One of the great supporters of the visual arts in the Clare Valley is Pikes winery, which has a lovely little gallery upstairs, above the cellar door. Proprietor Cathy Pike continues to introduce a range new and interesting exhibition to the region, reaffirming the long-standing relationship between wine and art.
I recently attended an exhibition of ‘Watercolour Impressions’ by Alan Ramachandran, which proved to be an enlightening reflection upon an artist’s process of working. During the opening of the exhibition Alan chose to depart from the traditional artist speech by expressing his thought processes through demonstration. It must be said that for an artist this is a particularly brave option, as there are obvious time factors and the possibility of it all going wrong under the pressure of public gaze. However, Alan’s years of experience, combined with his relaxed and jovial nature enabled it to all go off without a hitch. Within just over half an hour he had effectively led the audience through his choice of composition, tonal values and brush techniques to arrive at a suitably impressive sample of his landscape style.
While watercolour is generally not my chosen medium, I have often used this technique particularly while traveling. With a small watercolour kit, it allows you to set up quickly to produce an image with a delicate sense of immediacy. In his demonstration Alan showed this to great effect as well as providing insights into a few of his own particular tricks of the trade. As he said, ‘it’s all about sharing’ and he certainly shared much about his passion for watercolour over a glass of wine on a very pleasant Sunday afternoon.