Watercolours exhibition to highlight talents of local and regional artists

Gunnedah artist Shirley Urquhart with a watercolour she painted recently of the flooding from Porcupine Lookout. She is pictured here with Work of Art Community Gallery coordinator Philippa Murray and a watercolour of George Street, Sydney, by artist Julie Simmons. Both works will be included in the Watercolours exhibition.

Gunnedah artist Shirley Urquhart with a watercolour she painted recently of the flooding from Porcupine Lookout. She is pictured here with Work of Art Community Gallery coordinator Philippa Murray and a watercolour of George Street, Sydney, by artist Julie Simmons. Both works will be included in the Watercolours exhibition.

WORK by Armidale artists is among a showcase of watercolours at a new exhibition opening on Friday at the Work of Art Community Gallery in Gunnedah.

The exhibition, Watercolours, will include the works of newcomers including Tony Blake, Di Hasler, Lynn Pratt and Leigh MacPherson, and well-known artists such as Anne Pickett, Shirley Urquhart and Robert Cull.

Gallery coordinator Philippa Murray said it was the first time the gallery had organised an exhibition solely for watercolours and “the motivation and the inspiration” behind the idea was to highlight the talents of local artists. 

“For some of them it’s the first time they’ve exhibited,” she said.

“I think everyone’s quite excited and I think some of the first-timers are nervous.

“It takes a bit of guts to put your stuff out there.”

Ms Murray said watercolours were a popular medium in Gunnedah and more than 50 works from 20 artists would be on display, ranging from miniatures to still life to local scenes and landscapes.

“There’s a huge diversity,” she said.

“We’ve had a phenomenal response.”

As well as pieces by Armidale artists, there are works by artists from Narrabri, Sydney, Murrurundi and Tamworth.

“I think there’s a really good representation of artists,” Ms Murray said.

“There’s such a colour range.”

Gunnedah artist Shirley Urquhart has contributed a number of watercolours to the exhibition including pieces depicting Cohen’s Bridge and flooding from atop Mount Porcupine.

“The water does the work for you and it’s such an instantaneous effect,” she said.

“A watercolour is quite spontaneous compared to oils and acrylics where you go over and over.

“Everyone says that water colour is the hardest medium to paint because you can’t fix up your mistakes.”

Ms Urquhart said watercolours were once perceived as “pale and wishy” but the medium was gaining popularity.

The exhibition opening will take place at 6pm on Friday and will be on display for four weeks.

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