About the artwork and sitter
This is a painting about Brisbane and two mates who have been friends for forty-odd years. Barry Reading has lived in Brisbane for over thirty years. Gerry Massel has lived in Brisbane for only a few months. Cards are a staple for them.
“I wanted to show a snapshot of them playing, and Brisbane, so I placed the skyline in behind them along with the balcony setting. I wanted a local sky behind the buildings but it had to have a little drama.”
About the artist
James Randall likes mucking around with a paintbrush to create images. He enjoys a challenge, loves photography, some gardening and a bit of cooking.
“Our weekly game of cards (canasta) is a chance to laugh and vent, and getting into the competition also helps focus your attention off the daily dramas of our new normal”
Behind the scenes
It’s been a crazy year. I’ve been appreciating all the time I get to spend with other people. Gerry and Barry are really important to me and I wanted them to be the subjects of my painting. Our weekly game of cards (canasta) is a chance to laugh and vent, and getting into the competition also helps focus your attention off the daily dramas of our new normal. I wanted to capture the concentration – a million miles from our worries.
I also wanted to put our beautiful city in the picture. This was a good idea but not so easy to do. The overall composition is complicated and the Story Bridge and city were a huge challenge for me to paint – as were the wicker chairs. It made the reference life drawings of My two subjects a delight to do and I love painting people, skies and plants.
At the end of the work – after I had repainted the city and bridge a few times to get the painting colour balance to work across the composition – I realised just how much the process of concentration had taken me away from my fears and frustrations. Art is very under rated for adults. And I think the painting achieved what I had intended.