PjPaintings at Salamanca Market September 9, 2017

The temperature wasn’t too bad today.  I wore two layers rather than the three layers of everything Tasmanian winter weather often demands.  The majority of today’s market goers were wearing jackets, coats and beanies but obviously not everybody feels the cold as there was a woman wearing a sleeveless summer’s dress with a great big red flower in her hair.

The stall on one side of me, the Little Lissa Loo stall, has a manikin to display one of the many awesome dresses made by the stall holder.  There was a little boy that was about two years old and he was mesmerized by it.  He squatted down to look at it at eye level, lifted the rim of the hat, held its hand, gently moved it around, patted its arm and feet. It was very cute to watch.

Little Lissa Loo
Little Lissa Loo’s manikin

A young lady, doing her Honours Degree at the University of Tasmania’s Music Conservatory, and her sister visiting from Melbourne, stopped at the pjpaintings stall.  The tango dancing emus caught her eye as she plays the double base for a Tango group.   She also plays in the Canberra Orchestra and sometimes the Melbourne Orchestra.  Her sister sings.  They looked like they were having a lovely time together and took a “Two to Tango” print for their Tasmanian souvenir.

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Two to Tango – a limited edition print of one of my paintings available at http://www.pjpaintings.com  Because I paint with watercolours, I firstly masked out the emus and painted the background.  I then tore and pasted a bunch of treble clefs on the dress and then finished the painting.

A “Helping Hands” postcard, from the Cheer ‘em Up series, is going to Germany, to a sister whose name means ‘bird’.   “The Supremes” is going to cheer somebody who’s in the hospital recovering from a cracked spine.  She cracked it while sweeping! and hence, the diagnosis of osteoporosis.  Apparently she is a beautiful singer and sings in the shower at the hospital.

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Helping Hands
The Supremes – these dresses also have received the treble clef treatment 

I met a couple who had bought an A-1 sized print (a very BIG print) of “Poppy Fields” in Melbourne.  I find it very special, and a real sense of joy, to meet people who are living with my art.  They really enjoy the vibrancy the red brings to their lounge room.  They are taking home a small “Who says emus can’t fly?!” print of emus riding a motorcycle and one is wearing a bright red dress.

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Poppy Fields – now only available in A-4, A-2 or A-1 size.  The A-3 limited edition size has sold out.  This painting I did for an art exhibition titled “Fearless Fabric”.  It was a requirement to integrate fabric into the painting.  I pasted fabric just below the house and in other parts of the painting.  The fabric has diagonal lines on it, which makes it a little easier to spot, but it’s still challenging to see!

A lady from Newcastle, NSW stopped by and purchased “Who, Who, Who are You? II for a friend, for no special reason other than for being a friend, which is special enough of a reason.

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Who, Who, Who are You? II

A mother and daughter from Melbourne stopped by and are taking back with them some prints of owls and so is somebody else from Perth, W.A.  A man from Scotland, who used to own a mini, bought “Family Outing”.

Family Outing I
Family Outing

Today’s best seller was: Who, Who, Who are You? II

A thought to ponder:  “Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all.” ― Ray Bradbury

Thanks for reading and wishing you many happy, creative moments, from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market!  🙂


Salamanca Market July 1, 2017

At 1 degree Celsius, it was a cold start at Salamanca Market. My toes are still unthawing! 🙂 Despite the cold, people were out and about. The Festival of Voices has started and the Australian Society of Micro Biologists is having a conference in Hobart this weekend.
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Feeling rather chilly at the Pjpaintings stall, Salamanca Market.
I chatted with a couple living on the mainland of Australia, but the man had lived about 10 years in Canada. Most of that time he lived in Nova Scotia, but he lived a few months in the Northwest Territories. They moved there in the winter! That would be a shock to the system. Despite temperatures well below zero, he said he thought winter was better than the summer because the warm weather brought a relentless and enormous amount of mosquitoes and black flies. He left Australia with an Australian accent, picked up the Canadian accent, but when he returned to Australia at 15 years of age, the Australian accent slipped back effortlessly.
I told him that both my boys had Canadian accents until they started school, when in a matter of a couple of weeks, they were speaking with an Australian accent. People used to be quite bewildered when they heard one speaking with an Australian accent and the other with a Canadian accent, when the youngest hadn’t started school yet. This seems like an appropriate place to wish the Canadians a Happy Canada Day, celebrating all the wonders of the special place that Canada is.
I met two young ladies from San Francisco. They described the emus as adorable. A couple bought “Spanish Eyes (Red)” to send to a friend living in the U.K., and a lady, down for the weekend, is taking back to “Burnie Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania” and “Beauty Queens”. Another original platypus picture, painted with Quink Ink went, along with some little 3×5” Cheer ‘em Up postcards.
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Spanish Eyes II (Red) with treble clef collage work on Mr Emu’s waistcoat and the top of Ms Emu’s dress.
My new friend from the Devonport Dental Surgery visited the stall again. She has “Duck Crossing” and “Helping Hands” hanging up in her surgery. It helps put smiles on faces and make the experience of going to the dentist a little more light hearted and pleasant. This time she bought “Snowbirds”. She wants to keep changing things around so that there are new images to help bring smiles to people’s faces.
This print is titled “Snowbirds” and is also a greeting card. Both are available online, at http://www.pjpaintings.com
A gentleman, carrying a rather large box of fresh vegetables, stopped by and bought “Rising Above It” and told me that he volunteers somewhere where counselling is available. I can’t remember where. Nevertheless, he told me that “Thunder” (the print of the two elephants) is hanging up in the counselling room and that the counsellor refers to it to help convey the idea of individuality and being yourself or something along that line. So, my art is also serving as a counselling device.
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Print titled Thunder! available at http://www.pjpaintings.com
There was a four way tie for today’s best sellers: The Three Amigos, Thunder!, White Faced Scops Owls and Who, Who, Who are You? II
A thought to ponder: “Art is literacy of the heart” ~Elliot Eisner
Wishing you many happy, creative moments, from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market

