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Archie 100 Saturday Talks: Paul Newton, artist

Sat 11 March at 11:00 am

FREE – donations at the door encouraged

Paul Newton, Archibald Prize finalist 12 times, talks about his experience with Australia’s oldest and most-loved portrait prize.

There can’t be many more entertaining sports commentators than comic duo Roy Slaven and HG Nelson (aka John Doyle and Greig Pickhaver). Known for their ABC television show Club Buggery and their Triple J radio show This sporting life, they achieved cult status with The dream on Channel 7 during the Sydney Olympic Games.

Paul Newton has painted John Doyle before. That portrait was hung in the Salon des Refusés in 1995. The sittings for this portrait were done at Doyle’s home. ‘For the first few hours I got nothing done because I was rolling in the aisles,’ says Newton. ‘They are just so funny. As Greig commented later, whenever they get together they tend to fall into their characters of Roy and HG.’

Newton tried a few different compositions but found that giving them equal status didn’t work. ‘On television when one of them leans forward to speak, the other sits back. It was hard to decide which way to go in a still painting but I found that having Greig lean forward worked best. Perhaps it’s because when on television he seems to raise his voice and carry on the most. HG has that hint of a smirk when Roy is rabbiting on.’

When friends of Newton’s heard he was painting Roy and HG, they insisted he included Fatso the wombat, The dream’s unofficial Olympic mascot. Newton used artistic licence and slipped it onto Doyle’s tee-shirt. ‘A bit of cheekiness,’ he admits, ‘but my friends would have lynched me if Fatso hadn’t been there!’

A well-known portrait artist, Newton has been in the Archibald Prize and the Sporting Portrait Prize, and won the Packing Room Prize in 1996 for his portrait of John Laws.

This portrait of Roy and HG won the People’s Choice award and the Packing Room Prize, the first time a work had claimed both prizes.

IMAGE: Paul Newton Roy and HG (John Doyle and Greig Pickhaver), oil on canvas, 137.5 x 124 cm


Sat 11 March
11:00 am
Event Category:


Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
70-78 Keppel Street
Bathurst, NSW 2795 Australia
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Local government area
Bathurst Region
Visual arts


The What’s On calendar covers arts and heritage events happening across the NSW Central West in the local government areas of Bathurst Region, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Mid-Western Region, Oberon, Orange, Parkes and Weddin.

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