Splash® 2016 - Watercolour New Zealand's Annual Exhibition
15 - 30 October 2016 @ NZ Academy of Fine Arts, 1 Queens Wharf, Wellington
Splash 2016 was a great success. Over 3000 people visited the show and the response from the public was overwhelmingly positive: “Beautiful,” “Brilliant,” “Amazing,” were frequently heard comments. “So much beautiful work here – makes me keen to have a go at watercolour,” said one visitor. “There are paintings here of gallery standard,” commented another. When it was pointed out to him that this was a gallery, he said “I meant National Gallery.” The only complaint, and it was a common one, came from visitors who said there were so many good paintings that they couldn’t vote in the French Art Shop People’s Choice Award because they found it impossible to pick a single favourite.
The success of a show like this depends first and foremost on the quality of the paintings that you, our members, submit so we’re grateful those of you who sent us their work. This year for the first time we included a junior section, an initiative which attracted a lot of interest and favourable comment. Three of the six paintings in this section sold. We hope the junior section will go from strength to strength as these artists represent the future of watercolour.
We would like to thank the Wellington City Council’s Arts and Culture Fund for their grant which helped cover the costs of running the exhibition, as well as Gordon Harris, for their sponsorship of the awards for Innovation in Watercolour and Best Painting by a Junior, and the French Art Shop, who sponsor the People’s Choice Award.
Next year’s Splash will take place in September. Dianne Taylor, who sold all three of her paintings on opening night, said she started planning her paintings for the exhibition in February. I hope you will likewise plan ahead for next year’s show so that we can continue to provide a top quality showcase for New Zealand watercolour.
President, Watercolour New Zealand Inc.
- Joint winner of the Watercolour New Zealand Supreme Award at Splash 2016 "Lake Brunner" by Adrienne Pavelka
- Joint Winner of the Watercolour New Zealand Supreme Award and 2nd place in The French Art Shop People’s Choice Award "Soren" by Marcus Ebbett
- Winner of the Gordon Harris Junior Award "Matt’s House, Otaki" by Jamie Lewis
- Winner of the Gordon Harris Award for Innovation in Watercolour "The Green Rose" by Michael Barker
- The People’s Choice Award Sponsored by The French Art Shop
- 1-st Place "Le Café" by Dianne Taylor
- 2-nd Place "Soren" by Marcus Ebbett
- 3-rd Place "Stony Creek Terrace, Skippers Canyon" by South Island artist Maurice Middleditch
Lake Brunner by Adrienne Pavelka
Joint winner of the Watercolour New Zealand Supreme Award at Splash 2016 "Lake Brunner" by Adrienne Pavelka
Adrienne writes: “Many happy holidays were spent around the shores of Lake Brunner with family and arty friends. The colours and atmosphere are almost indelible.
With almost every painting l do, l plan the composition first, then decide on my colour palette which was cobalt blue dark, raw umber, a splash of yellow and indigo for the darks. The most difficult and stressful part was the reflections where, because l was working very wet on wet, the pigment had to be so strong. I have to confess to using an opaque white for breeze lines. It was a happy experience when it all worked. You all know the feeling!”
"Soren" by Marcus Ebbett
Joint Winner of the Watercolour New Zealand Supreme Award and 2nd place in The French Art Shop People’s Choice Award "Soren" by Marcus Ebbett
Marcus: “I started working with watercolour about a year and a half ago and have really enjoyed learning the different techniques involved. This year for the Splash exhibition I wanted to try something different and challenging.
Figures can be difficult to paint in watercolour, so can flowers, so I thought I'd take on the challenge and paint both. The painting which won the award is of my wife Soren Ebbett and the setting is from our wedding day. I started with the background wash, then the skin tones.
I had to do some prior research into what colours to mix to achieve what I wanted. It started looking pretty good and I was quite surprised, that’s when the pressure kicked in, I didn't want to ruin it. The painting was for sale, but I have it back now and I'm pretty sure I'll be holding onto it. I feel very happy and proud to have won an award at a national level for something I love doing. It encourages me to keep pushing myself and my career.”
'"Matt’s House, Otaki" by Jamie Lewis
Winner of the Gordon Harris Junior Award Matt’s House, Otaki by Jamie Lewis
This is the first year of the Gordon Harris award for best painting by a junior (under 18) in the Splash exhibition. Watercolour New Zealand is delighted that Gordon Harris Ltd has sponsored this new award, which aims to encourage young artists to paint in watercolour.
Jamie Lewis lives on the Kapiti Coast and has been painting for six years. He is now fourteen. When he was seven, Jamie entered a painting called Dinosaurus in a competition at the local Mahara Gallery and won the junior award. The judge, Philip Markham, guest artist at Splash 2016, spotted Jamie’s talent. Now Jamie is taught weekly by Philip, who expands his horizons and mentors his progress. Jamie is studying art at Paraparaumu College. He participates in performing arts and his sister is a dancer, so creativity is a family trait. Congratulations, Jamie.
"The Green Rose" by Michael Barker
Winner of the Gordon Harris Award for Innovation in Watercolour "The Green Rose" by Michael Barker
Michael: “The painting is a celebration of nature, underpinned by the Romanticist ideal that “nature is the teacher”. The central motif is ‘Viridios”, a figure from Celtic-Romano myth, more commonly known today as “The Green Man”, embellished with the sacred Celtic trees: the oak, the hawthorn
and the birch, together with shamrock, fern and the unique gingko-biloba, as well as attendant ‘mini-beasts’.
The format is the ‘ecclesiastical rose’, suggesting eternal truths, in this case, the vitality and interconnectedness of nature. The painting style sits within the European tradition of fantasy and illustrative artists such as Arthur Rackham, Alan Lee and John Howe. My preferred materials are Hahnemühle paper, Reeves watercolours and Da Vinci brushes.”
Let nature be the teacher!
"Le Café" by Dianne Taylor
The People’s Choice Award Sponsored by The French Art Shop "Le Café" by Dianne Taylor
Dianne: “The special characteristic of Le Cafe is the zig-zag light pattern on the chairs, leading up to the light-filled window. There is also the human element – the play between the three women and the gentleman. Is he listening to their conversation or simply looking past them to the window? Are the women aware of his presence and possible interest in them? The viewer is left wondering.
The board was tilted at a 45-degree angle. I learned this technique from the wellknown overseas artists who have tutored Watercolour New Zealand workshops – tilt the board sharply and let the pigment and water run down. The painting was done in one hit, working round the gentleman and the table and chairs which remained white. I began with the right-hand figure, worked down to the floor shadows, back to the middle woman and across to the left side. During this process, I made sure the edges of the paint flow were kept wet, avoiding hard edges. The colours used were Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Rose, Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna. Then the gentleman and the furniture were painted. I particularly enjoyed painting the chairs, especially the reflected light on the two at the back for which I used Burnt Sienna and a dash of Cadmium Red. Finally the cigarette smoke was added with white gouache to give the scene more atmosphere.”
"Stony Creek Terrace, Skippers Canyon" by Maurice Middleditch
"Stony Creek Terrace, Skippers Canyon" by Maurice Middleditch
Maurice: “I have long been attracted to Skippers Canyon with its steep, dramatically rugged landforms. It tells of incredible wealth for some of the early gold miners working in the Shotover River and surrounding areas. But for me it is the amazing light on all those steep broken ridges which gives the canyon its appeal.
‘Stunning!’ really is the only way to describe it if you are lucky enough to be there at the right time. I use a fairly limited palette of colours which includes Ultramarine, Permanent Violet (very carefully), Neutral Tint, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre and a little Sap Green. As for the subject material, it is just everywhere at Skippers Canyon.”