Splash - Watercolour New Zealand’s Annual National Watercolour Exhibition

Splash® is the national exhibition of Watercolour New Zealand Inc., featured best paintings by professional and amateur watercolour artists all across New Zeland from Whangarei to Invercargill.


Previous Splash® Exhibitions

Splash® 2020

Splash-2020 guest is world renowned artist, Svetlana Orinko from Christchurch. Svetlana grew up in the Ukraine and inherited her artistic abilities from her father. She has won many awards and is known for her detailed floral compositions and skilful portraiture. Her style can be best described as Contemporary Realism. Her vibrant, masterly paintings promise to be a highlight of the show.

Exhibiting artists include the top names in New Zealand watercolour, among them Adrienne Pavelka, Svetlana Orinko, Jacky Pearson, Bernadette Parsons, Peter Coates, Wendy Masters, Brian Baxter, Richard Bolton, Alan Collins, Dianne Taylor, Sue Wild, Kimbra Taylor, Min Kim, Joy De Geus and Roger Daniell.

We would like to thank Gordon Harris for once again sponsoring the awards for Innovation in Watercolour Best Painting by a Junior Artist. and Bryce Gallery for their sponsorship.

View SPLASH-2020 gallery

Splash® 2019

Splash-2019 showcased over 300 works painted by watercolour artists from across New Zealand. This year's guest artist, Min Kim, has won both national and international recognition for her paintings, including second prize in the Salon International (USA) Art Awards in 2007 as well as the Supreme Award in last year’s Splash exhibition. She is also featured in an episode of the television programme 'Put Some Colour in Your Life'.The annual watercolour exhibition has firmly established itself as a highlight of the Wellington visual arts calendar and it takes place in conjunction with Ceramicus 2019, the annual exhibition of the Wellington Potters’ Association. The combination of watercolours and ceramics has proved very popular with the public.

View SPLASH-2019 gallery

Splash® 2018

Once again it will be a joint exhibition with the Wellington Potters’ Association. We’re pleased to announce that this year’s guest artist is Alfred Memelink. Alfred, one of the thirty artists featured in Denis Robinson’s book New Zealand in Watercolour, has made an enormous contribution to Watercolour New Zealand over the years. We look forward to seeing his paintings which he is currently completing in his time off duty on board the research vessel Tangaroa somewhere off the West Coast.

Read interview with Min Kim, winner of the Supreme Award.
Splash-2018 was held from 16 November to 1 December 2018 at The NZ Academy of Fine Arts Gallery.

Splash® 2017

'Splash-2017' was a joint exhibition, held in conjunction with Ceramicus, an exhibition by the Wellington Potters’ Association.

Guest artists for this year’s Splash were Richard Bolton from Geraldine and Wellington artist Dianne Taylor.

There were 250 paintings to view including a wide variety of paintings featuring Wellington, NZ landscapes, flowers and abstracts, as well as an award winning display of ceramic art presented by Wellington Potters.


Please read these conditions carefully.


Watercolour is primarily a transparent medium painted on paper. However, other water based media such as gouache and acrylic paint are acceptable, provided they are used with watercolour technique on paper. Works using impasto or other oil colour techniques fall outside this definition. Mixed media works if primarily watercolour but also using ink, pencil, pastel, crayon are acceptable.


• Entry is open to all members of Watercolour New Zealand.
• Open theme.
• A limit per artist of 3 large framed paintings (no size limit) and two small framed paintings, maximum frame size 28 x 24 cm. No metal frames accepted.
• No Diptychs or triptychs will be accepted.
• Work must be original and not infringe copyright. Reproductions, art class work will not be accepted.
• Work must not have been exhibited previously in Wellington.
• Work will not be eligible for selection if presentation conditions are not met. The decision of selectors will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
• All works must be for sale.


There is a non-refundable entry fee:
• There is a non-refundable entry fee of $20 per large painting and $10 per small painting.
• Juniors (10 to 18 years) do not pay an entry fee.


• Work is to be framed to a professional standard.
• White, off-white or cream mats should be used.
• Framed paintings must have D rings and cord. Attach a swing tag on firm card to the back by a cord. The cord must be long enough for the swing tag to hang down over the top of the painting for cataloguing.
• Stick a tidy label to the back of each work.
• SWING TAG AND LABEL: state artist’s name, title of work and price (including GST) Make them tidy.
    • Tie the swing tag to a cord with 10 cms of hanging length; tape the end of the cord to the back of the frame at top mid-point. This will allow it to hang over to the front for cataloguing and then be tucked behind without showing.
    • Stick the label to the back of each work.


