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'Huh, you can draw - most artists in this town couldn't draw flies on a hot day!' This was the reaction of Chicago studio boss Frank on perusing my Skite Book when I was job hunting there thirty years ago ( he gave me a job!). Illustration has always been my fundamental talent and I believe there is no story I can't help tell, no text I can't enliven in some way - in some style.

I enjoyed newspaper work. At night the features editor would thrust a bunch of layouts at you with articles on a range of subjects and different shaped gaps left in the typography. By eight o'clock the next morning you'd need to supply illustrations in appropriate styles and shapes to plug the holes and the following day your work would be used to wrap fish and chips.

Ad agencies can have some colourful accounts but tend to be the most neurotic clients for an illustrator as they are buying on behalf of a client whose niggles they're trying to pre-empt. Publishers can agonize also because they're about to take a pricey punt on a book run but I'm increasingly working for them.

My most memorable illustration gig was as court artist at a murder trial providing full colour paintings of the judge and accused for the six o'clock news. (She was found guilty).

After being seduced by Photoshop ( airbrush techniques with no painstaking mask cutting, no laborious clean-up!) I'm increasingly returning to the old techniques. The happy accidents of a watercolor wash and the wild calligraphy of inky brushstrokes can take a lot of beating on a good day.

Concept Sketches
for 'Detente' and ' Diver'

Concept Sketches for 'Detente' and ' Diver'

Concept sketches often contain
an inspired spontaneity and energy.

These sketches were used as the basis for bronze sculptures and maybe
(up the trail a bit) a painting.
Haast's Eagle

Haast's Eagle

An illustration from 'Cavegirl' by Brian Thomas
featuring NZ's huge native eagle - now extinct.

Port Robinson Boat-ramp
and Surf Boat.

Port Robinson Boat-ramp and Surf Boat.

Line & wash with a Photoshop tickle up.

Photos exist of some broad-shouldered geezers
hovering near a stationary boat and of
the slipway (its piles are still there).
Maybe this is how it looked when they
got together.
Ready Money Robinson

Ready Money Robinson

A graphic to be enlarged
for the Cheviot Museum Mural.

Our founding magnate and his barrow of $
with which he supposedly
purchased the land for
Cheviot Hills Estate.


Destined to be pumped up
and plasma-cut from steel
for the Cheviot Museum mural

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Cover art for book of vets' reminiscencesYear2016
The Battle of 
Messines Road

The Battle of Messines Road

Line and wash painting for cover art.Year2015