It’s always a pleasant surprise when you enter a gallery to do gallery duty and you discover some blank spaces on the wall! Two, of three of my original paintings, from the Down by the Sea series that I painted, sold.
Without wings, emus’ feet become their hands in my paintings. It’s a brilliant way to work humour into my paintings.
I love Opossum Bay, located in southern Tasmania. I feel like I’ve travelled to another part of the world but it’s only about a 25 minute drive from my house, and the drive is picturesque too.
The stand-out house for me at Opossum Bay is this quirky lighthouse house. Through the darkened lower windows you can catch glimpse of a large wooden boat with a mermaid-like figurehead. It looks impressive from a distance so I can only imagine how much more so close up.
I was keen to try to draw the lighthouse house. I struggled with the perspective but it was still fun to try.
There were a variety of seagulls enjoying the bay too.
I am basically a self-taught watercolour artist. About 12 years ago, I started taking evening Adult Ed classes, when I worked full-time. I have kept practicing and trying to improve my drawing and painting skills ever since.
I have submitted applications for local exhibitions, involving submitting a form, including a high-resolution gloss photograph when requested, and a non-refundable payment. I was so often rejected that I stopped applying. Unlike when you apply for a job, you can phone and ask why you weren’t asked to be interviewed and receive some constructive feedback. With the art application process, you usually aren’t allowed to engage with the judges, so you never find out if you were close to getting accepted, on the right track or are able to seek any kind of feedback to help you.
Rejection is discouraging and I think I briefly found myself skirting around the edges of Imposter Syndrome. Thankfully, for me, I focused on the people who do like and connect with my art, rather than those that don’t, and keep painting what I wanted to paint and I was able to avoid getting drawn into this misery. I can understand how Imposter Syndrome could easily suck you in and really damage your confidence.
I realise that many people underestimate how challenging I find art and think that I can draw anything. Myth buster – there are many things that I simply can’t draw!!, which also could feed into Imposter Syndrome. I struggle with composition, drawing and I usually erase whatever I am trying to draw multiple times. I think if people watched me undertaking a painting from start to finish, that they would be seriously surprised. I am a serious believer that drawing can improve with practice. It is about enjoying trying (the journey), enjoying the end-products that are successful, trying to give as little time as possible to dwelling on those that aren’t, (after analysing them to try to avoid the same mistake/s next time) and enjoying the joy that art gives to the recipients.
A friend encouraged me to submit an application form to enter my painting, titled “Goldilocks and the 20 Penguins” in the Waterways Exhibition to be held at the Long Gallery in the Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, Tasmania. Reluctantly I did, and success! the painting has been accepted!!
The Water Ways exhibition will open to the public at 10am on Friday 5th February at the Long Gallery, Salamanca Place, Tasmania and continues until Sunday 14th.
I hope that you are able to see the Water Ways exhibition and the original of “Goldilocks and the 20 Penguins”.
I painted this greeting card called “Lovebirds” because Valentine’s Day is around the corner.
The origin of Valentine’s Day is not definite. Historically, February has been celebrated as the month of romance and St. Valentine’s Day has connections to both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. Who was, and how, did Saint Valentine become associated with this day is unclear. This link provides some theories and possibilities about who St. Valentines was and the evolution of Valentines Day. https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2
Through the centuries Valentine’s Day has evolved and changed, and spread across the globe into Australia, and consequently, its spread is now encompassing the Australian emu!
The emu is quite well represented in this Love Pack of greeting cards that I have put together.
Each greeting card is featuring a love theme. The beauty of a greeting card is that the recipient can get that warm, fuzzy feeling over and over again, each time they read its penned words. Some may choose to frame the cards. It’s a gift that keeps on giving and the recipient could be wearing the smile you gave them for weeks, and in this case all year, if you spread the love pack out over the year.
I’m still working on my painting titled “Goldilocks and the 20 Penguins”. Hopefully I’ll soon be able to announce it finished. It will be well worthy of some celebrating as I’ve spent many, many hours on it.
Today was a fur day. This is the way my finger looks when I’m painting fur.
I’ve painted the fur grey, blue, burnt sienna, raw sienna, burnt umber, purple and mixed some of these colours together to create a smoother graduation of colours too. Each time I rinse and put paint on my 000 size paint brush, I wipe off the paint on my finger to ensure the first stroke isn’t too thick. As a consequence of removing most of the paint, I can only do about two or three strokes before I run out of paint on my brush and have to start the process again. It is a time consuming process!
