Penguin Progess

I think that this is going to be a one hundred hour+ painting. I am making progress but there is still so much more to paint.

I hope that your week is progressing well.

Thanks for stopping by and/or following my blog.

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Trowutta What?!

This is the response you get from most people when you mention Trowutta Arch, even to Tasmanians who have lived on the north-west coast all their lives. It is mysteriously overlooked despite being a geological wonder.

The Trowutta Arch is a rare naturally occurring arch that was created by the collapse of a cave resulting in two sinkholes either side of the arch formation. One sinkhole filled in with soil and was eventually covered by trees and ferns, while the other filled with water.

Trowutta Arch

The water is a bright green, almost fluorescent. The colours and atmosphere make it feel quite surreal. The water-filled sinkhole is geomorphologically classified as a cenote – a steep walled water-filled sinkhole. The Trowutta Arch is considered one of the world’s best examples of a cenote. It is more than 20 metres deep and is an important habitat for invertebrates.

water filled sink hole – Trowutta Arch

Trowutta Arch is about 25 kilometres inland from Smithton in Tasmania’s far north west.  It’s a short, easy walk through spectacular rain forest to get to the arch. Along the way to the arch, I found the mirror image of the ferns’ dead and live fronds, visually very cool.

hour glass ferns

I love fern fronds. A few years ago, I went for a walk and took photos of lots of fronds. When I got home, I discovered that I took over 50 photos of fronds! I tried to use some restraint this time.

unfurling fronds

If you are visiting the north-west of Tasmania, it is well worth seeking out this gem.

a fern frond with the path to the arch in the background

Thanks for stopping by and I hope that the upcoming week serves you up many joyful moments.

An Early Birthday Present

I’ve started celebrating my birthday a week early by meeting up with friends to sketch, followed by lunch. I was royally spoiled by receiving a painting of hedges (special significance because a while ago we went around photographing hedges of substance in New Town) and a smooth flowing, beautiful handling fude pen.

My birthday treat: urban sketching, a painting and a pen that will be treasured. I used it to sketch today and it was soooooo nice handling.

We went to Bedford Street, New Town, Tasmania to sketch, which apparently was named after Eleanor Bedford, who was the wife of somebody who subdivided the land in the 1840s. For an interesting read about New Town’s street name history check out this article: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/05/20/3222620.htm

This house was built in 1905.

One of the many substantial houses on Bedford Street, New Town and the house I chose to draw

Roseville, on the other side of the street, is a huge, ornate house.

Roseville, Bedford Street

It is rare that I draw and paint a picture in plein air. Usually I do the drawing outside and the painting inside, but this time I did it all outside in the breeze and while the birds tweeted the entire time. The tweet-tweets from the birds helped to make it feel really relaxing.

my sketch of a house built in 1905

I have planned a few other events that involve drawing for my birthday . Fun-fun, here I come!

Take care and I hope you’re able to carve some fun activities into this week.

Cheers, from PJ Paintings http://www.pjpaintings.com

Fairy Penguin

It’s almost three years ago now that I sketched an idea for a painting of fairy penguins. I feel excited that I finally have started it today.

My first little fairy penguin painted

The fairy penguins are the smallest of all the penguins. They breed in Australia, including Tasmania and Bruny Island. I’ve visited Bruny Island several times and seen them come onto shore. They are just gorgeous and it is such a privilege to see their cute, waddling selves.

I hope that you have a chance to visit magical Bruny Island and see these little fellows in real life too. But, if not, there’s a two-dimensional large colony coming on shore and heading up to their nests and here are some fairy penguins in Victoria, Australia.

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.

iceskatingsml

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

Building Finale

The final building I sketched in Portugal, the Igreja dos Congregados, while leaning up against the Porto train station on a very narrow footpath, with continual foot traffic going past and the odd person asking for money.

bluechurch

The Porto train station is a spectacular building with hand painted individual tiles to depict historic scenes.

train station

Goodbye, Portugal. You have been amazing and I toast you.

toast

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

Emu Spell

Today’s Inktober prompt is “spell”.  I’m not sure why some Tasmanian pygmy possums, also known as little pygmy possums, are trying to teach an emu how to spell emu?? Maybe they think that everybody should know how to spell their name? I hope that their teaching session is successful, despite the emu’s rather discombobulated look.

spell
Firstly, I drew the picture with an Artline pen

spell sml
Then I painted it with water colour paints.

The Tasmanian pigmy possum is the world’s smallest possum.  An adult possum weighs a meager 7 grams and its body length is only 5-6.5 cm.

I wonder what tomorrow’s prompt word will evoke? It is certainly giving the imagination muscles a good workout!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you’re enjoying the Inktober journey. 🙂

Day 20 of the 30×30 direct watercolour challenge

After painting echidnas five days in a row, I felt motivated to try to find something new to paint!  Painting without any pencil drawing makes picking something to paint more difficult.  I thought I would try an octopus.  I’ve never painted one before but I didn’t think you can go too wrong with them seeing as they are squishy, boneless, ever-changing-shaped sea creatures.  Mine has quite an alien looking resemblance.  The photo has accentuated the purple tentacles (they are a little more subdued in the painting).

June 20 octopus
An Octopus for Day # 20 of the challenge

It’s actually given me an idea for another painting.  Yikes, not another idea!

Thanks for visiting.  Wishing you an awesome rest of the day.

PjPaintings at Salamanca Market June 9, 2018

It was a fun and interesting day at Tasmania’s Salamanca Market.

A couple from South Australia bought a whale print and then they saw ‘Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania’ print, which made them laugh aloud, so they decided to add that to their day’s purchase.

Surfing Clifton Beach, TasmaniaPNG
Surfing Clifton Beach, Tasmania

Another couple, from Canberra, chose ‘Weightless’ and ‘Tu-whit &Tu-whoo’ to accompany them in their travels.

TuwhitTuwhooPNG
Tu-whit & Tu-whoo

A local stopped by to tell me that she has ‘Retail Therapy, Stockholm’ hanging up at the end of her hallway that she sees every morning.  Her husband bought it for her because she loves shopping.

Retail Therapy in Stockholmsml
Retail Therapy, Stockholm

Another local told me that she sent a ‘Duck Crossing’ card to her father living in New Zealand, who is in his 80s and lonely since her mother passed away.  He phoned to thank her and started the phone conversation with “quack, quack, quack”.

Duck CrossingsmlPNG
Duck Crossing

A ten year old girl from Nepal, bought a small card from the Cheer ‘em Up series to take home with her to give to a relative.  A young lady, from Stockholm, Sweden, purchased ‘Weightless’ and another young lady from the UK, doing her PHD in Marine Science at the University of Tasmania, purchased ‘Entanglement’.  She said that she loves Hobart and wants to live here permanently.

EntanglementPNG
Entanglement

Two ladies visiting Tasmania together, one from Cairns and the other from Adelaide loved ‘Thunder’ and ended up buying an A-4 size.

This week’s most popular prints were ‘Weightless’ and ‘Suspended’.

A thought to ponder:  “I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” ― Vincent van Gogh I can definitely relate to this.  Many times my painting ideas wake me up and the excitement they stir up in me makes it difficult for me to fall back asleep!

Wishing you a week filled with smiles,

from the Pjpaintings stall #30 at Salamanca Market.