The Music Within
About the artwork
Jaq Grantford has known Andrew Batterham for 30 years and has watched his career flourish to the point where he has work commissioned by major symphony orchestras. In contrast to his success, in this portrait his shirt is untucked, as a nod to the scruffy young man Grantford knew before.
About the sitter
Andrew Batterham is an Australian performer and composer working across many musical genres from classical, film scores, TV commercials, musical theatre, and his funk band Speakeasy. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Corbould Composition Prize with the Queensland Philharmonic.
About the artist
Jaq Grantford has had a love of art for all her life and a particular fascination with portraits and personalities (she also loves cats and has two extremely helpful studio cats). She is an award-winning portrait artist, with work held in the National Gallery of Victoria, and other collections worldwide. Her portraits are often quirky and look at the person from an unusual perspective. She was recently granted the status of an ARC Associate Living Artist (Arc Renewal Centre).
“I wanted the portrait to hint at his quirkiness and also show how music is such an integral part of his being. ”
Behind the scenes
When I met Andrew thirty years ago, he stood out for his extraordinary ability as a musician and also his quirky nature. Back then he never wore shoes, except perhaps at formal concert performances. Although he wears shoes now, he still has a touch of the eccentric about him.
I wanted the portrait to hint at his quirkiness and also show how music is such an integral part of his being.
I started with a wash of warm colour, to give the painting a warm tone through the greys. And over this, I blocked in the figure and the notes. After that, I built the work up in layers, often painting over parts and building it up again.