Mokotahi, Mahia Beach

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Mokotahi prelim sketch

Off to Mahanga beach tomorrow so here’s 2 pics of Mahia and Mokotahi hill with Mahanga across the isthmus in the background. Mokotahi started life as an island, then was a pa (fortified village) site, then a whaler’s lookout in the 1820-30s and is now National Trust land.

The main image is from a mid-2013 phase of quick acrylic paintings on coarse hessian, it’s about 500×600. I doubt that they’re durable, but I wanted to do some limited palette/less detailed work in big cheap brushes which I could trash in the process. Throwaways, except that I’ve kept them. The small image is acrylics on canvas, 12″x12″

Mokotahi can mean “first grandchild” in te Reo/Maori. It was the name locals gave to a very sociable dolphin which adopted the bay 5 or so years ago. Many of us got to swim with it just off the beach, which was very cool (you can tell when large dolphin schools are about – the fish go elsewhere!). It ended up 100 km away in Gisborne after a while – supposedly a fishing boat guided it there with a lure or bell on the back, then – ditto – around to the Bay of Plenty where it beached on Matakana Island, sadly. And that’s my story.

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