Look at what my friend, Sarah, found on the main street of Hamilton, Tasmania, Australia! Aren’t they just gorgeous!
Hamilton is a small Georgian and early Victorian town in the Derwent Valley, approximately 70 km northwest of Hobart. https://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/hamilton-tas It hasn’t been overly-commercialised and therefore provides the opportunity to get a better feel for what village life was like in the 1830s and 1840s with many well-preserved historic buildings.
It has a population of 300, is of historical significance, has an awesome bakery and now two gorgeous emu residents, which I can’t wait to visit and share a cup of tea with them!
I have been lucky enough to become a co-op member of Artefacts Inc Gallery, located in the historic Salamanca Place in Hobart, Tasmania.
The art gallery is located in the docks area of Hobart. It is lined by a long row of Georgian sandstone warehouses that were built in the 1830s by hundreds of convicts, who were used to quarry out the cliffs behind Salamanca Place, cut the stone and build the row of sandstone warehouses to store fruit, grain, wool, whale oil and imported goods from around the world.
I’ve been having some fun drawing the Salamanca Arts Centre.
I hope you get a chance to visit Salamanca Place and see the Georgian built warehouses, kunanyi and the Artefacts Inc Gallery in Hobart, Tasmania.
Wishing you an awesome upcoming week , from PJ Paintings
It’s almost three years ago now that I sketched an idea for a painting of fairy penguins. I feel excited that I finally have started it today.
My first little fairy penguin painted
The fairy penguins are the smallest of all the penguins. They breed in Australia, including Tasmania and Bruny Island. I’ve visited Bruny Island several times and seen them come onto shore. They are just gorgeous and it is such a privilege to see their cute, waddling selves.
I hope that you have a chance to visit magical Bruny Island and see these little fellows in real life too. But, if not, there’s a two-dimensional large colony coming on shore and heading up to their nests and here are some fairy penguins in Victoria, Australia.
In other parts of the world, snow probably isn’t a big deal but here in Australia it is and it makes front page news. There are many who have never seen snow. We have Queenslanders (pre-COVID) visit Tasmania for that very reason, to see snow for the first time in their lives.
I’ve been told that there used to be snow on kunanyi/Mt Wellington for months at a time during the winter.
Nowadays, snow is only there for a few days before it all melts away and disappears, just like the Tasmanian emus, which were hunted to extinction about 150 years ago. But, I have recently discovered that my emus are not the only honorary Tasmanian snow-loving emus around! Chook Chook, an adopted mainland emu, a Tasmanian resident, living in Kaoota, is also a snow-loving, honorary Tasmanian emu.
Chook Chook is 19 years old! Their life expectancy is 20 years and he is still going strong. Chook Chook was advertised in the Tasmanian Mercury when he was a chick for $10. The wet or snow doesn’t worry Chook Chook at all. When the garden hose comes out, he comes running to be sprayed. Emus are actually good swimmers and seek out water to cool themselves in the hot outback of Australia.
The Yaraka Hotel in outback Queensland, Australia, has banned entry to Kevin and Carol emus, and as a consequence gained worldwide notoriety, as the story has gone viral. The world is in need of some light-hearted news during the COVID-19 pandemic and this story seems to be fulfilling some of this demand.
A local Animal Rescuer, Leanne Byrne, found an abandoned emu nest of eggs and raised the clutch of emus. Kevin’s and Carol’s brothers and sisters have moved on, but this pair remained and endeared themselves to the locals and visitors alike.
A rift developed after Kevin and Carol learnt how to climb stairs to gain entry into the pub.
The pair caused havoc by eating guests’ food and leaving messy, smelly deposits behind, which the pub owner wasn’t too thrilled about having to clean up each time it happened, and apparently emu toileting needs are frequent!
In order to maintain a good working relationship, the owner of the pub set up emu barricades, citing ‘bad emu behaviour’ as making this a necessary action.
Kevin and Carol aren’t the only emus strutting there stuff around town. I’ve captured other emus in their strutting action too.
Take care everybody and be careful around misbehaving emus.
After Friday’s inspirational walk in Lenah Valley, besotted by hedges, I wanted to re-visit a well-known hedge in my neighbourhood.
I got up early on Saturday morning and set out with my sketching gear. It was a balmy 4 degrees when I left the house and as I was making my way down to this house, I spotted a familiar friend, the Bridgewater Jerry.
During the winter, the Bridgewater Jerry occurs, on average, once or twice a week. Tasmanians like to think it is unique but in reality a lot of places around the world experience similar fogs, it is just that we have named ours. It is believed the term “jerry’’ came from London where it was thieves’ slang for mist or fog and the term was transported to Tasmania with the convicts.
This weekend’s fog had fuzzy edges but sometimes the edges are so sharp and crisp, giving it such an amazing 3-D appearance of a ribbon curving and winding its way in front of kunyani. It looks so incredible that I forget to take a photo of it each time!
At night, in the cooler months, cold air drains down the mountains and collects in the Derwent Valley. Fog will form if this air is moist and cool enough. Then Bridgewater Jerry drains out of the valley in the mornings. The fog mainly affects the Derwent, northern and western suburbs of Hobart, but occasionally it reaches the Eastern Shore. I have seen it once travel all the way across the river to Tranmere.
Some of the hedges I saw reminded me of the Crocodile Dundee knife scene, “You call that a hedge? This is a hedge!”
