Finalist Portia Geach Memorial Award
S.H Ervin Gallery, NSW
Semi-finalist Doug Moran National Portrait Prize
This painting is the sequel to the ‘EP Addiction’ ( scroll down). A long time devotee of the Easton Pearson label, I put on this limited edition brocade coat and I am again transported to a more glamorous world. Four months ago Pam and Lydia announced they were closing their shops and discontinuing their fashion line. I did feel bereft – is this the end of my addiction?
Oil on canvas, 55cm x 110cm
Semi-finalist Doug Moran National Portrait Prize 2015
Well it’s all about me… and yeah, I’m a bit obsessive as well.
I am very interested in art and Pam Easton and Lydia Pearson are definitely in that category – and that expression is evidenced in their fashion label Easton Pearson, particularly in their special one-off pieces. I put on this coat of guinea fowl feathers and I am transported somehow, I feel better about the world. It costs a lot of money. I agonize for two weeks and run through the reasons for and against. Then I wake up at 2.00 am. I have to do a portrait, a self portrait – and I need the coat! It all makes sense. The family say it is an E.P. addiction – and I am NOT interested in rehab. I’m done with painting feathers though.
Acrylic on canvas, 100cm x 160 cm
acrylic on canvas, 60 x 40cm
I started sketching Janet several months ago, me wanting to improve my life drawing skills and she not being so well, enjoying the company and interested in the exercise. We were only a few weeks in when she got her diagnosis. I found my drawing skills deteriorating – actually got worse the more I did. I think sitting and studying each other with that knowledge was just too difficult.
At one point I resorted to sketching her dogs. We did continue on – almost as a joint project, with me showing her compositional sketches, discussing what clothes and jewelry she might wear. I wanted to do the portrait with a more serious look – I guess that was coming through in my sketches.
At that point we turned to photographs and I got this great shot of her smiling. That was the look she wanted and she was correct. It highlighted her eyes, her smile. Two weeks before she passed away and when I was about to starting painting, she asked if I had enough material – she did not think she could manage that smile again. But she did manage that smile many more times, and I would say “Hey Janet, there is that smile!” – and she would smile again.