OAR Art Auction Invitation for Thursday 5 March at 6PM - 31st Jan 2015

OAR Art Auction Invitation for Thursday 5 March at 6PM

OAR FM ‘Youth Zone’ Art Auction Thursday 5 March 2015: 

Put this event into your diaries if you are in Dunedin on that date, it is our second Art Auction having held a successful Art Auction in 2013 and it is to be held at the Community Gallery in Princes Street on Thursday 5 March 2015 at 6pm with auctioneer Warwick Grimmer at the podium.

In support of Youth Zone Programming on Otago Access Radio:

The auction is in support of Youth Zone Programming on Otago Access Radio and proceeds from the auction will support the continuation of OAR FM’s Youth Zone (weekdays 4pm-5pm) - where volunteers aged 8-22 years are provided free-of-charge with the broadcasting skills training, mentoring and airtime to make radio shows, by, for and about the young people of Dunedin and Otago.

The event also supports local artists:

The event also supports local artists as 70% of sales is returned to artists who contribute, and we are delighted with the quality and caliber of the artists who are contributing.

We have works by David Corballis, Alf Berland, Jenny Longstaff, Nic Dempster, Robert Scott, Heather Dunckley, Jacky Pearson, Janet de Wagt, Gillian Pope, and Pauline Bellamy to name a few of them.

I look forward to seeing you there for another great event.


Click on this link to see invitation image OAR FM �Youth Zone� Art Auction Thursday 5 March 2015:

MERRY XMAS and A THANK YOU OFFER - 26th Dec 2014


Exclusive to Ron Esplin VIP Newsletter readers, as a thank you for your loyalty, purchase copies of  "A Portrait of Otago" at the special price of $25 postage free in NZ, and receive a bonus 2015 Calendar plus an A4 signed print of the painting "Middlemarch" that features on the 2015 Calendar.

Twenty pages in a soft cover in full colour:

"A Portrait of Otago", subtitled "A Personal View of the Region", is a soft cover book, ideal for postage, and measures 20cm x 20cm, (8 inches by 8 inches if you prefer).
There are twenty pages in full colour and there is a biography on the back cover. I have refined the publication from my first editions, and this is the 2014 edition. It is now available directly from me through esplin.art@xtra.co.nz, or through the website at www.esplinart.com.

Offer closes January 31 2015.

View the full colour illustrated version of this letter by clicking on the following link.

Ron Esplin Painting Auctioned at Attitude Awards Benefits Canteen by $1100 - 12th Dec 2014

Ron Esplin Painting Auctioned at Attitude Awards Benefits Canteen by $1100: 

The 2014 Attitude Awards were held on the first of December at The Viaduct Events Centre.
It was a glittering red carpet event attended by a crowd of 600 and presided over by Simon Dallow.
It was an evening filled with excitement and emotion when we celebrated the achievements of nominated Kiwis who live with disability.

Gala Dinner also marked World Disability Day:

The Gala dinner was punctuated by the awards ceremony, and world class singers and acts and it was no co-incidence that December the third was also World Disability Day.
The evening was televised for broadcast on TV3 and among the nominees was my wife Julie who was one of three nominees for The Attitude Spirit of Attitude Award.
Julie was pipped at the post, but that did not detract from flying up to Auckland for a couple of days, staying in the swanky Sofitel Viaduct Harbour Hotel, and seeing my daughter Melanie and grandchildren.

Braille Art Work "OK" now owned by the Mad Butcher:

During the course of the evening, they auctoned my braille art painting "OK" for $1100 which I had donated, and the money went towards Canteen. The painting now graces the home of The Mad Butcher, whose wife Janice made the winning bid.

Click on the link for images.

Ron Esplin Painting Auctioned ... rds Benefits Canteen by $1100

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
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

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

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

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