Pisasale is just picture perfect for portrait art

THAT’S ME: Artist Lesley Shelley and Mayor Paul Pisasale with the portrait that will be entered in the Archibald Prize.
THAT’S ME: Artist Lesley Shelley and Mayor Paul Pisasale with the portrait that will be entered in the Archibald Prize. Rob Williams

FOR years Paul Pisasale hasn't been able to get enough of photographers, but now artists can't seem to get enough of him!

Yesterday the Ipswich mayor saw his finished portrait by Bribie Island artist Leslie Shelley for the first time. It will be entered in the prestigious Archibald Prize.

It is the second portrait of

Cr Pisasale about to be entered in the nation's top portrait contest, with Ipswich artist Erin Smith also painting the mayor.

Mrs Shelley's painting shows a relaxed Cr Pisasale at his office desk, coffee cup in hand.

"It's fantastic," he said. "When I looked at it I said 'that's me'."

He said the painting reflected how he tried to operate in his office, in a relaxed and casual manner.

Mrs Lesley said she had been inspired to paint the mayor after seeing him on television.

"I think he's more recognisable now than the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk," she said.

"I've got some family and a lot of friends here in Ipswich and they always had such good things to say about Paul, so I thought he could be a good subject to paint.

"I rang him up and asked if he'd like to do it and to my surprise he said yes. I don't know how many people I'd rung beforehand that'd said 'I'm flattered, but just wouldn't have time.'"

Cr Pisasale said he saw the arts as a vital part of the culture of

any community.

"We've got to highlight the importance of art in our communities," he said.

"Art is what makes a community's heart and soul, it's just so important and I think we need to highlight it more in this country."

Cr Pisasale has previously been the subject of photographic portraits, including some in official mayoral regalia taken by Ipswich photographer Tom Mason.

Mrs Lesley has been a finalist in the Portia Geach portrait prize, and has previously entered work into the Archibald Prize.

Aratula artist Suzy Bulhe is also entering a portrait into the Archibald Prize, a painting of her grandfather and local sporting hero Bill Paterson.

Topics:  paul pisasale portrait

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