New Office and Gallery - 21st Oct 2011

New Office and Gallery We can now welcome you to our new office and Gallery!
Julie and I are now resident in our new office and gallery and ready to receive visitors. You are inviited to pop in to see us on the Sixth Floor of Burns House at 10 George Street right in the heart of Dunedin. We are there from 9 to 5, and you can come for a coffee and to enjoy our great view overlooking the Main Street, the Octagon, the Town Hall, and the Civic Centre. 
A spacious and comfortable space:
You will emerge from the lift and our front door is directly ahead of you. Enter and you are in our Boardroom and reception area currently displaying Celtic Art. To the right is a roomy gallery with an ever changing showing of paintings, mainly watercolours ar displayed at present, and this is where I am usually to be found painting.
Julie in a Sea of Pink:
If you go straight through the Boardroom you will enter Julie's office after passing a pair of mennequins, one dressed as a blind ref, and the other as a truffle. As you would expect, apart from the black furniture, you are greeted by a sea of pink, and Julie of course. She is available to speak at your functions and conferences, and she has proved a great hit as a keynote speaker. Call our new office phone number 477 2820 to arrange for her to speak at your next engagement.
Catalogue allows easy identification of works: 
The Gallery is a big open area allowing for you as a visitor to view a variety of paintings in a pleasant and unhurried environment. I have produced a catalogue for you to identify paintings easily. Xmas is not far away now and a painting is such a unique, personal, and lasting gift.  

News Flash, Ron and Julie on Great Wall of China - 7th Oct 2011

News Flash, Ron and Julie on Great Wall of China Great Wall  great fun:
A trip to China in August included a walk on the Great Wall of China, yes that is the Otago Daily Times, and no, there is not an honesty box there. Since we do not read Mandarin, we took our newspaper with us! Well? That makes sense doesn't it?
Three weeks in China:
Twenty days taking in the sights in China included Hong Kong with it's harbour, bright lights and excitement, Guilin with the extraordinary cormorant fishing set against the eerie limestone crags and lakes, a cruise on the Li River to Yuangshuo wending round the river set in uniquely shaped conical mountains. At Yuangshuo in a still warm evening we wre treated to a fabulous sound and light show featuring a cast of 600, we climbed  Longsheng rice terraces, the view from the summit like a 360 degree panorama from a travel magazine, we visited Xi'an and the Terracotta warriors, and took an overnight train trip to Beijing and visited expansive Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall before returning home.
Painting not forgotten:
I took a small watercolour kit and tried traditional style Chinese painting while in China, authenticity was attempted by purchasing a Chinese "chop" to stamp my identity on the finished work in place of my signature. 

Brooklands Retirement Village commissions Ron Esplin paintings - 5th Jul 2011

Brooklands Retirement Village commissions Ron Esplin paintings Two large canvases by Ron Esplin now hang in the foyer of Brooklands Retirement Village in Mosgiel. The Management at Brooklands represented by Shona Innes chose art subjects to enhance the refurbishment of the entrance to the complex.
Iconic Dunedin Scenes chosen:
Dunedin's First Presbyterian Church and a long view from the Octagon down Stuart Street were the scenes chosen, and because of the size of the area it necessitated a large format with each framed canvas over a metre in height.
Size demanded Acrylics on Canvas:
Watercolours were out of the question partly because of the size, but also that Ron felt the need to provide the impact of vivid colours and strong contrast in such a large open area.
This decision required a commitment of many hours, but Ron feels the investment of time paid off in the end result.
Elderly residents and Staff  pleased with the result:
Ron was grateful to receive the positive comments of the elderly residents and staff once they saw the paintings hanging in the location.
Ron quipped that when it comes to his turn to become a resident it will be a familiar welcome for him when he arrives.

Southern Scenes exhibition Green Island Gallery - 6th Apr 2011

Southern Scenes exhibition Green Island Gallery

Ron Esplin exhibition at Green Island Gallery: 

Ron Esplin's exhibition "Southern Scenes opens at 5.30 on Friday 8 April. The exhibition features works that have been produced over a number of years of aspects of the South Island of New Zealand.

