A wonky Weaver’s Cottage

My sketch of the quaint and historic Weaver’s Cottage in Oatlands, where wool is spun and being woven into fabulous and beautiful products right beside the front door, as you enter into the shop.

The actual shop isn’t wonky but my drawing sure is! But to quote Liz Steel, “embrace the wonkiness”.

The Weaver’s Cottages Studio in Oatlands, now stocking PJ Paintings greeting cards and A-5 sized prints

Oatlands is a picturesque, buzzing little town off the Midlands Highway, Tasmania. A brand new, large and fabulous gallery has just opened on the main street too!

I hope you can stop in soon and have a wander.

Take care, from Patricia Hopwood-Wade

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Oatlands, Tasmania

I thoroughly enjoyed my day in Oatlands, Tasmania, about an hour’s drive from Hobart. The town is packed with gorgeous scenes, surprises, and history. The Georgian architecture, sculptures, rock walls and gardens are such a treat for the eyes.

I love rock walls! and there are so many in Oatlands
Another gorgeous rock wall with an eagle taking a strong stance pose

Along High Street (the main street through Oatlands) there are gorgeous houses and gardens.

there are so many beautiful stone walls and gorgeous gardens

We stopped into Vintage on High Café https://www.instagram.com/vintageonhigh/?hl=en, where I enjoyed a cuppa and sketched the shop across the street, which unfortunately was closed on Mondays.

Vintage Cafe on High Street
The narrow space between the cafe and the next building. I like the iron lace.
my sketch of the closed Elm Cottage Store on High Street, Oatlands

The cafe has a wonderful outside seating area, including an abundance of fruit trees and this cool stork sculpture.

stork sculpture among the fruit trees

Further down High Street, there’s another stork sculpture!

I love this sculpture!

The Oatlands Court House was built in 1829. Many death sentences were handed out here however, all but eighteen were later commuted to life sentences. The eighteen men were executed in the nearby jail. One poor soul was innocent of the murder he was convicted of, but it was too late for him. The real murderer confessed of his ill-deed on his death bed. Solomon Blay, who resided in Oatlands, was the executioner for Oatlands, Launceston and Hobart.

The Court House

We visited the remnants of the heritage listed jail in Oatlands. Oatlands was established as a military garrison in 1827 and was the primary military outpost in inland Tasmania. Over the next decade, close to 90 buildings were constructed in the town using convict labour, including the court house, soldiers’ barracks, watch house, and officers’ quarters. Today, the town has one of the largest collections of intact Georgian architecture in Australia.

The goal

Completed in 1835, the Oatlands Gaol was designed to hold over 200 prisoners but was never fully occupied. Used as a military gaol and municipal prison until 1936, the complex was closed and largely demolished in 1937. The gaol’s main use since the 1950s has been as the site of Oatlands’ municipal swimming pool. https://www.southernmidlands.tas.gov.au/oatlands-gaol/

Another view of the gaol
The worn steps at the side entrance of the goal

You can pick up a key from the Oatlands council building that gives you access to three buildings, the gaol, courthouse and the commissariat https://www.southernmidlands.tas.gov.au/oatlands-commissariat/ The council had had some reports about problems with the electronic key and I could confirm that there are problems. Only one out of the three keys worked.

3 and 5 Albert Street Cottages in Oatlands

The block of land that these cottages stand on was granted to John Goulder, a freed convict in 1839. Goulder settled here in 1832and built a large weatherboard house. By 1839, he had fenced his land with stone walling and built another house, a two-storey house with 8 rooms and outbuildings. In 1940, he bought the Kentish Arms and continued to expand his real estate portfolio. He died in 1880 and by 1885 the original stone house was replaced by these cottages. It is believed that the materials from the original house were used in the construction of the cottages.

Near these two cottages is this building. I found the three different materials used to make this three-in-one type of building intriguing. There’s stone, pressed tin and wood.

Albert Street
I love this awesome perspective example that urban sketchers grapple with on a regular basis. This is the divide between the cottage and three-in-one building.

