Sunday, February 10, 2013

Let A Published Novelist Paint Your FULL-LENGTH Portrait In Words

2012 was a quiet year for the painting-portraits-in-words enterprise.  McDonald was  in Paris on an artists' residency, and Lehmann moved down to Melbourne.  But the spruiker and her word-painter are back in Sydney.  They're ironing the banner, putting a new ribbon on the typewriter and drawing up a good supply of letterhead, in preparation for the next session...

For the past nine years, when not painting portraits, the Published Novelist has been doggedly scribbling away at her second novel.  On several occasions, she has announced the completion of her great work, only to retract the glad tidings shortly afterwards and disappear yet again into her study.  Finally, last year, it was official.  It was nameless, but finished.  But it was accompanied by no triumphant announcement, no celebration.  It seemed Lehmann didn't even care if anyone read it.  When McDonald returned home from Paris, she was dismayed by the despondent state in which she found her protegĂ©e.  This state of affairs called for action: in fact, A RAFFLE.

First Prize is a full-length portrait in words of the winner (or whomever the winner nominates as a subject).  All proceeds of the raffle go towards printing Part One of Lehmann's new novel.  In McDonald's words: "Lu was in the doldrums.  I said, 'You need some wind in your sails - your novel needs some wind in its sails.  We need to get it out there.'  I came up with the idea of the raffle.  At first Lu was a bit reluctant - she was afraid a full-length portrait meant she had to write a novel about the winner, or a nude full-body portrait.  But I said, 'Everyone knows a picture tells a thousand words - according to my calculations, a FULL-LENGTH picture would be about two-thousand words.'  Lu started warming to the idea.  She even did a little drawing and got it made into a rubber stamp and printed up a batch of tickets.  They're a bit hokey - but that's the Lehmann signature style, I guess."

McDonald and Lehmann kicked off the raffle-ticket campaign and said 'goodbye Dragon, hello Snake' with a session of the portrait-painting on Saturday February 9, taking up position in their rightful spot, the fig-tree avenue in Hyde Park.

A selection from Feb 9, 2013



Quan and his three children