An Announcement

Artefacts Inc. have moved into our new location and are now open for business, seven days a week, at site 015 in the Salamanca Arts Centre at 77 Salamanca Place, in the picturesque city of Hobart, Tasmania.

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Oops! There was a mix up with the letters!!
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That’s better!

Artefacts Gallery is a co-operative of seven members and artists. I was lucky enough to be accepted into the co-operative in 2019. I have some framed originals, prints and greeting cards at the gallery. We all have a different genre of art. We have a leather crafts-person who makes unique masks among many other leather items, glass blowers, a ceramicist who makes wonderful items with one of her speciality items being funky tall vases, a jewellery maker whose intricate work is mind boggling and more.

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Front window at Artefacts displaying a leather mask, ceramics, glass sea urchins and one of my wombat prints.

Each of us do a day of gallery duty every week.  It would be lovely if you could drop in for a look around, visit and chat. Thanks for stopping by at theunfurlingartist blog, and hopefully when you’re in the area, at Artefacts Inc too.

Until then, take care and keep safe, Pj Paintings

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Dogs and a Mini

I was contacted by a sibling, who wants to give her sister a unique present. She asked me to paint her sister with her two beloved dogs taking a ride with a bunch of my emus.

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I find painting people super challenging and something I definitely should practice more. But human nature makes it so difficult. It fights against it and likes to avoid doing things you’re not good at. I get it.  There’s not much satisfaction with churning out disappointing drawing after another, but I am going to have to set some kind of minimum goal so that I can start moving forward with drawing people.

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Finished Painting

Why it IS a big deal!

In other parts of the world, snow probably isn’t a big deal but here in Australia it is and it makes front page news. There are many who have never seen snow. We have Queenslanders (pre-COVID) visit Tasmania for that very reason, to see snow for the first time in their lives.

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I’ve been told that there used to be snow on kunanyi/Mt Wellington for months at a time during the winter.

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kunanyi, Tasmania, August 7, 2020

Nowadays, snow is only there for a few days before it all melts away and disappears, just like the Tasmanian emus, which were hunted to extinction about 150 years ago. But, I have recently discovered that my emus are not the only honorary Tasmanian snow-loving emus around! Chook Chook, an adopted mainland emu, a Tasmanian resident, living in Kaoota, is also a snow-loving, honorary Tasmanian emu.

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Snow-emu

Chook Chook is 19 years old! Their life expectancy is 20 years and he is still going strong. Chook Chook was advertised in the Tasmanian Mercury when he was a chick for $10. The wet or snow doesn’t worry Chook Chook at all. When the garden hose comes out, he comes running to be sprayed. Emus are actually good swimmers and seek out water to cool themselves in the hot outback of Australia.

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Tasmanian resident – Chook Chook

Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe.

P.S. Prints and original paintings are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

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view of kunanyi taken in Sandy Bay, Hobart, August 7, 2020

 

The Disappearing Emu

Australia’s early settlers hunted emus for food and as a result the emus that were abundant in Tasmania and Australia’s east coast disappeared.  Today, only one population remains in existence, aside from the thriving Australian inland emus, the coastal emu. The New South Wales (NSW) Government, in 2002, listed the coastal emus as an endangered population as its numbers were, and continues to be, in steep decline.

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The coastal emu. Photography by Stephen Otton

The coastal emu is genetically distinct from the inland emu and an important seed disperser. It travels large distances and plays an important role in the regeneration of native species. Other species do a similar service but not to the same capacity. If the coastal emu is lost from the ecosystem it will reduce diversity and populations of species that depend on the plants, not to mention the loss of another emu species.

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The range of the endangered coastal emu population. (Image credit: Coastal Emu Alliance). An estimated 50 Coastal Emus remain in crucial habitat areas of the Clarence and Richmond valleys.

A concerted effort is necessary to save an endangered species with numbers as low as the coastal emu. It is encouraged that sightings of coastal emus and/or nests are reported to The Coastal Emu Register. Identifying nesting sites can help target feral animal control at the local level. Tracking the seasonal movements of the emus, will help build an understanding of the survival rates of adults and chicks, and whether a captive breeding may be required to re-build the number of Coastal Emus found in the wild.

If you are out and about coastal emu spotting, for accuracy sake, please be aware that there are also adventuresome PJ Paintings emus running around.

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Family Outing
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Bonnie and Me!
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Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania

Take care and thank you for visiting the unfurling artist. 🙂

PJ Paintings prints are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

With a Little Help from my Friends

Sometimes I paint something that no matter how hard I rack my brain, I can’t think of a title. I know you can go with the title “Untitled” but I’d rather not.

A good friend of mine, from the northern end of Tasmania, asked me if I could paint an ice skating emu so that she could get a print of the painting to give to her daughter, who LOVES ice skating. She regularly travels to Hobart for that very purpose – to ice skate.

