Taranaki Farm Gate #6

The rural New Zealand scene that keeps on giving – 1 more (in oils) to finish and then I’ll give it a rest, or not.

This style reminds me a bit of the old NZ School Journals from the 60s with Mervyn Taylor’s brilliant black and white woodblock illustrations of things New Zealand – Maori customs and legends freshly told, NZ birds, fish, plants and animals often stylised in patterns alluding to Maori carving traditions, plus a hint of Aubrey Beardsley (but more wholesome).

Remembering those Mervyn Taylor images – a shout out for our native tuatara, an ancient survivor from the dinosaurs of the Pleistocene era (200m years ago), odd in such a geologically young country. They look a bit like a monitor lizard except smaller (< 1 foot long), less flashy and more scaley, with a lifespan of 120+ years, they can stand motionless and unblinking for longer than any reasonable person's patience. A predecessor of lizards and snakes, curious again in that we have no snakes. Very Not Busy animals except when eating their newborns, no wonder they're a bit rare. Tuatara is also a brand of very good craft beer, so that's good too.


Anyhoo, acrylic b&w pens on pine cupboard door


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