Hobart has everything

Yesterday, I started the day with a coffee and a walk along the shores of Sandy Bay, Hobart, Tasmania.

Sandy Bay walkway
Sandy Bay walkway, Hobart, Tasmania

Then I met the Hobart sketching group on the other side of the Derwent River at Kangaroo Bay.

Kangaroo Bay, Rosny Park, Tasmania

I drew three houses facing the bay.  I didn’t get a chance to apply paint because I had a game of disc golf to play.

KangarooBay Jan2018

Hobart has had a disc golf course for about 30 years and regularly hosts state championships and has hosted international championships.  Disc golf is like traditional golf except you throw a disc that is similar to a frisbee but it is heavier, smaller and has sharper edges. Like golf, you aim to get it in a basket in as few of throws as possible.

The golf course is located in Austins Ferry in the Poimena Reserve, Tasmania and has stunning views.

A disc golf basket in the foreground with the Derwent River in the background and the Bowen Bridge in the distant background.
disc golf view
Another view of the Derwent River from Poimena Reserve Disc Golf Course
First throw towards a basket

Putting …

… and the happy smile when it lands in the basket!

Thanks for visiting. 🙂


Snug Falls

Snug Falls is a beautiful high waterfall on Snug River in Tasmania’s south.  It’s a 2.1km walk to the falls, about a half hour walk one way.  We haven’t had too much rain lately so the waterfall was subdued but still beautiful, peaceful and a nice escape from the heat of the day.

Snug Falls

While my friend, Rachel, cooled her feet in the water and was gazing upwards at the waterfall, I did a 2 minute line drawing of her.

Rachel cooling her feet while admiring the waterfall and serenity

On our way back to the car we stopped to pick and eat some Native Cherries, which are ripe at this time of year.  They’re a little woody in texture but really tasty.  Its botanical name is Exocarpos cupressiformis.  It has no relation to the European cherry and its fruit is actually swollen red stalk.  It is a parasite on the roots of other trees and therefore very difficult to transplant.

Native Cherry
Native Cherry or sometimes called Cherry Ballart or Cypress Cherry.  Its botanical name is Exocarpos cupressifromis.

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market November 18, 2017

As usual, there is a lot going on in Hobart this weekend, the Christmas Pageant Parade, the Point to Pinnacle and the Paul Kelly concert at Mona, to name a few.  It strikes me as strange to have a Christmas Pageant in November.  I think it must be a difficult task to explain to children why Santa Claus is here instead of in the North Pole knee deep in toys and managing gift wrapping conveyor belts running 24/7, I suppose that is why he employs elves, and that Christmas is still a month away.

The Point to Pinnacle Competition is arguably the world’s toughest half marathon (21.1 km).  The starting point is at the Wrest Point Casino, Australia’s first legal casino, opened on February 10, 1973, and it finishes on the pinnacle of Mt Wellington.  You can also do the Point to Pub 10km run/walk. It’s the same route but ends at the Ferntree Pub.  Quite a few competitors stopped at my stall, many that have traveled from the mainland of Australia and further abroad, including one couple from the UK now living in New Zealand.

Mt Wellingtonpj
Mount Wellington.  I took this photo from Lord Street, Hobart
Point to Pinnacle
A Point to Pinnacle runner nearing the finish line. 

I also met quite a few people who have taken advantage of the flight specials for the inauguration of the Adelaide – Hobart direct flights.  A lady from Melbourne, who collects everything with a kookaburra theme, bought a ‘The Three Amigos’ print.  Yesterday, she visited Richmond, Tasmania and bought a kookaburra printed bag.

The Three Amigossml
The Three Amigos

The Christmas cards are popular at this time of the year.  A Canadian from Toronto, a lady from just south of Scotland, two ladies from the UK travelling together, another lady from the UK, who had ridden on a motorbike on the mainland with her partner, he was continuing to drive the Nullarbor while she is visiting a friend in Tasmania, bought Christmas card packs.



A little boy chose an A-3 sized ‘Family Outing’ (emus driving a red mini) print for his bedroom.  I asked him how old he was and he said that he was four, but his dad said he was three, but he kept saying he was four and then his dad conceded and said that he was almost four.

Family Outing I
Family Outing

A young lady stopped at the stall and thought that surfing emus would be a perfect gift for her in-laws that live by the beach in NSW.  She showed it and various other prints to her partner using Facetime.  He shopped at Salamanca Market while sitting on a couch in Melbourne.  In the end, he agreed that indeed ‘Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania’ was the perfect gift.

