Thursday, May 17, 2007

Toast to Her Magisty

Rolf Harris has had a go at it in London. Now a young Gympie artist has brought a peculiar Australian touch to a royal portrait.

16-year-old Steph Chard isn't sure what all the fuss is about, since she turned to Vegemite to paint Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

"It just came to me. I was experimenting with different mediums and it turned out quite well!"

She says Vegemite is actually easier to use than paint because the sandwich takes much longer to dry. To change the shade Steph watered down the spread, giving it more yellow tones.

"I'm mostly self taught," she told Spencer Howson during an interview on 612ABC Brisbane. "I've had a few art lessons at school."

Her father, Gary Chard, said he is amazed when he looks through the portfolio of work from the past two years. Steph's work shows a fascination with the glamour of the 1950's, bringing a Marilyn Munroe style to many of her female portraits.

"Steph finished Year 12 in 2006," said Gary. "She did well in other subjects, but painting portraits is her passion."

Like his daughter, Gary has been surprised by the amount of Australian media interest. The British press may be next on the phone.

There's only one major criticism of the portrait. It stinks! Steph says she has no idea had to preserve the work which earned the young painter a 'second' at the local show.

And what will she do with it now?

"I don't know. Maybe put it in my house, although it does smell a bit."

With her ambition to paint full time, Steph said she may have to concentrate on more traditional mediums for a while.

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