31 May 2014

Sketching Kites.

Scott and Patricia sketching children flying kites at East End Beach.

East End Beach

It was a fantastic blue sky, fine day today for the last day of Autumn. We went to East End Beach and sat in the sun and sketched.

I decided to try these paddle boarders and to see if I could get the sun on the water.

East End & Puke Ariki

East End

Epa - house end panels

East End Sea View

Sketched by Patricia

24 May 2014

Spring in Italy and France

Sunny spring weather in Northern Italy and Southern France.

Poppies by the roadside, Alps in the distance, cobbled streets, grand buildings, Old towns.... meant for an interesting month of work, plus some sketches.
A café manager kindly provided me a seat, whilst sketching this view outside my hotel in Bergamo

The 50cc Agricultural model put out by Piaggio (of Vespa fame)

The old town of Bergamo Alta - just near the top of the funicular

View of the walled old town on the hill in the distance (Bergamo Alta) from below - Bergamo Bassa

Carabinieri in dress uniform

Carabinieri on duty at the May Day protests - keeping a weather eye out

Milano Castello

Church at Crespi d'Adda, the turn of the century workers village, now UNESCO heritage

The village owner's castle.  He provided housing, schooling, swimming pools, teachers etc for the workers of his factory

Lecture (in Italian) at the Crespi d'Adda volunteer info centre

In the garden, means of sharpening your tools

Church in Grasse, Southern France (the perfume town)


Lunch at Grasse

Boulangerie - Grasse Market

Weaponry at the Grasse Museum

Horse blinkers from the Grasse museum

Jazz busker - Milano

Noisy May Day workers protest in Bergamo

Fiddly, impressive Milano cathedral

 Milano Door

Train at Milano Stazione

Sketching with my new Illustrator friend, Milano Urban Sketcher Gabriele Orlando


More sketching with Gabriele

Here is Gabriele's sketch at the same spot but including me :-)  I was full of admiration at his ability to sketch rapidly.

This sketch earned me a free lunch - and their Sicilian food and drink was delicious

Porta in one of the walls of Bergamo Alta

 My train carriage companion from Milano to Ventamiglia - he had a laugh when he saw it

Vintage Fiat

18 May 2014

Honeyfield Fountain

On the left in this sketch is the Honeyfield Fountain. It's pretty old and is along the Coastal Walkway and a railway. The original idea was that was for people coming into New Plymouth by train. It would light the way at night and was a good idea if you were thirsty. (Soft drinks companies make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen anymore.) The train station would have been behind the the large round tree somewhere. The station and the passenger rail service here are long gone. Now it's just a fountain but it is at a corner where two roads feed cyclists and pedestrians on to the popular sidewalk by the sea. I guess in a way it's still doing it's job of refreshing the travellers. 
Last year a car missed the corner and drove right through it. I actually thought that was it since it was a direct hit. Just the base of it was left where it used to be. After a year with some specialist fix-it guys, it's back and looks maybe better than ever.
(Of a sketching side-note, every time I draw a phoenix palm tree, I tell myself, 'this is the last time you draw one of these!' But... I'm always happy with the result, so I don't know. We'll see. It's like a chain-link fence that way.)

17 May 2014

"Brooklands" Fireplace

"Brooklands" Fireplace

New Plymouth’s first Magistrate, Captain Henry King, R.N.(1783-1874) and his wife Mary Ann (1791-1883) established the original Brooklands homestead in 1842-43. It was here, tradition has it, that the first cheese was made in Taranaki and King's farmstead became one of the agricultural showplaces of the fledgling New Zealand Company settlement.

The fireplace marks the site of Brooklands.  The house was first occupied in March 1843. It  was abandoned during the First Taranaki War of 1860-61 and was burned by Māori forces in March 1861.

 “Several houses were fired by the rebels last night, and between 5 and 6 this morning dense masses of black smoke gave notice that Brooklands, Captain H. King’s residence, with outbuildings, barns, stabling, &c. was given to the flames. Brooklands is overlooked by Marsland hill garrison and is not more than 600 yards from the military Fort in the Carrington road. The guard turned out, followed by the Fort Herbert natives and some shots were fired…” (T Herald 16 March 1861)

About 1898, the name was used again for a large mansion, built here by the estate’s then owner, local businessman Newton King (1856-1926) – no relation to Captain Henry - and his wife Mary. A celebrated garden was then created at Brooklands under the guidance of the King’s head gardener, Thomas Boulton.

Newton King's trustees gifted Brooklands to New Plymouth Borough Council in March 1934 in place of a number of individual bequests to the town’s various parks. The King’s house was demolished soon after. It stood about where the cycad plantings are on the lawn overlooking the Bowl of Brooklands.

 Here is my sketch:

10 May 2014

Group Photo at the Honeyfield Fountain.

It was a beautiful day today, and a great opportunity for a group photo.

Standing: Maurice Betts, Brian Gnyp, Trevor Davies.

Sitting: Liz Bridgeman, Eileen Davey, Jackie Flynn, Mary Bird.

Photo by Mark Davey.

The Honeyfield Fountain.

I love this fountain. It was originally installed for the people of New Plymouth walking from the old railway station. It has a drinking fountain, plus a light on top to help light their way. 

The Honeyfield Fountain was gifted to the city in 1907 by Alice Brown Honeyfield, who came from a family dedicated to community projects.

Fundraising began in 2004 to restore the historic feature and the restored fountain was reopened in August 2007.

The $50,000 for the restoration came from the TSB Community Trust, Lotteries Environment and Heritage Committee, Govett Quilliam, New Plymouth District Council, plus a number of individuals, many of whom are relatives of the late Alice Brown Honeyfield.

More recently the fountain was badly damaged with when a stolen car collided with it in April 2013. It has now been repaired by a specialist stonemason in Auckland, and returned to it's original site on 1/3/2014.

Photographer: Radcliffe, Frederick George
Date: 1913?
Date Period: 1910-1919

Description: Showing a boy sitting beside the Honeyfield Fountain on the Marine Parade, New Plymouth and another boy to the right standing next to a pram with a younger child in it, with Paritutu and some of the Sugar Loaves in the distance (centre) and the New Plymouth hot and cold saltwater swimming baths on the foreshore to the right.

Here is my sketch:

3 May 2014

Youtube is my friend!

I tried to organise sketching today, but it turned into a bit of a fizzer. One because of the weather and two because of the crowds. The two of us that did show up, didn't manage to find each other!

So instead of sketching I tried an idea I had a while ago and did a quick painting of the trees in the rain from out of my lounge window.

I used this Youtube video on painting trees to help me with colours and depth and found it extremely helpful.


Here is the result: