Ron Esplin Judges Geraldine Arts and Plants Art Exhibition - 18th Nov 2014

Ron Esplin judges the Geraldine Arts and Plants Art Exhibition:

The Annual Geraldine Arts & Plants Festival was held on 14th - 16th November 2014. It was a three day event including an Art and Photography Exhibition, a Boulevard Market on Friday and a Market Day on Saturday. The Geraldine Arts & Plants Festival was first set up in 1988 and has been going for over 25 years.
A small group of volunteers work extremely hard from year to year to bring this huge event to Geraldine. An excellent gathering of superb craft and plant stalls on Friday and Saturday bring big crowds eager for bargains.

The winner of the Arts & Culture award 2006:

In 2006, it was the winner of the Arts & Culture award and in 2009 were given a Commendation of Arts & Culture at the Trustpower Community Awards.
I am grateful to Feren Macintosh who co-ordinated the event, and invited me to be the judge of the art work.
It was a privelege and a pleasure to meet this hard working community and to be judge of the Art which embraced both paintings, multi-media and sculpture.

Very high quality work:

The quality of the work was very high, and the overall winner was "The Sherlock Holmes" by Richard Bolton, an outstanding watercolour of people outside an English Pub. The winner of the Sculpture section was a remarkable piece named "Felice" constructed from metal and wire by Annie Lambourne. Annie breathed life into this inanimate collection of bits and pieces to form a very life like cat.

Images can be viewed by clicking on this link.
Ron Esplin Judges Geraldine Ar ... Arts and Plants Art Exhibition


A Palette of Poetry 2014 - 15th Oct 2014

A Palette of Poetry

A Palette of Poetry By Ruth Arnison at the Community Gallery, Princes St. Dunedin

A Palette of Poetry is the 2014 Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ) “PoArtry” exhibition.
31 artists have created 55 artworks in response to 44 poems written by Ruth Arnison (editor of Poems in the Waiting Room) over the last ten years.
Poems in the Waiting Room will take a small commission on all sales which will go towards the printing costs for future poetry cards.

Artists taking part are: Allan McMorran, Anne Bannock, Annie Lambourne, Brian Stewart, Cameron Monteath, Christine Spain, Ella Knapton, James Dignan, Janet de Wagt, Janie Porter, Jenny Longstaff, Jenny Mehrtens, Jo Keppel, Joanne Webber, John Holmes, Kate Williamson, Katy Buess, Kevin Dunkley, Lucy Mhoma, Lynn Taylor, Malene Reynolds Laugesen, Marilyn Andrews, Maxine Burney, Mike Bowden, Pauline Bellamy, Rob Piggott, Ron Esplin, Sharon Murcott, Sheryl McCammon, Sue Alderman, and Viviane Vagt.

The exhibition opened October 5 at 2pm, open daily from 10am - 5pm until its closure on October 19th at 3pm.

October 19th 1.00pm - 2.15pm
Questions and Artists - Aaron Hawkins talks to some of the local artists about their exhibition work.

Contact Details:
See apaletteofpoetry.wordpress.com for further information or email waitingroompoems@gmail.com

Click the link below for images:

A Palette of Poetry 2014
A Palette of Poetry 2014

Invitation to "A Portrait of Southland" - 6th Jul 2014

Invitation to

You are invited to the opening of "A Portrait of Southland":

A Portrait of Southland is a personal view of the Region in watercolour by Ron Esplin.
The exhibition opens with an afternoon tea at 3PM on Saturday 12 July 2014 at the Green Island Gallery, 194 Main South Road Green Island.

Why Southland?:

Southland is the most sparsely populated Southern region of New Zealand. It is famed for native bird sanctuaries and an untouched natural environment. A quarter of Southland's land area is protected as part of the Fiordland and Rakiura national parks, and conservation and sustainability projects are key activities.
The largest city of Invercargill is a laid back town with a Scottish heritage but like the rest of Southland it takes a little while to learn to love. Other centres tend to be smaller such as Gore and Mataura, and many towns are quite rural and quaint such as Mataura, Riverton, Winton, and Tuatapere. But the region is at once charming and majestic. Charming as in the little fishing village of Cosy Nook for example, and majestic as in the towering Southern Alps to the West sheltering lakes such as Manapouri and Hauroko, the deepest lake in New Zealand.

