Friday, October 27, 2017

Recently commissioned. Artists impression. By Harmen Hielkema.

Artists impression of the old Harp of Erin Building Rawene. Water colour and coloured pencil on paper.
Concept design for Rawene 4 Square. J.R. Clendon's Schooner "Fortitude"

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Some of my old sketches have come to light.

All drawings and art copyright, property of originator, Harmen Hielkema
Our old family home in Helensville

A fishing boat in the Kaipara River

                                                  A waterfront scene on the Kaipara River

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dr G. M. Smith of Rawene Hospital

I've just completed my latest pencil portrait. Based on an old magazine photo, the original was not much to go on but I think his character has come back to us in a small way.

Monday, September 7, 2015

L. Douglas Horman, artist, sailor, friend. Passed away September 4th 2015.This is my tribute portrait. Rest in peace my friend.

Brilliant as usual.  I remember the portraits I tried to do in school, they looked more like the walking dead.  Just as well I stuck to boats.


Hi Harmen and Julie

It was lovely to spend some precious time with you both at Doug and Rosemary's the other day. It's still very hard to imagine what life is going to be like without Doug, but I want to tell you that having the wonderful portrait that you did will help. We will always remember the dear man that he was and that he's still with us in spirit every time we look at his picture.

Thank you, it's very special.

Dear Harmen

It is clear to me that some men are driven by divine purpose out of state of love for another human being.

In this I am very sure that is exactly what I see in your portrait of Douglas.  From it I can feel the scrutiny of his kind awareness and gentle disposition that was his and his alone.

Good on you mate and thank you!


Doug Schmuck

Hi Harmen-
   I just wanted to say that your drawing of Doug is fabulous.  We both thought it portrays him perfectly right down to his denim shirt, looking over the top of his glasses and hair a bit windblown-!!!!!  I am sure Rosie will treasure it.  Regards Larry 

I make portraits like this one on commission. I work on high quality paper, from life or from photographs, pencil, coloured pencil, paint.
Message me: 
(PS I already have a wife and don't require another one thanks)

Friday, November 28, 2014

A new family portrait from Harmen's studio.

I recently finished this family portrait in acrylic paint on canvas. 280mm x 350mm. The subject is my stepson Eric, his wife Helenie and their infant son Yossarian. I painted this canvas as a gift to them to celebrate the first birthday of their son, our first grandson.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Maori Woman 1876. After a painting by Gottfried Lindauer

The image I chose to work from is one of Lindauer's edgier paintings, grittier than earlier works in which I believe, he tended towards idealising his subjects.

A quick graphite on paper study of a Maori woman from 1876 after an oil painting by Gottfried Lindauer. Is this woman the Maori equivalent of the Mona Lisa? Who was she I wonder?

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Red elephant of Khyber Pass, Auckland New Zealand

In the early 1990's I was involved in the design and building of many commercially oriented public sculptures and 3D signs.

This project, a ferro cement, generic elephant, was built for the Chang Tong Thai Restaurant, now known as the Red Elephant.

The Golden Elephant of Khyber Pass, Auckland, New Zealand with the company ute in the foreground. Photo taken by me in 1991.
Here are a few surviving images of the building process.
The armature beginning to reveal the shape of the elephant in 3 D.

Another perspective of the steel armature in the workshop.

Armature with most of its wire netting applied, those are my boys, Robert and Arien.

A trunk down perspective of the plastering process.
I developed a very successful plaster mixture by blending Portland cement with equal parts of sand and macerated news paper which was power mixed with a paddle and a drill. It clung to the two layers of mesh extremely well.
What the paster application looked like from inside.

A young Rachel Hunter looks on.

My son Arien as Mahout
The detail was added as a second plaster layer using a variety of metal shapes bent out of steel sheet.
Swinging the sculpture from the low loader into position outside the restaurant in Khyber Pass, Auckland NZ. It weighed 1.5 tonnes.

My daughter Rebekka loved the excitement of Dad's job.

In position, my children from left to right, Robert, Rebekka, Arien in his favourite position.
This is my son Robert with the red elephant in 2012
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