Oatlands, Tasmania

I thoroughly enjoyed my day in Oatlands, Tasmania, about an hour’s drive from Hobart. The town is packed with gorgeous scenes, surprises, and history. The Georgian architecture, sculptures, rock walls and gardens are such a treat for the eyes.

I love rock walls! and there are so many in Oatlands
Another gorgeous rock wall with an eagle taking a strong stance pose

Along High Street (the main street through Oatlands) there are gorgeous houses and gardens.

there are so many beautiful stone walls and gorgeous gardens

We stopped into Vintage on High Café https://www.instagram.com/vintageonhigh/?hl=en, where I enjoyed a cuppa and sketched the shop across the street, which unfortunately was closed on Mondays.

Vintage Cafe on High Street
The narrow space between the cafe and the next building. I like the iron lace.
my sketch of the closed Elm Cottage Store on High Street, Oatlands

The cafe has a wonderful outside seating area, including an abundance of fruit trees and this cool stork sculpture.

stork sculpture among the fruit trees

Further down High Street, there’s another stork sculpture!

I love this sculpture!

The Oatlands Court House was built in 1829. Many death sentences were handed out here however, all but eighteen were later commuted to life sentences. The eighteen men were executed in the nearby jail. One poor soul was innocent of the murder he was convicted of, but it was too late for him. The real murderer confessed of his ill-deed on his death bed. Solomon Blay, who resided in Oatlands, was the executioner for Oatlands, Launceston and Hobart.

The Court House

We visited the remnants of the heritage listed jail in Oatlands. Oatlands was established as a military garrison in 1827 and was the primary military outpost in inland Tasmania. Over the next decade, close to 90 buildings were constructed in the town using convict labour, including the court house, soldiers’ barracks, watch house, and officers’ quarters. Today, the town has one of the largest collections of intact Georgian architecture in Australia.

The goal

Completed in 1835, the Oatlands Gaol was designed to hold over 200 prisoners but was never fully occupied. Used as a military gaol and municipal prison until 1936, the complex was closed and largely demolished in 1937. The gaol’s main use since the 1950s has been as the site of Oatlands’ municipal swimming pool. https://www.southernmidlands.tas.gov.au/oatlands-gaol/

Another view of the gaol
The worn steps at the side entrance of the goal

You can pick up a key from the Oatlands council building that gives you access to three buildings, the gaol, courthouse and the commissariat https://www.southernmidlands.tas.gov.au/oatlands-commissariat/ The council had had some reports about problems with the electronic key and I could confirm that there are problems. Only one out of the three keys worked.

3 and 5 Albert Street Cottages in Oatlands

The block of land that these cottages stand on was granted to John Goulder, a freed convict in 1839. Goulder settled here in 1832and built a large weatherboard house. By 1839, he had fenced his land with stone walling and built another house, a two-storey house with 8 rooms and outbuildings. In 1940, he bought the Kentish Arms and continued to expand his real estate portfolio. He died in 1880 and by 1885 the original stone house was replaced by these cottages. It is believed that the materials from the original house were used in the construction of the cottages.

Near these two cottages is this building. I found the three different materials used to make this three-in-one type of building intriguing. There’s stone, pressed tin and wood.

Albert Street
I love this awesome perspective example that urban sketchers grapple with on a regular basis. This is the divide between the cottage and three-in-one building.

We also visited the lovely Weaver’s Cottages Studio. They want to stock some of my cards and prints. 😊

Visitors coming into Oatlands from the opposite direction that we entered, are welcomed by cool cow sculptures in Lake Dulverton. May be they are possibly trying to convey that … if you find yourself knee-deep in water, be like the cow and stay calm??? Do you think?? Well, cows used to roam the streets and wander down to the lake to eat the native grasses. Apparently, collecting the family cow from the lake was an after school chore assigned to the children in Oatlands.  https://www.southernmidlands.tas.gov.au/cows-in-lake-sculpture/

Cows wading in Lake Dulverton, Oatlands

Of course, you can’t visit Oatlands and miss the windmill that stands out proud and tall on the landscape.