"Southern Scenes" includes scenes of Dunedin, The Catlins and Canterbury:

Scenes include Dunedin views, such as "Otago Harbour Boat Shed", "Careys Bay" and "Dunedin Town Belt", The Catlins is represented in "Papatowai", and "Flock Hill Panorama" is one of the  Canterbury scenes that are included.

Representative of the feel of the South:

Some scenes are recognizable landmarks such as "The Bridge At Ophir" and others are landscapes that represent the feel of the South, such as "Old Farm House".

New Works included:

Also included are new works, such as the vibrant "Autumn", and some abstract pieces such as "La Danse" and "Barock" are examples of works that were inspired by events and people in Otago.

Something for everyone: 

There is something for everyone here, a contemplative artist in the figure study "Inspiration", or the study of a collection of pottery in "Pots" round off an eclectic collection of watercolours and acrylics by a Ron, a Southern artist.

Ron and Clark Esplin chosen as inaugural artists at Terrace Downs high end resort - 3rd Dec 2010

Ron and Clark Esplin chosen as inaugural artists at Terrace Downs high end resort  Brothers Ron and Clark Esplin are to launch their collection in a new initiative at high end resort destination Terrace Downs.

Terrace Downs High Country Resort is to hold its Premier launch of “The Gallery” by way of an exhibition of the works of the renowned artists, Clark and Ron Esplin. The paintings are a wonderful selection and example of true masters at work .

Their works are to coincide with the launch of Terrace Downs newest initiative “The Gallery”.

Newly appointed Director of Arts, Rachael Inch comments “The main focus for this initiative is to create a modern yet relaxed atmosphere where we can encourage and welcome new guests to the resort to enjoy all the services we have to offer. This opportunity allows us to help promote and support our local and national artists by providing a picturesque backdrop to display and sell their works on both an international and national level. It also means that the Selwyn District can celebrate and embrace our rich and diverse NZ culture through the love of art.”

It is therefore appropriate that the first two artists to exhibit are Clark and Ron Esplin whose family are well known to Canterbury art lovers.
“Both Clark and Ron Esplin produce paintings which bring a strong sense of beauty and vitality to their environments, and that’s not something we see every day.The intricate detail and composition of colour and shapes in the paintings are extraordinary” says Rachael.

In 1952 Tom Esplin, Ron and Clark’s father, received an Imperial Relations Trust Scholarship which brought the Esplin family to New Zealand on a teacher exchange with Oliver Cox, the art teacher at Otago Boys High School. The Esplin family settled here permanently in 1954. As the boys grew up the Esplin household was surrounded by art and conversations about art, which is reflected in the maturity and sophistication of the brother’s works.

Clark’s signature paintings are urban or village and people scenes which are full of energy and warm, earthy colour. He is attracted to the timelessness of activities such as shopping and chatting on the streets and these become sources of inspiration. He is fascinated with the interplay of light and shade in his subject matter and the shapes and curves in his compositions.

Ron’s signature paintings are watercolour pieces that are also heavily influenced by the New Zealand landscape. His works show range of colours that integrate with each other to provide the viewer a sense of excitement and personal connection.

Both Clark and Ron’s paintings have been exhibited, displayed for many years and loved by art enthusiasts and buyers throughout New Zealand.
The Paintings are available for viewing from Saturday 4th December at 1pm Until 31st Jan 2011, with a special launch and opening from 1.pm to 2.30pm Saturday 4th December.

Entry and refreshments are provided for $15 per person.

For further information about the paintings or the event work, please visit
www.terracedowns.co.nz/LandingPage.aspx?page=artgallery&?term=esplin

Arty Farty Party 2010 is another roaring success - 7th Oct 2010

Arty Farty Party 2010 is another roaring success

Lawrence daffodils bloomed for the second Arty Farty Party:

The Arty Farty Party weekend in Lawrence over three days in October was held for a second year at Marama Lodge. everybody turned up for the barbecue on Friday night, although the last couple did not arrive until around 9.30PM.

