After four decades of painting artworks, even though he has sold many and given a lot to charity to raise funds for various causes, well-known Tinonee-based artist Ron Hindmarsh has too many artworks and not enough space.
To offload his paintings, Ron is holding his final one-man exhibition, titled From the Mountains to the Sea, where every piece will be on sale, at The Edge Gallery in Pulteney Street, Taree from Monday, September 19 to Friday, September 30.
Small and large, framed and unframed, pastels, watercolour, oils, landscapes, seascapes, portraits and still lifes - the 30 works on exhibition date starting from when Ron first turned professional to make a living out of art in the 1980s.
It's his final exhibition as he is 'retiring', art will now go back to being a hobby for him. He says he'll now paint when he wants to and what he wants to.
"I'm 80," Ron said.
"I want a bit more time to be able to say righto, let's go away for a few days and that is it rather than being committed to things and and with my art work.
"I'm just getting beyond it now."
Painting and teaching art has not only been a way for Ron to earn a living; a lot of it he has given away for charity, and he is heavily involved in voluntary work with the community.
The paintings he has donated to various charities and organisations over the years has helped raise around $150,000, to help farmers in times of drought - the raffle of one painting paid for medications for 40 farming families in Lightning Ridge - and fire, and many other causes.
For many years Ron and his wife Helen, also an artist, held multiple exhibitions and open gardens at their then home in Cedar Party, raising money for Rotary, which Ron is still a member of.
"A couple of times there was $9000 or $10,000 raised for Rotary," Ron said.
Ron has a natural talent for art and it is in his genes - his great grandfather was world renowned artist William Lister Lister. He is self taught, although he has taken a few lessons - but only to watch how the teachers were teaching, as he was teaching art himself at adult education, and at TAFE. Most recently, he gave his time for free teaching at St Josephs Primary School in Wingham, before the COVID pandemic put a stop to everything.
In 2018 Ron's full life was made even fuller when he co-created, with fellow artist Jillian Oliver, Art and Soul - an art therapy group in Wingham for returned service men and women and emergency services personnel with post traumatic stress disorder. The group is going strong and currently has around 20 members.
Recently group members have been helping Ron create murals above various shops in Isabella Street, Wingham, depicting the history of the shops.
Ron's most recognisable murals, however, are the sepia-toned murals at the entrance to Wingham, depicting the various industries Wingham is known for. Those murals were painted in 2000, and earned him a Pride of Workmanship award from Rotary in the 2001 Australia Day awards
Greater Taree City Council also awarded Ron in 2008, for his contribution to art in the area.
Ron has entered local art exhibitions over the years - he has won the Taree Open "a couple of times", he thinks, and placed at an exhibition at Forster.
His first solo exhibition was at Leura in the Blue Mountains in 1981, and now, 41 years later, this exhibition will be his last.
From the Mountains to the Sea is on show at The Edge Gallery, 6 Pulteney Street Taree, from September 19-30. The gallery is open 9am-3pm Monday-Friday, and 9am-12pm Saturdays.
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