The windmill
The brand new, soon-to-open Distillery at the windmill site

If you’re driving up the Midland Highway in Tasmania, I recommend that you take the time to turn off and visit enchanting Oatlands.

Gallery Opening

Apologies that I’ve been a bit slack with writing blog posts recently. I’ve been rather busy starting the new adventure of opening a gallery in Hobart’s Salamanca Arts Centre in southern Tasmania.

There was a lot of work fitting out a generous-sized and sunlit room, organising insurance, a point of sales system and the like.

painting the creation of the back feature wall

The gallery is featuring a variety of art mediums with a focus on glass. There are many Tasmanian and artists from mainland Australia represented in the gallery.

Tasmanian John Osborne’s lino work in the back and Laurie Young’s glass work in the front left glass tower
A variety of glass, wood and leather work is at Wooby Lane Gallery

We had a soft opening on the wintery evening of June 10, 2021, to officially open the doors of the new Wooby Lane Gallery, on the corner of Salamanca Place and Wooby’s Lane.

dressed up for opening night
my work and Tasmanian leather, Christine Williams, artist’s masks on far left http://www.findglocal.com/AU/Pelverata/880496042082841/Satinwood

The gallery space gives me opportunity to display my framed original paintings and large sized prints.

If, and when you are, in Hobart, I hope you are able to drop in!

Take care and wishing everybody a lovely weekend.

Cheers, Patricia (PJ)

www.pjpaintings.com

Opossum Bay

I love Opossum Bay, located in southern Tasmania. I feel like I’ve travelled to another part of the world but it’s only about a 25 minute drive from my house, and the drive is picturesque too.

I love the shape of the bay and I love what this resident has made from random, lost thongs found on the beach! What an awesome and creative idea.
a photo from the other direction

The stand-out house for me at Opossum Bay is this quirky lighthouse house. Through the darkened lower windows you can catch glimpse of a large wooden boat with a mermaid-like figurehead. It looks impressive from a distance so I can only imagine how much more so close up.

my favourite house along the beach

I was keen to try to draw the lighthouse house. I struggled with the perspective but it was still fun to try.

My sketch

There were a variety of seagulls enjoying the bay too.

Thanks for visiting and stay safe.

An Encounter with Police

During the Australia Day long weekend, I visited Stanley and Corinna, small towns on the northwest coast of Tasmania. We saw amazing things on our road trip, but all the sights seen were in the realm of what you would expect to see: animals, birds, spectacular scenery and the like.

one of the many cute cottages in Corinna, Tasmania

But things got a little different on the leg from Stanley to Corinna.

To get to Corinna from the Smithton direction, you drive on a 70 km stretch of unsealed road, full of potholes. The road is quite narrow and when a white ute was approaching, we pulled off to the side and stopped to let it pass. We were somewhat affronted that the driver didn’t make a thank you hand gesture and quickly made the judgment that they must not be local as this is Tasmanian behaviour and considered good manners. Sure enough, it was confirmed when we saw that the ute had a Queensland number plate.

We continued our slow drive, manoeuvring around potholes, avoiding one other car that passed us. About 10 km later, a dark ute passed us, flashed its lights and reversed. A policeman jumped out of his ute with his mobile phone showing us a photo and asking if we had seen this white ute with Queensland number plates? The officer asked us about three times if we were definitely certain we had seen the ute and we recounted him our encounter with this ill-mannered Queenslander. (It turned out he wasn’t from Queensland). Then the policeman started asking us tricky questions about where on the road this encounter took place and so on, but we told him we were too unfamiliar with the road to give him that kind of information. He took my name, address, registration and so on and then we parted ways.

We eventually arrived in beautiful Corinna, which has no internet, wifi, TV and so on. On my previous visit to Corinna, I did quite a bit of urban sketching, which you can see my drawings by clicking on this link https://wordpress.com/post/theunfurlingartist.wordpress.com/5532 This time, I spent more time enjoying the natural surroundings of the Pieman River and went kayaking for the first time in my life.