Clifton Beachxsml
Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania

Today’s most popular print was a tie between: The Three Amigos and Suspended


After the market and a short recoup time, it was off to the Paul Kelly concert at MONA.  It was an awesome outdoor concert and the back-up singers, Vika and Linda Bull, were amazing too.  The seagull-behaviour intrigued me.  They flew in swooping circles above us during songs with a more ballad nature and flew away with the songs that had people up on their feet and bopping to the music.  I wonder if there has been a study done about birds and their musical preferences??Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly concert
My view at the Paul Kelly concert.  One of the ladies was wearing a hat that I think is supposed to look like you’re wearing a strawberry on your head.

A thought to ponder:  “Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.” ~Neil Gaima

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

All art prints shown are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

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!

Reflecting upon Inktober 2017

With Inktober 2017 done and dusted, I would like to reflect upon what I believe were the benefits from this experience for me.  Last year, it was easily identifiable, the discovery of platypus drawing .  This year, the positives are not as discernible, but with a little reflection I have been able to tease some out:

  1. My drawing confidence has grown.  I find drawing things to look 3-D on a 2-D plane challenging, and I think I’ve improved with all this daily practice via the Inktober challenge platform.
  2. My enjoyment of drawing with just a black Artline pen has increased.
  3. Creating tones with a black Artline pen has improved (less is more) and this developed skill has carried over into my urban sketching.
  4. I think that there has also been a tiny bit of improvement with speed and looseness.

Here are all my Inktober 2017 drawings.  Which one is your favourite?

My favourite is the hare.  I like this one best for several reasons.  I drew it when I was seriously contemplating throwing in the towel.  I drew the hare’s head and thought, “I don’t want to do Inktober anymore”, but I pushed myself to finish it off, so I drew the body really quickly.  I’m pleased with how quickly I drew this picture, the less is more concept, the suggestions drawn for the body and hence the less detailed body directs your eye to focus on the hare’s head.

My favourite Inktober drawing

I wonder what Inktober 2018 will bring???

Thanks for visiting.

With paint

Added some paint to yesterday’s sketch of 119 Macquarie Street.

119 Macquarie St paint
119 Macquarie Street’s tower, Hobart, Tasmania

I’d like to sit in the same spot and try to draw this building again.  Hopefully I’ll have more stamina and get more of the building down on paper.

Thanks for visiting.

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.

… on your mark, get set, GO!

The Inktober Challenge – Day FOUR – October 4, 2017

Somebody has asked me to paint a frog.  They want to give it to someone, who is mad about frogs, for a Christmas present.  Painting the frog itself isn’t so much of a problem, even though I don’t think I have drawn or painted a frog in my adult life, it is the composition I struggle with a lot more than actually painting a little Amphibia.  I can’t just plonk a frog on paper and have nothing around it.  I have invested a lot of think time trying to come up with an idea on how to present this little fellow.

I thought of having a frog in a somewhat suspended lily pad, suspended by the stem of a waterlily and the flower, with subtle waves below.  The Inktober Challenge is a good platform to try out composition ideas, so I thought I would test out my idea.  I temporarily forgot my idea, when I made the decision to make the lily pad bigger, which didn’t leave enough room for the flower.  Oops!  Oh well, at least I won’t be confronted with, “what do I draw today for the Inktober Challenge?” tomorrow.

I’m looking forward to painting it with watercolours, wet into wet, and seeing the unexpected resulting colours and textures that will appear,  but firstly, I have to figure out how to present this little cutie on paper.

Day 4

Day THREE – October 3, 2017

I think this is the first turtle I have drawn in my adult life.  I want to incorporate some swimming turtles into a whale painting, so what a perfect opportunity to try drawing new creatures in my brand-new, different coloured paged, cool sketch book.


Day TWO – October 2, 2017

This is a quick sketch of my house.  With this picture I would like to add some shading and depth, if time allows.

my house

Day ONE – October 1, 2017

On Sunday, I met up with some good friends and we did some urban sketching, seeking protection from the wind by sitting in a bus shelter and enjoying the warmth of the sunshine.  I sketched the Town Hall from an Elizabeth Street viewpoint.  If I get a chance, I’d like to add some shading to create some more depth.  The slope of the street looks like we are possibly in San Francisco (lol) but I like this exaggeration because I think it adds some drama to the drawing.


As the days aren’t showing any signs of slowing down and a new one continues to roll on  in every 24 hours, there’s no stopping Inktober.  I’m trying to keep pace with it even though the imagery of being defeated by a treadmill tries to sneak into my consciousness.

treadmill fall

Are you doing the Inktober Challenge or struggle with composition too???

Thanks for reading. 🙂


Where are the Clowns???

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. It 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.

Arthur Circus B
One of the quaint cottages surrounding the green space of Arthur Circus.

Arthur Circus is located in Battery Point.  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, were built for officers of the garrison.  When the cottages were originally built in the 1800s, they probably consisted of just two main rooms.  They are in stark contrast to some of the extravagant houses in the Battery Point neighbourhood, many that, including the Arthur Circus’ cottages, are heritage listed by the National Trust.

Battery Point House
A grand house located very close to Arthur Circus in Battery Point, Tasmania.

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.  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, and this is where our Urban Sketch Weekend commenced!

Arthur Cir
Let the sketching begin! Arthur Circus in Battery Point, Tasmania
Arthur C
Yours truly, sketching in Arthur Circus, before we sought refuge from the rain and wind.

Friday, June 23rd, urban sketchers from Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart met and began sketching in Arthur Circus.

jackman Mc
My rain affected drawing

The weather started off promising but soon the rains came so we were in and out of cafes, dodging the rain for most of the day.  Regardless, it was such fun and some great sketches were produced.

Inside the toasty warm Jackman & McRoss Cafe, Battery Point, sketched by the very talented Janice from Melbourne
Jane and I were sketched by the very talented Evelyn from Melbourne in Jackman & McRoss Cafe

The day consisted of fabulous food, conversations and sharing.

chocolate eclair
I ordered, drew and ate a chocolate eclair
jackman mccr
Some of the day’s sketches
In the evening we ate at Lighthouse Habour Cafe. This is my yummy meal, with my paints close by. One of the hazards of being an urban sketcher is that you firstly paint your food and then eat an un-hot meal. 🙂

In the evening, there was laughter and joy, as we challenged ourselves to 5-minute portrait sketches of each other.  It was timed, and exactly 5 minutes per sketch and not one second more!  This was a first for me and, I must say, I loved it!

My 5 minute sketch of Angela
My 5 minute sketch of Evelyn
My 5 minute sketch of Marta
Some of the 5 minute sketches produced.

We took home the mini-portraits of ourselves.  A nice souvenir of a fabulous and memorable day spent in picturesque Battery Point, Tasmania.

The Emo Perspective

An international, enthusiastic group of twelve, including myself, enrolled in Liz Steel’s urban sketching course.  On day two of the course, we visited Emo (pronounced A-mo) Villa, in the Vicenza area of northern Italy for the day’s urban sketching assignment.

Emo tour guide

While Monica, our lovely tour guide was giving us the history of the building, I did a quick sketch to capture and familiarise myself with this very long building with eleven archways on either side of the central main house.

Emo pen drawing
An extremely long, grand villa with 11 archways on both sides of main dwelling.

Frescoes adorn most of the inside walls. The “holy” frescoes hang on the north walls above the door in each room.  Many frescoes were painted to create the illusion of making the room look bigger than it actually is. For example, painting three dimensional columns, windows and having legs/feet hanging off balconies.

emo fresco grand
This scene is two-dimensional but painted so it looks like the columns are three-dimensional – but they’re not.

In one room, the walls are covered with “Grotesque” art. Grotesque comes from the word, “grotta”, meaning “cave”. Apparently, the ground collapsed in front of the Coliseum in Italy and the men that disappeared into the ground, discovered a large underground room full of this Grotesque style of art. It was a very common art form in the 15th and 16th centuries. I love this image on one of the Emo Villa walls, the shape and the sense of movement with the necks.

Emo Grotesque art

The walls in one room was full of frescoes depicting artists working on their various crafts.  It impressed me that all the artists were females.

emo frsco women

After our guided tour, we observed Liz drawing Emo Villa, which was designed by Andrea Palladio. Palladio is the only architect that an architectural style has been named after. Other architectural styles have been named after eras, not a person. Palladio means “Protector of the Arts”. Palladio respected Roman tradition and his buildings strictly adhered to symmetry.

emo demonstration

The sketching assignment’s focus was on perspective, drawing vanishing points but not worrying if they go off the page. I’m frustrated that I didn’t take a photo of the end of the building because I am quite certain there was a statue at the far left too. This would have further magnified the perspective and added an element of drama to the painting. I would think that some of the statue would have been above the roof line, which, once again, I think would add drama to the picture.

emo drawing1
Drawing on site using a Lami ink pen and water colour. Some of my lines depicting vanishing points are visible. Drawing perspectives is tricky business! :-/
emo drawing
Finished the painting of Emo Villa back at the hotel.
emo perspective
Photo of the Emo perspective I was trying to draw.

Thank you for reading this post.  I’d love to hear from you.  Have you tried to draw an Italian villa? Do you struggle drawing perspectives? Does your brain try to override your eye?