Normally today I would be running my Pj Paintings stall at Salamanca Market but due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, like most of the world, it has closed down. The Hobart City Council launched a Salamanca Market online shop, attached to their website, to try to help stallholders with their income losses: https://salamancamarketstore.com.au/. It looks great! I have a few items on view in the new Salamanca Market Store and all my images at http://www.pjpaintings.com
Instead of my usual Saturday activity, I got my sketching stool out and plonked it down in the kitchen…
I have a collection of teas and teapots that sit on my counter. Today, I noticed how colourful the current collection looks, so I drew it up, straight in with ink, quickly and trying to not worry about accuracy, and then added paint.
Thanks for stopping by and take care during this pandemic.
A message came across Urban Sketchers Hobart’s Facebook feed from David Steeden, from Manchester, UK, asking if anybody would like to join up for a sketch when he was in Hobart, Tasmania. I recognised, and knew, that this is a name of significance in the urban sketcher world! I organised a Sunday meet-up at Franklin Square in Hobart, and then much to my disappointment, I couldn’t make it because I had to do gallery duty, which I normally enjoy doing but…..
Luckily, David was available to meet up on Monday, which we did. We had a brilliant, peaceful time sketching in Bellerive, Tasmania. Firstly, we sketched Fair View, an ornate house on Victoria Esplanade, Bellerive.
The Victorian sandstone residence was built by the O’May family, pioneers of the Bellerive ferry service. The O’Mays emigrated from Scotland in 1856, settled in Bellerive and in 1864, Thomas and Robert started rowing passengers across the Derwent River in an open boat. The O’May brothers ran scheduled crossings and their reputation for reliability stood them in good stead culminating to purchases of larger vessels.
Then we wandered down the street for a coffee. After a coffee at Gastown East in Kangaroo Bay, Bellerive, half a block down the street, we sketched the mounted remnant of the Sydney Harbour Ferry, built in 1911, arriving in 1975 and broken up in 1991.
Some of the helpful tips that David imparted are:
Draw vertical lines for feature corner stone work and then join together
Draw extra ink spots in random corner of pavers and bricks to make them look more realistic and grounded
Draw dark in between fence posts
At home, I added paint to today’s drawings.
Thanks David for an awesome afternoon of sketching.
Hobart’s monthly sketch meet took place at Wendover Place, New Town, Tasmania. I chose to draw and paint the historic Wendover House.
I drew some outlines with a watercolour pencil, trying to keep in the forefront of my mind not to draw too much roof. I think if you can nail the roofs, the rest of the structure works out. It’s still a bit off but the accuracy is improving. I then did ink outlines with my Fude pen, which I’m loving.
I was going to add paint, only to discover I had forgotten it. So, I then decided to draw more and make the unusual fence the feature of the drawing, rather than just leaving it as a suggestion.
I found painting it a little tedious so I left some unpainted. It is always difficult to decide when enough is enough. I’m happy with just the little bit of green I’ve added to the hedge. I like the white left behind.
It was a great afternoon spent with ten urban sketchers.
Yesterday, we had a great turnout, and hence, an invigorating urban sketching session, reinforcing the saying “the more, the merrier” as was such the case. We dispersed, picked our building to tackle and went to work.
I tried this duplex on Elizabeth Street. I took the photo about an hour afterwards, so the shadows had changed somewhat. I still ran into some perspective difficulties, but such is the learning process.
Afterwards, we had a coffee and our throw-down at the State Cinema, a very cool, stylishly restored cinema that has been screening moving pictures since 1913. Most of the Hobart sketchers group took on the Lyndhurst ornate house (feature photo). We had two new participants and a sketcher return from “their best holiday ever”, visiting Iran. We took turns perusing her amazing travel sketchbook and photo book. Stunning.
Upon my return home, I found myself still in the painting mode. So, I painted an orange-bellied parrot (thanks to Stuart J. Smith for giving me permission to use his photograph). Orange-bellied parrots are critically endangered with less than fifty parrots thought to exist in the wild today. With all the horrible bush fires, I wonder if they’ve fallen victim to the ferocious flames and if that number is even lower now?
They are not endemic to Tasmania but it is one of only three species of parrot to migrate. The orange-bellied parrot breeds in Tasmania and it winters in South Australia and Victoria.
