Thursday, August 25, 2016

Howick Historic Village

Guest post by Stephen Connellan in Howick.

A favourite place to visit and sketch is the Howick Historical Village. It serves as a ‘living history museum’ reflecting Auckland’s colonial period between 1840 -1880. The local iwi of that area were the Ngai Tai people of Tainui descent and had lived there for around 300 years.

The missionary, William Fairburn, bought 40,000 acres of land from Maori with his life savings and in 1840 the government took 36,000 acres for use as ‘Fencible’ settlements and sold most of the remaining land to settlers. Retired soldiers were given land with the understanding that they would act as defence forces should the need arise. The word ‘Fencible’ comes from the word ‘defensible’. They were to serve for seven years in exchange for a cottage and an acre of land. Maori recognised the advantage of such cooperation and trade and Maori labourers built the settlers cottages under Royal Engineers supervision. A total of 721 men along with their families comprised a final total of 2,500 new settlers (many were from Ireland at the time of the famine).

The subject of this sketch at the Historical Village is a ‘sod cottage’ which was built for settlers as semi-permanent accommodation on Fencible farm allotments. The walls were turf block and the roof constructed from kahikatea rafters and nikau palm fronds.

Stephan Connellan is a retired Consultant Physician and now a permanent resident of NZ based in Auckland. He has kept a sketchbook for the last 9 years with a mix of urban, rural and coastal sketches in both UK and NZ and discovered the Urban Sketchers site while reading a book in the local library!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer in Winter

Its been a while since our last post but this one has plenty of sketches so it feels like a redemption. We just came back from Portugal where we spend our summer holidays with family and friends, the weather was amazing, sea water was warm and we had time to sketch, which always increases the holiday feeling.

Trafal beach, it was 1:00 pm everyone had an umbrella except us, while I doing this sketch I got sun burn on my back that came with me to Christchurch cold weather, having a sun burn in winter time was a new experience. Still on the shading subject, I liked the fabrics used to create shade along the old town of  Loulé, they made me want to sketch them, it really works to cool down the temperature.

Friends from New Zealand, a Polish-American couple, invited us to go to Poland for their weeding so we had the chance to spend 4 days in Gdansk, a city completely destroyed after the second world war and beautifully rebuilt in a short period. We were both sitting on the coffee table sketching I was looking one way she was looking the opposite way. Mine is on top Liliana´s is below.  


City center of Lagos above and Aljezur bridge view below.

The joy of drawing together again, this time in Loulé seating on the shade of the big trees at the main avenue.

This one is on the Amoreira beach where the Aljezur River meets the sea, this drawing is similar to one from our last "southern hemisphere summer holidays" in Australia. That coincidence is probably a consequence of Liliana's love for both books and estuaries.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Athfield Classic?

I think so. I've always liked George Porter Tower. I've drawn it twice now. This is my first attempt which I like best.

The building is part of Arlington Apartments council flats in Mount Cook. It was designed by the late Sir Ian Athfield and built in the 1970's.

Arlington Apartments consist of this tower and many low rise flats on either side of it. Wellington City Council are upgrading the site. Many of the low rise flats, which were no longer fit for purpose, have been demolished to make way for new modular townhouses. The Council are considering options for George Porter Towers. I hope it will not be demolished.

George Porter was a well respected Wellington architect and town-planner.

Rainy mornings in New Plymouth

More wet weather this week. This drawing was started last month. On a busy corner in New Plymouth, there's a cafe that looks out into the intersection. Since it's winter, it's still dark before work and the wet roads have lots of reflected light. I get a drink and sketch for about 15 minutes at a time. Now that it's August, I've noticed that I've filled up half a coffee card.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Paeroa classics

Every time I pass through Paeroa I spot a bunch of funky old cars but never have time to stop. Finally a few weeks back I had the chance to stop and have a crack. 

They range from the 'mint as' 1946 Mercury that appears in the service station window (with a bunch more I need to sketch one day). To the crusty DS Citroen and Borgward Isabella parked together with an equally rustic looking airstream style caravan in a back street.

Man they went overboard with chrome on the Mercurys didn't they — I didn't realise until I tried to draw them all! I guess they were trying to distinguish it as more upmarket product from a regular Ford. Quite a contrast between the shiny glistening Mercury and the rusty, crusty matt finish of the Borgward and Citroen but both fun to draw.