22 Nov 2017


Our trips to Melbourne allows me time to sketch some of the lovely old buildings.  This one , in Williamstown ,used to be a boarding house.  While I sketched a woman came up to have a look - "That's were I used to work" she said . MLB

19 Nov 2017

Cycling down the Rhine

Lyn and I just completed a cycle ride from Switzerland to Rotterdam following the Rhine from source to the ocean. From Rotterdam down thru Belgium and on to Calais.  Phew! Hard to believe we did that! Through 7 countries with our tent and although the longest to date we agreed it was 
the best yet.
And so I managed to fill another journal ... a great pastime to enjoy while biking and at the campsites in the evening.

Thinking of taking on Denmark/ Sweden for next year.


Sketched by Jul - our Tauranga Foreign Correspondent

Back home:

18 Nov 2017

Decomissioning of HMNZS Endeavour.

Marching through the streets bayonets fixed, bands playing and colours flying. Delivering the charter back to New Plymouth and the troops being inspected by Mayor Holdom.

Here are two sketches:

The bonus thing with these guys is, once they are on parade, they don't move much.

And some photos:

In the Navy...

HMNZS Endeavour - Tanker making her last call to 'home town' New Plymouth before being decommissioned.  Marched through the streets bayonets fixed, bands playing...

16 Nov 2017


After the Global 24-hour Sketchwalk, I gave a presentation and lead a sketchcrawl in the afternoon. It was an event tied to the 'Homework' art show at Puke Ariki, here in Taranaki. I went out looking for something to sketch and looked at the display house that Habitat for Humanity was constructing. The group uses an old Bedford truck to move supplies and gear around. It was missing a wheel, on a jack, and was waiting for its tire to be repaired. I also noticed that it was missing the letters "B-E-D-F" so it was now an "ORD". Yesterday, on the way home from work, I went by the house to see how far along it is now. The truck was there again and another flat tire. I stopped to chat with the guys that I met on the weekend. It turns out it was the same tire. They were happy with the result of the finished sketch and I got them to hold my drawing in front of the Ord.

15 Nov 2017

Global 24-hour Sketchwalk

Last weekend was the Global 24-hour Sketchwalk where groups around the world took turns providing reasonably live images and video of people sketching around the world. It started here in New Zealand and every 15 minutes the spotlight shifted a bit more westward, finishing in Hawaii. When I went to sleep that night, The photos were coming from Lebanon and Africa. I woke up and the footage was from Boston.

11 Nov 2017


Today is the 10 year Anniversary of the Global Urban Sketchers Group! They are doing a sketchwalk to mark and celebrate this. We met at Puke Ariki Landing to sketch. Brian took on the job of photography and uploading to the Urban Sketchers Instagram account. This is good I say, as I know nothing about Instagram.

Here is my sketch of Centre City Shopping Centre:

I did another one in the afternoon as part of my Black and White Picture challenge I've been doing. I decided to try the old Women's Rest Rooms. The building has been painted black, (not sure why), so I figured it qualified.

10th Anniversary Urban Sketchers Sketch Walk

10th Anniversary Urban Sketchers Sketch Walk


 Rock Carving

29 Oct 2017

Manutahi Museum. Taxidermy past and present.

It is the start of the Taranaki Garden Festivals this weekend.
We went to the Manutahi Museum of taxidermy past and present. Some animals were so lifelike they looked like they would fly or run away. Others were a work in progress with wires, pins and pegs on them.

14th October 2017 New Roof for The Gables.

The Gables has a new roof made of 20,000 cedar shingles imported from Canada. It is all looking very new at the moment, but I'm sure with time it will silver off a bit.

28 Oct 2017

Museum stuffed full

The Manutahi Museum is run by taxidermist enthusiast John Ward.  What variety, from rampant polar bears to scorpions.

One is never "boared'

Not often you get time to study the colours of a regular peacock.
 This golden pheasant had lived in the wild one house away, and had passed away recently by bumping into the neighbour's window.  John was in the process of resurrecting it.  The colours were incredible, the maroon feathers looked like they had been placed over the tail feathers - nature is unusual.