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RAY by Jan Rae


Jan Rae

About the artwork and sitter

Recently I stayed at Ray’s place in West End which is full of his colourful paintings. It was a fun weekend with friends, food and talk. Ray was in his winter clothes and was busy carving cedar blocks into little dogs. His crazy outfit: yellow flannel shirt, beanie and stripey socks sparked my imagination for this portrait about my friend.

Ray Darwen has lived in West End for most of his life. He once had a panel beating business and a boarding house there, but now lives elegantly in his West End Loft. He paints and draws, loves the Broncos, dances tango and speaks Spanish.

He is also a master woodworker. I see him as ‘a renaissance man’ of West End.

We discussed art and architecture. My painting attempts to portray this West End man: an artist who is rebuilding his house and misses his dog, Clancy

About the artist

Jan Rae has a Fine Art degree from Brisbane College of Art and a Masters of Art degree from UNSW Art & Design. In her spare time she enjoys tango music and dancing. She has exhibited in Byron Bay, Brisbane, Sydney and Buenos Aires.

Being a dancer herself, Jan often incorporates elements of her favourite pass time, the tango, in her work.

“We visit specific art exhibitions together, we experiment with performance drawing. We dance tango."

Behind the scenes

Ray Darwen and I often collaborate on arty things.
We talk about art and architecture. We visit specific art exhibitions together, We experiment with performance drawing. We dance tango.

During my early life in Brisbane I lived in Paddington, Highgate Hill and Red Hill. And at the Brisbane College of Art, I majored in ceramics (with Carl McConnell and Kevin Grealy) My first paintings were of the old Queenslanders of Red Hill.

After settling in Byron Bay, Brisbane has always been my closest city. I have been drawing, painting and exhibiting annually ever since.

In 2016 I completed a Masters of Art degree at UNSW Art & Design, major in Performance Drawing.