A Bolder Love Affair

Walking on Kunyani, the Aboriginal name for Mt. Wellington in Hobart, Tasmania, for me, is like meandering through an art gallery. For some, the highlight of kunyani is scaling the organ pipes or the spectacular views but for me it is kunyani’s sculptural boulders, proud, bold and sculpted by centuries of weather.


A blossoming eucalyptus on kunyani
my quick sketch of a clump of boulders
a field of boulders, one of many on kunyani
Me at the Municipality Cairn, the intersection point of three municipalities: Hobart, Glenorchy and Kingborough

An earlier painting of kunyani boulders.

2612big boulderslge

I introduced water colour painting, adding salt while the paint is still damp to create a grainy look and using a cotton bud and methylated spirits to create a lichen appearance on kunyani boulders to the Men’s Maximum and Medium Security inmates at Risdon Prison. I told them that nobody can say that you’ve drawn a rock wrong, to help them move out of their comfort zone and give painting a try…. and they did…

lichen growing on a kunyani boulder

… including giving writing poems a go. They were really pleased with their efforts. For the poetry writing, I asked them to write five words (nouns) about kunyani and then put some describing words (adjectives) around those words and then ta-da! – poems emerged effortlessly.

dipped in rust, proud large boulders

stunted bendy trees cling onto rocks

tweeting birds diving

buzzing insects darting

snow, sparkling white

… and who put a whale on the mountain!!?!?

I hope that one day you can experience the kunyani magic.

Warm regards, from PJ Paintings

Creative Juices are Flowing!!

The car parks, and creativity, were overflowing on a brilliant blue sky winter’s day at Birchs Bay Art Farm’s Sculpture Trail in southern Tasmania.  The farm grows and harvests native pepper, thousands of bunches of Dutch Iris each year and has a large organic vegie patch on its more than 100 acres of diverse native bush land.  It also has a growing and thriving sculpture crop, as each year it purchases and adds to its collection of permanent sculptures.

King Lizard by Jivanta Howard is one of my favourites.  It is made from recycled truck mufflers, mower blades and the toes are trampoline springs.  It is the coolest bench around!!  The farm has purchased two sculptures, this being one of the two.
happy face
I love this one too.  It is called Rumple Steelskin, made by Richard Whitaker, stating that “this sculpture possesses no underlying message.”
weather girl
This is a stunning sculpture.  The photo doesn’t do it justice. There is so much exquisite detail in this piece. Near her hands there is a little person with an umbrella.  This piece, sculpted by by Pirjo Juhola, is titled Weather Girl .  The Kingborough Council purchased this sculpture.

Mr. Pelican by Jivanta Howard is a large fun piece.  The pelican patiently obliged to the many photo requests.

Raven’s Return, made with ceramic, glass, beads and steel, by Wendy Edwards. 
The good old Hills Hoist featuring in this sculpture titled: Remnants of a suburban forest by Dan O’Toole.  Once endemic to Australian backyards these iconic structures are disappearing and becoming an endangered species.  Birchs Farm purchased this piece too.

These steel sculptures made by Mitch Evans is titled Pagan Spirits.  To my eye, they have a Picasso feel to them. Very cool.

The Frame by Anna Williams made with angle iron and steel rod

These are some sculptures from previous years acquired by the farm.


I didn’t get very far trying to draw Sparky the Ewe.


There are many more sculptures.  It’s well worth a visit to see all the works of art.  The bush, trail and art is truly wonderful.

Thanks for visiting.

An Eventful Train Ride

My ride from Vancouver to Edmonds, USA (a suburb in Seattle) was quite memorable.  The train was scheduled to leave Vancouver at 5:30pm.  When it got closer to 6pm, it was announced that the brand new locomotive wasn’t communicating to the older control system, so the train was going to be turned around and they will drive the train to Seattle using the back locomotive.  So, we travelled to Seattle backwards.  All our seats were facing forward but now they were backwards, which didn’t matter much because it wasn’t long before it was dark and you couldn’t see the passing scenic views.  The seats were comfortable and spacious.  Heaps of leg room compared to flying!

When travelling, the cars on the tracks do sway quite a bit and I found it difficult for painting or drawing, but I did this quick sketch of the passenger sitting across from me.


When we arrived at the US/Canadian border, at the Peace Arch, the American border guards came on board to collect train passengers’ Declaration documents and sight passports.  When a border guard collected the man’s, sitting across from me, Declaration card, they asked him what kind of meat is he bringing into the country?  He answered, “what do you mean?”  The border guard answered, “you’ve ticked meat on your Declaration card.”  He replied, “oh, that was my meat sandwich! I ate it.”  That was rather funny.

About an hour out from Edmonds, the train came to a screeching halt.  An announcement was made reporting that “we have a situation”.  I immediately thought that there might have been a person on the tracks.  Many train drivers suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from this type of extremely distressing situation.  Thankfully, after a while, they announced that there was somebody on the track but they were able to stop in time and he was not injured in any way.  We waited for the police to come and safely remove him, did a brake check and then we were on our way again.  I was really amazed that we were able to stop in time, with presumably one less braking system when travelling with one non-functioning locomotive, and with the diminished visibility with the darkness.