The beautiful Pieman River, Corinna

Upon returning to civilization, we learned that the white ute with Queensland number plate, was actually a kidnapper! Apparently, he attempted to kidnap two children, but one escaped. It was reported that he had the kidnapped girl in the ute. Thankfully, the police did successfully capture him. Here are links to the incident. https://www.tasmaniatalks.com.au/newsroom/tasmanian-news/54934-attempted-child-abduction-sparks-hunt

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-25/tasmania-police-arrest-man-after-alleged-attempted-abduction/13088706

We couldn’t believe it that we saw, and drove by, a kidnapper!

Safe driving everybody and beware of ill-mannered drivers with foreign number plates.

Lover’s Falls, Corinna

Franklin Square

On the second Sunday of the month, the Hobart Sketchers group meet at a chosen location and we sketch. Today we sketched in Franklin Square which is in the city of Hobart, about a block from the water of the Derwent River. We each sought a shady spot and drew.

I focused on the Elizabeth Street Post Office’s tower. I took this photo from where I was seated to do my drawing.

The drawing and painting that I did in 1 hour and 10 minutes. A large blob of ink unexpectedly came out on the right side of the dome, where I wanted to leave white paper, as this was where the light/sun was hitting it. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to capture the light on the dome.

The statue of Sir John Franklin, husband of Jane Franklin, is in the foreground. The power couple came to Tasmania in 1837, when Tasmania was called Van Diemen’s Land. They intended to bring culture and improvements to the penal colony. She established the Lady Franklin Gallery that today is again the home of the Tasmanian Art Society. The gallery has had a bumpy ride and even served as an apple storage shed for a period of time. It is a Greek style building that looks a little out of place in the Hobart suburbs. An ABC reporter asked and answered the question Why there’s a Greek-style building at the back of Lenah Valley? https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-17/history-of-lenah-valleys-greek-style-lady-franklin-gallery/9054468 tm

A front view of Sir John Franklin. I like the way the photograph has captured and frozen the water spray.
Here’s a link if you’d like to learn more about this couple’s time in Tasmania. https://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/F/John%20and%20Jane%20Franklin.h

Thanks for visiting and I hope you are able to make time to draw. It is so much fun!

Our Mountain

I love wandering on our mountain, Mt Wellington/kunanyi in Hobart, Tasmania. It’s always different and so inspiring. This time I actually saw two animals. We had to stop the car to let the cutest little echidna cross the road, and on the track, a padymelon stopped us in our tracks.

a padymelon on kunanyi

The Organ Pipe track to the kunanyi’s organ pipes.

on our way down the mountain we had to keep an eye on our step

The organ pipes look quite different close up. They are very dramatic. There were several rock climbers climbing the organ pipes. We encountered some climbers on our way down and asked them how their climb was? They answered that it was awesome. They were absolutely beaming with happiness. Here’s a link for more information about climbing the organ pipes on kunanyi. kunanyi https://www.wellingtonpark.org.au/rock-climbing/

the majestic organ pipes close up
the organ pipes viewed from Sandy Bay, Hobart
organ pipes view from the kunanyi track

I found this fern striking. It’s one plant with different coloured frons. It reminded me of the punnet of lettuce seedlings I recently purchased.

multi-coloured fern
multi-coloured lettuce
We passed by moss covered boulders
striking moss covered boulders on kunanyi
it’s not the season for waratahs to be flowering but there were a few strange looking flowers around. I don’t know if this is the remnants of a former full waratah flower?

As usual, on the way up the mountain, the lichen on the rocks totally inspired me.

I love the green and black lichen
A limited pallet of lichen

This one looks like an outer space scene to me.

such a fabulous set of lichen!

I would love to paint a section of the lichen on a large piece of paper. I think that they are so awesome. I LOVE the patterns. It certainly resembles Aboriginal dot painting to me. But, first I want to paint this picture that I’ve drawn up about three months ago. It’s a continuation of my Bunk beds series. Limited edition prints of “Bunk beds” are available at https://pjpaintings.com/collections/wombats/products/copy-of-sleepy-head-series-bunk-beds-wombat-watercolour.

