31 Dec 2013

Show & Tell

A good turnout at the Star of Anise after sketching

29 Dec 2013

Louie's Fat Boy

2013 Harley Davidson Fat Boy Soft Tail.  Louie kindly went back in for another drink to allow me to finish the sketch.

Punters at The Landing

Sketched by Patricia

22 Dec 2013

East End Beach on a Sunny but Windy Day.

Yesterday we went to East End Beach. The Pohutukawa Trees all have their flowers out. Pohutukawa are a native New Zealand tree and we call it "The New Zealand Christmas Tree." They always flower at Christmas time.

Here is the view looking back towards Port Taranaki.

Because of the high winds, the kite surfers were all out in force. This one was putting on a display for us!

16 Dec 2013

Cathedral Capers

We welcomed Sarah from Midweek, who snapped off some shots of us sketching at the Cathedral Christmas Market.

Diligent helpers lured four wheeled punters in by acting up with a large sign.

Meanwhile tinkling ivories and cheerful voices carolled at the entrance

Cathedral Sketchers & Watchers

Sketched by Patricia

14 Dec 2013

Sketching People Today.

Today we had a photographer from the Midweek Newspaper come and take pictures of us. She found it a little disconcerting when some of us sketched her!

I decided to carry on with my people theme, so here's one of Scott sketching.

9 Dec 2013

Volkwagen Kombi at the beach

About two more weeks until lots of people (and most businesses) shut down for up to a month. Combining Christmas, the New Year and plain old Kiwi summer holidays into a concentrated dose of serious time-off. But why wait? That's what weekends are for.

7 Dec 2013

Paritutu Rock and the Sugar Loaf Islands from the Oakura Motor Camp.

Today we went to the Oakura Motor Camp to sketch the VW Kombi Vans. I sat up on the hill and sketched the view looking towards New Plymouth.

 Paritutu rock and the Sugar Loaf Islands from the Oakura Motor Camp.

Splitties at Oakura

As a former beetle owner, current VW owner, and as a Kombi driver around Europe, understandably any VW gathering is still of interest, especially this one at the Oakura Beach campground.

Years ago we'd even made the pilgrimage to Wolfsburg with its own shipping canal, robots, Lamborghini sound-light shows - indeed a memorable day.  Wolfsburg is the same place the first split screen kombis were manufactured.  However these two 1960's T1s were built in a purpose built Transporter factory in Hanover.

Sadly the end of this year will see the last iconic Kombi produced.

The heat of the sun burnt through the clouds and we sketched with the squeals of family fun and games in the background.  Even Santa and his sleigh of two spaniels arrived to add to the Christmas spirit.

Beach weather coming

Sketched by Patricia

23 Nov 2013

Sun Sea & Boats

Something fishy down there

Port Taranaki

Sketched by Patricia

A lovely day at Port Taranaki

A lovely day at Port Taranaki- fisherman coming back with boats full of fish , mostly snapper and then the clean up before heading home .  This guy parked beside the largest rocks that form the edge of the car park .  MLB

16 Nov 2013

Rainy Day

It was a rainy day today and I didn't feel like the inevitable crowds of Centre City.
I am hopeless at traveling light, and I usually take everything including the kitchen sink. So I set myself a project to revamp my sketching kit!

It turns out I have enough gear to have two kits. One for watercolouring which is bigger and not so easy to carry about and a small version for sketching. Who knew I had pretty much two of every paintbrush!

I've gone back to my small watercolour pans. I've bought some new colours, (internet shopping), that match up with what we were taught in Wednesday Art Group by Jane Mitchell and I've rearranged them in a more logical order.

I've followed a suggestion from Paul and made a paintbrush holder out of a sushi mat. This is a great idea.

To make this I've sewn elastic over the paintbrushes to hold them in place. They can be easily taken in and out. I've then attached a ribbon tie to one edge, but you could use anything as a tie that takes your fancy. You then roll the mat up and voila! A nice easy way to keep your brushes neat and stop them being damaged in your sketch bag.

The weather improved a bit later so I went outside and tried it all out.

Here's my rock garden and steps:

Muffin Break

Weather slightly dodgy so an indoors option this week.  Customers queuing for a Muffin Break

Centre City Shoppers on a damp day

Sketched by Patricia

Rescue Helicopter

10 Nov 2013


As a kid, there was a helicopter that you could see in the air from time to time. It was this one, combined with re-runs of M*A*S*H, that led me to believe that all helicopters were basically exposed steel frames with a clear bubble cockpit. As I got older, the TV show, Airwolf, pointed out that not all helicopters look like this. Even though it was a modified civilian helicopter, it looked very cool and modern compared to the basic and skeletal Bell-47. Fake rocket pods, other attached film props, and visual & sound effects made it even better.
So here I am, decades later, sketching a helicopter, that still looks a lot like Airwolf. While the TV star was a Bell 222, this one before me is an AgustaWestland AW109. Even years ago, as an avid watcher of the show, I had to look that up. The overall body-shape is very similar, and to me, it's close enough. When I was reading about it on the internet, I read that the actual vehicle in the series had a brief stint as a charter helicopter and then, in Germany, also became a rescue helicopter. Unfortunately, it crashed on its way back to base after an otherwise successful mission when it was caught up in a storm. While it is a risk here that an accident could happen too, this one has very safe specifications. After all, the response team here is a very capable crew piloting 2 decades of flight technology improvements, such as GPS and night vision. The real stuff this time... not TV trickery!

9 Nov 2013

Taranaki Community Helicopter Rescue

A gorgeous and fortunately quiet day for the Rescue service.  Which meant we could all complete our drawings without the main character disappearing half way through. 
We were hospitably welcomed to sketch by the crew - which proved a fun day for us.

Taranaki Community Helicopter Rescue

Taranaki Community Helicopter Rescue

Sketched by Patricia

2 Nov 2013

Wandering Willow Elephants.

Today we sketched the Wandering Willow Elephants created by topiary artist Steve Manning of Suffolk in the United Kingdom. These spectacular life-like sculptures are made from willow and are expertly woven over custom made stainless steel frames. They are part of the Taranaki Garden Spectacular which is on at present. They will roam to different sites during the 10 day festival, and once it is finished they will find a permanent home.

As Scott said, the children loved them.

These elephants were very cleverly done. I thought they were woven like giant baskets or maybe wickerwork chairs? They were hollow in the middle, and much sturdier than I initially thought.