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Golden Strokes – A portrait of Duncan Armstrong by Alex Johnsen

Golden Strokes - A portrait of Duncan Armstrong

Alex Johnsen

About the work

I’m a 15-year-old artist, and I love experimenting with different styles and mediums. This is one of the first portraits I’ve completed, and my first time using gouache paints. I first met Duncan Armstrong at school because his children attended the same school as me. He now lives on the Sunshine Coast, but he was kind enough to come to Brisbane for an afternoon so I could do an in-person sitting with him. I think this helped me capture his steely determination and perseverance, which come through when you meet him, and I hope it comes through in my artwork. Although he no longer swims competitively, his swimming career has shaped the rest of his life. He now works as a sports commentator and motivational speaker, still drawing on his Olympic success. This is why I have shown the swimming lanes behind him, as they continue to frame his life.