Oakville resident Nicolee Payne has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Archibald Prize for her painting of Parramatta Eels football player, Fuifui Moimoi.
This is Mrs Payne’s first entry and only her third oil painting despite having painted with acrylics for over 30 years.
Through her love of portraits, Mrs Payne decided to paint the football player after meeting him.
‘‘My daughter is a huge fan of his so I decided to paint a portrait of him as a gift for her,’’ Mrs Payne said.
‘‘He is such a kind, humble and gentle man, I really wanted to try and capture his beautiful gentle soul in my painting.’’
Mrs Payne originally envisaged painting him with his trademark hair unbraided, but didn’t believe the painting would have had the ‘‘same impact if his hair had become the focus’’.
‘‘I have had so much support from everyone who has congratulated me and shared my fantastic news,’’ she said. ‘‘I’m overwhelmed by the support and I never would have thought of even getting this far, although I hoped for it.’’
The Archibald Prize is awarded annually by the NSW Art Gallery to the best portrait painted by any artist residing in Australasia.
With more than 1000 entrants, she was one of 54 selected. The winner will be announced this Friday at the NSW Art Gallery in Sydney.
Judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW, finalists are displayed in an exhibition at the gallery and the winner will receive $75,000 in prize money.