Nobby Clark 1921 – 2008

Nobby Clark passed away the other day. Nobby was a well known Auckland artist who chronicled much of the life in New Zealand’s largest city in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. His son, Simon Clark, accomplished artist in his own right, heads up Illustration in the School of Art and Design at Auckland University of Technology where I have been teaching since 2005.

Nobby strolled the nocturnal streets of Auckland and wrote, drew and painted the denizens and citizens that he found there. He captured the life on these avenues, especially frequenting the bars and bistros found along Karangahape, or ‘K’ Road as well as those in Ponsonby. In the days of the legendary “six o’clock swill”, he recorded these characters like a Damon Runyon with a brush and a pen. Much of his time was spent in The Wine Bar, a drinking establishment that was able to circumvent the rigid law that denied alcohol in the city’s public houses after 6:00 in the evening, by simply serving wine. Beloved by the regulars there, he told their improbable stories in image and word.

A true individualist, free spirit, and fine art illustrationist — the world needs more like Nobby. He will be sorely missed.



2 December 2008
Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand’s Real Groovy Records

6 November 2005: Danny Garrett was honored to be asked by Real Groovy Records of Auckland, New Zealand, to illustrate that Real Groovy is Everything Under the Sun.

Danny’s poster has appeared in the New Zealand Herald, the Dominion Post and other major NZ newspapers on Sunday, 6 November 2005 as a full page color advertisement. It has also sprung up all over Auckland, in A3 and A0 sizes, plastered on prominent corners, along with other bills for upcoming shows.

Danny was able to incorporate some of his favorite music into this poster. In this image, he’s pointing out a miniature of his portrait of Guy Forsyth, a poster drawn in 1995 for Guy because Danny is enthralled by Guy’s blues, harmonica, and saw-playing-with-a-violin-bow talents.

If you haven’t yet heard Guy’s newest album Love Songs: For & Against then, if you are in NZ, order your copy from Real Groovy. If you are in the US, you can order your copy of Love Songs: For & Against from Waterloo Records, the Real Groovy Records of Texas.

First there were images of Jesus on toast….

Image In Bathroom Of Odeon Cafe in Auckland

Image In Bathroom Of Odeon Cafe in Auckland

On July 15, 2005 spotted in the bathroom of the Odéon Café, Auckland’s answer to the Cactus Cafe, was a small sign that Austin hippies had preceded us.

This was the same night we met up with Margaret Brown and Lee Daniel, Director and Cinematographer respectively of Be Here To Love Me, a film about the life & times of Townes Van Zandt. Margaret and Lee have told Townes’ story — and that of his family — in a poignant, thoughtful collection of film, dialog, and the singer songwriter’s words and music.

We got to view this magnificent documentary as part of the Auckland International Film Festival.  If you find it at a film festival near you, make it a point to go. You won’t be disappointed.