Urban Sketching with David Steeden

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.

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This was my view of Fair View

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.

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Our sketches – mine on the left, David’s on the right

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.

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The Kosciusko at Kangaroo Bay, Bellerive, Tasmania
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Our sketches – David’s at the top, mine underneath

Some of the helpful tips that David imparted are:

  1. Draw vertical lines for feature corner stone work and then join together
  2. Draw extra ink spots in random corner of pavers and bricks to make them look more realistic and grounded
  3. Draw dark in between fence posts

At home, I added paint to today’s drawings.

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9 Victoria Esplanade, Bellerive, Tasmania
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Kangaroo Bay, Bellerive, Tasmania

Thanks David for an awesome afternoon of sketching.

Salamanca Market Feb 22, 2020

We were lucky again today. We had a sunny and windless day. I replaced my 37 kilogram gazebo with a 24 kg one and it was so much easier to set up.

My first visitors to the stall were two from 120 delegates attending a conference in Hobart. They purchased “Bonnie & Me”, “Hayride”and “Outback Glamping” to present to some of the speakers.

I had a lot people from North America visit Pj Paintings today. One lady from California, USA, bought “Red Ute”. She thought her husband would get a kick out of the title.

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Red Ute

A mother and daughter, from the same state, bought a set of Cheer ’em Up cards. Another mother and daughter but from Vermont, USA bought four prints to hang in her bathroom she said: “Family Outing”, “Hayride”, “Joyride” and I can’t remember the fourth.

A couple visiting from Parry Sound, three hours north of Toronto, Canada, living in the bush, purchased “All Ears” from the Cheer ‘em Up series.

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“All Ears” his friend needs a listening ear and even though it’s hard work, and his beak is getting crumpled,  he’s sticking to the task.

A couple from Trail, B.C., Canada, purchased “Double Date”. Another couple visiting from Prince George , B.C., Canada bought “Lazy Days”, “Spiky Bunk Beds”, “Devilish Siesta” and “What the Devil!?” for their four grandchildren. One of their children lives on Vancouver Island, in the same neighbourhood as x-royals Harry and Meghan. Their son has seen them going for walks in the neighbourhood and on trails around his house. He’s told his parents that the community is really good about respecting their privacy.

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What the Devil!?

Girlfriends, visiting from the Gold Coast to attend a country wedding taking place today in Huonville, bought “Allemande Red” for the couple.

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Allemande Red

A couple bought my “Flame Robin” and “Yellow Wattlebird” original paintings. They said that they are going to a Californian retro bungalow in Perth.

A young man, visiting from Japan, bought “Family Outing” and “What the Devil!?” as his Tasmanian souvenir.

The most popular prints today were the wombat prints from the Sleepy Head series, prints from the Cheer ‘em Up series and Hayride.

A thought to ponder: “If I close my eyes, I see things better than with my eyes open.” Henri Matisse    This is true for me too – sometimes!

Wishing you a creatively happy upcoming week,

from Pj Paintings, stall #30 at Salamanca Market, Tasmania

P.S. Tote bags, pouches & prints are available at www.pjpaintings.com

https://www.facebook.com/pjpaintings/

https://www.instagram.com/hopwoodwade/

Salamanca Market Feb 15, 2020

I got up in the dark but by the time I got to the market it was light and thankfully calm. The wind is now howling and gusty.

My first couple that visited the stall was from Belgium, Florence (also my cousin’s name) and Antonin. As per my usual tradition, I asked if they would mind having their photo taken with me. They agreed. I’m so disappointed that unbeknownst to me, there was no storage left, so I don’t have a photo of them! Florence was my height, fine bone and dark hair. I think the younger me and her would have often been asked if we were sisters. They bought a “Lazy Days” print.

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Lazy Days

A lively group of four women debated and eventually selected an A-3 sized print of “Afternoon Siesta” for their retiring colleague. They work in a government lab in New Town, Tasmania.

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Afternoon Siesta

A framed black & white print of  a wombat that I drew is going for a long journey to Ontario, Canada.

