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Rooms with views


18dec2013001My residency is almost over – although theoretically I could work to the end of the year – but school’s finished and the children are complaining that I haven’t been paying them enough attention so maybe it is the end. You may be wondering why I resist going to Devonport. It’s because it’s quite a long commute. I can take the train and the ferry for a 2-hour round trip, or else I can drive and risk being stuck in one of Auckland’s traffic jams for 40 minutes. The ferry and train are best – that way I get to read and slowly ease myself in and out of the writing/drawing mindset. Also I get to admire the view – the view! Auckland central is so much prettier when you’re speeding away from it on the water.

I haven’t got nearly as much done as I wanted to do but I have filled up 3 journals with scribbles about Katherine Mansfield, and my own intersecting experiences. I have way too much material, and my next task is figuring out how to shape and cull it. And then – dammit – redraw it. When I don’t feel like thinking about how to tell a story I draw passages from Mansfield’s letters and journals. She describes everything so precisely and vividly – all the colours, flowers and materials named – in a way that perhaps you had to when you didn’t have a phone or camera to record things.



When I do read her letters and journals carefully I find that I can put a whole room together. Here she is visiting JD Fergusson – although I have to concede defeat because I didn’t manage to get the light to fall how she described – there’s only so far messy watercolours can take you. But the internet is a glorious thing – I found the pictures she was describing so could approximate them.


I’ve been hanging out elsewhere on the internet: here’s me answering reading questions over at Unity Books, and here’s me talking about comics at Pikitia Press.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 19/12/2013 10:05 am

    Nice colour work. Spontaneous and full of light. I like it. -Brent Putze

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