Predominantly Piemonte


From Piemonte, Connemara, Provence and Venice
Wednesday 6th October to Saturday 23rd October 1999

Foreword by Gianni Corrado

It's not easy to produce an image of The Langhe region.
It's never still, it's in perpetual motion, the essence of movement.

A good landscape painting doesn't only require a meticulous physical skill but it also demands a deep psychological knowledge. It's up to the artist to show us the tonality, the shading, the light and shadows.

The Langhe region is bewitching. It attracts you, absorbs you, it hypnotises you. It's a question of space, of levels, of colours, of smells, of sounds and of friendships, of dreams and fantasies.

Alan Cotton has experienced these sensations, these emotions. He has spread these sentiments on his canvas.
His works of art are a canticle of our hills, they are the ecstasy of warm autumn colours diffused by the tenuous mists which embrace our small villages. The intensity of his paintings is disconcerting.

In the foreground there is a rich blend of ochres and earth colours for the vineyards, the vines, the leaves of the vines, followed by other vineyards in the distance where the able touch of the knife is sufficient to make you imagine the rhythm and harmony of the hills. In the distance a farm, a cottage perfectly integrated in the great work created by the marriage between man and nature.
The horizons are made up of the outlines of villages on top of the ridges of the Langhe, in perfectly balanced colour.
Then the sky merges with the hills in the distance almost as if infinity becomes part of our beloved Langhe.

Alan Cotton is not an 'open air' painter even when he sets up his little painting stool in the countryside. He sketches then studies the composition, the colours and the tonality, solidifying the painting in three dimensional perspective.
The light has an important poetic weight and hints of a depth that creates that true atmosphere of the Langhe.

It seems almost impossible that a stranger can, better than us, capture details, moments and lights that we take for granted and often do not see, or rather, are not capable of seeing. What is most striking about Alan's paintings of the Langhe is that warm, calm light. I would even dare say metaphysical light, which diffuses in the mist - so typical of the region.

It is extremely difficult to portray the hilly countryside of the Langhe but through his use of light and shadow and with his skill and his deep understanding, Alan Cotton has succeeded in uniquely capturing the atmosphere of our landscape.

Gianni Corrado
Mayor of Serralalle Langhe
(a direct translation)