This is a sketch of the signage for a takeaway restaurant in Stratford. My favourite part is the hand-painted signage since we're seeing that kind of stuff less all the time. Most businesses these days have computer printed signs and the hand-painted sign is a bit of a lost art. My second favourite part is the claim of the "Great Tasting Healthier Takeaway". That seems a pretty gutsy, yet hard to prove, boast. Finally, the fact that this place is "Fully Licensed". So basically if you're there to pick up some fish & chips, you can probably get a gin & tonic.
Five years ago, I did this sketch of a weird BP service station in Moturoa. Since it was kind of a house with fuel pumps in front of it, I wondered how long it would last in today's safety regulated world. It turns out, about 2 years. The new modern replacement looks like any other in the world and has a bit less charm. It does have a small cafe inside the kiosk though, in case you want to sit around and watch people pump gas*.
If you are ever sketching people at an airport and you hear someone using a phone say, "Where are YOU?.. I'm at the airport... You haven't left yet?" This means that they are there way too early and are about to not only move, but go back home.
What to do on a New Plymouth weekend? Take a selfie in the stainless steel surface of the Len Lye Centre. (Long exposure, above, and short exposure, below. The third one was from about 18 months ago.)
Here's my sketch from the Chinese Garden, here in New Plymouth. I did the watercolour on the mid-left a while ago and the top-right one was sketched by Scott Wilson. It shows me sitting in the pavilion, getting the one last sunburn of the summer.
There's a New Zealand Army recruitment office in New Plymouth. Sometimes, it will have a cool truck parked around the back. It's a type of older 1980's Mercedes-Benz Unimog with big tires and awesome tread.
The American car festival, AmeriCARna, came around again. I ended up chatting with people, got distracted and mucked up a few sketches. That's the bad side to using a pen. I did get one sketch from the 2018 show though: a 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby.
We've been having such great summer days that it's hard to find time to see the indoor exhibitions at Puke Ariki museum. We went to the show, "At the Beach: 100 years of summer fashion in New Zealand" on the last weekend before it closed and was refreshed by a new exhibit. The next day, we got tons of rain, here in New Plymouth, from a front of a cyclone. The day after that, we lost power for four hours due to strong winds. So... can we have an extension on the show and get our summer back?
In the attempt to stay out of the heat, I went into Pukekura Park to sketch in the shade. As I sketched the Tea House on the lake, I kept thinking how they sell ice cream. Of course I was too weak to resist.