BOB Pelchen, A.G.R.A.F., has lived and worked in the Gippsland city of Morwell since he moved there from Hamilton (Western Victoria) in 1969. He took with him a love of painting and of the Australian countryside around him. This resulted in a great desire to learn to paint his environment as he experienced it.
In about 1977 he began to work in watercolor, being tutored by Melbourne watercolorist, Arthur Markham. He found Arthur’s paintings were an inspiration as they were alive with color and simplicity … the very things Bob was trying to achieve. In the meantime he was being encouraged by another artist, and good friend, Lance Sullivan (now deceased).
He also attended drawing classes G.I.A.E. (now Federation University) under Keys Hoss and Geoff Dupree.
In 1988 He became involved with the Australian Guild of Realist Artists, and took part in their annual Artscapades. These trips reinforced Bob’s enjoyment of painting “en-plein-aire”, and exposed him to other well-known practicing artists. He also attended a week-long workshop at the Victorian Artists Society with Alvaro Castenet, as well as weekly classes with Melbourne Watercolorist David Taylor.
In 1997 Bob gave up his full time employment and went painting full time. This enabled him to travel with his then teacher, David Taylor, to Italy and France. In the meantime, Bob continued to paint the countryside of Australia and calendars featuring his paintings were produced in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
Bob has been involved in numerous group exhibitions throughout Victoria and Australia. He was a member of a group called “The Gippsland 5” for a short time. Later he was involved with a group of country artists called “The Gippsland 8”. During its 11 years 16 exhibitions were staged at locations all over Victoria (including Melbourne) and in NSW.
Bob has held several major solo exhibitions. Four of these were at the Latrobe Regional Gallery and all were extremely well attended and successful, demonstrating the great support he has from his local community. He has also mounted solo exhibitions in the Melbourne area which were well received and successful.
Bob set up an art studio in Morwell, where until 2002 he ran watercolor classes involving up to 40 students each week. More recently, as he now travels extensively throughout Australia, he has conducted workshops at various locations, including two four-day workshops at Hamilton (Victoria) and at Charters Towers and Ravenshoe (North Queensland). These are in addition to numerous workshops conducted in his local Gippsland region of Victoria.