TAMWORTH painter Bill Wakeford has stepped away from his usual portraits of Hollywood stars with his sixth entry into the Archibald Prize – this time it’s all about family.
His piece, A Charters Towers Ringer - My Cousin Jackson, was painted freehand from memory – he didn’t refer to any photos – and depicts Jackson on a property in North Queensland after a long, hot summer, with a background of bright-yellow grass and a clear, bright blue sky.
“It’s an experimental painting – it’s the first time I’ve used enamel paint,” Mr Wakeford, 46, said.
“It’s pretty good, I’m happy with it. It’s easy to work with and fast-drying. The enamel sets in about half an hour – oil (paint) takes longer.
“But it’s all mineral-based paint.
“A great painting has pigments you can’t trace. The only pigment you can probably trace there is the blue on the face, and the black as well.”
The painting is on masonite, rather than the traditional stretched canvas fabric on a wooden frame.
Mr Wakeford has entered the Archibald Prize on five other occasions, submitting his portraits of mostly Hollywood actors, such as Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Jackson is no longer a ringer and now works in a North Queensland mine.
Mr Wakeford said his cousin was aware of his intention to depict him in a painting and was fine with the decision.
Entries for the Archibald Prize open on Monday, March 4 and close on Friday, March 8.