Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

20 February 2011

New Zealand Odyssey: New Zealand Shipping Coy.Ltd offices, Tokomaru Bay

'New Zealand Odyssey', published in 1989 by Heinemann, was authored by me, Don Donovan (who did the text and illustrations) and Euan Sarginson, who did the photography and design. In this series of blog posts, I will publish some of my drawings.

This looks like a rather ordinary dilapidated warehouse but it's astonishing to find it at Tokomaru Bay, on the relatively remote East Cape coast of New Zealand's North Island. Only one main highway serves this region but it has replaced the shipping service that used to call at these bays to pick up and deliver sheep, cattle and other necessities for and from the local farmers. The New Zealand Shipping Company loomed large in the nation's eyes and the brick building was as awe-inspiring as any bank building. I wonder if it's still there after quarter of a century?

I loved drawing the bricks. To delineate the white mortar lines I drew them with liquid latex, painted over them with a pink-brown wash then peeled away the rubber with my finger tips. 

'Cheat!' cry the purists. But I always broke the rules.


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By Don Donovan