"A Portrait of Southland" is also a book:

I have put together a twenty page book featuring 34 paintings and editorial about Southland and the subjects featured. Many of the original paintings are included in the exhibition, and the book will be available for sale at the Gallery.

A Little Puzzle for you:

I compiled the book over some time, and when I came to the point of holding the exhibition with the assistance of Green Island Gallery Director Genny Hanning, I discovered that a number of paintings had been sold. What to do? Well for the first time in my life I decided to reproduce some of the paintings, a fascinating exercise and of course an impossible one. The puzzle is for you to see if you can pick out the paintings that I have reproduced. They are different, and original paintings in their own right and not too difficult to identify, but a fun exercise.


Click on the link below to view the website invitation.

Invitation to "A Portrait of Southland"

Ron Esplin exhibits at Delicacy in Maori Hill - 3rd May 2014

Ron Esplin Delicacy Exhibition

Thirteen Watercolours on Display at Delicacy:

Thanks to  Alison Lambert of Delicacy in Maori Hill Ron now occupies one of the main rooms in the cafe with a display of thirteen of his more recent watercolours.

Images from Around the World:

Paintings represented include images of England and Scotland, Italy, Croatia, China, Turkey and other locations where Ron has travelled in recent times.
It is important to note that Ron feels he needs to make a direct connection to these locations in order to reproduce the feeling, as much as to reproduce the visual impression of the scenes he commits to watercolour on paper.
To that end he has used as his reference the many photographs he has personally taken at these locations around the World. If he has painted a scene, he has actually been there and experienced the atmosphere.

Populating his Paintings:

Lately Ron has more and more been populating his paintings with crowds of tourists and locals who are also visiting these iconic locations. look at "The Great Wall China" for instance and the painting is crowded with the usual hundreds of daily visitors. Similarly in "Hagia Sophia Istanbul" the long shadows cast by the visiting crowd become an important part of the composition. Another painting depicting the interior of Hagia Sophia uses the crowd of visitors to exemplify the dramatic lighting that exists there.
In contrast the painting of "Findochty" highlights the remoteness of the quiet Scottish fishing village where a solitary person is to be seen on the beach.

Put Yourself in the Picture:

Why not put yourself in the picture,  visit Delicacy at 595 Highgate in Maori Hill, enjoy a coffee and some of their superb cuisine, and spend time absorbing Ron's watercolour representations of scenes from around the world where you may well have been yourself, or are planning to visit yourself in the future.
All the work is for sale, and is priced in the bottom left hand corner of the paintings along with the title of each painting.

View this Newsletter and the accompanying photograph on the following link:
Ron Esplin exhibits at Delicacy in Maori Hill

Watercolour New Zealand publishes Ron Esplin's Article on Watercolour Skies - 4th Mar 2014

Watercolour New Zealand publishes Ron Esplin's Article on Watercolour Skies

Watercolour New Zealand:

Growing from a small group of artists in Wellington in 1975, Watercolour New Zealand is this country's only society dedicated to the appreciation and promotion of watercolour painting.

It carries on the long association New Zealand has with watercolour, starting with the work of prolific early surveyors and scientists recording scenes and information for employers in Britain. The strong pure light, unique culture, landforms, bush and relative isolation from the rest of the world, have combined to give a recognisable New Zealand character to contemporary watercolour works.

Members, both professional and amateur, number about 400 and take part in a yearly calendar of events including workshops, critiques, painting days and major exhibitions.

The society is based in Wellington but they welcome new members from throughout New Zealand and overseas.

Quarterly Newsletter:

Watercolour NZ publishes a Quarterly Newsletter that is beautifully produced. It features events and articles by and about members and they also run workshops with competent specialist tutors from New Zealand and Overseas.

Invitation to contribute an article:

I was delighted to be invited to contribute an article, and the chosen topic was my approach to painting skies.
I am pleased to include the article in this Newsletter and I hope artists among you find this of value in your own artistic endeavours.

Painting Skies in watercolour: Ron Esplin.

I find most artists I know do not stretch the paper by wetting it first. They use 300
gsm not pressed paper or heavier and either fix to a board using masking tape, or
they use paper that is purchased in a block with the edges glued to hold the sheet
firm.
Wetting the paper sometimes affects the absorption properties of the paper, and I
like to be able to move the water and pigment freely over the surface. At the end of
the day it still remains a matter of personal choice.

