Sketching Indoors

Normally today I would be running my Pj Paintings stall at Salamanca Market but due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, like most of the world, it has closed down.  The Hobart City Council launched a Salamanca Market online shop, attached to their website, to try to help stallholders with their income losses: https://salamancamarketstore.com.au/. It looks great! I have a few items on view in the new Salamanca Market Store and all my images at http://www.pjpaintings.com

Instead of my usual Saturday activity, I got my sketching stool out and plonked it down in the kitchen…

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my urban sketching stool

…. and drew what was in front of me….

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my view – the counter top was pretty much at my eye level and the rest I was looking up at
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I drew some rough lines with a light blue water colour pencil and then inked it up with an Artline pen
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and then I added paint

Thanks for stopping by.

Take care and stay safe everybody.

Tea Collection

I have a collection of teas and teapots that sit on my counter. Today, I noticed how colourful the current collection looks, so I drew it up, straight in with ink, quickly and trying to not worry about accuracy, and then added paint.

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No pencil, just bravely started drawing with ink
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A bit of fun after working all day

Thanks for stopping by and take care during this pandemic.

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.

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

 

18 York Street

I’m trying to stick to my goal of drawing Bellerive houses. I postponed venturing out onto the footpath (sidewalk) until later in the evening on the 24th of December to avoid all the foot traffic from the Hurricanes Big Bash game against the Melbourne Renegades at the Blundstone Oval, which by the way, the Tasmania Hurricanes were the winners. 🙂 Often, I’m at the oval watching the game but not this time because my cricket-bud is overseas visiting England.

Anyways, I settled myself on my stool, and no sooner than after drawing my first couple lines, a car, towing a boat, pulled up just behind me, which entailed a lot of unpacking, unloading a dog and consequently dog-barking activity. Eventually, the dog was brought inside because it was not happy with me sitting in front of its house and wasn’t about to stop trying to communicate this to me.

After all the Lamy pen bleeding debacle with my last drawing,

this time I tried a different approach and drew some initial lines with a water colour pencil and then inked it with an Artline pen. Using an Artline pen is nowhere near the pleasure of using an ink nibbed pen. I might give myself a belated Christmas present and order a Fude pen (a Liz Steel, Australian urban sketcher guru, recommendation).  I’m not very happy with this drawing (got the side perspective wrong again) but it is part of my skill-development journey, whether I like it or not. Also, Liz Steel says that one of the most common mistakes people make is draw too much roof. I concur.

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an imperfect drawing of 18 York Street, Bellerive, Tasmania

I hope you’ve had a pleasant day digesting and working off Christmas lunches or dinners, or both.

York Street, I’ll be back!

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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Once loved…

Around the world, it’s a familiar story. Older houses, full of character, that are purchased and/or inherited by the next generation, are being bulldozed down and replaced by sterile lots of four, eight or more units. Historic houses are disappearing at the rate of knots, and with them, the charm of neighbourhoods.

I live in Bellerive, Tasmania, where there are many gorgeous houses with iron laced verandahs and decorative facades. When I was walking and admiring the houses in my neighbourhood, I saw a very senior lady using a walker to slowly make her way around her large yard. I thought to myself, whoever inherits this will probably knock it down and sadly replace it with twelve units. At that moment, I decided I should try to capture these houses on paper before they disappear. I’ll be posting my  drawings here if you’d like to follow my progress with this project – Houses of Bellerive.

Today’s house is this one that I found on York Street. Judging from the carefully chosen and painted colour scheme, this house was once loved.

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I started the drawing with a Copic grey texta and then added ink and paint to some of the house for the focus to be on the care this house once had, evidenced by the carefully painted pink, burgundy and green front of the house.
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House on York Street, Bellerive that I drew today

Take care, from Pj Paintings

Sketching in Bellerive

I met up with Hobart’s small urban sketching group this morning on the sunny Eastern Shore of Hobart, in Bellerive at the Blundstone Oval.

I settled in to draw this quaint house directly across the street from the Blundstone Oval.

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My morning’s sketch

I want to loosen up my drawings, so I went started straight in with a thick grey texta.

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Apologies for the photo of loose grey texta initial drawing. The sun was very bright and in the shade it wasn’t quite bright enough for the photo.

To add some detail, I inked over the drawing and then painted the entirety outside. I’m starting to do that more often, so I must be speeding up!

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Bellerive house with kunyani/Mt Wellington in the background

We finished our sketch-meet with a well deserved cuppa at the Hurricane Cafe.

Cheers and thanks for visiting.

Coffee Table Feature

A miniature one of these would be cool to have on a coffee table. This art producing machine is wind generated.

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Windmill at MONA (Museum of Old & New Art) in Tasmania

The windmill turns , which in turn, turns some wheels, which in turn moves the Artline pen in a circular motion and turns the turntable which moves the paper very slowly along.

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Wind powered drawing at MONA (Museum of Old & New Art) in Tasmania

The windier the day the darker and denser the drawing is. A pen a day is used and the roll of paper lasts two weeks before the piece of art is finished.

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Pen at Work

It is quite mesmerizing and relaxing to watch, which is why I think it would be a great coffee table feature, and not to mention, a conversation starter.

Thank for stopping by. Keep your pens moving and producing art. 🙂

Morning Sketch

I spent about an hour and forty minutes drawing and painting this outside today. Usually I draw outside and paint inside. This is the historic fire station on Argyle Street in Hobart, Tasmania.

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Hobart Fire Brigade

My thoughts are with those in New South Wales and Queensland where bush fires are raging. Three lives and over 150 homes have been lost. I hope the wind changes direction to stop the fires in their track and that good soaking rain falls upon the scorched and blistering dry land. Take care, everybody.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope that the upcoming week is kind to you.

Cheers, PJ Paintings