The great little town of Bangalow, NSW

I’ve just returned from attending a stunning wedding in Byron Bay, NSW.  I stayed in the quaint little town of Bangalow.  The main street is lined with awesome shops that have unique items for sale, unlike the chain store items that you see everywhere.

Bangalow shops
The main street in Bangalow

Bangalow has carefully furnished and designed coffee shops.  I like cafes that take you to a different place, where the surroundings gently move you into the relax space and frame of mind, cafes that aren’t shouting commercialism, noise and customer high turnover as a priority.  Lunch at “Woods, Get Forked and Fly”, with a happy, all female staff that were singing along to the music while preparing food, was fun and yummy.

Bangalow Woods
a great little cafe right beside a great little gallery in Bangalow

We passed by the A & I Hall, with pressed tin lining the walls inside, and it just so happened that the community was putting on “Chicago”.  A couple young girls were rehearsing their dance moves on the front deck of the hall.  There was such a nice community buzz around.

Bangalow A&I Hall
Chicago was a sold out community event

When it rained, I tried my hand at urban sketching again.  I sketched the two buildings I could see out my window, the Anglican church and the little police station.

 

 

Bangalow Police station
Bangalow, NSW Police station 
sketch book
The sketch book with different coloured pages that I used in Bangalow.  Not ideal for watercolour but… it worked

I thoroughly enjoyed this little town and I feel like I haven’t finished exploring it.  Bangalow, I hope to see you again soon!

Advertisements

119 Macquarie Street, Hobart

This morning, my friend and I attempted to sketch 119 Macquarie Street.  We set up at Franklin Square.  There are so many awesome buildings to sketch from this vantage point.

I thought I would try a more sketchy style, which has somewhat developed during the Inktober Challenge, hoping that it would maybe help speed up my sketching rather than my usual line drawing approach.  It didn’t.  I so admire people that can get a lot down on paper in a short time, including close to accurate volumes and angles.  I can now see what went wrong on the right side of the drawing, but after the fact is a little late.  I suppose with lots and lots of practice I will get closer to achieving speed and accuracy.

119Macquarie Stsketch
 The bottom half of the paper shows that I had every intention of drawing the whole building, but after about an hour, sitting on a hard surface, my bottom was getting sore and I had enough.  We packed up and enjoyed a cup of coffee in a trendy cafe. 
119 Macquarie St
The whole 119 Macquarie Street building

This is my line drawing style/attempt of the Town Hall, also drawn sitting in Franklin Square.

Town Hall Elizabeth Street view
Town Hall

Which style do you think looks better?

Thanks and wishing you a lovely rest of the day.

Day 18 & 23 of Inktober Challenge

I tried drawing a moose for day 18.  I wasn’t very happy with it so I had another try on day 23 of the Inktober challenge.  I wasn’t very happy with my second attempt either, but, as they say, that’s they way the cookie crumbles.  Some drawings will turn out better than others.

I’ve always loved moose.  I love their squishy looking snout and extra long legs.  I’ve encountered moose twice in the wild.  Once when I was a young teenager at a summer camp in Minnesota, USA.  A girlfriend and I were canoeing on a large body of water.  The scenery was like a photo in a magazine.  The water was still and inky black with evergreen trees lining the shore.  As we canoed around the corner, a moose with a huge set of antlers was standing in the water with its head down eating vegetation.  It lifted its head and looked at us.  I was at the back of the canoe steering and thought I should probably change course slightly and respect the moose’ personal space.

moose1
Day 23’s drawing

 

The second time I saw a moose was distressing and certainly evoked my maternal extincts.  It was in Alberta, Canada, at dusk, while driving we encountered a young moose bellowing and wailing as it was thrashing through the bushes and ditches along the road.  It was running and zigzagging across the road, up and down the ditches and into the bushes and then further down the road reappearing.  It was very distressed and it was crying.  I’ll never forget it.  I wanted to comfort it but obviously couldn’t.  Apparently, when a young moose gets a certain age, the mother leaves it causing the young moose short-term anguish.

day 18
Day 18’s drawing

 

Does anybody else have a moose story?

Thanks for stopping by for a read.

