Tag Archives: PNG

Island Woman – Watercolour and Gesso

Island Woman – Watercolour and Gesso

Experimenting with a watercolour – gesso combination, I painted “Island woman”. She reminds me of someone from my past in PNG New Guinea islands – maybe from New Britain or New Ireland.

Like other mediums, watercolour paints have names and pigment intensity. This Aussie Red-Gold (Daniel Smith) paint has to be my favorite, but I use Payne’s Grey in almost everything, so I had to prove to my students, I could easily divorce Payne’s Grey for another colour. I think it is a brilliant colour. I hope you like it too.

Outskirts Hanuabada – Watercolour Painting

Hanuabada Village outskirts, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

I have been wanting to paint these houses on stilts for a long time. Several villages in PNG have houses on stilts including Hanuabada, the largest village in the capital.

Although the area I am studying is quite large, I singled out a few houses on the outskirts that villagers painted with some of my favourite colours.

I hope to finish the painting this weekend.

Tell me of you like these work in progress shots.


Kalam Warrior – Watercolour

A serious moment for this young Kalam warrior, from Simbai, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. Kalam people are famous for the exquisite green fruit beetle headdresses.


Suki Sunset – Art

Suki Sunset1 (1)

Here is a poor re-production, but I wanted to show this painting I re-worked of a sunset in Suki River, Western Province, Papua New Guinea. The original and proper re-production are superior. I worked in Suki for a short time and have fond memories. The place is surrounded by water. You can look as far as you can and the water never stops. The river joins to others and small lakes that are a home to wildlife and fish. The scenes are quite breath-taking. In a typical evening, here right off the edge of the airstrip (which I did not show but it is at the back of this family), canoes would come across from the villages to pick up the passengers. Then, someone would hold the lamp or a torch as the rest paddled all the way home. Sometimes the trip took three to four hours.

If the villagers were lucky, a motored dinghy would be there to fetch them. And it was not always the fastest, some dinghies would run out of fuel on the way home, so the travellers still needed to paddle. After one of my community craft development workshops, there was no dinghy so eight women paddled me to the airstrip, it took us two and a half hours and they all stood in the single out-rigger and pushed with long sticks and paddles. They told me to sit. I was not brave enough to stand and paddle. We got there on time.



A Pink Bundle with Price Tag – (Continued)

Pink Bundle with Price Tag – Poem

Artwork by JK.Leahy©

Poem – JK.Leahy©

(See verse one in the last post – This is a short story I tried writing in this format)

Pink Bundle with Price Tag

Arms to hold her first baby, folded on her crossed legs.

Suppressed in her expression, wrapped was her excitement.

I remembered Aunt on the phone telling,

“we are going to have a baby” while laughing at her husband.

A young school girl wanted to adopt her unborn baby.

Aunt said, “she would be beautiful like you, lady.”

The gossip; baby’s father was white and the mother was black.

The baby could own loose locks on a melted caramel tan.

My aunt had fought and climbed trees, just like a man

Not to happen, she would bear children like a woman


(To be continued in a book of short stories)


I was doing some studies on stilt houses in Papua New Guinea and came across this very sweet story; an expatriate’s point of view of life in Papua New Guinea. I’m sure this ‘wantok’ (friend) does not mind me re-blogging his story about Karina. I have in the past posted historical images of Tubuserea Village, just outside the capital, Port Moresby.

Tim Bruwer Blog

I first met Karina Parina when I started my new job with Papua New Guinea’s National Library Service in Port Moresby in 1980. She was a shy, softly spoken 21-year old girl from the village of Tubusereia, about an hour’s drive eastwards along the coast from Port Moresby.

My job at the National Library was to arrange training programs for the Papua New Guinean library staff, to enable them to fill the positions that were occupied at the time by sixteen expatriate librarians. As my job involved working with staff across the organisation on an ongoing basis, my first challenge was to learn everyone’s names. I clearly remember my first introduction to Karina because her lovely rhyming name was impossible to forget.

Like most of the other Papua New Guinean staff members she went about the library barefoot. A few of the others wore rubber thongs. In the tropical heat…

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Blooming PNG – Tropical Flowers

These are a collection of Papua New Guinea tropical flowers I shot in Mount Hagen and Lae. Most of these are ferns and blooms of the ginger family. Sometimes, I prefer the suggestions of the bloom, rather than the clear picture; I think it makes the colours and the image more interesting.
















Mt Hagen Town View – Revisit

Mt Hagen town view from Mt Kuta – Papua New Guinea. Picture: JK.Leahy

Although it was under a sad circumstance, it was good to return to Mt Hagen town, Papua New Guinea, after almost 17 years to attend George Leahy’s funeral. The town had a dry spell, but the air was crisp and everything looked green and luscious.

Picture JK.Leahy ©

This is the view from a beautiful house on the Kuta Ridge that I visited the last week. The house was built by my late cousin, Maggie Wilson.  In partnership with her family and her people, she ran a successful world re-known guest house called the Haus Poroman (house of friends) for several years before she passed away a few years ago. Her eldest daughter Bernadine Danomira took me to the ridge to visit Maggie’s place and see the view once more. It was still as beautiful as I remember it.






Tubuserea – How She Used to Look



I have been to Tubuserea Village, Central Province, Papua New Guinea many times with my best friend Anne Kaluwin.  These are the scenes from Tubuserea almost five decades ago.

Anne and I grew up together like sisters, after meeting in grade eleven in national high school. I also invited her to my own village, Wagang, in Lae. I found these pictures of her village while reading some old articles and on a website called Nashos.  The pictures brought back many great memories especially of our time with her mother and grandmother who have now passed away.

These pictures were taken in 1967 when Anne and I would have been two and three years old. Anne is a year older than I. The photographs are part of a collection gathered by Australian soldiers and those who served in PNG between 1966 and 1973.