For well-known Wellington artist Ronda Thompson, the best time to capture the magic of a landscape is early morning or evening.

On a rather wintry February morning, Friends enjoyed a delightful visit to Alfred Memelink’s Artspace Gallery on the Petone Esplanade to view an exhibition of Ronda’s recent works. Ronda gave us a wonderful overview of her life and painting practice, explaining how she loves using palette knives to bring depth and texture to her paintings. She always paints with oils, which means having to allow for days or even weeks of drying time.

Ronda Thompson speaks to Friends group at Artspace Gallery, Petone, 2021. Photo by L.Medford

Ronda’s richly textured oil paintings of Wellington really do capture the freshness of morning light on the city’s buildings, the sparkling water of the harbour and the ceaseless energy of the sea. Her landscapes have such exquisitely fine detailing, the scattered autumn leaves in one work were so alive it was impossible to resist touching them.

If you have yet to discover Alfred’s vibrant art space on the Petone Esplanade, do pop in for a visit. It is the perfect place to find a special gift, or to indulge yourself.  Upstairs Alfred has a studio space where you can attend art classes, while looking out over a stunning view of the harbour. You can find out more at by visiting their website.

Thank you to Alfred for so warmly hosting the Friends and making us all ‘at home’ in his Artspace, and to Ronda for so generously sharing her work with us. And to the Friends’ committee organisers, especially for the delicious morning tea!

Elizabeth Kay

Feature image: Detail from: Friends viewing of Ronda Thompson’s exhibition at Alfred Memelink Artspace Gallery, Petone, 2021. Photo by and reproduced courtesy of Alfred Memelink.