Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Recording quick views - Coromandel roads

A combination of green kauri, red road cutting,  bush and hills - and the road
 I enjoy being a passenger in my car.
Young kauri tree at centre

As a school adviser I have driven over most of the roads in Taranaki and  done my best to admire the views. Over the years traveling to Palmerston North or Wanganui I have noted all the nikau palms, old houses and special places I like.

Last year I had to visit my sick brother a few times and during these long trips my daughter did the driving allowing me to relax and admire the drive.

On earlier drives as a passenger I  developed the habit of taking quick digital photos of scenes particularly approaching corners. Usually as a driver this is the time you really need to concentrate on driving. The windy road through the Awakino Gorge is full of visual excitement and I have gathered a range of photos to use for later drawing and maybe paintings.

Four small kauri and a red cutting
On our visits to Whitianga I had forgotten my camera but had a small pad and a 4B pencil at hand so I amused myself trying to capture the essence of views while in motion.

It is an interesting challenge. You have to pick the corner almost intuitively ( there are so many to choose from) quickly look to focus on the details and then equally quickly record them on the pad.

Quite a number, seem to me, to have the beginnings of ideas to reinterpret in paintings which so far I haven't done.

As a passenger, armed with a digital camera or a drawing pencil, you seem to see far more than normal.

Looking towards distant hills

Kauri, cutting and road cones
A 'wild' Eleagnus hedge

Kauri, wild hedge and hills

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Images of Waverley Caves Beach.

 I seem to have endless photos and drawings of Waverley Caves Beach - and the few  paintings I have done are of the beach.

I guess we all have special places that are important to us for all sorts of reasons.

Before latest cliff collapse

For me the beach represents happy times camping and staying batches with our parents and later camping by ourselves until  late teen years. As young kids we explored the area every summer holidays.

After the collapse

As well for me I just love the shapes carved into the reasonably soft papa clay cliffs by the waves and on a smaller scale by rock boring mollusks at sea level. And, as well, it is an environment that is continually changing.

The Caves Beach cove at low tide

An interest in sculptor Henry Moore and his fascination with the organic shapes of rocks, stones and bones  in my twenties also contributes. I  have also been interested in artists sch as Don Binney and Mike Smithers who use their 'special' environments for inspiration , and, of late, David Hockney , who, in his 70s, has returned to his Yorkshire birthplace to interpret it through art.

The caves area  is  bounded by soft sand/sandstone cliffs

The original caves linked by causeways

The southern end of the caves beach

One of several caves.

Most likely remnants of  caves

Small caves - some collapse to make blowholes inland

High tide - spectacular scenes in storms.

The collapsed cave at sunset

The line up of cliffs - most with caves ( at low tide)

The last cave looking very fragile

A cave you can walk through - at low tide

Another low tide photo looking towards beach cove

Collapsed cliff at high tide

The cove at mid tide - a reasonably safe swimming area

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Recent drawings of Waverley Caves Beach

Over the years I have taken or collected numerous photos of the Caves Beach and from them completed scores of sketches. below are a few done recently. Above is a painting of the beach I completed in 1965.

The caves are formed by waves cutting their way through the soft papa clay cliffs.
A Cubist landscape?

Drawing of beach after the  collapse of  the last of originally three caves.

From old photo showing two of three original caves

Collapse of last cave

Collapsed cliff.

Remnant of old cave?

Remnants of collapsed caves

Based on a 1960s drawing

Entry of the birds from an older 1960s painting

These and other drawings will, hopefully, be combined into one semi-abstract painting.

A recent painting. before cave collapse

Beach at mid tide

Beach at sunset

Thursday, April 23, 2015

View from the family home front door and the old clothes line

I came across a photo I took looking out the front door of the old villa our family grew up in and thought it might be worth thinking about for a future painting. I feel though I am so enjoying drawing so much I might never get to painting! A lot easier, less demanding, and fewer decisions to make.

I was watching TV last night and was amusing myself developing some drawing using some new felt tip pens I have bought. I think now I prefer pencils!

The front door was always a good place to sit on the steps to read the paper; look at the sunny view ( villas weren't that great for sun)   towards the countryside and listen to the magpies which always seemed to have been present. Huge Norfolk pines in the nearby recreation ground also feature ( now Dallison Park renamed after my uncle).

Peter Siddell
I admire Peter Sidell's empty townscapes and his paintings of old villas in Auckland but its a style to meticulous for me.

In the 60s I bought a Robin White print of a villa -  by the vegetation it is also in Auckland.

Robin White

I like the way many artists start from the real and move towards abstraction.

I think there were originally more glass panels but possibly lost in repairs?

I came across this drawing I must have done in the 1980s  so I have added it. A view of our backyard. I liked the patterns of the pegs and the lichen on the clothes line. It is a nice simple drawing aad another idea for a semi abstract painting one day.

Our backyard seemed to alternate from an extensive vegetable garden to a mass of weeds! Even had a chicken coop and an 'outhouse'. And we had a wash house shed.