Ron presents a watercolour of the Roslyn Health Centre to the Health Professionals: - 23rd Mar 2012

New Painting of Roslyn Health Centre by Ron Esplin:

The charming and prominent Roslyn Health Centre building prompted Ron Esplin to use it as a subject for one of his watercolour paintings, and he had great pleasure in presenting the finished painting to Doctor Peter Borrie.
The historic Villa at  271 Highgate, Roslyn, Dunedin was built around 1921. It was once quite isolated because access to Roslyn from the City was via the winding Littlebourne Road and Highgate.
 Roslyn was named after Roslin in Scotland. Many street names and some district names in Dunedin derive from similar features in Edinburgh and its surrounds.
The suburb of Roslyn, where the Roslyn Health Centre is situated, lies atop a crest which forms part of the inner ring of hills around Dunedin. It is one of Dunedin’s premier suburbs to live. Excellent sun and views of the inner city can be gained from the Roslyn overbridge, which is 2.5 kilometres northwest of the city centre, and 150 metres above sea level.

Cablecar part of Roslyn history:

Roslyn was in earlier times served by two separate cable car lines, one came up Stuart Street from The Octagon, turned half right at York Place into what was then called Albert Street, continued on past the end of that street through a short section of the Town Belt, past Otago Boys' High School, across the bottom of Littlebourne Crescent, and up to Highgate at School Street, then dropped down to Kaikorai just before Nairn Street, where a turntable in the road turned cars through ninety degrees and sent them south-west into their shed if it was time to go there.

Stuart Street extension links Roslyn to Central Dunedin in 1953:

The route was eventually turned into a four-lane highway in 1953, cutting Littlebourne Crescent off from Littlebourne Road, going under a new bridge and undergoing considerable widening on the Kaikorai side, restricting access to Ann Street and Oates Street.
In the past couple of years Roslyn has gained popularity, as it undergoes something of a renaissance as a dining and shopping hot spot, away from central Dunedin.

A commanding view over the City:

The Roslyn Health Centre overlooks the City of Dunedin, and Roslyn Village which has two Supermarkets, two restaurants, cafes, a takeaway store and designer clothing stores, all of which are just walking distance apart.
Today the Roslyn Health Centre boasts three doctors, Dr Peter Borrie, Dr Marj Copland, and Dr John Wood plus nursing and administrative staff.
There is a roomy carpark at the back, and a comfortable waiting room looking out onto the City.
They can be contacted at Phone: 03 477 6471, Fax: 03 479 2582, or email:

The Papatowai Challenge 25 February 2012 - 5th Mar 2012

The 16th Papatowai Challenge 2012:

On Saturday the 25th of February Julie and I went to the Catlins in the South of the South Island of New Zealand  for Julie and her friends Jo Stodart and Margaret Jones to compete in the Papatowai Challenge.
This is a 15.5km walk or run in the beautiful coastal surroundings of Papatowai, approximately two hours South of Dunedin..
This was the 16th Papatowai Challenge and was Julie's sixth and Jo's fifth time to tackle this event which is a pre-season fun run and walk from the holiday home of Bev and Wayne Allen in the Catlins and is held annually.

A varied bush beach and hill course:

It begins outside the holiday home at the south end of Tahakopa River Bridge,crosses the bridge over the Tahakopa river, leads through native bush before emerging onto the beach for a refreshing beach walk or run before climbing a steep track to winding unsealed roads over the tops of the hills through farmland . The road then descends through native bush with tantalizing glimpses of the sea, the beach, and the finish. A gritty three kilometers on the flat along the riverside finally takes the exhausted competitor full circle back to the holiday home in Papatowai. 

Finishers rewarded for their effort:

The finishers and spectators then tuck in to well deserved platefuls of pancakes smothered in jam and cream, and hot saveloys from the pot doused in tomato sauce. Wayne and his sponsors then give out spot prizes to competitors and awards to placegetters.
We were happy to learn that our friend Margaret was the second placed walker, and Jo won a spot prize
The event on Saturday was notable in that it poured with rain soon after the start but this did nothing to deter the more than 400 competitors who saw it through to the finish, and the rain stopped before the festivities.

Ron presents a framed print to organizer Wayne:

At the prizegiving at the end of the event, Race Organizer Wayne was proud to display a framed print of Papatowai bridge that had been painted by Ron on a previous Papatowai Challenge.

Ron finds painting a less exhausting pursuit:

I had not been idle while the runners and walkers were battling the elements, I had taken my paints and brushes and completed a watercolour of Papatowai Beach between showers, "draw a line a day" as my Dad used to say.
All this meant that we were unable to hear The Arty Farty Hour on Otago Access Radio at 11AM, so for any of you who went to Papatowai or were otherwise unable to hear the programme, here is the link.

Video of Ron Esplin in his Art Gallery and Office in Dunedin - 24th Feb 2012

Ron explains where he is based and what he is about:.