A wombat family relaxing under the shade of a gum tree – This painting is titled “Bunk beds”
extending the “Bunkbeds” series with “Bunk bed trio”. I’m not sure about what to title this picture? I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Thanks for visiting. I hope that COVID is under control where you are living so that you are able to enjoy the nature around you. Take care, from Patricia (PJ).

Battery Point, Tasmania

Well, to be more exact, Arthur Circus, located in Battery Point, Tasmania. This is where today’s urban sketch-meet took place. It was so peaceful and quiet sketching under the shady trees. Even visitors that came through with their children to use the swings, were telling them to speak quietly. It was like they were entering a library zone. It was quite surreal really.

I drew two cottages located in Arthur Circus.

my first drawing of the day – a heritage listed cottage at Arthur Circus
photo of the cottage I drew

For over 100 years, the crowded working-class cottages in Arthur Circus housed large families whose livelihoods were reliant on the waterfront.  Each cottage is now valued over $1,000,000. Battery Point is a postcode held in high esteem, close to the city, waterfront, and in such a quaint, well-kept, prestigious, historical suburb of Hobart, Tasmania. https://www.discovertasmania.com.au/about/articles/battery-point

Arthur Circus Bsml
One of the quaint cottages surrounding the green space of Arthur Circus

Battery Point derived its name from the presence of a battery of cannons placed around the shoreline to protect the Hobart coastline. The cottages surrounded the village green of Arthur Circus, where children used to gather in the 1930s to play marbles. The cottages were built for officers of the garrison.  When they were originally built in the 1800s, they probably consisted of just two main rooms.

Arthur Cirsml
Houses are built around the green space of Arthur Circus

Arthur Circus is reportedly the only street named “Circus” in Australia.  Given the shape of the street, one would think it would have been named Arthur Circle.  But, in fact, “Circus” is an appropriate name for this special place because apparently “circus”, in Latin means “circle”, a round open space at a street junction.  Who knows, maybe a clown or two visited the grassy area to add to the festivities and fun of the birthday parties hosted there. Piccadilly Circus in London is a busy meeting place, and Arthur Circus seems to serve much the same purpose, especially with urban sketchers as many, many artists paint these cute cottages.

My second drawing of the day, #47 Arthur Circus, Battery Point.

I even drew in part of a car! Unusual for me because I avoid even attempting to draw cars.

A photo of #47 Arthur Circus. This house has a unusual roof. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another like it.

The house and car I drew from a standing position. I drew the first one while sitting on the grass.

To close off our final Hobart Urban Sketching group’s outing of 2020, we enjoyed a social throw down and coffee at Jackman & McCross, Battery Point. https://www.batterypointwalk.com.au/locations/hampden-road-shops/

We’re looking forward to another fun-filled year in and around Hobart armed with pens, pencils, paper and paint.

All the best and thanks for visiting.

A Fish Tree?!

Each year, Art Farm Birchs Bay (AFBB) hosts the renowned Sculpture Trail, featuring Tasmanian and interstate artists. The farm is approximately 35 minutes south of Hobart, Tasmania. It is an innovative working farm in the south D’Entrecasteaux Channel region and home to Diemen Pepper http://www.diemenpepper.com/. Many Tasmanian restaurants source their native pepper from AFBB. Not only are you free to wander leisurely to view the sculptures, you can meander through fields, orchards and an extensive kitchen garden.

Let’s begin our tour and see some of 2020’s sculptures on display:

This is the very first sculpture on the trail
I really enjoyed this sculpture. The birds are so cute!
a close up of two of the birds
an eagle
mobile phone danger
life changes
mushroom types
A cute galah
Another galah
a close up of the galah’s feathers

This is my art work featuring a galah, a watercolour painting titled “Iconic Aussies”. It was tricky incorporating it into this painting because of its bright pink colour. It ran the risk of dominating the painting too much. To help the eye travelling across the painting, I painted pink into the trunk of the tree below the yellow-sulphur crested cockatoo and some pink onto its feathers too.

Similar to this tree spotted on the sculpture trail.

the colourful trunk of a eucalyptus trunk

I hope that wherever you are, that you are safe and in good health. Thank you for visiting.

