Ramon Ward-Thompson was born in Masterton in the North Island of New Zealand in 1941. He is known as a traditional landscape painter and has been painting full-time for over 40 years.
In Ramon’s early years, his interest in art was nurtured by his grandfather, the artist Herbert Ward-Thompson. After completing his schooling at Scots College in Wellington, Ramon left New Zealand and spent four years in Europe and London, travelling and studying art, before making Australia his permanent home in 1964.
In the early 1970’s Ramon decided to concentrate wholly on painting and it was at this time that he moved to Berrima in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales – a move that was to greatly influence his painting style.
The soft misty light that is often seen in the Highlands became a strong theme in his paintings and these qualities became hallmarks of his unique style, which is distinguished by the use of subtle tone, gentle colours and an overall softness of finish. Ramon became known for his romantic interpretations of the Australian bush, often painting his own small daughters as they went about their daily chores, feeding chickens or gathering fire cones.
Ramon’s instantly recognisable oil paintings take their inspiration from the Australian Impressionist masters that Ramon studied, such as Rubery Bennet and Frederick McCubbin. Ramon also studied at the London School of Art and in the United States of America in 1983.
Ramon’s first one-man exhibition was in Mosman in early 1976, followed by other exhibitions in the 1970’s and 1980’s in Sydney and Melbourne, in addition to showings at the Gold Coast and Canberra. His work has enjoyed wide popularity and success with many sell-out exhibitions. His paintings are represented in institutional and private collections in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States of America, and Australia. Ramon is also a Fellow of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales, and his art has been reproduced in limited edition books and prints.
He now lives and paints in Sydney and the love of this city is evident in his portrayal of city life, such as outdoor cafes, flower markets and old terrace houses, the harbour, and the surrounding region.
Ramon also likes to spend a portion of each year away from his studio researching new subjects – a process that is as important to him as putting paint to canvas. He spends a period of time in a place, usually walking for many hours, observing his subjects at different times of the day. Then he returns to his studio with his sketches and notes to transfer these observations and impressions onto canvas.
Ramon also enjoys painting in the great cities of Europe and whenever possible travels abroad to capture the softer European light against a background of historic buildings and monuments.