There is a house along the Esplanade and Derwent River in Bellerive that is referred to the “wave-hedge house’.
My fingers were numb so I sketched it as fast as I could and painted it when I got home.
I wanted to exaggerate the colour of the hedge, almost give it a bit of an abstract look and make the hedge the dominant feature of the painting. I wish I had drawn it from a more side on angle… another time.
Two days ago, my friend and I went for a walk in Lenah Valley, a suburb in Hobart, Tasmania. The sky was a brilliant cobalt blue, the sun was sparkling, the greens were singing and as we walked by houses, they were beckoning “sketch me!”, “sketch me!” but we were going for a coffee and a walk, so we tried to ignore them.
We came across this round-about, which started as a wool-bombing spot and has remained as a community sculptural/art-communication spot. The decorations and little driver is regularly changed.
And then we came across this house. There was something about this scene that made us pull out our sketch books. The angle, the leaning mailbox, the sheep and the juxtaposition of the tall tree behind the house.
I ran out of room to really show how small the house looked in front of the huge tree behind it.
Then we continued our walk and we were awe-struck by hedges. They seemed alive, moving, writhing green waves. They were entrancing.
There are so many gorgeous suburbs in Hobart with glorious houses to sketch. I hope that if you haven’t visited Hobart, that one day you will be able to.
Stay safe and take care.
Thanks for visiting and sharing the unfurling artist’s journaling and journeying.
I had an appointment in Collinsvale, Tasmania. I thought it would take about an hour to get there, but it only took 27 minutes! Collinsvale feels like a whole different world, like you’re in the wilderness, but it’s so close to the city (closer than I remembered!).
The beauty about being an urban sketcher is that if you’re early, or if the person you’re meeting is late, you always have something productive to do with your time. I parked in front of this house, which is located on the main street, just after the primary school, and sketched it.
I approached sketching it in my usual manner by firstly drawing the big shapes with a water colour pencil, then inking it with a Fude ink pen and then adding the washes. Liz Steel has often said that drawing too much roof is a common error, one that I frustratingly find myself repeatedly doing. I have to try to keep this in the forefront of my mind. I think if you can nail the roof, then the rest of the structure more accurately reflects the real life building’s perspectives and sizes of the different sections. What is your urban sketching Achilles’ Heel?
I really couldn’t see what was happening with the front door. I think it had stained glass but I was too far away to be able to see.
It was lovely to re-visit Collinsvale. I hope that one day you are able to take the small detour from Hobart and visit this quaint suburb.
Having been in lock-down for several weeks, Kingston, and its beach, was an enticing location to personally deliver a website order. There were a lot of people out and about! While doing the beach track, I came across this! Something every beach should have! It is awesome and gave me joy seeing that the council fostered such a creative and beautiful approach to a common problem.
The Kingborough Council came up with an innovative response to residents’ request for a Lost & Found receptacle for goggles, towels and such things left behind on the beach. The council asked local students to design a dual purpose sculpture. The students endeavoured to have the sculpture reflect the local land and sea scape, culminating in a stylised light house concept, which includes some smaller collection spaces for little items found. The choice of colour was inspired by the Southern Aurora (Southern Lights) that puts on a spectacular show of green lights.
Lets have a look inside….
The students also wanted to reflect the traditional owners of Iutruwita/Tasmania, and use reclaimed She-oak (Allocasuarina verticillata) for the sculpture. A She-oak limb that was broken during an extreme storm in 2018, was retrieved from the beach, and used. She-oaks were an important resource for the Tasmanian Aboriginal people for food, shelter and fire.
Too often a problem is addressed in a boring, conservative manner. Art, and its economic contributions, are being better recognised and valued. It gives me such joy to see more public art and that these teenagers had an opportunity to produce something so quirky, beautiful, unique and useful.
I did an indoor-urban sketch of a corner of my lounge room. In this corner, some of my favourite things are displayed but they are difficult to see. So, I would like to introduce them to you and tell their stories, starting with the painting sitting on the coffee table.
I bought this painting when I was visiting my son when he worked for three years in Ethiopia. I asked his driver if he could take me to to an art supply store. He told me there wasn’t any in Addis Ababa and he took me to what may have been the only art gallery in the capital city. In the entrance, photos of past American presidents visiting the gallery greet you, giving the immediate impression that the gallery is highly esteemed and has a good reputation.
This painting moved me and I immediately connected with it. I think the composition is brave. I’m not sure what it is, on the side background but I think that is a courageous way to deal with that space. The lady’s face looks so strong and confident, yet there is a tear balancing on a lower eyelid. Her face holds my attention and I find it difficult to take my eyes away from hers. I like the colour scheme of black, blue and red too.
I decided I had to buy it otherwise it will be a lifelong regret. When I was paying for it, I asked if I could have some information about the artist. She replied that she didn’t know who the artist was. She was the lady in the photos standing beside US President Clinton and Obama, so I was rather surprised that she didn’t know who the artist of a painting she was selling was. I asked if she could find out and email me because I’d really like to know. I never did find out. I also, asked if they had bubble wrap because it was going back to Australia and to my horror it came back wrapped in newspaper. There are some marks on the painting from the newspaper but I don’t mind because it just adds to the authenticity of the African experience and I love it.
I loved my time in Ethiopia and i love my souvenir painting.