Penguin

On the coastal road between Ulverstone and Wynyard, on the north west coast of Tasmania, lies a small town named Penguin. It was first settled in 1861 as a timber town. It is named after the smallest species of penguins, the fairy penguins, that come ashore all the way along Tasmania’s north-west coast, but especially at a little beach bluff between Ulverstone and Burnie known as Penguin Point.

Penguin beach and in the far background, a retaining wall being installed to save further beach erosion from severe weather events.

As the name suggests, penguins are a frequent theme in this town. It’s nestled along the Bass Strait and has pretty beach views, walkways, beach decorations and a cemetery.

5 meter tall penguin
More penguin humour
Beach Art
beach themed decoration, a patchwork quilted bikini top
one of the many penguin themed rubbish bins on the main street

Penguin was featured on ABC’s Back Roads show. The cemetery was allotted significant focus and time on the show. It is where apparently many community social activities take place and the best view of Penguin is espoused to be from there. Therefore, I made a special effort to find it and see the view from the cemetery myself. It is spectacular, but I didn’t stay too long because I found it sad. You can’t help but read some of the tombstones that are close to the top circular driveway (the entrance & exit) that are of children who have been lost.

One of the views from the cemetery

I left the cemetery and continued with the next leg of my road trip. Penguin is a quaint and lovely place to stop, relax and enjoy. https://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/penguin-tas

My latest work in progress, titled “Goldilocks and the 20 penguins” featuring the endearing fairy penguins. Just imagine the surprise that these penguins have experienced after their evening fishing session, to come home to find a sleepy wombat in one of their nests!!

Goldilocks and the 20 penguins

I hope your upcoming week isn’t too hectic and that you are able to take the time to relax.

The Edge of the World

After staying overnight at Arthur’s River, on Tasmania’s northwest coast, and before making my way to Corinna, I was almost blown off the “Edge of the World”!!

beaches littered with logs at The Edge of the World, Tasmania

The Edge of the World is a wild and bleak place with relentless, grey-blue, angry waves, as evidenced by large amounts, and large-in-size, debris littering the beaches. It is beautiful to stand, feel and see the power and ruggedness of the ocean and its shores absorbing the constant mercilessness of it.

The view at The Edge of the Word, Gardiner Point, Tasmania

The ocean from this point to Argentina is the longest uninterrupted stretch of ocean on Earth. Inscribed on a stone plinth at the Edge is a poem written by tourism pioneer Brian Inder (Dec 1930- Aug 2019) describing the feeling of standing at this spot, being in awe of the surroundings, and reflecting that we are all little more than a speck in the spectrum of time.

Brian Inder is a well-admired in the Tasmanian northwest tourism industry, best known for founding Tasmazia & the Village of Lower Crackpot. https://www.tasmazia.com.au/ He was also pivotal in establishing Mural Fest, The Edge of the World and Mount Roland cableway.

The calmer side of the beach

This region is known as the Arthur-Pieman Conservation area. It was home to four Aboriginal clans: Peerapper, Monegin, Taskinener and Peternidic. We do not know how many people lived here before Europeans arrived. Within just 40 years, most tribal Aborigines died of European diseases while others were killed or exiled to Flinders Island.

The largest middens are in the northwest of Tasmania. Aboriginal shell middens are distinctive mounds that contain a rich history of past Aboriginal hunting, gathering and food processing activities. Discarded shells and bone, botanical remains, ash and charcoal tell the story that the Aboriginal feasted on different type of shellfish and seabirds. The women gathered shellfish and food plants, dived for abalone, lobster and were experts at hunting seals. They dug themselves hiding spots in the cobble beaches, where they hid and waited until they saw the opportunity to pounce on an unsuspecting seal and clubbed it to death. In the early 1800s, some European sealers and whalers took Aboriginal women to help them catch seals. Some of today’s Tasmanian Aborigines have descended from these women’s relations with the sealers and whalers.

At the viewing platform there are informative information plaques

There were many little birds darting around in the bushes along the path back to the car park.

A male Superb fairy-wren
Resting place for displaced logs at the Edge of the World, Tasmania

Thank you for visiting.