Use a big brush:

Use plenty of water and oodles of pigment and use a big brush which may be a
wash brush or a mop. I have a favourite brush that I recommend to the people in my
classes. It is an Art Spectrum T300 White Taylon size 20. and in many cases the
whole painting can be done with this brush alone.
Pure white paper left for lighting effect or clouds can often be too stark and
unrealistic so I will most often do a preparatory light wash of Raw Sienna and make
sure it is thoroughly dry before continuing, otherwise you will end up with a green sky!

Paint wet on wet for successful skies:

The most successful skies are painted wet on wet, applied quickly with expansive
strokes, and the paper is attached to a board that you can pick up and move around
so the pigment is able to flow. I prefer Cobalt Blue to Cerulean because in my view
Cerulean blue is a little insipid, but I will mix a range of colours and be prepared to
be adventurous.
Drop pure pigment onto the paper while the first wash is still wet, then let the painting
paint itself by swivelling the board. I have often propped the board up against a chair
on a diagonal and watch it almost paint itself!

Boldness is your friend;

Be bold and be prepared to take risks, as you water colourists are aware that the
colours will tone down as they dry.
Rain can be conveyed beautifully by allowing the paint to flow under its own steam
on a wet underpainting by holding the board diagonally and almost perpendicular.
A looming sky needs magenta and Cobalt blue mixed to a dark mixture, sometimes
with a touch of earth colour to darken it even more. This is then applied to the
underpainting after you have re- wet it. Cumulus seems to work best if you remove
the paint to reveal the paper beneath, but after the white bits are dry, re-wet them
and drop dark shadow into the bottom of the white clouds.
Hard lines in a sky sometimes work, but generally you can choose to soften hard
lines with a damp brush.
Clouds can also be dabbed out with a tissue while the first wash is still damp.
If you are not happy with the sky after your first attempt, you can go in again when
it dries, but make sure you wet the whole sky before you do. If you do not wet the
whole sky, you will risk ending up with those unwanted balloons and cauliflowers.

Some problems can be corrected:

Some aberrations can be unavoidable, such as unwanted collections of paint
leaking out from under the masking tape and drying with an unsightly mark on
your otherwise beautiful skies. Two solutions to this, one is to use a damp, not too
wet, stiff bristled brush in one hand and a tissue in the other and rub it away while
dabbing it dry with the tissue. The other solution is to crop the unsightly bit from the
painting.

Try to do your sky in one hit:

I try to do a sky in one hit, but am often dissatisfied after it dries, so I am quite happy
to go in again later. If there is a mark or speck on the paper, leave it until it dries,
and only then remove it. If the speck persists use the reveal or conceal rule and
turn it into something else, a bird for instance, and add a couple more to make them
believable.

Do your own thing:

Rather than slavishly trying to reproduce your sky from a photograph, try
manufacturing your own sky. I like to contrast the dark elements of the painting
against the light parts of the sky, and the light elements against darker parts of the
sky to provide some drama.
Skies are not necessarily blue but can play a major role as part of the composition
and also be part of the story that you are trying to convey, an angry sky is much
more interesting than post card cerulean blue. Actually it is amazing what a range of
colours you can incorporate in a sky, reds, oranges, greys, even greens!

Use photographs as a guide:

I collect photographs of skies and have a “Skies” folder in the “Art Subjects” file that I
maintain in my computer.
Examining these photos and real skies will teach you that clouds are bigger close at
hand and get smaller thinner and closer together into the distance, and that clouds
have shadows on the underside.
It is a good idea to paint a series of skies just to experiment and perfect your
technique. Using masking tape to divide your paper into four allows you to do four at
once as practice pieces.
I enjoy painting imaginative skies, but I prefer to leave sunsets alone, as no matter
how accurately you emulate a spectacular sunset, people seldom believe it, and your
paintings do have to be believable.
Why compete with nature, I believe it is up to the artist to portray the ordinary things
in nature, and to point out to the viewer how extraordinary they are.

The article including illustrations can be viewed by clicking on the following link.
Watercolour New Zealand publis ... s Article on Watercolour Skies

Ron Esplin publishes a new book "A Portrait of Southland" - 31st Jan 2014

Ron Esplin publishes a new book

Southland portrayed in watercolour:

After the success of Ron's book "A Portrait of Otago", Ron always had in the back of his mind to complete paintings of Southland and to publish a book showcasing this unique Region.
Southland as the name suggests is New Zealand's most Southern Region, it is sparsely populated for much of its area, and is famed for native bird sanctuaries and an untouched natural environment. A quarter of Southland's land area is protected as part of Fiordland and Rakiura National Parks.

