I did gallery duty today and after doing all the gallery-type jobs, I settled down to paint in between serving customers. I thought I would paint a matching pair for this painting that I painted for the Inktober prompt word “frail”. I wanted to paint one with a different coloured butterfly and looking the opposite direction so that they could be looking at each other .

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Unexpected Guest

While I was painting the blue butterfly painting, a man bought it. He’s going to give it to his mother, who loves butterflies, for Christmas.

The emu with the orange butterfly was also sold and it is going to be hanging in a Aged Care Residential Centre.

Wishing everybody a peaceful and rejuvenating weekend. Cheers, from PjPaintings

Barn Interior

I was hoping that by today I would be posting the finished painting but with drawing, erasing, re-drawing, making more changes, and things just generally taking longer than I thought, (I always underestimate how long it will take me to paint something!) this is what I got done today.


Cowboy boots crossed that next time I’m able to post the finished painting.  Until then, take care, from pjpaintings

Allemande left, then Allemande right

More progress is being made on my commissioned piece for the 60th anniversary of the National Square Dancing Convention that will be celebrated in Deloraine, Tasmania, 2019.  The emus are the fun part.  I’m a bit nervous about painting the barn.  I will have to try really hard to not let the painting get dark when painting the interior of the barn.

Here’s couple one and three:


… and here’s couple two


One more couple to do and then I have to start painting the barn.  Yikes!!

Thanks for visiting and I hope that everybody’s week is going well.

Emu Friends

About half of my paintings are emu themed. I have the privilege of displaying them at Salamanca Market in Tasmania, which on average has 20,000 visitors on any given Saturday.  As a consequence, I hear quite a few fascinating pet emu stories.  For example, one that grew up with a herd of goats and acted like it was just one of the herd, another who thought it was a dog and would immediately drop onto its back for a belly scratch when it saw its owner and another who thought it was part of the human family.  Emus seem to take on characteristics of those they grow up with, whether animal or human, and develop steadfast bonds.  I have had several former pet-emu-owners shed tears when they told me their stories about their pet “Priscilla” or “Jasmine”.

Another case of unusual-emu-bonding was recently discovered in North Carolina.  An animal shelter rescued some animals from a property whose owner suddenly disappeared.  Among those rescued was a male donkey and female emu.  The shelter tried to house them separately but the donkey started distress-braying and the emu became extremely anxious. They quickly ascertained that the donkey doesn’t like the company of other donkeys.  The emu and donkey have an inseparable bond and they even cuddle and sleep together.  Therefore, they have to be adopted together.

Jack & Diane
Introducing Jack and Diane at the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue. A story where two creatures with different looks, backgrounds and even breeds learn to stand together, protect each other and love.

I’ve also recently discovered a special animal-emu bond.


Have you seen an unusual bond between animals?

Wishing you a great upcoming week.

Special thanks to McPhocus (Averil McPhedran Hall, photographer extraordinaire) for alerting me to the story.


Day 6 of the Inktober Challenge and the prompt word is ‘Drooling’.  This is a bit of a stretch but I reckon that there might be a few emus drooling when this bird walks by.


I love my striped tights and this quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship:

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

Thanks for journeying with me.  🙂

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market Oct. 28, 2017

We had another Salamanca Market day under blue skies and sunshine. It was a busy day. When I came home, Charli-dog and I went for a long walk and enjoyed the beauty and stillness of one of the many reserves at my doorstep. When I returned home I was too tired to write, hence I’m writing my Salamanca Market update Sunday morning, rather than immediately after the market.
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Waverley Flora Reserve
The first people to visit the pjpaintings stall were from Malaysia. They chose a red and yellow “Poppy Fields” and a “Fairy Wrens” print to accompany them back home after holidaying for two and a half weeks in Australia.
Fairy Wrens
Fairy Wrens, Australia’s voted number one most favourite bird
A grandmother bought “Duck Crossing” for her granddaughter. She returned later in the day to get “Who, Who, Who are You? II” for another granddaughter, if she could part with them she said.

