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I am very proud to announce that I have recently completed a portrait of world champion swimmer Cate Campbell (OAM). Cate and her younger sister Bronte represent a tour de force in Freestyle, of the short courses in world competitive swimming.
As many can attain, Cate is not only an incredibly talented and disciplined athlete but one of the nicest and most genuine people I’ve met. How lucky was I when she said yes to posing for a portrait. I spent a morning in December 2016 with Cate discussing and shooting images for her portrait. We caught up again recently for an informal sitting and big reveal of the portrait in its final stages. It’s been a tremendous journey and I’m very proud of the finished portrait which will be entered into various portrait prizes throughout the year.
In the portrait, I wanted to capture Cate’s steely determination and focus. I wanted the portrait to be an authentic representation of Cate as well as an iconic image of ‘the great Australian swimmer.’ Therefore the yellow and green swimming cap is an important symbol. Although Cate helped smash the 4x100M Freestyle world record at the Rio Olympics, the media lamented the lost opportunity and failure to meet expectations about Cate’s performance in the 100M Freestyle. I wanted to show the shadows are in the past and Cate coming out into the brilliant sunshine. She is a remarkable athlete and a great ambassador for the sport of swimming and our country. She’ll always do Australia proud and this I know we can all agree on.
“This experience has been one of the most eye-opening and humbling experiences of my life. I have gained a new found respect for artists and their craft. The level of detail that Brett went into and the hours of preparation that was spent on this portrait, before a brush was even touched, is truly astounding. I have enjoyed every stage of this project, from meeting Brett, to taking the photos, to learning about the preparation process, to finally seeing the finished product, which surpassed all of my expectations. I feel honoured and privileged to be the subject who Brett chose and am inspired by his skill and dedication. But most of all I admire his passion for art and his commitment to the pursuit of excellence.” Cate Campbell OAM
Cate is training well and hopes to compete in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, and 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. If Cate’s spirit is any indication, then I think we can expect more great things to come. Cate’s achievements include (are you ready?):
· CURRENT WORLD RECORD HOLDER- 100M FREESTYLE
· RIO OLYMPICS 4X100M FREESTYLE- 1ST 2016 (WORLD RECORD)
· RIO OLYMPICS 4X100M MEDLEY RELAY- 3RD 2016
· WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 50M FREESTYLE- 3RD 2015
· WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 100M FREESTYLE- 4TH 2015
· WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 4X100M FREESTYLE- 1ST 2015
· COMMONWEALTH GAMES 100M FREESTYLE- 1ST 2014
· COMMONWEALTH GAMES 50M FREESTYLE- 2ND 2014
· WORLD CHAMPION- 100M FREESTYLE 2013
· LONDON OLYMPICS, 4X100M FREESTYLE- 1ST 2012
· WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 50M FREESTYLE- 3RD 2009
· BEIJING OLYMPICS 4X100M FREESTYLE- 3RD 2008
· BEIJING OLYMPICS 50M FREESTYLE- 3RD 2008
See more of Cate on YouTube here:
After an exceptionally long hiatus from publishing anything, I am pleased to announce that I’ll be sharing new works over the next month or two. I’ve been very busy working in the studio and in-situ on a range of personal and commissioned artistic projects. I’m also working in the background on a new projects page to be added soon.
Since the last time I wrote I’ve been very busy juggling a number of projects. Some of these have been painterly based, others – illustration and photography, design and marketing. Have had the opportunity through commissioned works to be painting more with watercolour. Such a wonderful medium. Have included some pics below.
I have had the great pleasure to be working with singer, songwriter, accomplished pianist and musician, Francesca de Valence, Brisbane, Australia. Our friendship goes back a few years now and over the last four or five months I’ve been working on the artwork of Francesca’s new EP album artwork as well as her publicity photos. This has been great fun and very rewarding. I’ve really enjoyed helping to mold Francesca through photography and painting. Some people might say, one captures a person through photography or painting, but equally so is the potential to express their persona in another way.