Footsteps towards Freedom

I visited the newest sculpture installation at MACq 01 in Hobart just after it stopped raining which made it even a more powerful, emotive and moving experience.  I’ve never been so moved by a sculpture before.  I’m sure that the sculpture being women and children contributed to it being so moving for me, and why I connected with it so much, empathizing with, and for, my gender, and the horrors these women and children endured.

convict4
The sculptures are exquisite.  The body language of the women are powerful and different for each woman.  The first woman’s drooping shoulders convey powerlessness, hopelessness, the second is trying to comfort and protect herself and the third is focused on her baby, and I would imagine in the back of her mind thankful that they have both survived the harrowing experience and trip and now fearful about what is the next thing to fall upon them.  Names of thousands of  convict women are engraved on the flat bases they are standing on. 
convictboy1
The most haunting and emotive sculpture of the four, in my opinion, is that of the boy located a few metres behind the women.  Once again, the body language is so powerful, note the tilted head, the hands and bare feet. A young boy viewing the sculptures was moved to try to physically comfort the statue.  It certainly evokes the maternal/paternal/sibling nurturing and protective desires.

The haunting, life-size sculptures, created by Irish sculpture Rowan Gillespie, are situated on the original disembarking point for most of the convict ships arriving in Old Hobart Town, including the 13,000 female convicts, between 1803-1853, bringing with them almost 2500 children, many of whom were born on the ships.

convict boy
The raindrops added to the rawness and emotional response to this haunting young figure

The women were marched off to the Female Factory or some other form of assignment, and the children were considered orphans, removed from their mothers and placed in orphanages.  The suffering, both physical and emotional, endured by the women and children was enormous and these bronze sculptures commemorates the experiences of these often-forgotten people.

convict6
MACq 01 sculptures unveiled Saturday, October 14, 2017 by Tasmanian Governor Kate Warner and Irish President Michael Higgins.

 

Females’ and children’s sufferings and contributions are so often under-represented and commemorated in public art.  I’m so pleased and proud that these beautiful sculptures have been added to our city.

macQ01
MACq 01 Hobart, Tasmania

macQ01plaque

Bruny Island

I celebrated my birthday on Bruny Island, an island about 50 km long, which is more like a north and south island joined by a thin piece of land, named The Neck (pictured above).  There are only about 600 of the people kind of residents living on Bruny, the other residents being many rare and endangered plants, animals and birds.  Its natural surroundings display year-long art exhibitions.  Nature puts on fabulous art shows.

sandwaves and shell
This shell was embedded in the sand.  I swear I did not put it there for the photo.  I took this photo at Cloudy Bay Lagoon, Bruny Island.
sand
Isn’t this the coolest looking sand wave!!?  Cloudy Bay Lagoon, Bruny Island.
sand wavescropped
more sand patterns at Cloudy Bay Lagoon
sandwaves1
a sand stream at Cloudy Bay Lagoon
sand bubbles
sand bubbles
beachneclace
a beach necklace
white rock
natural rock art at Cloudy Bay Lagoon
rockart
not so natural rock art at Cloudy Bay Lagoon
sea urchin
A sea urchin on display at the Quarantine Station, Bruny Island.

I had such a peaceful, relaxing and wonderful time on picturesque Bruny Island.  My feet walked over dramatic terrain,  my stomach was fed delicious Bruny Island food and the eyes were fed plenty of natural and people-made art.

Thanks for stopping by.  🙂

Quarantine Station, Bruny Island

Day 8 of the Inktober Challenge

One of the goals that I set at the start of the Inktober Challenge was to draw more buildings and do more urban sketching.  I’m not doing great with this goal, but I did make the effort to tackle drawing the Health Officer’s Quarters, built around 1885 on Bruny Island.  This building is one of many that once serviced the state’s quarantine program.

cleansing room
Cleansing Room in the foreground with the Health Officer’s Quarters in the background

The site is situated at Barnes Bay, on an isolated peninsula of Bruny Island.  The historic maritime quarantine station operated from 1884 – 1919.  It also processed 9000 World War I soldiers upon their return to Tasmania.  The ‘Cleansing Room’, enclosed by a nine foot fence, was the only entry point to the site.  It’s sad to think that after surviving the horrors of war, soldiers were then stripped and bathed in a dangerous concoction of chemicals (nasty ones, truly banned from direct contact today) detained for a week and then released to go home to their loved ones if they received the all-clear with a final health check .

bath
The bath soldiers were ‘cleansed’ in
sea urchin display
Sea urchins displayed in the Cleansing Room.  Nature’s art exhibition.