Artists are encouraged to email one or more images for advertising on social media, publicity or displayed on the WNZ Website, Instagram or Facebook page.

•Photos must be of publishable quality (at least 1080px wide).
•Send photos as an email attachment to: info@watercolournewzealand.nz
•Subject line: Splash exhibition
•Each photo file name must be in this format: Kim-Smith–Lake-scene (artist name – title with dashes between words)

See further articles on preparing your painting for SPLASH:


• Attach an envelope on the outside of packaging containing your Artist’s Profile or send as an email attachment to info@watercolournewzealand.nz Subject line: Artist Profile.
• Your Artist’s Profile is an up-to-date statement about yourself as an artist and viewable in a folder during the exhibition. Your profile should be typed on one A4 sheet. Put your name and contact details for prospective buyers. You might include your art experience, training, qualifications, exhibition history, artistic motivation and include a photograph of yourself or your works.


• Insurance of art works while in transit to and from the venue and during the exhibition is the responsibility of the artist.
• The exhibition organisers will take all reasonable care but Watercolour New Zealand will not be liable for any damage or loss of artwork during installation, display and de-installation of the exhibition.


• Commission will be 30% of the selling price.
• Commission is due on exhibited works if sold after the exhibition and within 14 days of the close.
• A voluntary commission of 10% on works commissioned as a result of the exhibition would be appreciated for exhibition marketing expenses.


• Please complete Courier Delivery Form and attach it to your entry form if you are using a Courier to transport your work to and from the Academy Galleries.


• Delivery by courier: : TBA addressed to "Watercolour New Zealand, C/- Pack & Send, 103 Thorndon Quay, Wellington
• Delivery by local artists: TBA
• Early or late entries will not be accepted.


Artists whose paintings are not selected will be notified by phone or by email before the exhibition opens.


TBA between 4pm and 5.30pm for unsold works from the Academy Galleries. Please do not uplift before 4 pm.
• Paintings not collected by 5.30pm will be couriered back to the artist with a packaging and courier fee of $60 payable by the artist.


• Post your entry form to Watercolour NZ or complete it online. It must arrive no later than 5 October 2020.
• Email painting photos to info@watercolournewzealand.nz
• Pay entry fee by cheque posted with entry form, or direct credit.
• Stick a neat label to the back of each work.
• Attach a swing tag on a cord to back of paintings.
• Attach or email an Artist’s Profile.
• Arrange your own insurance if you require it.
• Arrange courier works to be delivered on TBA to Pack & Send; arrange hand delivery of works on TBA.
• Arrange collection of unsold paintings on TBAbetween 4pm and 5.30pm.


By Sue Wild

We live in an age where artworks are easily available to everyone around the world. To make a living artists need to have some control over how copies of their works are used. Without this the art world would be unfair and creativity would not prosper. In order to address this most countries have a law of copyright.

Under the New Zealand Copyright Act, you as artist are the first owner of the copyright. Copyright in your newly completed painting is automatic. (If the work is commissioned, the person commissioning is the owner of the copyright. If you agree to sell the copyright, the buyer becomes the legal owner.) The copyright in an artistic work expires at the end of 50 years. You could register the copyright, but only great artists do that. However, you will notice that artists show the copyright symbol, with name and year on their
website: © Alex Jones 2017.

Watercolour New Zealand must avoid exhibiting a work that infringes copyright. For this reason, the terms and conditions on the Splash entry form state: ‘Work must be original. No reproduction or art class work is accepted.’ You, the artist, sign the Splash entry form declaring that you have read these terms and agree to them. You are making a legal statement that your work does not infringe copyright.

We, the committee, rely on your honesty in this. Can you learn to paint by copying the work of other artists? Yes. As Steve Jobs said, ’Expose yourself to the best things humans have done and bring those things into your work.’ Austin Kleon in his lively book Steal Like an Artist (reviewed in newsletter 158) wrote ‘Copying one = plagiarism; copying many = research,’ but, he says, ‘Try to be like Sargent and you’ll end up being yourself.’ So foster your own points of difference. ‘Take a nugget of something that resonates with you, combine it with your own ideas, transform it into something new and share it, so that others can steal from you!’ But do not submit a copy of another artist’s painting for exhibition.

Paintings created in workshops or classes cannot be submitted for Splash. A painting that you have done which follows a tutor‘s demonstration, whether you paint it in class or at home, is not acceptable. This includes paintings that are modified versions of the tutor‘s original. That work is copyright to the tutor. You can, and of course should, take the techniques and style that you have learnt, use your own sketches, photographs and composition to create an original painting.

Sign and submit!

Watercolour NZ


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