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About two years ago, Melbourne-based painter Paul Ruiz came across my profile on Artabase and got in contact with me about my work.
I was extremely flattered, as on viewing his work online, I was greatly impressed with his portraiture and painting technique.
When the next opportunity arose to view his work at Lindberg Contemporary in Collingwood, I was sure to visit in order to see his paintings up close.
Having gotten to know him better in person over the past two years I've found him to be particularly generous with his time, and willing to share his knowledge and experiences as a practicing artist.
I then also had the opportunity a few months ago to sit for him as a model for some sketches. One of his charcoal sketches from the session is shown above.
Aside from being rendered in caricature airbrush in a very short session by an artist-for-hire as a tourist at Disney World many years ago, I'd never sat for a painter or their sketching before. But knowing Paul's style of portraiture and being comfortable with him on a personal level made it really easy. We talked about representation, pricing, future plans, the sort of folk we enjoy portraying within our respective mediums, and numerous other subjects during the course of the afternoon, both whilst I sat for him, and over tea in breaks. The experience was very calming and inspiring for me, especially in a window of time that was otherwise quite stressful.
Unfortunately due to hectic schedules during the last month or two of my time in Melbourne, and his (at the time) impending wedding (now done, and he's relaxing in Thailand for a while), we weren't able to coordinate to arrange a second sitting, but I would definitely make time to sit for Paul when we are next in the same city.