Abbotsford artist Annie Lee believes simple pieces of art leave a great impact.
Lee’s entry into the Hidden Faces of the Archibald Exhibition, a watercolour painting ‘Ugly?’, depicts the Australian comedian Dave Gray on a sheet of Chinese rice paper.
“Dave became a pen pal with my partner who passed away in January. I can only now pick up my brushes and paper again,” Lee said.
“It is more emotional for me this time because he is a personal friend. The portrait shows his character as I know him, not as the entertainer everyone else sees.”
Lee said that while her work involved few brush strokes, she attempted the piece about four times before selecting the best one.
“Sometimes the colour is different, sometimes the run on the paper is different, but never are two pieces the same.”
Lee also crinkled the rice paper to imitate the 80-year-old’s wrinkled complexion.
Her piece is among 41 portraits of Australian public figures including sports icons, politicians and performers, each employing different styles and techniques.
There will be a People’s Choice Award for the favourite artist as well as a visitor’s prize.
The artworks will be exhibited at the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf until October 15. Entry is free.
Originally published at The Weekly Review.