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A “Fairy wrens”, “Christmas Siesta” and “Afternoon Siesta” print are heading to Poland.

An “Afternoon Siesta” print is going to Winchester, UK. A “Hanging Out” print is going to New Zealand

The most popular prints today were the wombat prints from the Sleepy Head series.

A thought to ponder: “To be an artist, you need to exist in a world of silence” Louise Bourgeois. My day job is teaching, so this doesn’t apply to me but I accept that this is Louise’s perspective about what she feels she needs to make art. I would think that if I did live in a world of silence, I probably would create more art until I found myself way too isolated and craving noise!!

Wishing you a creatively happy upcoming week,

from Pj Paintings, stall #30 at Salamanca Market, Tasmania

P.S. Tote bags, pouches & prints are available at www.pjpaintings.com

https://www.facebook.com/pjpaintings/

https://www.instagram.com/hopwoodwade/

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!

Salamanca Market Jan 25, 2020

Thankfully I managed to fall asleep among the waves of cheering washing over the house, the cannons and loud speaker of the Hurricane’s and the Thunder’s Big Bash game at Blundstone Oval. It was nice to hear that the Hurricanes won the game!

Salamanca Market once again took place under calm skies and moderate temperatures. The tote bags and zipper pouches went well today. Also, the original paintings: a meeting of “platypus and turtle” was purchased by a couple from Wales,

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Turtle and Platypus Meeting

a young man from Melbourne bought “Holding Hands”,

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Holding Hands (emu -style)

a young lady from Taiwan bought my “colour coordinated emu” (somebody told my emus that they should colour coordinate their clothes. Heaven help us!)

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and a young man from London purchased the “emu and butterfly” painting.

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A mother bought a “Glamour Girls” print for her daughter that has a salon. She also wanted a print of emus doing a manicure for her other daughter.  She’s a nail technician. Another “Glamour Girls” print will be travelling north of Inverness, Scotland, where this former Hobartian has been living for 30 years now.

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Glamour Girls

A French couple bought “Hoo, Hoo, Hoo Merry Christmas!”. It’s for the son of his best friend that lives in New Zealand, which they are on their way to visit. “Christmas Siesta” and “Bunk Beds” prints are travelling to China. I was told I have a very cute imagination and asked to pose for a photo.

 

A “Double Date III” tote bag is going to Hong Kong. “Spiky Bunk Beds” and “Lazy Days” (which debuted today) are making the long journey to Edmonton, Canada. They are a gift for their daughter who has just moved out.

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“Lazy Days” prints debuted at today’s market

A lady from Germany purchased “Duck Crossing II”, as a present for herself she told me.  It is from my “Cheer ’em Up” series, where I thought of heart warming scenes where the emu saves the day! “Duck Crossing II” debuted today too. 100 A-4 sized “Duck Crossing” prints from a 100 limited edition print run SOLD out, so I painted a replacement.

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The first “Duck Crossing” painting. The A-4 sized prints have sold out but there are still prints of the other sizes available at http://www.pjpaintings.com
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The new painting “Duck Crossing II”. I painted it brighter, different duckling poses, including one sliding down from the emu legs.

The most popular prints today were the wombat prints from the Sleepy Head series.

A thought to ponder: “Bring your humanity to your art. Bring your art to humanity”. Maxime Lagacé. (I like this! :-))

Wishing everybody a Happy New Year,

from Pj Paintings, stall #30 at Salamanca Market, Tasmania

P.S. Tote bags, pouches & prints are available at www.pjpaintings.com

 

Salamanca Market Jan 18, 2020

Salamanca Market took place under calm skies and moderate temperatures today. There were a lot of international visitors at the PJ Paintings stall today. A German couple are taking a “Sleepy Head” print back to Berlin with them. They said that they like its face and that it looked so relaxed. A “Bunk beds” print’s new residential address is Milan, Italy, and “Who, Who, Who are You? II” and “Fairy Wrens” will be making their home in the Alps in France. Sounds so exotic!
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Sleepy head
 
