Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas 180 x 120cm
Rob Oakeshott is a retired Australian politician. He was the Independent Member for Lyne in New South Wales. Rob was only 40 years old when he along with Tony Windsor made a brave choice and backed Julia Gillard’s Government.
Rob was and is an idealist, a devoted family man who believed in the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme and the NBN, and secured the $75 million extension to the regional hospital. Rob the outsider was motivated by policies and had the courage to stand up for what he believed in.
After I read Rob’s candid memoir ‘The Independent Member for Lyne’ I was compelled to try to capture this man of principal. At the delightful sitting at his home with walls filled with children’s paintings and toys strewn round about, I was interested to know what he was doing after the turbulent 43rd parliament. Rob said he initially was a househusband and now works part time for the U.N. He is a lawyer but has decided to go back to University this year and do a Medical Post Grad to become a doctor.
We discussed his time as a politician, and I wondered how different his life might be if he had chosen Tony Abbott. His expressive blue eyes often seemed to look into the distant past as he pondered my questions, as I sketched. Rob responded that even in hindsight he had made the right decision. His old school principal would be proud of Rob remembering his words “you’ve got to stand up for what you believe in regardless of the consequences.”
I have simplified my colour palette to emphasise the meditative tone of my portrait. The painting focuses on the pensive, knowing eyes as I tried to capture the insightful reflection of the honourable and independent Rob Oakeshott