20 Feb 2013

Wednesday Art Group.

This year we have been fortunate enough to have Jane Mitchell agree to teach our Wednesday Art Group how to watercolour.

So far we have had two 3 hour lessons. She has taken us right back to basics, but my goodness what an amazing difference a little bit of expert teaching makes!

We had our second session today, and did our first little study of a flower. One painted into wet, and one into dry.

17 Feb 2013

Kapa Haka - Waitara

Ngā Purapura O Te Tai Hauāuru, one of the Māori Performing Arts cohorts of Te Wānanga Māori are due to compete next week at the National Kapa Haka Competition in Rotorua.  So we went along to support them at the Waitara Hall.  What a huge turnout to a very professional performance, once it eventually started.  The audience was patient and appreciative.

I drew Ihaka's 2003 Road King Classic Anniversary Harley parked outside.

12 Feb 2013

Frederic Alonzo Carrington 1807-1901

Frederic Alonzo Carrington was the chief surveyor of the Plymouth Company.  Frederic was sent from England to choose the site of a settlement in New Zealand. He chose the site and produced the original survey map of New Plymouth in 1841.

This sculpture was erected in 2012 by:

The Taranaki Branch of the New Zealand Institute of surveyors.

Fridtjof Hanson sculpted the statue which was cast by Ross Wilson and Roy Harkness, while Steve Molloy sculpted the stone on which Frederic stands.

This statue stands on the grass area in front of the New Plymouth Courthouse which is across the road from the Regent Buildings and near the New Plymouth Clock Tower. You can see the base of this through the trees.  The other members of the group sketched this statue on a day I didn't make it to sketching, so I decided I would do it this time.

Here is my sketch:

11 Feb 2013

Clock Tower & Devon

I once read a book called 'It was on fire as I lay down on it'.  Today I laid down on my back in the middle of the traffic island to try to capture the forshortened view of the clocktower.  The sun was beating down and traffic rolling past.

I had a few minutes left to dash off the renovated White Hart Hotel and view up Devon St

10 Feb 2013

Regent Buildings

These are the Regent Buildings on the corner of Devon and Queen Streets in New Plymouth. As I was sketching this one I noticed that it said Regent Buildings (as in more than one) across the top and wondered why, since it just seems to be the one structure. I later found out that the building behind it (to the right in the sketch) used to be called the Regent Theatre. I think I accidentally drew both of the Regent Buildings!
Today, the Regent Theatre is now the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery which specializes in modern art from New Zealand and Pacific Rim countries. This other building (showing prominently in the sketch) is due to be demolished later this year. The Art Gallery starts construction on a large additional wing mostly dedicated to kinetic artist Len Lye. It is a modern design with a wavy stainless steel surface.
In a way, it won't be another case of tearing down an old building to put up something new. Since it's going to be physically connected to the previous Regent Theatre, it can be thought of as a severe renovation of the Regent Buildings and that they will continue to live on.
This is another sketch that I did just over a year ago from further down Devon Street. The Building that says Red Cross on the top is part of the planned gallery expansion but I don't believe it to be one of the Regent Buildings.

6 Feb 2013

Wednesday Art Group - Sketching at theTupare Garden Fair.

The Gardener's Cottage:

The main framing of the Gardener's Cottage was recycled from the corrugated iron shed which was located on the present tennis court and was the Matthew's families first home.

On return from their honeymoon in England in 1932, Russell and Mary Matthews lived at Tupare for 18 months in a corrugated iron shed that contained one room with a fireplace and no hot water, and a tiny bedroom.
This caused their parents some anxiety with Mother Brodie and Mother Matthews having long discussions on the telephone on whether or not “it was right for poor Mary” to live under such conditions.
Their first child Elizabeth was born during this time, in 1933.
The Matthews moved in to the house while it was still being built and lived with the concrete and its dust.
When carpet was finally laid, Mary Matthews got down on the floor and rolled on it in delight.
And the Tin Hut? It was later transformed into the gardener's cottage, and is now the Tupare information centre.

Here is my sketch:


Tupare Garden Fair

Gorgeous day, well patronised, the Tupare gardens looked splendid.

Missy Moffat & Juliet McLean's music drifted over the grounds, and an appreciative recycling audience sat and enjoyed - including me.

3 Feb 2013

Fitzroy Beach Holiday Park - More

I had to agree with Trevor and went into the Fitzroy Beach Holiday Park. It was a great weekend to be at the beach. A camping spot here on a weekend like this would be uncommon, just metres from the beach.
I'm finding the weather lately a little too hot to function normally. I sketched this trailer (caravan) while sitting in the shade. Even then I almost found it too hot to concentrate. To make matters worse, I forgot to bring my swimming trunks too. On my way home I picked up some ice cream and promised myself to go back to beach the next day - properly. So today was just as hot but I was ready this time and brought my bodyboard too. I stayed in there riding wave after wave until I was sick of it. I purposely left my watch at home.

Fitzroy Beach Holiday Park.

I decided to sketch the Fitzroy Beach Holiday Park shop and not the surf carnival as it was very hot and by doing the shop could sit in the shade.

After match function

After sketching the chef versus home cook,we had the after match function,so to get in the spirit of the moment before eating. I sketched my Rasberry on white iceing square with yoghurt.

Pro chef versus home cook

At the Prefab Landing by the wind wand there was a cook off on a barbecue, between a pro cook and a home cook.I can't tell you who won but the food was great.

2 Feb 2013

Surf Life Saving Champs

Hot black sand, sunny day - ideal for the crowds at the Fitzroy Surf Life Saving Championships. Boats and people kept being moved as the tide came in - so I had to move several times to continue the sketch. First time I'd brought my own sun umbrella (and been glad)

1 Feb 2013

Michigan USA

Frankenmuth - town of German origins.  The glockenspeil told the story of the Pied Piper as I sketched sitting on a rubbish bin in the snow.
Frankenmuth in the snow, -6C much to my surprise my waterbrush bristles froze solid.  The town was like Groundhog day, packed - looking at the ice and snow sculptures
Santa Claus School in Midland where they teach beard maintenance, where to put your hands and the history of St Nick.
Just Jammin - C&W band
Two rivers meet at the tridge (three bridges meeting in the middle) in Midland.  Water was nearly frozen

Midland double decker
I had to go to frozen Frankenmuth to find a camel!
First time I've seen armed cops at a NZ airport
My car - temperatures got down to -27C incl wind chill
Snow & ice sculptures at Frankenmuth
The Cass River froze within two weeks and people were walking across it