It culminated in a wonderful little exhibition of song and photographs, Friday the 6th of September in a show called ‘To Your Art’s Desire.’ This marked the launch of Francesca’s latest musical offering, “Things That We Had Said,” which I’ve blogged on already here. Like most shows, it presented an opportunity to meet many really cool people and enjoy some divine music in an intimate chamber styled context. Read Francesca’s blog post here.
The last few months also marked small milestones in my nomination for a Liebster gong (thank you again Alice), and taking out the best mixed medium in the Rotary Art Prize. This was judged by John Walsh, Director of the Gold Coast City Art Gallery, and was the first prize I’d entered in about 3 or 4 years I think. Naturally it was a gratifying little surprise. The painting I entered was ‘The Dreamers,’ that you can see here.
This year feels like the fastest on record. I blinked in April and here I am in September! Have produced some wonderful commissioned works, but have also been slowly producing new works which I hope to be seen by the year’s end. Looking forward to sharing the new work soon.
This last week has been a busy one. I’ve returned to painting after a month or so of unpacking the house and studio. The studio is smaller in this place but the lighting and ventilation better, so that’s the pay-off. The ceiling must be at least 12 feet high and this provides a nice space to work in.
I have a number of projects keeping me busy and this week I worked on the portrait of Francesca de Valence. Francesca is a highly regarded singer/songwriter from Brisbane, Australia. Her career and reputation continue to grow and I have the lucky role of painting her portrait.
I will eventually create an entire post about the painting process of Francesca’s portrait. You will soon learn with me that I don’t do anything by halves. Francesca’s portrait required months of planning and playing. For some it could be a source of frustration but it enriches the entire creative process to have time – not time to procrastinate, but time to plan, to create, to mature. Every painting I do has a book or bible. The book is full of photos, drawings, ideas, and snippets of anything that lends itself to the gestation of the work. The book is a work of art in its own right and Francesca’s takes us on a journey through Latin America and her ancestral home of Mauritius. Her painting is about sensuality, passion, beauty and colour. In due course will come the process photos but in the meantime I wanted to share with you some pics from the Francesca bible.
In much of my work, I’m not showing you “what” there is to see, but “how” we can see. Our vision and experiences are relative. Without the experience, my paintings only describe the things I see and therefore you can only experience the object of the painting itself, and the actual experience by proxy.
I once meditated on a mystery for some time. During this period, I spent my time going about my daily routine, only occasionally pondering the mystery. After some months had passed, the answer to the mystery presented itself to me. But instead of relief or satisfaction, the answer left me feeling cold. It was after some time that I realised the true mystery, the real answer I seeked, was bound in the act of doing. Not thinking about it but doing it; therein lay a much more intriguing and valuable response to the mystery ~ action.
The answer I want you to consider when you look at my artwork and blog posts, is not what you see but how you see. What does your eye covet most and where does it lead you? It is the act of looking, of using your eyes to construct the answer, not the picture constructing the answer for you. With changes of viewpoints and perspectives, I aim to take your eyes on an exquisite journey, across forms, colours and ideas. Forms, colours and ideas that may lead to you constructing your own experiences with the artworks. Gnosis, thereby may follow.
I have been able to make some updates of late, populating both the blog sets and painting gallery. I moved recently and as you might imagine have been surrounded by 100’s of boxes and a very cluttered studio. I think we have some 5000 books, so have culled some of these unfortunately. The studio is still a mess yet each day I watch the suns path as it moves over the house. I think I know the spot I will place the easel where it will have good access to light and a gentle breeze from behind. The breeze will help avoid the canvases attracting too much moisture in our humid climate. The dehumidifier can collect up to a bucket of water a day in Summer and that’s on sunny days! I try to paint on panels where possible now because, as time attests, paintings on panel tend to age much more gracefully than the canvas counterparts.
Enjoying the images I’m finding and glad you are too. As an artist, I spend so much time looking at all sorts of media and feel its part of my practice to be aware of the cultural context I’m a part of. Certain images catch my eye and these are the ones I post. There’s so many amazing visual things to see each day, so I try to make a comment if time allows.
Thanks so much for visiting. After some eight years I finally decided to retire my old clunky website and am currently working on this one. So please visit regularly as I fill the spaces with more artwork and musings, or follow me on my Facebook Fan Page, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest or Google +