Last year, at Salamanca Market, I met a retired university professor from the US and he is an avid birdwatcher. He has come to Tasmania every year for two or three decades. He bought virtually all the original paintings of endemic birds I painted. He’s back in Tasmania and sought me out at the market on the weekend. He said that all my paintings are framed and hanging at his residence. He’s 83 years old. He told me that they won’t let him rent a car/drive but some Tasmanian University contacts are taking him birdwatching and he’ll be doing some work there. Anyways, he was disappointed I didn’t have any original bird paintings and asked me to paint “lots” during the week. The Orange-bellied parrot is the first. It’s a start…
It is the last day of 2019, and among other things, I’ve spent some of it doing something that will hopefully put smiles on faces in the new year.
I did some more work on this commissioned piece for the Rotary Club’s 200th anniversary. They have chosen The Great Gatsby as their theme to celebrate this significant milestone. Seeing this finished will bring a smile to my face and hopefully theirs!
I added the finishing touches to this painting. This is the first painting of a series of three. These paintings will be great for a beach shack.
My new Sailor Fude pen arrived today. I couldn’t wait to try it, so out I went and drew this house. I should have set myself up on the footpath (sidewalk) but I couldn’t motivate myself. The steering wheel really got in the way. I couldn’t really get the hang of making different line thicknesses with the pen but with a bit more practice, I should be able to.
Once again, I got the right side of house’s perspective wrong…. but I’m happy with the liveliness of the picture.
Happy New Year everybody! I hope 2020 provides the world with a lot of things to smile about.
I’m trying to stick to my goal of drawing Bellerive houses. I postponed venturing out onto the footpath (sidewalk) until later in the evening on the 24th of December to avoid all the foot traffic from the Hurricanes Big Bash game against the Melbourne Renegades at the Blundstone Oval, which by the way, the Tasmania Hurricanes were the winners. 🙂 Often, I’m at the oval watching the game but not this time because my cricket-bud is overseas visiting England.
Anyways, I settled myself on my stool, and no sooner than after drawing my first couple lines, a car, towing a boat, pulled up just behind me, which entailed a lot of unpacking, unloading a dog and consequently dog-barking activity. Eventually, the dog was brought inside because it was not happy with me sitting in front of its house and wasn’t about to stop trying to communicate this to me.
After all the Lamy pen bleeding debacle with my last drawing,
this time I tried a different approach and drew some initial lines with a water colour pencil and then inked it with an Artline pen. Using an Artline pen is nowhere near the pleasure of using an ink nibbed pen. I might give myself a belated Christmas present and order a Fude pen (a Liz Steel, Australian urban sketcher guru, recommendation). I’m not very happy with this drawing (got the side perspective wrong again) but it is part of my skill-development journey, whether I like it or not. Also, Liz Steel says that one of the most common mistakes people make is draw too much roof. I concur.
I hope you’ve had a pleasant day digesting and working off Christmas lunches or dinners, or both.
This year, our new CEO decided to increase our parking fees from zero dollars per year to $1500 per year. Consequently, I decided to park and walk to work. There are a few free parking places along some of the streets on the Glebe in Hobart, Tasmania but you have to be early to get them. Consequently, I find myself arriving at work ridiculously early, a few minutes after 7 am! I decided that I should try to smell the roses and draw on my way to work. A lofty idea but it’s turned out to be more difficult for me to do than I thought. But this morning, I did stop and smell some roses and drew this house on Shoobridge Street.
Because there was little planning involved, I did the drawing while standing, which adds to the difficulty, the sun was shining at a low, diagonal angle so I drew the house straight-on (so I could see!!) and I only had my Lamy pen on hand.
I wish Lamy ink didn’t bleed so much. A little bleed is nice but too much is not. In other words, settle down, Lamy! As soon as water touches it, it turns the area inky.
The perspective was particularly challenging and my picture doesn’t convey how much I was looking up at the house but hopefully it has captured the essence of one of many Hobart’s charming houses. I’ll keep trying.
Around the world, it’s a familiar story. Older houses, full of character, that are purchased and/or inherited by the next generation, are being bulldozed down and replaced by sterile lots of four, eight or more units. Historic houses are disappearing at the rate of knots, and with them, the charm of neighbourhoods.
I live in Bellerive, Tasmania, where there are many gorgeous houses with iron laced verandahs and decorative facades. When I was walking and admiring the houses in my neighbourhood, I saw a very senior lady using a walker to slowly make her way around her large yard. I thought to myself, whoever inherits this will probably knock it down and sadly replace it with twelve units. At that moment, I decided I should try to capture these houses on paper before they disappear. I’ll be posting my drawings here if you’d like to follow my progress with this project – Houses of Bellerive.
Today’s house is this one that I found on York Street. Judging from the carefully chosen and painted colour scheme, this house was once loved.