Giving the eye

I’ve read and generally follow the advice that when painting an animal, paint their eye first.  If you don’t get the eye right, give up and start again because no matter matter how good the rest of the painting is, the totality of the painting is going to leave you feeling disappointed.

Seahorses

I like painting the eye first for this reason but also because with the eye painted, I feel an immediate emotional connection developing with what I’m painting.  With that connection there is also the difficult to explain or describe feelings that I want to finish the painting to ‘give it life’ and welcome it to the world, even though it’s a life on a two-dimensional piece of paper. But to me it is more than just the life on a piece of paper, paintings go on to inspire, cheer, awe, provoke thoughts or consciences, ignite imaginations, memories and dreams, and more.

Seahorse

I gave this one the eye and will be bringing it to full life but not until after I return from my urban sketching holiday, which I hope you will be able to share with me via my blog posts.

Until then, take care, Pj Paintings

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Runnymede National Trust House

Runnymede National Trust House & Gardens hosted today’s Hobart urban sketching meet-up. It is a well maintained and protected house, built in the 1840s. It was Captain Charles Bayley and his family’s home for over 100 years. It was named after his favourite ship, Runnymede, and the house now promotes marine conservation.

The colonial marine villa was constructed for one of the first lawyers admitted to the Supreme Court of Van Diemen’s Land, Robert Pitcairn, who was a prominent campaigner against the transportation of convicts.  Runnymede also houses historic artworks and possessions of Tasmania’s first Anglican Bishop, Francis Nixon.

We found ourselves a spot on the lawn and viewed the house from the outside, so I will have to see the inside of the house and its artworks another time. This is the viewpoint I drew.

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Runnymede

Firstly, I loosely sketched the house with a purple coloured watercolour pencil and then added Artline pen.

Runnymede

When I’m urban sketching, I rarely get to the painting part of the day, so I felt pleased that I actually finished a painting in one session and outdoors!

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Runnymede March 17, 2019

After I returned home, I resumed working on my newest addition to my “Sleepyhead” series.

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Untitled: Tasmanian Devil lounging in a hammock in the shade of an old gum tree.

Sleep peacefully everybody and thanks for stopping by.

Lost World

I’ve been living in Hobart, Tasmania for about 22 years and have never walked one of the many Kunanyi (Mt Wellington) tracks.  I’ve taken visitors many times up to the top of the mountain and back down but haven’t explored the mountain beyond that, until now, and it was magical and awesome.  I was really keen to see Lost World as I have painted this scene with Tasmanian Tigers (Thylacines) integrated into the foreground.

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Lost worlds

The walk started on Hunters Track, then along Old Hobartian Track and finally the Lost World Track, which was uphill, climbing over boulders all the way up.  Do not let the 45 minutes suggested time fool you, it is full on, constant rock climbing and took closer to 1.5 hours but well worth the effort, not to mention, fun clambering over rocks like a mountain goat (well not quite as nimble :-)).

While climbing over boulder after boulder, I couldn’t help think how much my brother and sister-in-law would enjoy this climb, the scenery along the way and the view.  Next time they visit, I won’t just take them to the top of the mountain.

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Stepping over a fern
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I spotted a bumble bee on one of the many healthy Banksia Marginata growing on the mountain

And then we entered the breath-taking Lost World.

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Lost World, the rocks are a lot more angular than I painted them

The view from Lost World.

On our way out…

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This was rock and tree was beautiful

It was an amazing day on the mountain, warm, windless and beauty everywhere.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

P.S. Prints of my Lost worlds painting are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

A Wombat Procession

My “Sleepy head” series keeps growing as my imagination fires up.

This wombat thought their hammock was looking a little plain, so being the ingenious little fellows they are, some decorating has taken place.

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Untitled
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Untitled
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Afternoon Siesta

I haven’t run out of ideas for more wombat scenes but ideas for titles for the paintings are running dry.  I’ve had “Hanging out for Christmas”, “Waiting for Santa”, “Afternoon Siesta”, “Sleepy head”, “Afternoon Nap” and “Bunk beds”.  If you could be so kind to provide some suggestions for wombats in hammock titles, it will be much appreciated.

Take care and may your sleeps be peaceful.

A Wombat Visit

I unexpectedly had to do gallery duty this morning at Artefacts Gallery, Salamanca Place in Hobart, Tasmania.  There were two big cruise ships in so it was busy.

A young lady came into the gallery and quickly honed in on the images from my Sleepy head series.

She pulled out of her knapsack her travel companion, that she never travels without.  It was a gorgeous, well-loved wombat! I could not resist giving it a cuddle. It’s sooooo cute!

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Bunk beds and Sleepy head going with a wombat fan

These arrived in the post today and will be making their debut at Salamanca  Market, stall #30, tomorrow among heaps of other cards, prints, tote bags and pouches. I hope you can drop by to say hello.

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Bunk beds greeting card

Wishing everybody a lovely weekend.

Who would have thought??!

My son, who lives in Canberra, asked me to paint a moth for his project. I’ve rarely painted insects.  Last year, I attempted to paint a bee and a butterfly and I think that’s about it.