The train arrived in Edmonds, without further incidences, an hour late.  Despite the delays, I prefer travelling from Vancouver to Seattle by train than plane.


The Fremont Troll

While in Seattle, I visited an 18-foot troll that decided to take up residence under the Aurora Bridge in Fremont, Seattle, on Halloween in 1990.  I was told by locals that the bridge’s underneath area was an undesirable, littered and drug-dealing space. I love how art solved the immediate “ugly” problem and used a lovable “ugly” to turn an area that was avoided to a tourist hot spot.

Fremont TrollPNG


A Volkswagen Beetle hubcap is used to make a solitaire, glaring, shiny metal eye with the fearsome, shaggy troll crushing the remainder of an actual Volkswagen car in its left hand, which housed a time capsule of Elvis memorabilia; it was removed after the car was vandalised.

Fremont troll2PNG

The Fremont community annually pays tribute to the troll on October 31st with a moveable “Troll-o-ween” party, starting under the bridge and meandering to other art sites and events.

The troll’s vicinity keeps popping up on the news with strange incidences occurring.  For example, in 1998, a bus fell off the Aurora bridge, crashing on top of an apartment building next to the troll. Also, in 2013, the troll’s midnight snack remnants featured on the news when it carelessly left over a dozen bloody sheep skulls in its adjacent yard.

The concrete, steel and wire sculpture was created by Steve Badanes, Donna Walters, Will Martin and Ross Whitehead. It was sculpted by house builder Steve Badanes, who had never made a statue before.  The city asked the Fremont Arts Council to launch an art competition to rehabilitate the area and the public chose their favourite.  Badanes’s design for head-and-shoulders sculpture won the contest.  Art critics disapproved of the public’s choice but the community has loved the Fremont Troll from its initiation. 



Busloads of tourists from all over the world stop to take photos with the troll.  It is also a celebrity and has been featured in films like The Twilight Saga, Death Note, Sleepless in Seattle and more.

Sleep tight, Fremont Troll.  You are an awesome sight.

Inktober Challenge – catch up

Wow! The last Inktober drawing I posted was Day 18.  I didn’t realise I was that far behind.

So, here’s a bit of a catch up.

For low-motivation Day 19, I drew a quick sketch of an Echidna, sometimes known as a spiny anteater.  They are a monotreme, egg-laying mammals, along with the platypus, and are native to Australia and Tasmania.  I live in Tasmania and I’ve seen them several times, often when they are crossing a road.  I love the way they walk, they dawdle and their whole body moves from side-to-side.  They are cute beyond words. I panic when they are on the road and want to jump out of the car and hurry them along before a car runs over them.


day 19
A quick drawing of an echidna

These are two photos I took of an echidna on the side of a road.

For low-motivation Day 20: a rabbit


day 20
a rabbit – not very happy with this drawing

For feeling more motivated Day 21: a kangaroo with joey

day 21
Kangaroo with joey

… and for Day 22, still feeling quite motivated, I drew a sculpture that is in front of the Government House Tasmania. Which do you like best? A photo of sculptures and buildings or a drawing or painting of sculptures and buildings?

day 22
A sculpture in front of Government House.  I ran out of room on the paper but I think that may be adding to the picture, rather than detracting from it 

and here’s the photo of the sculpture

sculpture at Government House

Thanks for stopping by and wishing you a lovely rest of the day/evening.

Footsteps towards Freedom

I visited the newest sculpture installation at MACq 01 in Hobart just after it stopped raining which made it even a more powerful, emotive and moving experience.  I’ve never been so moved by a sculpture before.  I’m sure that the sculpture being women and children contributed to it being so moving for me, and why I connected with it so much, empathizing with, and for, my gender, and the horrors these women and children endured.

Sculptures in front of the Macq01, Hunter Street, Hobart

The bronze sculptures bring to the forefront the untold stories of impoverished women and children convicts, many from Ireland, who arrived in Hobart Town more than 150 years ago. The sculptures are the work of internationally celebrated Irish artist, Rowan Gillespie. The sculptures took two years to complete and are modelled on descendants of Tasmania’s convicts.

The body language captured in the young boy sculpture is so emotive.

convict boysml

The women were marched off to the Female Factory for some form of assignment, and the children were considered orphans, removed from their mothers and placed in orphanages.  The suffering, both physical and emotional, endured by the women and children was enormous and these bronze sculptures commemorates the experiences of these often-forgotten people.


Females’ and children’s sufferings and contributions are so often under-represented and commemorated in public art.  I’m so pleased and proud that these beautiful sculptures have been added to our city.

Maq01 Hobart, Tasmania


If you visit Hobart, Tasmania, it’s well worth seeing these outdoor works of art.

Macq 01sml
my drawing of the Hunter Street and Maq01 view 

Take care and thanks for visiting.