National Eucalypt Day

Happy National Eucalypt Day!

I must admit that this day, unbeknownst to me, has passed me by my whole life but this year I know about it so I will endeavour to hug a gum tree and thank it for being what it is – wonderful.

National Eucalypt Day celebrates eucalypts and the important place that these unique trees hold in the hearts and lives of Australians annually on the 23rd of March.

I often paint eucalypts, and for some reason that I haven’t been able to figure out why yet, I feel very peaceful when painting their soft green leaves. I like painting the gumnuts too because with artistic licence you can add so many different colours into the mix, which makes it fun. The flowers are more tedious and not as much fun to paint but they are worth the effort because they are such an outstanding, colourful feature of the trees.

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Scarlet Robins

Take care, PjPaintings

Running in Circles

The emus are running around in circles!! Salamanca Market is closed today and the emus don’t know what to do!

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this painting is titled “A Fashion af-Flair” 
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this painting is titled “Walking with Flair”

Both of my paintings are available as high quality prints at http://www.pjpaintings.com

Take care everybody, Patricia

No Market for me on March 14th

I had the car packed on Friday, ready to go for Saturday’s Salamanca Market, but at the 11th hour I decided not to go because of the Coronavirus. I imagine that it will be officially cancelled next week because Prime Minister Morrison of Australia announced that starting tomorrow, gatherings of over 500 are to be cancelled. I’m not sure, but that is my guess.

In the meantime, it gave me some time to paint and finish off some of the paintings that I have started.

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I’ve started a “Down by the Seaside” series. I think I will name this one “Footsies”
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There’s a hole in my stocking, dear Liza, dear Liza!!
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…. and I’m trying to paint some baby wombats

Take care everybody from Pj Paintings

Girls Up Front

It’s International Women’s Day and it is well worth celebrating women.

More women are moving into leadership and executive positions in traditionally male-dominated industries.  For the past 30 years, women have earned more bachelor’s degrees than men and are also employed as long as males (McKinsey & Company 2018). Women make up 49 per cent of the global workforce, but only 10.9 per cent have senior executive positions among the world’s largest 500 companies.

Researchers still don’t know exactly why companies with women perform better but it is worth reflecting upon on International Women’s Day.

Stronger business and economic results

Studies support that recruiting women boosts companies’ bottom line. Research into Fortune 500 companies who had more women on their boards financially outperformed companies with less women.

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More job satisfaction for all

Gender balance in the workplace is associated with positive organisational outcomes for all. A study by the Centre for Creative Leadership and Watermark found that more women in the workplace improves work satisfaction for both women and men.

Women make more supportive bosses

One study revealed that both sexes with female bosses said they felt their employer was more committed to their career development, compared to those having a male boss. A study by an American global analytics firm Gallup found those who work for female managers were more engaged in their workplace and suffered less burnout.

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Increased employee retention

Studies have also revealed that organisations with more women also attract and retain more female employees.

Women aid creativity and improve a company’s status

Studies have also identified that companies with women in top management positions experience more ‘innovation intensity’ and produce 20 per cent more patents than teams with male leaders and are also associated with higher status. Fortune’s most respected companies have twice as many women in senior management than less reputable companies.

The radio station I listen to, Triple J, has been celebrating International Women’s Day all week. Their motto for the week is “Girls Up Front”. I love this saying and I often wonder what state the world would be in if ‘girls had been up front’ more for the past three centuries???

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Happy International Women’s Day everybody!

Lemons or Lemonade???

Yesterday, I turned on the washing machine, went upstairs and merrily got to work getting things ready for the market, while unbeknownst to me, my basement was being filled with water, not my washing machine! When I went downstairs, I walked into a LOT of water. Everything’s under control now and the industrial fans are whirring away.

My lounge room is full of books, supplies and art stuff. My entire art room was flooded but virtually everything was up off the floor, so there is minimal damage. Thankfully, I went downstairs when I did. It could have been worse. At one point, I contemplated going outside to do some gardening.

As a consequence, unfortunately, I didn’t get to the market today, but I did get to do some painting. It was a real treat and fun to paint emus, especially since my emus have been Op-shopping and have purchased so many new, very funky outfits for themselves.