Love, love, love Venice!

Words and photos cannot do Venice justice.  It is magical, ancient and charming. I would love to be able to do an art residency here. Imagine that!!! For me, that would bring the saying “I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven” to reality.

The Grand Canal, Venice

At every turn, when meandering through Venice, there’s a building or scene that I would LOVE to paint.



During our wanders, a set of magnets caught my eye. The shopkeeper asked if I spoke French?  I said, “yes” and we then conversed in French because French is easier than English for her because French and Italian languages are like cousins she explained.

Magnets depicting Amaranta De Francisci’s artwork

There was a “no China” sign in the shop.  She explained that most magnets sold in Venice are made in China but these are Italian, painted by the Italian artist Amaranta De Francisci. That’s what attracted me to these magnets. I could see that they were not made in China. I love this Italian artist’s work and I also came to the realisation that I love speaking my first language, French.   The past few years, I’ve been semi-regularly practising my French by Googling sites that list common French phrases. It has helped rejuvenate my French, that, and my quite regular conversations with French speaking tourists at Salamanca Market, and now, in Italy.

One of many gorgeous leather handbags

There are beautiful shops with quality craftsmen here. I saw a pair of exquisitely crafted, ankle height, red leather boots to die for. Unfortunately we couldn’t stop to shop. When I went back the next day, there was a thick metal shutter hiding them out of sight. 😞😞 I wanted to atleast get a photo of them. There are so many amazing leather goods, clothing, masks, quills and ink nib pens, and food, and prices are better than in Tasmania, Australia. Tasmania is an expensive island to live on.

I loved everything about Venice, even the chorus of suitcases rattling over the cobblestones, which usually started at 3am in the morning.  Venice, I hope I will be back again to spend more time with you. 💙💜💚💛

Ideal working conditions – not

Today was our second day in Venice, Italy, and words or photographs cannot do it justice.  It is just stunning here.

Annette and I hit the cobblestones early this morning, with our art gear and set ourselves up in front of the Scuola Grande Di San Rocco.  This building is massive, intricate and complex.  The man sitting at the front, helps in showing how big this building is.

Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice, Italy
Side view of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.  The photo shows how much the eaves on top of the columns protrude from the building.
Some of the incredible detail of this building, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco

One of the things that makes urban sketching so challenging is the working conditions are usually less than ideal. You are outdoors, contending with heat or wind and insects, you’re not sitting comfortably if you’re sitting, often you’re standing, you’re balancing a sketch pad, trying to draw straightish lines without having your arm on a surface and usually you have a short period of time to capture the scene on paper. But it is these difficulties which help to create loose and lively artwork.  The charm of an urban sketch is its wonkiness, looseness and liveliness.

Sketched in plein air with blue watercolour pencil.
At the hotel, I used an Artline 0.1 pen to add outlines and then applied watercolour. From the photo I couldn’t see what colours the square, circle and rectangular shapes were, nor could I remember. So, back I went wandering through the streets of Venice (such a hardship! -not!!!) and took note of the colours and also noticed the pattern in front of the door that I had not seen earlier.
The left hand side of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice.

Tomorrow we’re jumping on a train to Vicenza, Italy to attend the Meet ‘n Greet start of Liz Steel’s Urban Sketching workshop. Woo-hoo!