Under Construction 2

The St James Apartments project on Queen Street is underway.
They've demolished the old Odeon Cinema (I think) section already.


The Coral Route

A ride to MOTAT 2 Aviation Hall with the little guy who's been badgering me to do so for ages. The ride was made more interesting by frequent squally rain so we had to take shelter here and there. 

On the sketching front it was a toss-up between sketching the ex TEAL Short Solent and the Lancaster bomber, both impressive beasts. I decided on the Solent because I could include the Transavia Airtruck which is a fascinating shape.'

The Solent 'Aranui' has an interesting history too - run by TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited) it flew between Mechanics Bay and Rose Bay, Sydney. We're talking pre-harbour bridge days here – it would have used a lot of the harbour as it's runway! Once land based planes took over that route Aranui flew the 'Coral Route' - Auckland to Fiji, onward to Samoa, then the Cook Islands (landing at Aitutaki not Rarotonga), next stop Tonga and then Tahiti - about 20 odd hours in total. Now that would be a superb way to fly!

We even got a quick tour of the workshop where engineers are working on all sorts of interesting machines. The problem now is we have to go back again and get some sketches of the engineers in action.


1932 Alfa Romeo 8C

I sketched this car at Hampton Downs a few years back at the 2013 NZ Festival of Motor Racing celebrating Denny Hulme. I know very little about it, is it a restoration or a recreation? Or is it one of those amazing Tempero creations from Oamaru (boy I'd love to go sketching there)?

 If anyone out there knows drop me a line, I'd be interested to know!


Port from Gladstone Road

A super quick sketch of the port from the carpark on Gladstone Road on my way past after finishing the Judges Bay sketch below. The port is so close at this part of the road you can get a good look in at the action. The Fergusson Container Terminal was flat out loading containers onto several vessels while a tug towing something oversized ambles past in the background.

St Stephens Chapel

Finally finished this sketch started back in April with the Big Draw group on the weekend.

I only had half an hour that first day, so needed to come back and fill in some blanks. Luckily the sun was out again so I could catch the warm early morning light casting shadows across the headstones. There's a lot of detail to try to fit in looking across Judges Bay, over Tamaki Drive to the busy port and the North Shore across the harbour.



Looking back at some of my sketches of old houses, my favourites are often framed by trees. Like this quick and loosely drawn Grey Lynn villa with it's Queensland Umbrella Tree. I wonder if it would be as interesting without the lush greenery?


Ballpoint is not dead

Have you seen Richard Johnson's work? He's an artist for the Washington Post who amongst other subjects has covered the wars in Afganistan and Iraq embedded with the military as a sketch artist. If that's not unusual enough - his sketches only in ballpoint pen!

After looking at his latest work I decided to have play with ballpoint myself while the kids do their homework and watch TV. Check out Richard's work here.


The small boat with a big job

I spotted the Phil Warren 2 on the ramp at Westhaven yesterday. It was a stunning morning and I was running early, so I figured I'd quickly sketch it. I've read about the incredible work they do cleaning up the Waitemata harbour, it's tributaries and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf so I reckon it's worthy of a sketch.

My sketching caught the eye of skipper Ben Harris who wandered over for a chat. He was getting it ready for a mission up the Whau River – the estuary that runs up past Lincoln Road to Glendene and Kelston and he would be meeting a group of locals up there for the morning's clean-up.

Ben says anyone can help out, so head over to their website for more details.  According to their website, volunteers collected nearly 90,000 litres of litter in the first six months of 2011 alone

I'm planning to lend a hand at some stage – and take the sketchbook of course.