Who would have thought that moths are so cute!? Or is it just me painting them cute? I never knew that they have such gorgeous little faces, a face that says, “cuddle and love me”.

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Unfinished moth
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The finished little cutie

Isn’t nature a wondrous thing?! Take care everybody and thanks for visiting.

Fires & Wombats

Tasmania is burning.  There are over 50 fires burning and about 30 of them are out of control. Hobart is shrouded with smoke from fires in the Derwent Valley extending to the inland lakes in central Tasmania, fires south of Huonville and more.

As a consequence, I’ve been called upon to do extra gallery duties at Artefacts Inc Gallery in the Salamanca Arts Centre, while those that are living in the Geeveston area are on ‘watch and act’ status.   Gallery visitors were few and far between today, so I was able to pass the time drawing another wombat.  I am going to draw in more leaves but this is what I did this morning at the gallery.

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in progress

I’m thinking that I may just paint the wombat and leave the rest in its ink-only state??

I’ve finished my family of wombats enjoying an afternoon siesta under the cool shade of a gum tree but there’s always one who isn’t feeling sleepy! The prints of this painting, titled “Bunk beds”, are making their debut at Salamanca Market tomorrow (they are also available on my website: http://www.pjpaintings.com under the ‘Animals’ tab and ‘wombats’).

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I’ve seen and photographed wombats many times in Tasmania’s wilderness.  There’s nothing cuter than seeing a baby wombat running! They’re so cute. They are gentle animals and I try to capture that gentleness and calmness in my paintings of wombats.

Wombats are marsupials native to Tasmania and the mainland of Australia. They are herbivores. Female wombats give birth to a single young in the spring and the young leave the pouch after about six months.  They can run fast for short distances.  I hope they are managing to escape the Tasmania’s thousands of burning square kilometers.

Stay safe and take care.

Wearing Art

I tend to follow fashion from a distance and not spend a lot of time figuring out outfits, layers or combinations that would go well together.  Although, when I used to sew as a teenager, I would often deviate from patterns, change or add something, and create pleasing end-products.  So, there must be a flair for fashion somewhere lingering in the creative crevices of the Pj mind and soul.

Circumstances have somewhat changed my fashion flair and questionable stylishness to practicability.  The temperature on the thermometer doesn’t always reflect the intensity of the heat in Tasmania, but maybe because of the lack of ozone layer, the sun has a real bite here.  Sometimes it feels like a sauna under my dark blue-lined gazebo on market days.  Forget fashion, wearing something cool is what is of paramount importance.

Lucky me, I’ve found something cool and cool to wear.  ‘Cool’, as in – not warm, and ‘cool’, as in – hip, trendy and groovy.

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Wearing ‘Salamanca Saturdays’ at my stall at Salamanca Market

This sleeveless blouse has my ‘Salamanca Saturdays’ painting on the front.  It’s made in Australia by Redbubble, which is an online site for artists to sell their art (www.redbubble.com).  The most direct way to get to my art on the site is to type my full name in the search box (apologies in advance for its length!): Patricia Hopwood-Wade (or copy and paste my name).

I usually wear Small but this is a Medium and it fits well.  It has a little bit of a stretch and has done fine in the washing machine.  Redbubble regularly has 20% off sales, so keep your eye out for those and they are really good with exchanges, refunds and/or vouchers.

What’s your style?  Do your wear art?

During the summer months, I will be wearing my art often.

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Another view of the stall and blouse.  Mt Wellington/kunyani is clearer in this photo

Cheers for now.

Thanks for visiting and take care, Pj

P.S. This image is also available as a print, tote bag or pouch on http://www.pjpaintings.com under the Music, Emus and Bags tabs.

 

A first for the first

A couple months ago, I met a young lady at Salamanca Market that had just moved to Tasmania having secured a dream job, employed to work on the Orange-bellied Parrot Tasmanian Breeding Program. The Orange-bellied Parrot has been ranked as one of the world’s rarest and most endangered species and is on the brink of extinction.

I had often thought of painting this brightly coloured little parrot and meeting her gave me that extra bit of needed motivation.  I drew several sketches and then got distracted with wombats and square dancing emus.  She returned to the stall this week and told me that she had been here for two months already! Meeting her the second time, really spurred me on to apply paint to one of my sketches.

Here’s my first painting of 2019 and the first time I’ve ever painted a Orange-bellied Parrot. (I also finished off the kangaroo and joey today, photo posted above, but it wasn’t the first time I’ve painted kangaroos).

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Orange-bellied Parrot water colour painting, painted on paper made 100% from recycled cotton rags

The Orange-bellied Parrot is a migratory bird, which breeds only in coastal south-west Tasmania and spends the winter in coastal Victoria and South Australia. In Tasmania, it occurs in buttongrass moorland interspersed with patches of forest or tea tree scrub.

I wonder how many more “firsts” will occur in 2019??? Did you have any stand-out ‘firsts’ in 2018 or have any planned for 2019?

Happy New Year to all!  Wishing that 2019 is kind to all of you, filled with happiness, smiles, good health and many good ‘first’ experiences are had.

Cheers, Patricia (Pj) Hopwood-Wade