Later, the site was used for Plant Quarantine and techniques from 1955 – 1986.  Because it was the only station in the country on an island, it was used as the national location where introduced plants were tested for diseases.

I struggled with this building, as I do with all my attempts when I try to draw buildings.  Angles and perspectives challenge me, to say the least, but maybe that is what keeps attracting me to this genre of art.

Quaratine Station Bruny Issml
Ink pen drawing of the Health Officer’s Quarters, Quarantine Station, Bruny Island

I forgot to use two strategies that I think could have provided some assistance.  Firstly, focusing on the negative shape of the sky, and secondly, establishing the volume of the building – drawing in the lined cube shape (the skeleton of the house sort of speak).  I think this could have helped with accuracy.  Focusing on the positives now, some angles aren’t too far off and some depth is captured.  I’m not giving up yet!

Thanks for stopping by.  🙂

 

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market Sept. 23, 2017

I’ve been quite good with staying off my injured ankle, but Friday evening, when I gazed out the window, it looked so magical outside that I couldn’t resist walking along the foreshore.  The water was glass-like and Mt Wellington looked spectacular.

benchviewsml
The view from a newly installed bench near Bellerive Beach, Tasmania: Derwent River and Mount Wellington,  

How different the weather can be a few hours later!  Saturday morning commenced with thunder and rain, and the rain continued, off and on, but mostly on, for the majority of the day.  At one point, the rain only hit one side of this Eucalyptus tree.  Doesn’t it intensify the colour of the bark!  Their trunks are so cool.

treeatmarketsml
 The rain brightens the puzzle-like bark of this Eucalyptus tree.

This is what happens when a car is left parked overnight.  The Salamanca Market ground staff put each wheel of the car on a mini-trolley type of things and then tows the car away.

I met several hockey (grass hockey) players today, including a gentleman from Western Australia, who had played Tasmania earlier in the day.  Unfortunately, Tasmania didn’t fare too well.  Hobart is hosting the week-long event of the 2017 Australian Masters Hockey Championship.  There are quite a few x-Olympians playing too.  There are teams for 35s, 40s, 45s, 50s, 55s, 60s, 65s and 70 plus year olds.

Three whale prints, titled “Whale Sighting!”, “Serenity” and “DefendConserveProtect” made their debut today and were a big hit. They are available at www.pjpaintings.com If you are able to look closely at the “DefendConserveProtect” painting, you will see shapes made from these words integrated into the picture.

 

A lady purchased a small “White Faced Scops Owls” print to hang in her workplace at the University of Sydney.  A “Beauty Queens IV” print will be adorning a ‘powder room’ in Melbourne.  An ambassador from the Australian Embassy of Costa Rica deliberated over the “Salamanca Saturdays” print.  He returned to the stall several hours, when I was packing up for the day, and purchased it.  A massive owl fan from Taree, NSW, who told me that they were desperate for rain, purchased “White Faced Scops Owls II”. A year 9 student, on a school excursion from the mainland, texted her Mum, who paid through my website, bought an A-4 sized “White Faced Scops Owls”.

Salamanca Saturdays sml.jpg
Salamanca Saturdays (print available at http://www.pjpaintings.com)

A lady, who had bought a platypus ink original painting of mine earlier, with two platypus, bought a smaller painting with one platypus to display together.  She has framed the two platypus painting in a floating frame and said that it looks awesome.

Packing up was done in the rain and then in the evening, it was a repeat of Friday evening.  I couldn’t resist and went for another beautiful, gentle walk along the foreshore. It was not long after I returned home when a spectacular and prolonged thunder and lightning show started.

Blundstone Oval watersidesml
Yesterday evening’s glass-like water at Bellerive Beach with the newly developed playground and Blundstone Oval in the background.

Today’s best seller was a tie: Family Outing and Salamanca Saturdays

Family Outing I
Family Outing

A thought to ponder:  “The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” Alberto Giacometti 

Wishing you many happy, creative moments, from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market

Thanks for reading!

