28 Oct 2012


Arts and surfing town Raglan
Municipal Building - a band was packing up their gear from the previous night's gig

The Blue Chook - back packer accommodation at Kawhia - pop 100 - coastal beach town south of Raglan

Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacluar

Peranakan Lights installed at the Brooklands Lawn in New Plymouth's Pukekura Park.

We all went in different directions this Saturday. Jackie went to Honnor's Farm Museum. Paul and Maurice went to Hurworth Cottage and Eileen and Myself sat on Brooklands Lawn and Sketched the Peranakan Lights. Later we all met at the Kiosk in Pukekura Park.

27 Oct 2012

Honnor's Farm Museum.

At present in Taranaki it is the Garden Festival which runs from the 26th October until the 4th November. Today we all had different ideas of what we wanted to do so we split up.

I went to Honnor's Farm Museum on Waitara Road, where there is a large collection of over 40 tractors, hay bailers, ploughs, water pumps and stationary engines. Some were fully restored, and some were on the "to do up" list.

This is the Honnor Doe Tractor. Built by three generations of the Honnor family combined.

During the 1950s farmers in the UK in need of high-power tractors had few options. Essex farmer George Pryor developed an ingenious solution to the problem by creating his own tractor. He did this by purchasing two Fordson tractors, removing the front wheels and axles and linking the two by means of a turntable which provided the steering action powered by hydraulic rams. This left him with a double-engined four-wheel-drive tractor capable of producing more power and outperforming any of the conventional tractors on the UK market at the time.

Here is my sketch:

23 Oct 2012

Pukekura Railway

The New Plymouth Society of Model & Experimental Engineers offered rides on miniature coal-powered steam engines for a dollar. 'Pukekura Railway' (as it is named) is a small double loop track in central New Plymouth. From a distance, these tiny trains seem like toys but they are actually pretty cool (and reasonably powerful) little engines.

20 Oct 2012

New Plymouth Society of Model and Experimental Engines.

Today was a lovely sunny day just right for sketching Model Engines. The New Plymouth Society for Model and Experimental Engines were celebrating their 60th Birthday this weekend. They are open all of Labour Weekend, so you can go and have a look, or have a ride on a miniature train for $1.00.

 Traction Engines.

From big to little to inbetween.

And Miniature Trains. This one is a DSA New Zealand Railways shunting engine.

19 Oct 2012

Devon Street - October 2012

Just an older building on the main shopping street here in New Plymouth. I have a feeling that I may end up colouring this one since I took my time on this one and that the building in the centre is a bright red colour.

Granny Bonnets - Aquilegia

The columbine, or Aquilegia canaensis, is part of the buttercup family and considered to be one of the most popular wildflowers for its beauty, history and various meanings. When found in the wild in the Rocky Mountains, the columbine flower is blue-petaled, while in eastern North America it is red; various colors are grown commercially. Five- or seven-petaled with spur-like flowers, the columbine symbolizes characteristics that range from foolishness to innocence.

Here are some of the meanings I found:


  • Giving a woman a columbine flower is considered bad luck, as they are a symbol of foolishness. Known to have five petals in the wild, the columbine flower was said to relate to foolishness because of its physical resemblance to a jester's five-pronged cap.

Innocence and the Holy Spirit

  • The columbine flower is also symbol of innocence. The fallen spurs of the columbine flower resemble the Virgin Mary's shoes, which were worn on her visits to see Elizabeth. According to legend, Mary's shoes caused the columbine flower to spring up beneath her, symbolizing her innocence. The fallen petals also resembled tiny doves, which are a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and the seven petals of the cultivated columbine flower represent the Holy Spirit's seven gifts.

What better way to spend an afternoon than to sit in my garden drawing Granny Bonnets! I'm quite proud of these ones, they're large vibrant and tall.

18 Oct 2012


A three+ week expedition to Brazil -
* San Jose dos Campos (1 hr north of Sao Paulo), near Jacarei
* Franco da Rocha (3/4 hr west of Sao Paulo)
* Sao Paulo
* Santos (1 hr east of SP)


15 Oct 2012

37th Worldwide Sketchcrawl Day.

This week it was the 37th Worldwide Sketchcrawl day. I didn't do as much as I would have liked what with the rain and having to go to work. I managed to get to lunch at Westbar:

While I was there I did a quick sketch of a man at the next table. I think I should do quick sketches more often!

13 Oct 2012

New Zealand Villas

New Zealand has quite a few wooden houses that are nearly 100 years old. The 'villa', as they are called, is a single-floor bungalow, made of local timber, and have dashes of ornamental details. The house that I live in is about 90 years old and has decorative plaster ceilings (another common villa characteristic) in nearly every room. Every now and then one of them disappears and is replaced by the new and modern.

37th Sketchcrawl

Today was the 37th Sketchcrawl, so it was decided this time we would sketch pre 1950's houses. The weather didn't help with this idea. Brian and myself managed to do one each. At twelve noon Jackie, Brian, Eileen, Paul, Patricia and Myself met at the Westbar in Westown. Jackie did a sketch at lunch. After lunch as the weather brightened up, Brian and I went to an area near Pukekura Park, there we managed one more sketch each and called it a day at 4.00 pm.


10 Oct 2012

The Wonderful Wednesday Art Group.

Earlier this year several of our group were attending acrylic painting classes. Unfortunately the classes didn't continue, but we were still all keen. This led to us starting an off-shoot group of The Taranaki Sketchers which we called "The Wonderful Wednesday Art Group". We have all been enjoying the group and have found that it has made us produce much more work. I know that if I hadn't been attending this group I wouldn't have completed any paintings at all this year.

Here are my latest ones inspired by a poem by W. B. Yeats:

The Cat and the Moon.


by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

The cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon,
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.