I think the wombat is about done, except for the foot. I have to add more shadow. They have such gnarly, gorgeous feet for all the digging they do.
I’m planning to get cracking on the penguins in the next couple of days and I look forward to showing you the finished painting. In the meantime, I hope that you are finding time to relax and rest in the busy lead up to the festive season.
Wishing you a safe festive week, from Patricia (PJ)
On the coastal road between Ulverstone and Wynyard, on the north west coast of Tasmania, lies a small town named Penguin. It was first settled in 1861 as a timber town. It is named after the smallest species of penguins, the fairy penguins, that come ashore all the way along Tasmania’s north-west coast, but especially at a little beach bluff between Ulverstone and Burnie known as Penguin Point.
As the name suggests, penguins are a frequent theme in this town. It’s nestled along the Bass Strait and has pretty beach views, walkways, beach decorations and a cemetery.
Penguin was featured on ABC’s Back Roads show. The cemetery was allotted significant focus and time on the show. It is where apparently many community social activities take place and the best view of Penguin is espoused to be from there. Therefore, I made a special effort to find it and see the view from the cemetery myself. It is spectacular, but I didn’t stay too long because I found it sad. You can’t help but read some of the tombstones that are close to the top circular driveway (the entrance & exit) that are of children who have been lost.
My latest work in progress, titled “Goldilocks and the 20 penguins” featuring the endearing fairy penguins. Just imagine the surprise that these penguins have experienced after their evening fishing session, to come home to find a sleepy wombat in one of their nests!!
I hope your upcoming week isn’t too hectic and that you are able to take the time to relax.
My girlfriend, who is soon moving to New Zealand, and I are doing a road trip in Tasmania, one last look for her before she leaves. Wineglass Bay was our first stop. On the way, we saw a sweet little echidna on the side of the road. They are quite common in Tasmania, but I certainly don’t see them very often. https://www.bushheritage.org.au/species/echidna
It’s quite a steep trek to the Wineglass viewing platform. I love the boulders, their shape, strength and colour.
Scenes from the viewing platform.
On our walk back to the car park, going the Hazards Beach way, my friend suddenly stopped and screamed. It’s strange how childhood experiences embed in brains so deeply. I immediately thought there must be a bear ahead on the track, but at the same time my brain told me that there are no bears in Australia (I have encountered bears several times in Canada while bush walking) and then I saw a snake slither into the bush. I had to push my friend past as she is petrified of snakes.
We saw many fairy wrens in the bush, which inspired this inktober drawing (it’ll look nicer when I add paint :-). What does Wineglass Bay and Superb fairy-wrens have in common….?
Progress is being made… I still have more penguins to paint, detail to add, not to mention the dreaded background! There are also several penguins with missing feet, including the wombat that needs his foot painted too.
The missing feet on this painting is not something sinister or mysterious and will soon be rectified, unlike the twenty detached human feet that have washed up on the shores around Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Canada, since 2007. The mystery around these feet, which at one time were thought to be originating from a funeral home, but investigations have since confirmed that the feet come from people who have unfortunately died. The feet detach by the normal decomposition process. The feet were usually found in sneakers. Coroners postulate that the sneakers helped to give the feet buoyancy, enough to eventually be washed ashore, and gave the feet protection from decomposition that helped them to remain relatively intact. The feet have been able to provide some closure for families by DNA matching with the National Missing Persons data base.
I’m going to make a point of enjoying my feet today! I hope that you can too.
I didn’t get much time to paint today but I did add one more fairy penguin to my picture.
Eventually all twenty will be painted. This painting that I’m working on is telling a story similar to that of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but an Tasmanian-ised version. Here in Tasmania, there are no bears, not even koala “bears”, who aren’t bears, rather they are marsupials, so they can quite easily be discounted from this story. But there are our regular fairy penguin visitors, the smallest species of penguins.
You can imagine the surprise when twenty fairy penguins waddle up the beach to discover a wombat in their nest!! (I haven’t drawn the nest as of yet).
I’ll keep bringing more penguins to life over the next few days. Take care and thanks for stopping by, PJ Paintings