27 Dec 2017

Te Henui Bridge

This is a pedestrian bridge that forms part of the Coastal Walkway. It crosses the Te Henui stream just before it flows into the sea. I did the watercolour about half a year ago but I didn't really like it and put it away. After I did the pen sketch, I pulled out the other one to compare (as it was of the same place). Maybe it wasn't finished, maybe it needed more paint, maybe the darks weren't dark enough... It's hard to say since I'm sort of just starting to use watercolours myself. So I went back into it and did some more painting; it's much better than before. I saved it but it's a lesson in how important it is to get the right amount of paint/water when putting down colours the first time on a page.

24 Dec 2017

Colourize Project: Pohutukawa tree

Here's a watercoloured sketch of a Pohutukawa tree. It's a native New Zealand species that has bright red flowers at this time of the year. I've heard some Kiwis say that this is a New Zealand Christmas tree (I guess from them being red and green over the holiday season).

Thorny the blacksmith making railway nails at the Extravaganza Fair.

St Mary's Lych Gate - historically representing where the dead bodies were passed over to the jurisdiction of the church.

18 Dec 2017

Parking Building

Just a parking building with an ugly green wall. The painted white triangle is mysterious to me as it aesthetically does nothing, yet it is there.

9 Dec 2017

Te Henui Stream, New Plymouth NZ

a lovely day by the Te Henui stream at New Plymouth's East End beach. This area is a reserve with great acticities for all age groups.

29 Nov 2017


A visit to TUPARE -  a splendid Garden of Significance and the  Chapman Taylor designed house.  The property is now owned by the Taranaki Regional Council.  This was formally the home of New Plymouth engineer , the late Russell Matthews , father of John Matthews,  well known for his generous support of the arts.  MLB  

25 Nov 2017

Scott and I caught Sketching in the City!

So here's a video of the decommissioning of the HMNZS Endeavour in New Plymouth last weekend. Turns out Scott and I are in it!


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