Oil on Fine Portrait Linen
950 x 1250 mm
“I purchased this stunning example of an early 20th-century, gaff-rigged pond yacht from John Stephens Antiques in Remuera earlier this year. Dating from the 1920s this yacht would be deemed ‘medium size’, at 1350mm(L) x 1400mm(H) x 240mm(D).
Popularised in the 1920s and 1930s, pond yacht racing was a common sport in many city ponds and parks. The sport allowed participants to display their sailing skills without requiring expensive sailing crafts, slips, and maintenance fees. Pond yachts required the “Sunday sailors” to read the wind and set the vessel for a straight line run across the pond. Model yachting reached a peak of activity in the 1930s as it was a relaxing and relatively inexpensive hobby. Many Shop and Manual Arts classes would include model boat building projects in their programming as it involves woodwork, metal forming and casting, and working with fabrics. These skills seem to have disappeared over the years. Hopefully, the craft will not die out altogether.
I have set this painting in my backyard at Snells Beach. Looking east out to sea, Kawau Island is to the left. The small Island to the right of the mast is Beehive Island / Taungamaro Island, and the landform to the right is part of the mainland, Scandrett Regional Park.
It’s great to see several pond yachts racing at high tide on a calm day at Snells Beach. These are modern radio-controlled yachts and it’s fantastic to see the skills of the skippers as they race their yachts to the winner’s line.”
– Ross Jones
Ross Jones is a contemporary painter creating works that evoke a heady sense of nostalgia and elevated playfulness.
Working from his studio overlooking the Hauraki Gulf north of Auckland, Jones’ fusion of playful realism incorporates elements of the surreal. Each meticulously devised painting offers hints at various narratives as the artist invites the viewer to engage with his role as storyteller.
“I love the phrase “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story,” so as you view my paintings, don’t let your imagination stop you from seeing the bigger picture. How far the journey takes you is entirely up to you.” – Ross Jones