Two young ladies from Finland bought some A-5 sized prints and greeting cards and then returned later in the day to buy an “Afternoon Siesta” A-4 sized print.
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Afternoon Siesta
A young man bought “Christmas Siesta” to take back to China. A gift for his brother, he said.
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Christmas Siesta
 
A couple originally from South Africa, now living in Adelaide, bought four A-5 sized prints. A lady, from California, USA, bought two medium sized zip pouches, “Lazy Days” and “Afternoon Siesta”. She said that they are great gifts that will easily fit into her suitcase.
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A “Lazy Days” pouch
 
A young Melbornian, who happened to tell a friend she was going to Salamanca Market while in Tasmania, was sent on a mission. Her friend, a Canadian, bought two wombat prints from me two weeks ago at Salamanca Market and she wished she had bought more. When she heard her fried was going to the market, she put in her request for more prints. So, they did FaceTime and she chose two more prints.
 
A young couple, from California, USA, visited the stall in the morning and returned in the afternoon to purchase an original painting of an orca.
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Another original, titled “Holding Hands” also sold today, purchased by a local Hobartian.
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Holding Hands
A lady from Melbourne purchased an A-3 sized print of “Salamanca Saturdays” and “Afternoon Siesta”. She said they are going straight on the wall.
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Salamanca Saturdays
 
The most popular prints today were the wombat prints from the Sleepy Head series.
 
A thought to ponder: “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” ― Oscar Wilde
 
Wishing everybody a Happy New Year,
from Pj Paintings, stall #30 at Salamanca Market, Tasmania
P.S. Tote bags, pouches & prints are available at http://www.pjpaintings.com

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

 

Salamanca Market, January 11, 2020

This is my 300th blog post. I thought this is significant enough to mention. It’s been so much fun writing, I’m surprised that I’m already up to 300 posts.

There was a noticeable drop in temperature compared to yesterday but it was a pleasant enough 19 degrees Celsius with some unwelcome, sporadic wind gusts.

The first customer of the day was a young lady visiting from Ireland. She had some difficulty deciding but she eventually chose “Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania”.

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Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania

Another young lady, visiting from the UK and returning on Friday, zeroed in on the “Outback Glamping” print, as she had visited Uluru in 45 degree Celsius temperatures. She also purchased a “Glamour Girls” and a “The Supremes” print for her girlfriends in the UK.

I had three young ladies stop in. One of the three was from Switzerland and visiting her two girlfriends that are living in Melbourne. All three were doing a Tassie holiday together and they purchased a “Glamour Girls” print, a print of the three of them at the hairdressers.

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Glamour Girls

A lady bought a “Lazy Days” pouch to post to her nine year old niece living in Tokyo, Japan.

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“Lazy Days” pouch

Then I had visitors from Miami, USA, here in Tasmania to do the 42 km Cadbury Marathon tomorrow. He set a goal to run a marathon in each continent. After tomorrow’s marathon, he only has to run a marathon in Africa to achieve this goal! He ran Antarctica’s marathon when it was a balmy -15 degrees Celsius. He showed me photos. I liked the photo with him running past a yellow caution penguin crossing sign. He’s born in Cuba and now lives in the US, and hence, when he runs his shirt depicts both countries’ flags.

USCuban marathon runner

They certainly connected well with the emu-humour. They purchased original paintings “Cascade Brewery” and “Holding Hands” and some prints.

The most popular prints today were the wombat prints from the Sleepy Head series.

A thought to ponder: “Art must be life — it must belong to everybody” ― Marina Abramović

Wishing everybody a Happy New Year,

from Pj Paintings, stall #30 at Salamanca Market, Tasmania

P.S. Tote bags, pouches & prints are available at www.pjpaintings.com

https://www.facebook.com/pjpaintings/

https://www.instagram.com/hopwoodwade/

Settle down, Lamy!

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.

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Initial lines done in watercolour pencil and then inked with a Lamy pen. The lack of any visible roof does help convey that I was looking up at this house, despite not getting the perspective correct. 

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.

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Detail lost due to Lamy pen bleed

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.

Cheers and thanks for visiting.

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