When Ralph Heimans was a student at The Julian Ashton Art School he expressed an interest to Paul Delprat that he would like to be a portrait painter.
Recently on a return visit to his old school he spoke to the students fondly of his student days and how he approached the stunning portrait he created of Princess Mary of Denmark. He reminded the students of the importance of drawing and especially composition, areas of the art of portrait painting in which he excels. A portrait is not just a head and hands, it is a picture.
Paul remembers a masterly perspective painting of a reclining figure on the floor in a room. All painted with the greatest of care. The painting was entered by a very youthful Ralph in The Mosman Art prize many years ago. His single minded natural talent was evident then.
This week he has let us all know that he is to paint Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and has had a sitting in Buckingham Palace. The Queen graciously wore specific robes and Queen Victoria’s diamonds. As with his other portraits the composition will be planned and be of the utmost importance as the setting creates the atmosphere in which the subject may be fully understood.
The gentle, searching young Mosman artist Paul met all those years ago is now truly fulfilling that early promise.
He was in the muster of school children who were bussed in to see her Royal cavalcade.
To this day, a keen admirer of Her Majesty, he recently fossicked around in his sketchbooks of that year, thoughtfully preserved by his mother and retrieved these youthful drawings, which were among a number created very quickly in that milling throng of cheering children.
This month Her Majesty celebrates her Diamond Jubilee amid universal jubilation in The UK and overseas.
There is no retirement for this lady who at the time these drawings were made had dedicated her life to service and continues to be part of our lives.
She continues to be an inspiration to those who value continuity and dedication to duty.
During 1971 Paul travelled overseas on the liner Canberra, having been invited by P and O Line to conduct art classes on the ship. Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister, who was en route to the UK, attended one of Paul’s classes, curious to know if Paul was related to his old friend Lady Paquita Mawson (nee Delprat).
During a lengthy conversation about art, families, politics and cricket he kindly consented to sit and Paul created this painting.