Duck CrossingsmlPNG

Two local ladies, one a psychologist, stopped at the stall to buy artwork for her office. She wanted happy images, at eye level, for her clients to look at. The two deliberated and eventually decided upon “Richmond Bridge, Tasmania”, “Retail Therapy, Salamanca”, and “Who, Who, Who are You? II”.
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Retail Therapy, Salamanca
A lady, who was in Tasmania for the Masters’ Games, purchased a small print. She won Gold and Silver in the Dragon Boat races of 20 and 10, plus the drummer and one at the back who steers. A young graphic artist from Devonport, Tasmania purchased “Sea Life” and “Tu-whit & Tu-whoo”.
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Sea Life
A couple from Brisbane bought a small platypus original painting. He chose the painting with the rather plump looking platypus. “I’ll have the well-fed looking one”, he said. He was telling me that he saw a platypus, with his binoculars, climb out of the water onto a rock and scratch its tummy with its back paw. How special is that?!
Two ladies from Tamworth, NSW are taking back with them “The Three Amigos” and “Double Date”. They said that they see these birds and rusty gates all the time where they live so these prints fit right in with their surroundings.
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The Three Amigos
I had an extremely enthusiastic pair visit the stall from Chinchilla, Qld, a town with a population of approximately 5,500. She bought four prints and then returned later on in the afternoon and bought five more! She said that she went to her hotel room and laid out the four prints on her bed and thought, “I have room on my walls for more.” She returned just before I was going to start packing up, arriving saying she was hoping I was still here because she just loves the art so much she wants more.
Today’s most popular print was: Suspended
A thought to ponder: “Amateurs look for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Chuck Close
I’m not sure what Chuck is exactly trying to communicate with this statement, but I suspect that in his view waiting for inspiration is procrastination. If time is going by and inspiration is lacking, I agree just start painting something, but some of my most creative and successful ideas have arrived when I allow myself some quiet think time, despite trying to quieten this ‘you are procrastinating’ feeling trying to push me to pick up a paintbrush.
Wishing you many happy, creative moments, from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market – Thanks for stopping by!  🙂
All artwork is available at

Composing Composition

About five years ago I relinquished my management position and moved into a teaching position (both full-time positions) so that I could devote more head space to my art. I then went part-time because I needed ‘time’ to paint.  I also secured a permanent market stall site (#30) at Salamanca Market in Tasmania.  Working part-time and having a stall is somewhat of a game changer.  My art has to supplement my income, and now I find myself in the new realm of managing the tension between what I want to paint and painting what sells.  There are plenty of positives with this but sometimes it feels a little like a conflict-of-interest inner struggle is happening.

I painted these two paintings pre-part-time employment. One sold like hotcakes and the other not.  Can you guess which the best seller was?

Beauty Queens
Beauty Queens
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Beauty Queens I

I sell 100/100 limited edition prints.  I quickly sold 100 Beauty Queens and about six prints of Beauty Queens I.  I’ve painted a replacement Beauty Queens and now with only two left, I’m painting it again as this is a popular print.

Beauty Queens III sml
Replacement Beauty Queens

I’m in my comfort zone painting emus at the hair salon and it’s fun to paint. I’ve decided to mix it up a bit this time otherwise it starts to feel a bit too comfortable, which actually makes me feel uncomfortable with my art.  For me, probably the most challenging part is composition.  My favourite emu in the Beauty Queens I painting is the emu with the row of curlers down her neck.  I’m painting three versions and then deciding which one I think works or doesn’t work.  I find it too difficult to be able to predict which composition is good until I see how the colour and form work together.

Beauty Queens V
Beauty Queens V
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Beauty Queens VI
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and then one in the same composition…. just in case… Beauty Queens VII

Which one do you think works best?

Thanks for reading my post.  I’d love to hear from you, about your art, earning a living from art, composition dilemmas or ….

Why I Like Being a Stallholder

Yes, there are some cold, dark, Saturday mornings in the winter that I moan and groan with the thought of struggling all day to keep my toes warm, despite wearing three layers of everything.  It is really not an enticing prospect to help motivate me to get out of bed but most of the time this is not the case.   I really like having a Pjpaintings permanent stall at Salamanca Market.

Setting up and taking down each Saturday is not as bad as it sounds and it is a source of weight lifting and exercise without the gym fees.  During the setting and packing up time, before the gazebo walls go up, is actually the easiest time to chat with your neighbours and the market community around you.  Close bonds are developed as we get to catch up every week over many years.

The best thing about having a stall is the conversations with people from all over the world.  Salamanca Market is a major Tasmanian tourist attraction that gives me the opportunity to meet and interact with people from everywhere, including Canada and Belgium, where I have spent some of my life.  I sometimes even attempt to have a conversation in French.

Meeting a fellow Belgian

Art exhibitions or galleries’ privacy clauses prevents me from finding out who bought, or where my art work went, whereas at Salamanca Market I can interact with those that are taking home my artwork.  It is such a buzz to be able to talk about your art work with those that love it enough to buy it, to hear how they connect with it and their stories.  For example, a couple who sold their house in Brisbane and moved to Emu Park, Queensland, were looking for a piece of artwork featuring an emu and were thrilled to discover my stall-full of emu art.

Family Outing


The motto of my art is “helping put smiles on faces”.  It is lovely seeing all the smiles at my stall and when people see the perfect gift for a baby, daughter, son, family members and friends or gifts to take with them to give to hosts when travelling and relatives abroad.


Also, you meet many people that are attending all sorts of conferences, competitions and events in Tasmania that I would have never had known about, if it wasn’t visitors telling me about them.  I am amazed at how much we host here.  Recently we’ve hosted the Australian Society of Micro Biologists Conference, Sausage Conference, Underwater Hockey Championship and much more.

Some sort of event taking place in Hobart

And finally, all the great stories I hear on Saturdays and the interesting characters I have the privilege of meeting, makes great weekly writing material and another avenue of connecting with people through the written form.

Regular bagpipe group meet-up at the top end of Salamanca Market