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I’ve almost finished another one. My industrial fans and I are still making lemonade!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your weekend is resembling lemonade, not lemons.

The Study of Emu Poo

The Tasmanian Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae deimenensis), now extinct, was endemic to Tasmania. It is reported to have been similar in shape to the Australia’s mainland emu but smaller and darker (Dove 1924; Green 1989; Le Souëf 1904). This subspecies lived in Tasmania’s wild until about 1865, and a captive bird lived until 1873 (Green 1989; Le Souëf 1904). The Tasmanian emus suffered the fate of extinction before the thylacine, the Tasmanian tiger. The bird was hunted relentlessly when Europeans were clearing and deposing Aborigines off their land.

There is little known about the Tasmanian Emu but researchers report that they played an important role in Tasmania’s ecology by distributing seeds across the state. Apparently emus eat just about anything, travel up to fifty kilometres a day and each poo deposit can have thousands of seeds in it.

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Photo by Tristan Durham: an emu scant with seeds growing out of it on Wilson’s Promontory, Victoria

A study has commenced on the mainland of Australia, in south-east Victoria, examining which plants emus are eating, by examining their poo, with the intention of studying the current distribution of these plants in Tasmania. Emu poo contains the anticipated native seeds and bracken but surprisingly, whole Sheoak cones are also found in the poo which leads to the conclusion that emus aren’t fussy about what they pick up and swallow whole.

This study is aimed to provide insight into whether the emu should be re-introduced into Tasmania. Personally, I think it shouldn’t. It’s not a Tasmanian Emu and there is bound to be something unknown about the mainland emu that is detrimental for the Tasmanian environment.

In the meantime, my emus have not been wandering around in Tasmania’s wilderness instead they have been visiting the Op-Shops and have purchased some funky outfits.

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Original painting titled: “Walking with Flair”
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Original painting titled: Walking with Flair II

Wishing you a “walking with flair” week!

Another day, another bird

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 three or more decades (he’s 83 years old now). He bought virtually all the original paintings of endemic birds I painted. He’s back in Tasmania for more bird watching.  He sought me out at the market again and told me that all my paintings are framed and hanging at his residence. He wants more original paintings of birds. “Paint lots!” he said. Yesterday, I painted the Orange-bellied parrot, today it is the Yellow Wattlebird.

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The Yellow Wattlebird is endemic to Tasmania (thanks to Suart J. Smith for permission to use his photo)

The Yellow Wattlebird occurs only in Tasmania and is Australia’s largest honeyeater. It’s bird call is distinctive and easily identifiable.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope things are chirpy

Lyndhurst Avenue

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.

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Duplex on Elizabeth Street directly across Lyndhurst Avenue
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I sat under the shade of a large fig tree to draw the duplex

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.

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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…

wishing everybody a safe week

 

A Bolder Love Affair

Walking on Kunyani, the Aboriginal name for Mt. Wellington in Hobart, Tasmania, for me, is like meandering through an art gallery. For some, the highlight of kunyani is scaling the organ pipes or the spectacular views but for me it is kunyani’s sculptural boulders, proud, bold and sculpted by centuries of weather.

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A blossoming eucalyptus on kunyani
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my quick sketch of a clump of boulders
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a field of boulders, one of many on kunyani
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Me at the Municipality Cairn, the intersection point of three municipalities: Hobart, Glenorchy and Kingborough

An earlier painting of kunyani boulders.

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I introduced water colour painting, adding salt while the paint is still damp to create a grainy look and using a cotton bud and methylated spirits to create a lichen appearance on kunyani boulders to the Men’s Maximum and Medium Security inmates at Risdon Prison. I told them that nobody can say that you’ve drawn a rock wrong, to help them move out of their comfort zone and give painting a try…. and they did…

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lichen growing on a kunyani boulder

… including giving writing poems a go. They were really pleased with their efforts. For the poetry writing, I asked them to write five words (nouns) about kunyani and then put some describing words (adjectives) around those words and then ta-da! – poems emerged effortlessly.

dipped in rust, proud large boulders

stunted bendy trees cling onto rocks

tweeting birds diving

buzzing insects darting

snow, sparkling white

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… and who put a whale on the mountain!!?!?

I hope that one day you can experience the kunyani magic.

Warm regards, from PJ Paintings