We also visited the lovely Weaver’s Cottages Studio. They want to stock some of my cards and prints. 😊

Visitors coming into Oatlands from the opposite direction that we entered, are welcomed by cool cow sculptures in Lake Dulverton. May be they are possibly trying to convey that … if you find yourself knee-deep in water, be like the cow and stay calm??? Do you think?? Well, cows used to roam the streets and wander down to the lake to eat the native grasses. Apparently, collecting the family cow from the lake was an after school chore assigned to the children in Oatlands.  https://www.southernmidlands.tas.gov.au/cows-in-lake-sculpture/

Cows wading in Lake Dulverton, Oatlands

Of course, you can’t visit Oatlands and miss the windmill that stands out proud and tall on the landscape.

The windmill
The brand new, soon-to-open Distillery at the windmill site

If you’re driving up the Midland Highway in Tasmania, I recommend that you take the time to turn off and visit enchanting Oatlands.

Lindisfarne Bay, Tasmania

Hobart’s urban sketching group met today at Lindisfarne Bay. Despite it being on the chilly side today, and that there was the sporadic burst of wind, we had an enjoyable and productive time.

I have always wanted to sketch the Tasman Bridge, which is a significant land mark of Hobart, especially with the history attached to it, the tragedy of a boat running into it and the loss of lives as a consequence of it being broken. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-05/memory-of-tasman-bridge-collapse-lingers/10684234

This is the view I decided that I would attempt to draw. Note the Cormorant standing on the rock near the shore and the pelican in the middle-ground approaching.

view from Lindisfarne Bay on the Eastern Shore of Hobart
Here’s my plein air sketch of the scene

There was some drama on the water while sketching. A pelican made a b-line for a Cormorant standing on a rock, minding its own business. It had to make a quick exit along with the seagulls! I thought the pelican was going to try to eat it!

An annoyed pelican that the birds on the rock didn’t stay put
I wanted to eat you Mr Cormorant!

There was a very friendly magpie on the scene too.

an exceptionally friendly magpie

I hope everybody has also had an enjoyable Sunday and that the upcoming week goes well for all.

Cheers, from Patricia Hopwood-Wade

100 People Challenge

The drawing 100 people in five days challenge has come and gone. I have come close to drawing 100 people in the past but have never quite got over the line. Last year, I didn’t even attempt it and the same almost happened this year. But I attended the Summer Salt Music Festival, in Hobart, Tasmania’s Botanical Gardens https://summersaltmusic.com.au/past-events/hobart/ on Friday, March 12th that coincided with the 100 people challenge. So, while standing in line, I pushed myself to start drawing people. I drew 22 people and then it just got too dark to see. Also, once seated, there were mainly backs of heads to draw, which didn’t inspire me very much.

I won’t bore you with all 22 drawings because frankly most of them are pretty ordinary. I’ve chosen what I think are the best of the lot.

This gothic young woman was sitting fairly close to us. I found her a great person to sketch with her thick, dark long eyelashes, nose ring, lip stud, lacy black top, black skirt and black hat.

At the music festival with the very strict COVID no dancing rule being enforced

I drew her again when she was holding onto her bare foot. Her friend beside her was eating slices of salami,

At the Summer Salt Festival, Hobart, Tasmania
Enjoying the music

The live music was awesome as I hope the start of your week has been.

Many thanks for stopping by and visiting.

Cheers, Patricia (www.pjpaintings.com)

Urban sketching in North Hobart

For today’s urban sketch meet we met at a funky little cafe in North Hobart called Pigeon Hole Cafe. Our small group of eight sketchers dispersed and drew a variety of buildings and houses. The hills and slopes added an extra level of perspective-challenge.

A church built into the slope across the street from the cafe where we met

I chose to undertake this challenge on Goulburn Street. I liked that I could see a little of kunanyi/Mt Wellington just peeking over the roof of the building.

building built in 1924 on Goulburn Street, North Hobart, Tasmania

This is what I drew and started painting outside before I decided it was time to seek warmth and a well deserved cup of coffee.

plein air

…. and the finished wonky attempt.

a Goulburn Street building

I hope that everybody has had a lovely weekend and wish you an equally lovely upcoming week.

