Monday, May 22, 2017

Port Taranaki

The other day I was biking around the port area, looking for something to draw. I noticed a road sign that said 'Port View Crescent'. I've never been there before but with a name like that I went up the road hoping for a good view. Not much yet so I turned off a side street and had a nice open vista over Port Taranaki. Actually, between the end of a driveway and the start of an open grassy strip there was a park bench. I'm not sure who's it was but it overlooked the port and was out of the sun and under a tree. So if someone's reading this and noticed, "Hey... that's my bench", I hope you don't mind and thanks for putting it there!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Nuku Tewhatewha @ The Dowse

The Wellington group sketched at The Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt recently.  I sketched Nuku Tewhatewha, an elaborate pātaka, Maori store house.  It is of national significance because it is one of seven pātaka commissioned by North Island chiefs symbolising support for the Kingitanga movement.  It was built in 1856 in Naenae, a suburb in Lower Hutt.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

New Plymouth ANZAC Day 2017

I've been out sketching other things since it's actually been pretty dry lately, however here is my finished ANZAC Day dawn ceremony sketch. As you can see I've made most of it way darker. The areas that you had seen in my previous progress pic are sort of visual notes reminding me that these are the really dark areas. This allows me to do a reasonably detailed sketch of something that is only there for a short period of time. This is my third ANZAC sketch, three years in a row. I didn't plan on coming out to do another one this year, but my sketch from last year was chosen to be in an art show in New Plymouth (running from June to November). This sort of motivated me to try it again. I don't think I will do a fourth any year soon but I'm happy with three; they look good together.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Historic Racer

Interesting historic speedway midget racer sketched at the equally interesting Yesteryear Barn down near Paeroa on State Highway 2. Well worth a visit if you enjoy noseying around old sheds bursting with memorabilia.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Meeting our family half the way between Portugal and New Zealand seems to be the way to go, it´s less expensive, we fly less hours and we can see something new so, why not Cuba. The plan was to meet Liliana´s parents there.  Hopefully get a plane before the cyclone Cook arrived to Auckland and get back before the tornado season there. A direct flight from Los Angeles took us to see the biggest island in the Caribe.

 Habana is a remarkable place to sketch, layers of history and layers of bright paint with unexpected and creative ways of using the old buildings can be seen all around the city. Every place would give a good drawing so the frustration of not sketching enough was almost guaranteed.

The transports in Habana are very diversified and follow the Cuban creativity. Starting with the bicitaxi, a tricycle mostly used by cubans, the cocotaxi a motorized tricycle which Eva loved and the horse with carriage for tourists. In terms cars there are a mix of old russian and american cars, none of each remains original, the old russian Volga car that took us until Trinidade had a Kia engine and several other parts from different cars. The music pumping loud from the speakers is a must. There is always something being repaired on the road side and it feels like those cars can last another 50 years.
Eva forgot her sketch book but wanted to sketch people and was constantly asking Liliana for pages of her book, we decided to find her a sketchbook or school book with blank pages, we went to the main art shop in Habana but there were only books with lines. According with the guy working there, last time he had a book with blank pages for sale was 5 years ago... "But we have free health care and good weather" he added with an amazing sense of humor. The Cubans are happy persons. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cyclone Cook

Cyclone Cook hit NZ just before Easter.
I was flying out to Wellington and luckily it skimmed by Auckland, but it still caused delays.
So I had time to sketch the scenes on the tarmac.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Making time for fries

I've been busy this month with lots of extra jobs. As a result, I haven't made time for sketching. One day, I did have some extra time when I was in town and saw a sign that said "Curly French Fries". Oh, aggressive marketing... you win again! So I sat at a table with a street view and did this one.