prints to Art as Mania Gallery in Deloraine, Tasmania. Deloraine is hosting the 60th National Square Dancing Convention, April 5-7, 2019.
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Allemande Red

Runnymede National Trust House

Runnymede National Trust House & Gardens hosted today’s Hobart urban sketching meet-up. It is a well maintained and protected house, built in the 1840s. It was Captain Charles Bayley and his family’s home for over 100 years. It was named after his favourite ship, Runnymede, and the house now promotes marine conservation.

The colonial marine villa was constructed for one of the first lawyers admitted to the Supreme Court of Van Diemen’s Land, Robert Pitcairn, who was a prominent campaigner against the transportation of convicts.  Runnymede also houses historic artworks and possessions of Tasmania’s first Anglican Bishop, Francis Nixon.

We found ourselves a spot on the lawn and viewed the house from the outside, so I will have to see the inside of the house and its artworks another time. This is the viewpoint I drew.

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Runnymede

Firstly, I loosely sketched the house with a purple coloured watercolour pencil and then added Artline pen.

Runnymede

When I’m urban sketching, I rarely get to the painting part of the day, so I felt pleased that I actually finished a painting in one session and outdoors!

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Runnymede March 17, 2019

After I returned home, I resumed working on my newest addition to my “Sleepyhead” series.

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Untitled: Tasmanian Devil lounging in a hammock in the shade of an old gum tree.

Sleep peacefully everybody and thanks for stopping by.

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market March 16, 2019

It’s dark now at 6 am but I can quite easily overlook that when the day that unfolds is warm and sunny with clear blue skies. (A squawking flock of Yellow-tailed black cockatoos just flew by my window.  I always feel privileged to see them.)

A young lady from Germany, living in Hobart, on Elizabeth Street, is studying Marine Biology at UTAS.  She purchased a small print of ‘Sea Life’.  A young man, from New Zealand, exploring Tasmania in a van, also purchased a print of a whale.  He chose ‘Suspended’.  He’s looking for work here and has secured some work just by striking up a conversation with somebody he didn’t know. They’ve offered him one day a week work at a distillery. Once you get your foot in the door, more work often follows.

A young couple, with their very smiley baby, purchased ‘The Three Amigos’. He said that he really liked art, and was quite good too, when he was a child but then war came to Afghanistan. He became a refugee and ended up in this wonderful country. He came to Pontville in Tasmania.  Now he lives in Sydney and is a translator for refugees.  This is his second time in Tassie, this time with his family.

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The Three Amigos

A man from Manchester, UK, now living in Sydney, was in the stall when somebody said that they liked my koalas.  I informed them that they weren’t koalas, rather wombats, that koalas have fluffier ears and a different shaped nose.  I also had to inform people that my birds were emus, not ostriches. As he left with his purchase, he said thanks for the ostriches and koala (‘Glamour Girls’ & ‘Sleepy head’). 🙂

A lady from West Hobart, who told me that she has been looking for a long time for something to hang up on the blank wall in her toilet room, was delighted with her ‘Beachside Chatter’ find.

Beachside Chatter
Beachside Chatter

I was pleasantly surprised to have a visit from somebody who had done Liz Steel’s Palladian urban sketching course with me two years ago. It was really lovely to catch-up, albeit it was a short catch-up.  Her daughter’s moved to Tasmania.

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

from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.

Prints, tote bags and pouches are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com 🙂