I didn't know what kind of art materials I would be able to buy in New Zealand and I'd heard that internet shopping could be expensive (everything has to be shipped a long way!) so I carefully packed my bottle of De Atramentis ink, my Lamy fountain pen and my Schmincke watercolours. On arrival I was very happy to find that Gordon Harris Art Stores sell my favourite Fabriano Venezia sketchbooks.
We left a warm UK summer and arrived in cold, wet Auckland. After a couple of weeks of jet lag and disorientation I picked up my sketchbook and started to draw the unfamiliar buildings and scenes I discovered. The intensity of colour in nature here is quite staggering. In particular I remember being amazed by the turquoise colours in the sea and sky. I've got through a great deal of cobalt turquoise over the last year! It has also been exciting to include palms and tree ferns in my sketches, having been accustomed to English oaks and beech trees.
I made it to my first sketch crawl with BIG DRAW (Urban Sketchers in Auckland) in August 2016 and it was such a joy to find like-minded sketchers at a time when I was feeling uprooted and far from home. I've really enjoyed seeing parts of the city I might not have visited if it weren't for the group.
|Auckland CBD skyline|
|Sketching in Auckland city centre with BIG DRAW|
|Sketching inside Ponsonby International Food Court|
|Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell, Auckland|
|Auckland Town Hall during Auckland Arts Festival week|
|A Christmas break beside Lake Tarawera, North Island|
|Some quintessentially Kiwi specimens!|
|The lighthouse at Waipapa Point, South Island|