Hard to believe that I’ve racked up over 200 hours of painting at the end of January already.. Yup, I’ve burned out a few brushes already and paint stocks are running low. I’m aiming high this year, with some ambitious initiatives planned, not least of which is a new exhibition as well as portraits of some amazing people, including Cate and acclaimed singer/songwriter/musician extraordinaire Francesca de Valence.

The new work in 2017 will be a new direction for me. I have set no less an ambition than to challenge our perceptions of history. It prompts us to question how we perceive the past and is addressed in oil and watercolour paintings, sculptures, drawings and photos. The new body of work will be supported with a catalogue including written contributions from renowned cultural commentators and academics. More on that over the coming months.

Process leads me to source some interesting objects. This image shows some sketches and photos along with a variety of glass beads and satin ribbon which was to become a choker worn by Francesca de Valence for the final portrait.

Francesca de Valence Portrait

One of Australia’s (and the world’s) most talented, yet unheralded musicians is Brisbane-based Francesca de Valence. Since 2008, Francesca has navigated her path as an independent artist with four releases winning quite a few songwriting awards including a Los Angeles Music Award and an Australian Songwriting Award, and supporting international touring artists including Michael Buble, Belinda Carlisle and The Manhattan Transfer.  She shares her love of creative expression with aspiring artists in her teaching job at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.  In 2014 she founded the I Heart Songwriting Club, a nurturing platform for songwriters from around the world to write to a theme in one hour each week.

Francesca’s vocals, songwriting and musicianship is both heart-breakingly beautiful and emotionally raw. She is a fearless artist, and this makes her more authentic, yet vulnerable too. I’ve been friends with Francesca for a while now, having done several photographic portrait sessions with her, as well as conducting art direction, photography, art & design for her All The Things We Said album. This culminated in the To Your Art’s Desire EP launch and photographic exhibition as part of Brisbane’s Fringe Festival in 2013. See and read about it here and here. This year I will finally complete a portrait of her…

Francesca de Valence, a work in progress; Brett Moffatt, 2017, Acrylic and Oil on Canvas on Panel, 90cm x 90cm

Enjoy the below video of a sitting we did created by acclaimed photographer John Reyment


Working on the album cover portrait of Francesca de Valence.
Working on the album cover portrait of Francesca de Valence.

As some of you may know, I put much of myself into a project. Francesca’s portrait has been no exception. I designed make-ups, fashion, necklaces, and a special set design to realise the vision I had. We didn’t use all of that as we were able to source excellent replacements. But we had a great shoot, and a couple other sessions. I’m adamant that research, and allowing oneself the time to experiment and develop ideas leads to better works of art. It’s all about the journey, not the destination. If one truly desires to make meaningful art that stands the test of time, then I think a documented process is indispensable. All my major works tend to have an accompanying journal, which is filled with notes, sketches, anything that helps develops the idea.

Francesca's top concept art_brett-moffatt


Francesca de Valence by Brett Moffatt; 2013


Follow Francesca de Valence via her website http://www.fdvmusic.com , youtube, Facebook and Spotify

See other newsletter articles:

Issue #1 Cate The Great

Issue #1 Mentored By A Legend

Issue #1 Making A Splash