Artist's aim: a brush with fame

 2014 Archibald Prize  entrant Sarah Key with last year's work.
2014 Archibald Prize entrant Sarah Key with last year's work.

THURSDAY can't come fast enough for Lalor Park artist Sarah Key.

She hopes her portrait of Australian performer, writer and comedian Jean Kittson will be among the finalists of the Archibald Prize.

"It would be a career pinnacle to be a finalist and realisation of the hard work and determination over the years," the Wyndham College art teacher said.

"I want to show my daughters they can achieve anything if they put their mind to it."

The mum of two approached Ms Kittson at a radio taping at ABC studios, where the pair struck up an instant connection.

Ms Kittson sat for the The Big Gig portrait in January.

"The Big Gig was where she got her big break and where she met her husband and I'm hoping this will be the start of something big for me," Mrs Key said.

"I found out a lot about her background during the sitting and she was very interested in the artistic process. I was honoured to spend time with her."

Endless hours were spent on the portrait from January until May.

"I would be at school all day, come home and work on it at night," Mrs Key said.

"You become attached to the painting. It becomes like another child."

She said Ms Kittson was thrilled with the result.

"The portrait gives an insight into her," she said.

"The outfit she chose to wear shows off her outgoing personality and there's a cheeky smile, as if she's ready to tell a witty joke."

Mrs Key entered the Archibald and Moran prizes last year with her portrait of retired Rear Admiral Christopher Oxenbould.

Art is in the blood of the Emerton-raised artist.

"My mum was an artist so from a young age, she encouraged me to enter competitions such as the Blacktown City Art Prize," she said.

"It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember and I love passing that passion on to the students I teach."

She already has her next Archibald Prize subject in mind: television host Bert Newton.

"He's been such a figure in our lives growing up and I think he's someone everyone can find a connection with."


Discuss "Artist's aim: a brush with fame"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.