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This image is available now for purchase: shop now

Thinking of a title turned out to be more difficult than drawing and painting the picture. Has anyone else had this problem?? Some of the titles I came up with were:

  • Spin- ster
  • Going for a Spin
  • Ice Queen
  • Ice Princess

Unhappy with all of the above, I decided it was time to elicit some help from my Facebook friends. Ideas were proposed and I narrowed it down to “Emu Icecapades”. I think this is an awesome title for the painting.

Thank you friends for helping me name this painting!

Prints are available at www.pjpaintings.com

Emus Barred from Bar

The Yaraka Hotel in outback Queensland, Australia, has banned entry to Kevin and Carol emus, and as a consequence gained worldwide notoriety, as the story has gone viral. The world is in need of some light-hearted news during the COVID-19 pandemic and this story seems to be fulfilling some of this demand.

A local Animal Rescuer, Leanne Byrne, found an abandoned emu nest of eggs and raised the clutch of emus. Kevin’s and Carol’s brothers and sisters have moved on, but this pair remained and endeared themselves to the locals and visitors alike.

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Leanne Byrne poses for a photo with one of her feathery babies.

A rift developed after Kevin and Carol learnt how to climb stairs to gain entry into the pub.

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The inquisitive emus were captured on digital by pub customer and visiting tourist Sam Guzzardi.

The pair caused havoc by eating guests’ food and leaving messy, smelly deposits behind, which the pub owner wasn’t too thrilled about having to clean up each time it happened, and apparently emu toileting needs are frequent!

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The emus are no longer allowed in the Yaraka Hotel after a spate of bad behaviour.(Supplied: Chris Gimblett)

In order to maintain a good working relationship, the owner of the pub set up emu barricades, citing ‘bad emu behaviour’ as making this a necessary action.

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The hotel has erected barricades and put up signs urging tourists to keep the emus out.(Supplied: Chris Gimblett)

Kevin and Carol aren’t the only emus strutting there stuff around town. I’ve captured other emus in their strutting action too.

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Bright & Breezy
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Walking with Flair
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A Fashion af-Flair

Take care everybody and be careful around misbehaving emus.

P.S. Original paintings and prints are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

Four Iconic Australians

The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is native to Australia and Tasmania. I often see flocks of yellow-tailed black cockatoos swoop and fly around my house, announcing their arrival with their distinctive raucous call. It is an iconic and beautiful Australian bird and one that I am very fond of.

There is uncertainty whether galahs are native or not to Tasmania. Records show that they were here as early as the 1840s. I thought galahs were rather harmless and not causing too much trouble in Tasmania but it turns out that the north-west Tasmanian council wants to cull galahs!! Apparently they are “costly and dangerous” because large flocks are killing trees and gnawing powerlines around Ulverstone.

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a yellow-tailed black cockatoo and a galah

The sulphur-crested cockatoo is also an iconic Australian bird and it has established itself in Tasmania. They are thought to have migrated over the Bass Strait under their own wing, and there is this same line of thought about galahs. They are a common sight in Tasmania. The sulphur-crested cockatoo is viewed as a pest by many farmers as large flocks regularly settle on fields of crops for a nice healthy feed.

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a sulphur-crested cockatoo

Kookaburras were introduced into Tasmania, in 1906, by humans, to try to reduce snake numbers.  The laughing birds were brought to Tasmania to eat snakes but they also eat native lizards and impact the native birds. They are nest robbers.

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Despite two (or three?) of these four iconic Australian birds not being native to Tasmania, and worrying about Tasmania’s native species, I love seeing and hearing them. Birds are beautiful and I love them.

Take care from PJ Paintings

Prints are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

Share houses

It is a little too squishy for three tawny frogmouths and a baby wombat to share a nest, so the frogmouths have generously given the best room in the house to their guest, while they try to get some shut-eye on the outside premises.

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Share house

It’s a tight squeeze but this little wombat has managed to get comfy in this share house (wombats have such cute, gnarly feet!). Luckily wombats and Superb fairy-wrens are such gentle souls.

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House sharing

Prints of my “Share house” and “House sharing” paintings are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com under the Animals tab.

I hope that you are keeping well and safe.

Cheers, from PJ Paintings

What a Treat!

Ingenuity is amazing. A friend, at the beginning of the COVID-19 isolation restrictions, was sitting in his house, looking at the picture ledge in his Federation House and decided it needed a train. In six weeks, he built a train track that takes a train from the front entrance, down the hall, into the lounge room, then dining room, into the kitchen, through two kitchen cupboards and back out down to the other side of the hallway. Apologies in advance for the poor quality photos.

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The train track starting at the entrance of the house
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Train crossing the hall and making its way to the lounge room
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Train travelling in the lounge room
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Train about to leave the dining room and enter the kitchen.
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The Train travels through two kitchen cupboards and the back out to the hallway to do it all over again.

It was a real treat to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal with friends and a train!

The most exciting thing happening at my place is the succulent that my son bought me for a Mother’s Day present years ago, is flowering.

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love my succulents!

Hope the upcoming week chugs along well for you.

Cheers from Pj Paintings