Deco, deco, deco, not deco in Napier


Sketching around Napier at Christmas was a lot of fun, there is always so much to draw in the bay.

A visit to the MTG (Hawkes Bay Museum) to see the Speedlines and Ziggurates: Deco House Style exhibition inspired us to look a bit closer at the deco suburb of Marewa, the source of the top two sketches here.

Next is Louis Hays office where he designed a bunch of deco and mission revival buildings, and at the bottom – and not fitting in at all with this company – a villa...


Cars in The Bay

Napier seems to have an abundance of old cars, they seem to suit the city well. 

They're often art deco era cars like this Hupmobile and Packard, but not always like the Valiant Pacer at the bottom. I learned to drive in one so they're one of my favourite Aussie cars...


No swimming at Oriental Bay

I've always wanted to swim at Oriental Bay, I don't know why, just have. Sadly the famous Wellington weather has never come right for me on my infrequent visits and that swim has never eventuated. 

I had high hopes on a quick trip to the capital last week but it wasn't to be – I'm not complaining though – because I got to make this sketch between rain showers followed by an excellent breakfast at Beach Babylon.


What a shithouse week

So there we were last Saturday, one week out from Christmas at the last 'Big Draw' sketch meet of the year.  We met at the Waikumete Cemetery.

It's weird but it was my suggestion we came to sketch here in the Southern Hemisphere's largest cemetery a few weeks earlier. I thought 'It'll be cool, we can draw all the historic cemetery stuff, the chapel, the mausoleums etc, it will be really interesting and we'll get to visit my grandparents grave as a bonus'.

As it happens though, not one, but two of my good mates died last week. Two of the most generous guys I know and both extremely funny blokes. Paddy, of melanoma and Dan of cancer.

What a shithouse week, and what a weird, weird place to finish it.


The master at work

Garth Bagnall has been Auckland's resident MG master for decades. Here he is working some magic on my petrol pump in his home workshop this week.

The B has been pretty hassle free transport in recent years, but the pump had been cutting in and out for the last week or so. I'd only just made it home a few times before the engine would die - so it was time for a visit to the master!


These chicken wings are actualy quite spicey, dad

West End Cup serves up top tennis

I’m not a huge tennis fan or player. It’s a fact that makes me a bit of a minority in my own family. Despite that I usually end up at the West End Cup at some stage.

Billed as the biggest NZ tennis tournament outside of the ASB Classic, it usually has most of the top kiwi players and sometimes people from offshore which makes for pretty good viewing. This year there seemed to be more Australian players than Kiwis and a couple from even further afield like Julia Glushko who took out the women’s title this year.

 Here’s Finn Tearney serving to Ajeet Rai in the semis. (The men’s title was eventually taken out by Australian John Patrick Smith.)

Here some spectators enjoy a close-up view from catered the courtside tables, and below even Sky TV were there to broadcast this years event...

And it’s not all heavy duty tennis with local cafe Juk (Jess’ Underground Kitchen) serving up delicious tacos and the Brulee Bike busy adding the finishing touch to their delicious crème brulees with a blowtorch!


Little Shoal Bay

I've wanted to draw the view from Little Shoal Bay to the city for a long time. These yachts have been dragged on frames up on to the hard by a bulldozer, owners do their maintenance, then the bulldozer drags them out on the estuary again where they sit until the tide comes in and they float away again.