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Driven to draw

An artist who frequently features inside The Herald's pages now has a book to his name, which shows off decades of his drawings.

Even if you don't know his name, chances are you have seen Douglas Curtis' drawings of classic cars on Facebook or inside The Herald over the last 12 years.

After Mr Curtis' wife died nearly 30 years ago he took to art to fill the space left by his partner and never stopped.

His book, Memories, Drawings & Stories, contains art that filled The Herald's now discontinued Autowatch for years.

Mr Curtis said the book has been a project on his mind for many years and he is very happy with the results.

His granddaughter Diana collated 96 drawings he created for Autowatch and put the book together, Mr Curtis said.

“I just supplied my drawings and she did the rest.

“At 90-plus it wasn't done to try to make a fortune, it was mainly for a bit of a giggle.”

The Herald received a copy, which was sent up from Lower Hutt where he lives with his dog Hayley.

Mr Curtis grew up in Te Araroa and went to school at Gisborne High School before it split into separate schools for boys and girls in 1956.

He worked as a mechanic at Ormonds Motors, before moving around New Zealand, working in Whakatane, Te Puke, then back to Tairāwhiti to work as a vehicle inspector for what was then the Transport Department.

Finally, he moved south to teach all he knew about his trade at Wellington Polytechnic as an automotive tutor.

Memories, Drawings & Stories is for sale on TradeMe and Mr Curtis says quite a few Gisborne people have shown an interest.

Art has always been in Mr Curtis' life.

“I started at a very young age at Te Araroa primary and at secondary school, I did lots of drawing.

“Art has been a rock in my life when times have been tough.

“When I lost my wife Patricia 27 years ago I started drawing for competitions in the newspaper.

“You could say I drew for fun. Living on my own it filled in many lonely nights.”

A LIFE ON THE PAGE: After losing his wife 27 years ago, Douglas Curtis threw himself into drawing what he knows best — vehicles. Now he has a book of his many drawings over the years. Picture supplied