A Host of Golden Daffodils:

  The famous Wetherstons daffodils were prolific and the weather was kind. Alll the artists beavered away on their chosen subjects and by dinner time there was a wide range of finished works in watercolour and acrylics
Dinner on the Saturday night:
  Dinner on Saturday night was prepared by our hosts Marie and Dennis Kean who by now are required to join us at the table, and the event was a resounding success as expected.
Sunday exhibition:
  We set up our work in the lounge of Marama Lodge on the Sunday morning and Marie had arranged for some local people to visit and view the work.
After a relaxing cup of tea or coffee, we went our separate ways again.
An annual event:
The Arty Farty Party is now an annual event by popular acclaim, so expect it to happen about the same time of year next year. I  will keep you posted.

Ron Esplin wins Peoples Choice Award in NZ Art Guild Challenge - 22nd Jul 2010

Ron Esplin wins Peoples Choice Award in NZ Art Guild Challenge
Every fortnight a challenge is issued to the NZ Art Guild members.

For this challenge artists were given the theme "Human impact on the environment" and asked to take a photograph reflecting this theme.
Ron chose to merge a number of images to depict a long deserted beach with a solitary pizza box in the foreground. Incidentally it is a Hells pizza box with a picture of an open coffin, and the words "for your remains" written on it, which Ron felt fitted the theme perfectly.

PEOPLE'S CHOICE:
Ron Esplin - Untitled 1

Ron Esplin leads an Artists Island Retreat St Martins Island - 16th Jul 2010

Ron Esplin leads an Artists Island Retreat St Martins Island

Superb Morning

(Check out the photos in the gallery)
At 10AM on a superb Saturday morning on the weekend of 8 May, twelve artists gathered at the Portobello aquarium half an hour from Dunedin in Otago Harbour. We were to meet the boat to transport our art gear, sleeping bags, overnight bags and ourselves across to Quarantine Island, otherwise known as St Martins Island.

Not without incident:

All baggage was trolleyed to the wharf down a narrow path at the waters edge. The inevitable happened, and a sleeping bag ended in the water to begin our incident packed two days.
Two giant launches moored at the wharf proved not to be our transport, as the putt putt of a tiny outboard on a tiny boat driven by the island caretaker, Graeme Furness, approached and sidled up to the wharf. Four trips backwards and forwards had us gathered at the homestead for a briefing, then we sorted out our sleeping arrangements.

On with the art works:

Without further ado we all went on a familiarisation walk around the island and within an hour artists were scattered around various vantage points painting the spectacular harbour views. By late afternoon it started to get cold and artists straggled in to gather for a drink around the blazing space heater that Graham had lit.

A good old fashioned sing song:

A pot luck dinner was followed by a good old fashioned sing song when we discovered that our two guitars and lusty voices were joined by Graeme's two guitars and he and his partner combined their musical abilities.
The Sunday morning dawned calm, still, and fresh. Rachel, still in her pyjamas and barefoot took her cup of tea and went for a stroll up the grassy paddock behind the homestead, and three of us followed with our coffees.

Another incident:

Separated briefly, we were alarmed to hear a shriek from Rachel's direction. She had slipped on the grass, and we were later to find she had broken her ankle, and sustained a spiral fracture of her fibula. What to do? Get a helicopter? Graeme took the initiative and phoned St John Ambulance. We made Rachel as comfortable as we could and half an hour later when the ambulance arrived, the two ambulance officers were transported out in the tiny boat, and after a precarious stretcher back to the wharf, Rachel was whisked off to Dunedin Hospital.

Show and tell of art works:

After that excitement we went back to our painting until we gathered for lunch and a "Show and Tell" before heading back to Dunedin.
We all agreed that this was an event to be repeated, and even Rachel who has been recuperating for two months, is keen to do it again. Indomitable!



 QUARANTINE ISLAND
Kamau Taurua is the largest island in Otago Harbour, close to the city of Dunedin, New Zealand.
The island covers an area of 15 hectares, and is mainly a publicly accessible recreation reserve. 
The island served as the quarantine station for Otago from 1863 until 1924. When ships arrived in Otago harbour with infectious diseases, the passengers were sent to Quarantine Island until they were well or died. There is a small cemetery on the island.
Only one of the quarantine buildings from these years is still standing, and this has currently begun to be restored. After the quarantine station closed the island was leased by St Martin Island Community, established in 1958, and the remainder jointly managed by the Department of Conservation and the Community. 

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