Saddle Hill by Ron Esplin

Saddle Hill exhibition at Mosgiel Library:

Saddle Hill is the focus of an exhibition in Mosgiel in the last week of February on show at the Downes Room in The Mosgiel Library. Ron Esplin joins more than forty artists to pay tribute to the Saddle Hill landscape in the exhibition which is open from 1PM February 22, 23, and 24, and from 10AM to 11AM on Saturday 25 February. 

Well known artists represented:

As well as Ron Esplin are other other well known artists including  Heather Maxwell, Scott Drummond, Marie Bowden and Fay Mitchell who organized the event together with Marjorie Orr.

The majority of the artworks are for sale:

Entry is by a gold coin donation to cover some of the costs associated with mounting the event, and most of the works on display are available for the public to purchase.

Photo of page from "Learn World Calligraphy" - 1st Feb 2012

The photo referred to in the latest Newsletter can be accessed via this link. Apologies for the omission. Ron Esplin

American Calligraphy expe ... e artwork in her new book

American Calligraphy expert includes Ron Esplin tactile artwork in her new book - 27th Jan 2012

American Calligraphy expert includes Ron Esplin tactile artwork in her new book

Margaret Shepherd calligrapher and author:

Margaret Shepherd is a well-known calligrapher and author, whose many books have helped make calligraphy accessible to a large public worldwide. She has researched, taught, written, freelanced, and exhibited extensively. She lives in Boston, where she created the Boston Calligraphy Trail.

Discovers Ron Esplin's tactile art work while researching latest book:

 While researching her latest book, "Learn World Calligraphy", she came upon the websites of Ron Esplin and his blind wife Julie Woods. She was intrigued by the story of the collaboration of this couple to produce tactile art works that are accessible to both visually impaired and sighted viewers.

A page dedicated to Ron Esplin and Julie Woods collaboration:

As a result of contacting Ron she chose to devote a page to the work that he and Julie had produced together with illustrations of two of his pieces and narrative to explain the concept. 

New look Newsletter:

As you can see, the Newsletter has a new swept up look, and you can now share pictures such as the one included here of the page in the book "Learn World Calligraphy". The illustrations feature a tactile art work named "FOCUS" that combines the written word and the braille for the word. The other art work uses Julie's braille biscuits to spell the word "INSPIRED" which is surrounded by all the words that can be derived from the word inspired. Can you identify any that have been missed?

Another string to the bow of Julie Woods  "That Blind Woman":

Ron's wife, Julie is acknowledged for her contribution to the art work in the book, and referred to as "Blind artist and Culinary expert".....Go Julie!

Ron Esplin participates in an unusual commission of art - 17th Jan 2012

Ron Esplin participates in an unusual commission of art

U.S. authors find Esplin website and ask for Artworks:

The wonders of the World Wide Web have led to an unusual commission for me.
After finding examples of my work on the internet, the United States based authors of a children’s book commissioned me to paint several landscapes based on the Dunedin area.

Uno Mundo:

Entitled Uno Mundo (One World), the book will show the adventures of two young characters playing a game of Uno around the world. Authors Aliya Caler and Aviva Palmer have commissioned artists from places as diverse as Bali, Tunisia, Mongolia and Thailand to contribute images of their own countries. The characters — drawn by Kenya Von Zepplin — will be digitally overlaid.

NZ Esplin works now completed and dispatched:

The authors were pleased with my contribution, and asked me at first to add some characters of my own in the New Zealand section, and later requested that I design the final page of the book.

It has been a fascinating process, I have really enjoyed being part of it, and I have been honoured to participate. I now look forward to seeing the completed publication.

Celtic Art for Celtic Arts Festival - 9th Nov 2011

Celtic Art for Celtic Arts Festival Art works for the Celtic Arts Festival: 
The Organizing Committee of the recent bi-annual Celtic Arts Festival approached me to arrange art work to complement the activities they had planned over September and October. The result was a Celtic Theme that was adopted by the Otago Art Society for their exhibition at the Art Society galleries in the Art Station. This theme put artists on their mettle to produce art with a Celtic flavour, and the members rose to the occasion admirably. I personally met the challenge by producing a view of Edinburgh Castle impaled by a giant Celtic Cross and the title "Dun Eidyn"  referred to the Celtic stronghold that was the predecessor of the Edinburgh Castle we are all now familiar with. It takes little imagination to see the root of the name of our own City of Dunedin in the Celtic title.
Art formed a Celtic backdrop in the Community Gallery:
Running at the same time as the Art Society exhibition at the headquarters for the Celtic Arts Festival in the Community Gallery was an exhibition of Celtic art work by myself, Pauline Bellamy, Manu Berry, Marilyn Webb, Erin Anson, Heather Dunckley, Philip Madill, and sculptor John Kena.
These works struck an imposing backdrop to the varied musical events, workshops, and dance activities of the Celtic Arts Festival.
Celtic Arts Festival 2011 a success:
The Celtic Arts Festival was a successful celebration of things Celtic in Dunedin, and many musicians and enthusiasts descended on Dunedin from all points including many visitors who had come to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup.
Red Hot Chilli Pipers fill the Town Hall:
The celebrations ended uproariously with a show in the Dunedin Town Hall by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers who presented their unique amalgam of Celtic bagpipe music and Rock.

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