20 Oct 2019

Day trip into the eastern Taranaki farmland

 A trip into the farming area of Tarata and Purangi , inland  between Waitara and Inglewood , Taranaki NZ. This follows the Waitara river and included large stands of native bush , river flats and hill country. I came across a muster of sheep, the farmer slowed the droving to allow time for photos and quick roadside sketches. He was wondering what I was doing this far from town in my MX5 sportscar !  .  The old shed was dark with green covering the original red-shed paint work. Still looked great.  MLB

Fountain Lake

In Pukekura Park, there is a lake that has a fountain in the middle of it. A button on the edge activates a cycle of alternating water patterns for a couple of minutes. Kids love pushing it to get the fountain started. When I was there, a couple of men in suits were walking around doing work. I could tell because they were pointing at many things. One of them pointed to the button and the other one pressed it. Big smiles all around. Businessmen love the fountain too.

14 Oct 2019


Cuba Street buildings in Wellington. Quick sketch in this most interesting street.

Sketching in Pukekura Park

An opportunity to join other Taranaki Sketchers on a lovely bright spring day in Pukekura Park , New Plymouth NZ.  This small waterfall is part of a continuing water course that flows through this beautiful park. MLB

4 Oct 2019

Kings Building

It's finally spring and I'm out in the afternooon sun. A few days later, I see this headline in the local news. It looks like I'm back to indoor sketching.

16 Sep 2019

Food Court Lunch

I had some extra time while shopping so I sketched the mall food court. I noticed three things:
1.  It's amazing how little time people take when eating in a food court. People aren't there to chat; it's all business so that makes for some fast sketching. I definitely feel sketching people in a proper cafe is easier.
2.  About 80% of females partaking in a food court lunch had longer hair tied back in a ponytail.
3.  The fast food franchise kiosks with huge advertising budgets get a return on their investment. There was a constant queue for burgers while some of the other places were super quiet. The Chinese food place had one guy just standing there behind a buffet, with no takers. I kept looking over at him and it never changed. (When this one was done though, I went over to Mr. Lonely and bought a plate of sweet and sour pork.)

1 Sep 2019


In Puke Ariki museum again; this time drawing a Kākāpō. It's a New Zealand flightless parrot and as of today, there's only 142 left. Click here to find out more or to donate to their recovery!

26 Aug 2019

An afternoon out with the Group  by the Te Henui stream , New Plymouth NZ. White baiters try their luck. Great subjects because they stay still !

29 Jul 2019

Te Henui

The very rare sunny winter day off. What a beauty! I have to give credit to Maurice for the idea to come down to Te Henui stream to draw and paint. I could have happily sat there all day and sketched.

24 Jul 2019

Taranaki Mountainairs

A couple of weeks ago, we went to see some B-ball action here in Taranaki. It turns out that the local boys didn't have enough left in the tank to finish the season up with a win.

23 Jul 2019

Fenton St Arts Collective

The Fenton St Arts Collective in Stratford is well worth a look. Gallery, Espresso Bar and Distillery (Gin)  Jo and Stuart have a special spot in this vintage building.  Jo is very accomplished at figure and portraiture.

19 Jul 2019

Standard 10 and the Harvard

Some more winter sketching in the Taranaki Aviation Technology & Transport Museum. There's so much stuff in here. Most things are grouped into sections but there's always the odd specimen randomly inserted. A toy-sized 1950's car is snuggled under the wing of a Harvard (T-6 Texan) fighter plane. I drew the plane a few years ago and I think it was damaged on a landing. That's why it lives in here with the cute cars and why its current propeller is too small. (It looks tons better than with no propeller though!)

8 Jul 2019

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

This was done over multiple lunches at about 15 minutes per day. The first day, there was a car with a roof rack. Being finicky, I didn't want to draw that so left the bottom for tomorrow. The next day, there was van with a roof rack. The third day, 6 out of the 8 vehicles had a roof rack. I was able to wrap up the cars and the people on the fourth day but it seemed like there was a conspiracy.

4 Jul 2019

Urban Sketching , cars and cafe

OKOKI-KAKA Raods, north of Urenui in Taranaki. a day out with the Taranaki Sketchers.

Social Kitchen New Plymouth . wonderful café restaurant

12 Jun 2019

Pukekura Park

A few months ago I was sitting on the steps of the band rotunda in Pukekura Park sketching. I started to watercolour it there but ran out of time about half-way through. I took it home and put it aside. Now that we're having a rainy week I took this pad back out to finish it and here we are.

28 May 2019

Ngamotu Engine

It's been a while since I'd been to the Taranaki Aviation Technology and Transport Museum. While I was there, they fired up an engine from a ship used to dredge sand from the seaport. The sign said that it ran at about 100rpm on the ship but when I was there, in the museum, it was much slower than that. (Maybe 10-20%?) At that speed, it was making this sound that was like it was breathing. It was so hypnotic that I ended up sitting down and sketching it.

I made a 60-second video, if you want to hear the breathing sound:

I'm looking for a winter sketching venue so maybe I'll be back periodically.

25 May 2019

Meat dreams are made of these...

Social Kitchen is an unashamedly meat oriented eating place - not for the faint hearted.  The meals melt in your mouth.

11 May 2019

Police Line-up

Couldn't go past this colourful line-up - at today's sketching.  

6 May 2019

Several of our sketching group attended the Mokau Easter Bone Carving weekend with 30 others.  Master Carver Owen Mapp presided and Mike Brown did the magnificent organising. Owen was recently in the New Years Honours List

Even bone carving needs some sort of sketching skills, here were my attempts

A wonderful event and a big shout out to the whole town who came out on the communal meal and fed us hot cross buns.

Till Henderson

Colourful lawyers with clocktower and the ripple of Len Lye behind

Heaven's Pizza into the gates of hell!  The pizzas were heavenly.

9 Apr 2019

Fitzroy Dairy

A bit of a return to form. Although it used to be common, I haven't used a red pen on a sketch for at least five years. I drew this convenience store seven years ago and included picture of the CookieTime cookie monster on the top. This time I tried to show a glow that emanates from the actual chocolate-chunked beauties themselves.

20 Feb 2019

Traffic Lights

I wasn't going to draw this. I planned on taking a few minutes of my day to get out of email debt or maybe network socially. I checked my messages but then put it away. I reached for my sketchbook instead and drew what was in front of me. I guess that is the nature of the process. I don't have a drawing ability that I was born with. Any skill that I have, has been practiced for years. I suppose that I draw as much as some other people use their phones, and that, really could be the secret.

11 Feb 2019


Yeah, I know we need to finish building that fence! When we were buying some more nails though, we decided to hide for a while in the garden section of the hardware store. It had coffee and cake!