For me portraits are the most intimate and personal expression in paint.

I feel I am the most involved in life over the 5 to 7 days it takes.




Extract from Alisons speech 2012:

"Portrait painting is about capturing an ‘essence’, about creating an equivalent and it works on many different levels.
It is about a particular period of time in someone’s life at a certain age and state of health.  It is about how they have chosen to present themselves, either consciously or unconsciously, it is about what they have chosen to wear, or not wear.
It is also about what they are doing in their lives at that particular point, as an Australian national team netball player or as Miss Australia, wearing her formal evening gown.  
And it is about the issues that are important to them - as with the aboriginal flag worn proudly on Leah’s chest.

Portrait painting is about these overt signs as well as more subtle ones. It is about the sitter’s stance – confident – guarded -self-assured -looking directly at the artist ….looking away… sitting forward… leaning back…intent… dreamy.  It is in how the hands are held or how the head tilts. With all the portraits together, like this, it offers us a unique chance to compare and contrast… those of same artist, similar time period, different subjects.

Yet whilst portrait painting is of a particular time period, it is also, in a good portrait, about the universal as well as the particular.   What we see in others, we see because we recognise it in ourselves. 

And what we recognise is not just a specific human characteristic, but one that is universal, that we can all relate to, (though this may mean different things to different people).Like shyness or confidence, inquisitiveness, sadness or joy.And this recognition is what existed between sitter and artist and now, exists between viewer and portrait. 
The relating of emotion is what makes these portraits remarkable.  And they are remarkable for the ‘universal’ humanity they relate.