Old Government House

Another go at Old Government house inside the University of Auckland grounds, this time with the Big Draw group (Diane and Ngai at left) on a glorious sunny spring day.

Here's my first attempt from earlier this year, I think the new one captures more of a sense of grandeur (well as much grandeur as an old wooden house can have!) that was missing from my original sketch.


Our Worm Farm

Not the most attractive thing we have in the garden, but it's a little beauty nonetheless,
happily converting our organic waste (vegetable scraps, egg shells etc, even paper and
cardboard) into liquid fertiliser (worm tea) and solid fertiliser (worm castings) for the garden.

Unsurprisingly I don't get a lot of help with this job, but our youngest (8) was
very keen to help spread the worm tea around the garden. He even helped out as a hand
model showing off one of the Tiger worms while I tried to sketch it.


EMC Puch NZ record holder

Visited an interesting motorbike workshop/cafe yesterday! Carbon Garage in Newmarket is full of interesting motorbikes and serves a pretty nice lunch too. This an EMC Puch 'twingle' (2 pistons fitted inside one chamber) that broke the NZ speed record at the Cemetery circuit in the 50's.


Smash Palace

The current school holiday's found me at Ohakune for 2 days with a bunch of kids desperate for their first proper ski experience. Of course I was secretly hoping the mountain would be closed so I could visit Smash Palace at Horopito.

I've probably wanted to visit since watching Steve Millen driving the Smash Palace race scenes in a Formula Pacific Ralt RT1 at Bay Park in 1981 (I had to check that, I thought it was David Oxton). Well I sort of got the best of both worlds with an hour sketching outside Smash Palace from the safety of a warm car (freezing outside), and a day of skiing once the mountain opened (happy kids = happy sketcher).

Looking forward to next time when I actually have time to go inside the place! The sketches are, top, a snow covered Mk I Jaguar, and a Rover P4 Cyclops, Austin Sheerline and Humber Snipe at the bottom.


Trans-Tasman kayak

This is Scott Donaldson's kayak, the kayak that almost made it from Coffs Harbour, Australia to Taranaki, New Zealand last month.

For some reason it was sitting out on the footpath, in downtown Auckland this morning, so I figured I better draw it before it disappears. Well 15 minutes into my sketch, Scott himself wanders up and starts hooking to the back of a ute to take away.

Some quick sketching ensued including a poor attempt at a portrait before he drives off on his way to Avondale for a school visit. The kayak looks tiny, a lot like a regular surf ski but with a bubble on top with a hatch. You would have to be pretty keen to kayak 2,000+ kms across the Tasman in one of these. Sounds like he almost stopped at the beginning with a few false starts with gear breakages and backtracking to Coffs Harbour. At some stage the rudder broke, then, when very close to New Zealand a storm blew him back towards Australia! After 6 days battling the storm with no rudder he was choppered off, leaving the kayak behind. Last week it washed up onto a beach in Taranaki covered in barnacles.