Tag Archives: portraits

Odds of getting into the Archibald Portrait Prize:

Getting hung at the Archibald, a prestigious Australian Art Portrait Prize, has always been tricky. There is now a website called, ‘What makes an Archibald Winner?’ by Tim Leslie, development by Simon Elvery and design by Ben Spragggon. If you are interested in finding out more about the Archibald, this site covers such things as: colour palette of previous winners, style, medium, subject’s occupation, subject gender, artist gender (81male/ 9 female), ethnicity, artist age, artist location, canvas size, aspect ratio. Here are two examples:

ARTIST AGE                                                                                                                                       The golden decade for winning the Archibald seems to be between 35 and 44; 40 per cent of winners fall within this demographic, and the most common winner is aged 35.

This year’s finalists line up fairly closely with the winners, with a third in the ideal range.







The honour of being the oldest Archibald winner goes to John Olson, who was 77 when he won with a self portrait in 2005.


SUBJECT GENDER: While a painting featuring a woman won the Archibald just two years after its inception, only 13 winners in the past 93 years have been of women, and of those four were in the first decade.


These comparisons are very interesting. It shows Chris, my husband, is up against the trend with his age being against him.  I do believe his choice of subject, Rosie Batty, is in his favour, and will hopefully help him to have his painting hung. Tension reigns in this house as the painting is in its final stages. Photographing, framing and organising transport are the easy bits. The entry forms are available from today, so there will be at least a thousand artists suffering the same dilemma. I shall not post a photo of the painting until we know if the painting gets chosen to be hung, or not. Rosie is delighted with it, as are we!

To try to answer the question set by WP for the prompt: Though I haven’t changed my view, I believe age should be an advantage to a painter, having practised for longer and gained maturity and experience. Having looked at the statistics of Archibald Prize winner’s chosen subjects to be 77 male to 13 female, it is time again for another woman to be held in high regard and given encouragement and applause; for her dedication to improve the lot of those who have been abused.

Flip Flop, by Michelle W.

Think of a topic or issue which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?


Portrait update:

Rachael water colour portrait, in progress, by CP,

Rachael water colour portrait, in progress, by CP,

Christopher Pyett's portrait of Barbara in progress, painted in gouache

Christopher Pyett’s portrait of Barbara in progress, painted in gouache

The week has passed quickly, especially with a couple of days taken away from painting with family commitments.