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Portrait hopefuls quick on the draw (Oil Portrait Painting - maroondahweekly)

THE streets of Healesville and Yarra Glen will fill with colour and conversation this month as the entries for this year's Not the Archies community portrait prize are revealed.


Oil Portrait Painting

Almost 300 portraits of Yarra Ranges locals, painted by Yarra Ranges locals, are entered in the competition, developed by Yarra Ranges Council last year to celebrate the Archibald Prize exhibition at the Tarrawarra Museum.

Portrait Drawing

The project was so successful the decision was made to run it again. Not the Archies offers a chance for the local community to engage with the spirit of the Archibald Prize by celebrating great local Australians through the art of portraiture.

Oil Portrait Paintings

Portraits are exhibited with a short message on why the artist thinks their subject is great.

This year's entries depict a colourful array of local characters including artists, community activists, footy coaches, builders, musicians and farmers.

The portraits will be on display in shop windows in Yarra Glen and Healesville from this Saturday to July 8.

Judges have chosen 41 finalists and awards will be presented at a ceremony in Healesville on June 15.

Childcare worker Bev Hardidge of Hoddles Creek has submitted a portrait of her husband Graeme. The couple moved to the area nine months ago but Graeme has been working in the Yarra Ranges for three years.

Mrs Hardidge says the portrait took between 12 and 14 hours to complete over three sessions. This is the first time she has competed for an art prize and the first time she has painted a portrait.

She says she is pleased with the final result, as is GraemeFree Reprint Articles, but she thinks he is a "bit embarrassed that I have painted him!"

"I think Not the Archies is great as it allows all different types of people to enter. It doesn't matter if they are artists or not artists."

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