Thanks for dropping in for a read. Cheers, Patricia (PJ)

Opossum Bay

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.

I love the shape of the bay and I love what this resident has made from random, lost thongs found on the beach! What an awesome and creative idea.
a photo from the other direction

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.

my favourite house along the beach

I was keen to try to draw the lighthouse house. I struggled with the perspective but it was still fun to try.

My sketch

There were a variety of seagulls enjoying the bay too.

Thanks for visiting and stay safe.

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

Sometimes you just gotta get Out!!

I teach academic writing, normally in a classroom, face-to-face with students, but now, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, I’m trying to do it via online, while developing content for the online platform. There’s a lot of sitting involved with the marking of assignments, phoning students, online development and delivery. Then for a break, I sit and paint.

Sometimes you just have to get out of the house and away from sitting, sitting, sitting. So, that’s what I did. I thought I might be able to squeeze a sketch in before it got dark. So, at around 4:30ish pm, I sketched this house while “sitting” in the car. (I went for a walk this morning to help combat the too-much-sitting problem). It’s in the Sandy Bay area, around the University of Tasmania. I forgot to take note of the street but I think it is Duke Street??

Duke Street
It’s getting dark!

I used my usual approach to sketch this house. I firstly used a coloured water colour pencil, then ink and then painted it at home. I don’t usually do cars so I left them unfinished. I was noticing in the photo that there are a lot of overhead wires, I wonder if it would add interest or detract from the drawing?? What do you think??

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I hope that you get a chance to get out and enjoy some nature.

Take care, Pj Paintings

You call that a hedge??!

After Friday’s inspirational walk in Lenah Valley, besotted by hedges, I wanted to re-visit a well-known hedge in my neighbourhood.

I got up early on Saturday morning and set out with my sketching gear. It was a balmy 4 degrees when I left the house and as I was making my way down to this house, I spotted a familiar friend, the Bridgewater Jerry.

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The Bridgewater Jerry on the move

During the winter, the Bridgewater Jerry occurs, on average, once or twice a week. Tasmanians like to think it is unique but in reality a lot of places around the world experience similar fogs, it is just that we have named ours. It is believed the term “jerry’’ came from London where it was thieves’ slang for mist or fog and the term was transported to Tasmania with the convicts.

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creeping towards kunyani

This weekend’s fog had fuzzy edges but sometimes the edges are so sharp and crisp, giving it such an amazing 3-D appearance of a ribbon curving and winding its way in front of kunyani. It looks so incredible that I forget to take a photo of it each time!

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A visitor is coming, kunyani

At night, in the cooler months, cold air drains down the mountains and collects in the Derwent Valley. Fog will form if this air is moist and cool enough. Then Bridgewater Jerry drains out of the valley in the mornings. The fog mainly affects the Derwent, northern and western suburbs of Hobart, but occasionally it reaches the Eastern Shore. I have seen it once travel all the way across the river to Tranmere.

Some of the hedges I saw reminded me of the Crocodile Dundee knife scene, “You call that a hedge? This is a hedge!”

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A nicely trimmed, manageable hedge

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 This is what you call a hedge!

There is a house along the Esplanade and Derwent River in Bellerive that is referred to the “wave-hedge house’.

My fingers were numb so I sketched it as fast as I could and painted it when I got home.

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The wave hedge house in Bellerive

I wanted to exaggerate the colour of the hedge, almost give it a bit of an abstract look and make the hedge the dominant feature of the painting. I wish I had drawn it from a more side on angle… another time.

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My sketch of the wave hedge house

Thanks for joining me on my art journeying.

Take care and stay safe.

North Hobart

I had a coffee with a friend in North Hobart, yesterday. While my friend was finishing a phone call, I did a very quick sketch of this house.

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There are so many gorgeous Federation houses in North Hobart.

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I leaned on the railing to do my drawing of this house above

I must get myself out drawing more!