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A Long Hard Look at Myself by Peter Hudson

A Long Hard Look at Myself

Peter Hudson

About the artwork and sitter

This self portrait is called: A Long Hard Look at Myself. It is Hudson’s first self portrait, and depicts his 50 years of playing drums and painting pictures. It was made with a mirror in the studio, “and also a glance in the rear vision mirror.” He segments the canvas, providing four images of himself, one of the glasshouse mountains, and one of a drum.

“There’s no money in Music and Art. However, playing music and making art brings something more rewarding and way more important, and that is, the gift of an ‘Art Life’. I hope and pray my art life keeps rolling on.”

About the artist

Peter Hudson studied art at QCA in the early seventies. He worked as a jeweller, drummer, and part time artist and In 2000, started working full time on art. Based in Maleny, he developed a friendship with Lawrence Daws, who was also an influence. He concentrated on landscapes until 2003, when his focus turned to portraits of Australian singer/songwriters. Four are held in the National Portrait Gallery.

“Someone said, every artwork you make is a self portrait, I'm sure that's true. For artists, art and life become the same mystery, thank god for that.”

Behind the scenes

In 1998 I travelled to the Northern Territory to begin a series of paintings based on the Gurindji people and their historical ‘Wave Hill Walk Off’ story. Prior to this venture I have never been overly interested in painting the figure, I was, and still am, a landscape painter, if a figure turns up in my paintings and drawings it will more likely be an animal, not a human.

However, after working with the Gurindji nothing was ever quite the same again. For them, land and people are the same thing, night and day, animals and plants, hills and creeks, are all part of the same big picture. In my own way, I got it and this seminal trip to the desert became my introduction into portraiture, so I am eternally grateful to those wonderful people.
I made early portraits with the help of the camera and quick drawings of the sitters, and things developed and grew slowly.
These days, when painting a person, I prefer to work direct from life and for self portraits the mirror is best. Someone said, every artwork you make is a self portrait, I’m sure that’s true. For artists, art and life become the same mystery, thank god for that.