Beautiful Lakes and Mountains:

As an artist there are urban areas as well as wild mountainous areas to attract the artist's eye. Beautiful lakes such as Lake Manapouri, Lake Te Anau, and the deepest lake in the country, Lake Hauroko. The Main towns include Gore, Mataura and Invercargill and there are also beautiful coastal towns and villages like Riverton, and the charming Cosy Nook on the Southern Scenic Route, and the pretty seaside town of Oban on Stewart Island.

Personally experienced the rugged nature of Southland:

I have worked and painted in all these places, and experienced the rugged nature of the Southland mountains, among other experiences observing the distant view of Stewart Island from Dolamore Park near Gore in the shadow of the oddly shaped Hokonui Range, and even running the 60 kilometre Kepler Challenge over Mt Luxmore from Lake Te Anau, along the tops overlooking the South Fiord to the Iris Burn, then down to Lake Manapouri and back alongside the Waiau River to Te Anau, not once, but five times!
I have encapsulated in this twenty page soft cover book my impressions of Southland and distilled those impressions into thirty four paintings with brief editorial to explain each image. 

Order from the website and get FREE Postage and Packing:

The book measures 200mm x 200mm, is a talking point on the coffee table, and hopefully stirs memories of your own Southland experiences or inspires you to extend them.
If you order the book from the website I will send it to you for the introductory price of $28 and include FREE Postage and Packing throughout New Zealand.

Follow the Link to see the image of the book cover "A Portrait of Southland":
Ron Esplin publishes a new boo ... book "A Portrait of Southland"

Watercolour Art Classes for 2014 begin again for the year with Ron Esplin: - 13th Jan 2014

Watercolour Art Classes for 2014 begin again for the year with Ron Esplin:

Watercolour Art Classes Begin Again for 2014 Monday 20 January:

I am still running classes in my "downtown" studio at 10H Jetty Street and we begin for the year again on Monday 20 January. It is a spacious area, and a relaxed atmosphere working alongside like-minded people of all ages enjoying their art.

Create and improve your watercolours:

Learn how to create, and improve by creating beautiful watercolours every Monday from 7PM to 9PM excluding long weekends and the Xmas holidays. The atmosphere is one of excitement every Monday night for the two hours of the class. The usual format is to paint for an hour and a half, then to watch an inspiring DVD for the last half hour.

What does it cost?:

I will give you tips to improve your watercolour technique, understand composition, and use the right materials for the best results. Your confidence will increase, and your enjoyment of creating competent work will increase with it. You can start as a beginner or improve your skills as a practicing artist.
It is $15 a night so you only pay on the nights you attend.

Where do I start?:

Come along to 10H Jetty Street on a Monday when the doors are opened at 7PM. Bring any work you have at hand, the materials you use at present, or just bring yourself and I can advise you on materials to purchase if you are just beginning.
Otherwise:
Call me at home on 03 467 2164 or my mobile at 021 358 082.
Or email me at ronesplinartist@gmail.com
See this Newsletter and accompanying photograph of the studio by clicking on this link:
Watercolour Art Classes for 20 ... for the year with Ron Esplin:

Ron Esplin returns from a South East Asian Odyssey: - 15th Dec 2013

Ron Esplin returns from his South East Asian Odyssey:

I have just returned from an exhilarating month travelling from New Zealand to Singapore, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, and Manila.
The sights, the colours, the aromas, and the noise were the physical cacophony that our senses were assailed by, and I will tell you more in due course, but I did a couple of paintings of Nepal while away, and I am itching to share them with you. The dichotomy of peaceful places like Durbar Square, the subject of one painting, then the buzzing activity in the streets outside, the subject of the other painting, are indicative of that part of the world.

Dire Warnings:

Despite dire warnings about the water, the food, and the culture shock, we found that the people were welcoming and good humoured, and we survived without experiencing "Delhi Belly".
Their approach to visitors, is that the guest is God, and we certainly experienced the feeling that we were honoured guests wherever we went.

"Book it":

The people were the source of our most lasting memories, and I am indebted to a well travelled friend whom I asked before we decided to go. I asked him, "I am thinking about going to India, what do you think?" His reply was to the point, and good advice. "Book it!", and I am glad I did.

View the pictured by clicking on the following link: Ron Esplin returns from a South East Asian Odyssey:


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