About the artwork
With oil paint on canvas, Bronwyn Searle starts with an orange base and enjoys the warmth and energy it creates as she then applies other colours to bring the face to life. The gaze she has captured in Rick’s eyes tells you so much about him, of which she says “Getting that right is everything.”
About the sitter
This piece depicts Searle’s husband Rick, a well-known Brisbane writer with a successful career in film, television, children’s books, and more recently with aviation biographies. His most recent book, a biography of the aviator Charles Ulm, was a People’s Choice finalist for the 2019 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards.
About the artist
Bronwyn Searle trained at the Brisbane College of Ar. Her paintings reflect her long career with graphics and illustration. Her eye for detail, and ability to capture light, brings the subject centre stage on the canvas. She is represented by the Lethbridge Gallery and is a part-time tutor at Bienarté.
“Painting this to look like him was not my greatest fear. It was that intense look and the life behind those eyes. I wouldn’t have been happy if that focused intelligent gaze had not been captured."
Behind the scenes
After 42 years of marriage, it was time to bight the bullet and paint a portrait of my husband Rick. Painting this to look like him was not my greatest fear. It was that intense look and the life behind those eyes. I wouldn’t have been happy if that focused intelligent gaze had not been captured.
A few different sessions began with a pastel sketch, then a couple of sittings trying out different light sources. A desk lamp behind him, with a goose neck living room lamp to the side, the scene was right and proved to give some drama to the pose. The finished work? Well…it’s him.