Strolling in Knocklofty Reserve

The capital city of Tasmania, an island state of Australia, is Hobart.  Home to approximately 220,000 people, the small city has beaches and reserves easily accessible and both extremely close to the city.  Yesterday, after work, I walked about 5 kilometres in Knocklofty Reserve located in the suburb of West Hobart.

I came across a very iconic Australian bird, a kookaburra.  It looked like it was a juvenile kookaburra. It was sitting at my eye level on a branch very close to the bush track.  The kookaburra presented several poses for me to photograph, which was very kind of it to be so accommodating, because the photos will serve as a great resource for future kookaburra paintings.

kookaknockloftyreservesml
Isn’t this just the cutest looking little kookaburra face!
knockloftykookaburrasm
A more standard kookaburra pose

Here are three kookaburras that I painted last year.  The painting is titled “The Three Amigos” and is available as a limited edition print at http://www.pjpaintings.com  I mixed a tiny bit of Aquarelle water based ink into blue watercolour paint to try to more accurately capture the brilliant blue on the kookaburra’s wings.

The Three Amigossml
The Three Amigos

Birds make a great subject to paint and I feel lucky to have come across a photogenic kookaburra during my stroll in Knocklofty Reserve, Hobart.  Bye for now and thanks for reading my blog.

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market August 26, 2017

The morning started calmly and the temperature was lovely but by lunchtime, gusts of wind rolled in and caused havoc. You could hear gazebos flapping violently and items crashing and banging. My table got upended and miraculously I caught a crate full of prints! The day is so much more tiring when there is wind. You are forced to stay on high alert and hope that your reflexes react quickly enough to save things from being blown away. Because of the wind, most people started packing up early, and so did yours truly.
Before the destructive wind made its presence, I enjoyed many-a conversation with visitors and locals. Well before 8 am, a local came to buy two prints for her partner to give to his friend. The friend had bought “Family Outing” and had mentioned that she wanted “Thunder!” She also bought “Salamanca Fresh” for him to give to her.
Another local arrived at the crack of dawn and bought “Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania” for her granddaughter and “Beauty Queens III” to give to a friend who needs cheering up. Her friend is a hairdresser, sole income earner of the family, and is an older lady who finds the standing and cutting hair physically taxing.
A couple attending an optometrist conference, which apparently is held annually in Tasmania, this year in Launceston at Grindelwald, bought “Hayride” for a friend that collects toy tractors and all manner of tractor themed items.
Clifton Beachxsml
Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania
Beauty Queens
Beauty Queens III
I met a couple from Finland that have moved to Binalong Bay, Tasmania three years ago. They absolutely love it and told me that they walk on the beach each morning. They said that they are glad when they see the Australian map on the news without Tasmania because they want this gem of a place to be a secret. I met another couple who told me that his nickname was ‘Emu’ and hers was ‘Owl’. They wanted to buy “Who, Who, Who are You? II” and said that they would pick it up on their way back, but I didn’t see them again. There are 353 stalls at Salamanca Market and I think that by the time people get to the other end of the market they are kaput!
White Faced Scops Owls xsml
Who, Who, Who are You? II
Another couple were having a long awaited weekend away, without children. They bought a “Cheer ‘em Up” pack. A lady from Newcastle, Australia, purchased a print of her dream motorbike, a Ducati. A New Zealand couple departed with a “White Faced Scops Owls” print and another person got one for her sister’s birthday. “Café Paris” is going to the Sunshine Coast and “Poppy Fields” is off to Washington, D.C., U.S.A. She travelled to Australia for work, commencing her travels in Sydney. She attended a few meetings here and an Agricultural Economics conference. She was going to catch the ferry to MONA and try to get out to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary to pat some marsupials.
Today’s best seller were the motorbike prints: “Who says emus can’t fly!?”, “Bonnie & Me” and “Joyride”.
Italian Joyridesmlx
Joy ride!
A thought to ponder: “Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” ― Rainbow Rowell The motto of my art is helping put smiles on faces. I hope it does and that people feel happiness when they view it.
 
Wishing you many happy, creative moments, from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market