The Archibald Prize is one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious art awards. It began in 1921. J.F. Archibald’s primary aims were to foster portraiture, support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians.
My Archibald portraits are special to me because I respect and care for each one of the sitters. My first portrait was of my highly respected and accomplished Ceramics teacher and Master Potter, Chris Myers, in 2006. I painted him again for the 2010 Archibald Prize, because his first portrait was destroyed in the Black Saturday fires, and I needed a sense of closure, so Chris Myers kindly agreed to sit for me again.
My next portrait, in 2007 was of Peter Biram, another art teacher, who was instrumental in encouraging me to enter the Archibald and has supported my artistic endeavours. Peter is also a professional artist and enters the Archibald too. The 2008 portrait was of Kerrie Warren, an wonderful abstract expressionist painter and an incredibly positive person and kind friend. The portrait of Leonie Ryan followed in 2009, again another dear friend an a highly motivated and talented installation artist. In 2011, I painted Alan Kohler, who is an ABC Finance Presenter & Editor-In-Chief of Business Spectator and Eureka Report. He is charming and a gentleman.
It was a great pleasure meeting and painting Alan Kohler and to make me feel even more fortunate I met his wife Deborah Forster. Deb is a wonderful author who wrote ‘The Book of Emmett’, an incredibly sensitive and emotive book and one that was shortlisted for the 2010 Miles Franklin. Our meetings proved to be serendipitis because she agreed to sit for my 2012 portrait and I very much enjoyed our long conversations with this wonderful lady. I hope you like the portrait.
My portrait for 2013, of the dynamic and charming Gerri Christie is finally finished, after a challenging year building our new home, selling our old home and moving house! Gerri has been most generous with her time and I have particularly enjoyed sharing the interesting stories of when she was the Executive Director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Victorian Section.
The Archibald Portrait for 2014 is Giles Parkinson. My husband, Werner and I drove up to Sydney for our sitting with Giles, and we had a very enjoyable afternoon sketching, photographing and discussing all things environmental. It was a fun meeting. Giles is a career journalist and a former editor and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review, a weekly columnist on green business for The Bulletin Magazine and The Australian and the former editor of Climate Spectator. He is now the founder and editor of Renew Economy which has become Australia’s most read web-site focussing on clean energy news and analysis.
My 2015 Archibald Portrait was of Lenore Taylor who is one of Australia’s most respected journalists. She is the political editor of Guardian Australia. She began work as a journalist with The Canberra Times and worked in the Old Parliament House press gallery. Lenore also worked in London as a foreign correspondent. Her first book, ‘Shitstorm’, co-authored with David Uren, was Sub-titled ‘Inside Labor’s Darkest Days’ which is an inside story of the Government’s turbulent time fighting the global financial crisis. She is a Walkley award winner and a winner of the Paul Lyneham award for excellence in press gallery journalism. It was a great pleasure meeting this talented and insightful journalist.
Rob Oakeshott, ‘The Independent Member for Lyne’, and a pivotal and courageous MP in the turbulent Gillard Government, is my 2016 portrait and I am awaiting the outcome of this years Archibald Prize journey.