Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Bavarian Wwoofers

 I haven't done any drawing for ages but was asked to contribute to Benedikt and Camilla's Wwoofing book recording their travels around New Zealand

Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Art of Music..

 One of my print-making friends, Margaret came by to pick up the press I had restored for her and brought her harp and treated us to some Celtic and Argentine harp music. Very nice. The harp resonates in the body and seems like an acoustic healing.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Art School Waihi Music

Margaret came to explore the print making facilities here at Art School Waihi and brought along one of her smaller harps. We didn't get much print making done but listened to some beautiful music while I drew Margaret's portrait. Also Margaret brought along her etching press which had spent years neglected in an exposed situation and needed restoration which is something that I enjoy doing. Art and Music. We are havng a good time...

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Johnny's Corporate Gig..

A most interesting job came my way; 23 Lawyers from a big Auckland firm are on a weekend bonding trip, staying at Waihi Beach, riding the bike trail through the Karangahake Gorge and would I organize an art class for them to give them some brain food? 
Of course I would. It's what I do when I'm not doing something else.. 
I hired the old Waikino Hall and set up a portrait drawing class for beginners and introduced them to the psychology of children's art, the mechanics of the smile, the organic origins of World War Two aviators sun glasses, the surprisingly exquisite beauty of the curve of a nostril or other facial features and all that basic art school stuff we all know and love. 
It was a lot of fun and I came away from it with a new respect for lawyers as people.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Bang Bang America

Bang Bang America, Honorary Rector of the Serpent is a locally famous painting by my friend Barbi. 
In a manic state she tore it apart intending to do a Monet copy in the back and put it back in it's frame. 
I rescued it and restored it. Barbi is all artist and doesn't have the practical skills to frame art. I do. 
It is an angry painting and given the state of the US Government somewhat timeless I believe..
When Barbi exhibited it some years ago it won best of show and caused controversy, some saying that it 
was political and had no place as Art. I explained to some of our pissed off artist friends that it was not 
political but a painting of the artist's emotional state; anger at the US Government.
Eventually I shall put this large painting in the wagon and get it back to Barbi's place in Whangaparoa, 
meanwhile it joins my collection here at Art School Waihi

Thursday, 9 July 2015

A New Etching Press for Studio 19 in Kerikeri

What I have been busy doing for six months now is making etching presses, one a month as well as a mural in Christchurch which I flew down for and a drive down to Christchurch to check out a problem with one of my presses that took half an hour to fix but it was nice to catch up with three of my clients down there and then a drive up to Kerikeri in the far North to deliver this press, number 22

Monday, 18 May 2015

Franzi's Portrait

Franzi is a tall slender Tyrol girl from German speaking Northern Italy and was staying here at Art School Waihi and insisted on a portrait to take home with her. Couldn't say no...

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Antique Etching Presses, enquiries;

Kathryn's press on my kitchen table

 Kathryn's press in her Christchurch studio
After painting a commercial mural in Christchurch I started building two table top presses, one for a print maker in Christchurch and one for a print maker in Auckland. One is finished and the other waits while I get over this year's model of the flu which has knocked my energy levels for a six. On the mend now and life is beautiful again..

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Art School Waihi

The studio here has had a makeover and on Monday's two print-makers come over and one painter and we all do stuff and get things created..

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Dog Murals

 Above, the painting. Below, the painting distressed

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Table Top Etching Press. Sale Enquiries

 This 1908 etching press is off to a Christchurch print maker tomorrow morning. It is a 24 inch model with a press bed 605mm x 1000mm and full size felts. It's been a busy time for me restoring and converting  this antique mangle to it's new role. Ain't it pretty?
The original antique was made in the days before built in obsolescence and it should last lifetimes in it's new role. Simple and strong...

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Girls and Horses

As the above photo shows horses are kind to girls and women; patient, accommodating, enjoying the attention. For just so long... Just like me!! I got a bond with Chase and Dominic the Donkey. We know stuff. It's not stuff that can be expressed with something as crude as a written language. It's subtle. We like to think so. It's all in a look, a glance....

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Winter in Europe

Winter in Europe means Summer in Nueva Zelanda and here is Marga from Spain at my friend Shag's place feeding a lamb and a Muskovy duck while Fly the dog looks on. With all the overseas visitors at my place I gotta take them around the place and my friends have all become tourist attractions..
They have the good grace not to complain about this....

Verena from Bavaria and Carlos from Spain. Verena is here practicing her busking skills. A week before this photo was taken Verena stood outside the Countdown supermarket in Waihi playing her three quarter guitar and belting out songs in her husky voice and made $50. in an hour. You go girl.
I am, of course, invited to Bavaria which I am really looking forward to and all I need is You, dear reader, to commission a lucrative mural to cover my expenses. 
Could be nice....

Freddie Mercury's Tambourine

Carlos from Spain has been staying at Art School Waihi helping out around the place and I took him to my friends Graham and Bernie's place for some of Graham's excellent eight and a half per cent proof dark beer and Music! Music! Music! Bernie made us some delicious food and I supplied the Irish Whiskey.
Graham attended a Queen concert in England many years ago and Freddie Mercury flung his tambourine into the audience and Graham had only to beat the crap out of his best friend there with him in order to take possession of it. Lucky Carlos, he is an avid Queen fan so got to do percussion with the late great Freddie's throwaway tambourine. And I had a King size hangover the next day... C'est la vie..

Friday, 9 January 2015

Art Studio Camping

Max and Verena from Germany came back to stay at Johnny's at the same time as Lena and Willy, also from Germany decided to stay an extra day, the day on which Carlos from Spain was booked in and duly arrived. 
Five guests at Art School Waihi so Lena and Willy had a bed made up in the lounge and Verena and Max had a bed made up in the studio. Well. A hot summer and all the soffits of the studio removed for cool ventialtion which was a problem for Verena and Max because of Mosquitos at night so enterprising people that they are they decided to put up their mozzie proof tent in the studio. Problem solved


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Wwoofers at the Artist's House

Quentin from France helped build the foundation  for the new shed

Rabea from Germany at the track down to Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
Rabea at Graham and Soraya's place a block away
Yohan from France at Shag's place next door to Graham and Soraya's
Verena and Max from Germany who planted my vege garden while I was busy making an etching press.
Maaike from Belgium makes breakfast.
Paul from Coburg, Germany at Graham and Soraya's place

I have also had Clara and Baptiste from France stay and Joshua and Saoirse from Galway, Ireland and Amanda and Anton from Sweden and Elizabeth and Lisbeth from Germany
Every one of them coming to New Zealand without attitudes or prejudice and genuinely interested in meeting and getting to know kiwis like myself.
Young Europe and the future of the World is coming to my place and it is wonderful..

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Pounamu, New Zealand Jade

 Friday evening Vaughn, one of my artist mates, called around to pick up his carving which I had been keeping for him. We had beer and cigarettes and shared stories about our lives as artists.
Only another serious artist can know what it feels like to be one, the joys and frustrations of the vocation.
The piece you see on my kitchen table is two and a half months work. It is a representation of a Maori mythological figure. Vaughn is a master of this sort of work.
Mondays at Art School Waihi is free for all artists and Vaughn will find the time to come on the odd Monday and use his sculpting skills in wood cuts, I am going to introduce him to the world of Japanese Prints which I am sure he will enjoy and perhaps I shall have opportunities to do his portrait.
I love portraits..