Ghost Station

Our monthly sketch meet this month was the 'Old' railway station on Beach Road. Since it was wet and windy we all sketched inside, which of course means attempting to sketch some form of perspective. In situations like these perspective drawing is almost unavoidable, with most of us attempting to sketch the vast entry foyer.

The spooky thing about the foyer is that it is eerily almost devoid of people! Once a busy hub for commuters to central Auckland until the powers to be deemed that the almost 1km walk to Queen Street was too far for our soft JAFA legs. The old Central Post Office was converted into the new railway station and the old railway station was converted into student accommodation. I got confused just typing that, and I'm sorry but it's also just plain weird.

Funny too, because it recently came to light that The Northern Explorer — that's the premier train service between Wellington and Auckland — the one that showcases our beautiful country to overseas tourists, doesn't even use the new Britomart station because they charge too much! So what are they do instead? They use one of the old train station platforms with a couple of containers plonked on it to service the tourists before they make the 1km walk to town with all their baggage.


The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Perspective

Thanks to author Stephanie Bower a little piece of Ponsonby, Auckland appears in The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Perspective. An awesome little book packed with perspective tips from the basic to the advanced.

Very pleased to have contributed and share a page with the incredibly talented Nina Johansson!


St Kevins Arcade Big Draw meet

 Another pleasant Saturday afternoon sketching with the Big Draw group last weekend. 

This time we were at the freshly restored St Kevin's arcade on Karangahape Road. 

A sunny warm spot to hang out, especially with the excellent new
Bestie cafe (occupying Alleluyas old spot) on hand to supply the coffees and brioche.


Another Netball Season

That's right, another season of netball has kicked off at the Auckland Netball Centre, Mt Wellington.

Looking forward to many more wet and windy action packed sessions courtside!


Under Construction 3

More demolition - this time on on Victoria Street West. The building that (I think) used to be the Ghandi Centre, a small single level place with interesting eastern touches to it's facade, has gone. I captured Wayne and Randal at work tidying up the site.


Under Construction 2

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


From the Coral Route to Point Chevalier

Our youngest had been badgering me to take him to MOTAT for ages. It's such a great place for sketching that I caved in easily – not that he had any plans for me to stop and sketch for more than about five minutes. Sketching with kids is more like a speed event where you dash the linework down and if you're lucky splash a bit of colour on the page.

In the end it was a toss-up between sketching the Short Solent and the Lancaster bomber, both impressive beasts. It's bizarre to look into the tiny tail turret of the Lancaster and imagine my old colleague Denis freezing his proverbials off while being shot at over 3 tours of Europe during the war. Those guys were seriously brave.

I decided on the Solent because I could include the Transavia Airtruck (on the right), the Australian designed, kiwi built top dresser which is shaped like a flying flea.

The Short Solent Aranui has an interesting and much more fun history — run by TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited) it originally flew between Mechanics Bay, Auckland 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 the Sydney route Aranui flew the 'Coral Route' — that's Auckland to Fiji, onward to Samoa, then the Cook Islands (landing at Aitutaki not Rarotonga), next stop would have been Tonga and finally Tahiti — about 20 odd hours in total. Now that would be a superb way to fly to the islands!