ART CHAT #17: Draw Your World – TransAlpine Train + Hokitika

July 26, 2023
Art Chat


Days 3 to 4 of our New Zealand trip were covered in a recent postWe left Christchurch on a rainy morning to catch the TransAlpine train across to Greymouth and from there (after collecting our rental car) we visited the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes before checking in to our accommodation for the night at Hokitika. There’s a lot more that happened but you’ll have to read all about that in July 12th’s post – NZ Trip: Transalpine journey – Christchurch to Hokitika.

Meanwhile, the above are the only two sketches I did during this time. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my sketching plans didn’t quite go to plan. You live and learn! Who knew that travel can be busy, action packed, and that I’d be so tired by night and also that lighting at different accommodations could be poor at night or that there might not be an appropriate spot for me to set up. Most importantly though, I found that I wanted to be present in every moment to enjoy it all while I was there, so doing my art every night became less of a priority as this realisation came to me. Unless you go on a dedicated art trip with likeminded people with that intention, I think that regular travel at the pace at which we were moving requires you to be present in every moment and to drink it all in and enjoy. I did keep my art in my mind though and I’ll talk a bit more about my thoughts on this in the next Art Chat post where I share some NZ sketches.

These two were done at night under dull lamp light at our Hokitika accommodation and were a bit rushed  but good on me for getting them done in dodgy light after a big day and when I was so tired.

The sketches above include:

1) on the left – passengers snapping photographs of the beautiful scenery through the windows of the TransAlpine train, and

2) the centrepiece of Hokitika – the Hokitika Clock Tower.

Till next time!

Ciao for now,

Linking up with Denyse Whelan’s ‘Wednesday’s Words and Pics

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  • Reply Leanne | July 26, 2023 at 10:51 am

    Hi Min – I always love seeing your art, but I also agree that it’s even more important to be in the moment and to experience it all first hand. I’m constantly surprised by people who are at a concert or fireworks or some other spectacle and view it all through the lens of their phones. For the few times you ever look back at photos, it’s so much more important to soak in the experience. With art you can always re-visit it later and paint your memories (and that’s pretty special too).

    • Reply Min July 27, 2023 at 2:24 pm

      Hi Leanne, Thank you! I’ve been at Mum’s so only just getting around to replying to comments etc. Yes it was so much more important that I be in the moment and enjoy the fullest potential. I really needed to ease off the high expectations that I always place on myself to be productive etc. At the point of these sketches I hadn’t yet done that but the realisation was coming soon and I did then let go of the high expectations I place on myself because I wanted and needed to relax more and to soak up all that I was experiencing. xo

  • Reply sherry July 26, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    I do enjoy your sketches Min. And I love NZ! Must go back some day.

    • Reply Min July 27, 2023 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks Sherry! I loved NZ too and will most definitely be going back. I’ve got to see the north island yet but will want to revisit the south island too (probably many times)!

  • Reply Debbie Harris July 26, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    Being in the moment is important on these sorts of trips but although I know I still want to document everything I can along the way, either in words or photos – the struggle is real Min!! Lovely artworks as usual 🙂

    • Reply Min July 27, 2023 at 2:26 pm

      Thanks Debbie! So glad you understand the struggle! I came to an understanding with myself eventually. Not at the point of these sketches but it was to come very soon. xo

  • Reply Christie Hawkes July 27, 2023 at 5:56 am

    I love your beautiful sketches, Min. I completely understand why you might not want to spend your vacation time focused on sketching, but I’m glad you shared these with us.

    • Reply Min July 27, 2023 at 2:28 pm

      Thanks Christie! There was so much to see and do and to absorb and experience … and at night I was posting a written update with photos to my social media which left little time for my art plus I was tired. I learnt a lot this trip! lol

  • Reply Tegan C July 27, 2023 at 9:55 am

    Your sketches are gorgeous! I totally get the pace of holidays too. Sometimes it feels like we need a holiday to get over our holiday lol!

    • Reply Min July 27, 2023 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks so much Tegan! I discovered I needed to make more of an effort to let go of all these expectations I place on myself so I could actually relax, enjoy, and have a holiday!

  • Reply Denyse Whelan July 27, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    I think you had to enjoy the holiday break more and your body said ‘lets do this’. All that aside I love your sketches and watercolours. I hope you have them in book form and with dates attached. I have kept many of my art and word journals and I am so glad to have those pieces of me to re-visit.

    It was great to see your blog post in the link up for Wednesday’s Words and Pics. Thank you for sharing. See you again next time, in August! How can that be!! Warm wishes, Denyse.

    • Reply Min July 29, 2023 at 11:08 am

      You’re right Denyse. I really needed a holiday from being ‘productive’ and I really needed to just relax and enjoy. All sketches are in a sketchbook and dated. It’s so hard to believe it’s nearly August isn’t it?! xo

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan July 28, 2023 at 9:48 am

    You can paint from your photos!! Glad you didn’t interrupt the flow of the trip to stop and paint when you can do that now that you are home. These two vignettes are lovely. I picked up watercolors today for the first time in forever. Hope to get better at using them!!

    • Reply Min July 29, 2023 at 11:14 am

      Thanks Leslie – yes drawing and painting from my photos is what I’m doing now. Still quite a way to go. Lots of photos so hard to pick which ones to draw sometimes but I try and pick the ones that really meant something to me and I want to remember and immortalise in my sketchbook. Have fun with your watercolours. Just play and don’t put pressure on yourself. Also watch YouTube tutorials – they teach you techniques and often take the mystery out of it and show how easy it can be. The more you paint – the better and more relaxed with it you’ll become! xo

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