STREET ART: Artist Cary McAulay will be capturing the faces of South Burnett through his live caricature paintings on the footpath our the front of the Blackbutt Art Gallery. Photo: Laura Blackmore
STREET ART: Artist Cary McAulay will be capturing the faces of South Burnett through his live caricature paintings on the footpath our the front of the Blackbutt Art Gallery. Photo: Laura Blackmore

Artist to capture faces of region in weekly street art

LIVE caricature drawing on the street is something more commonly seen in larger cities, until now.

From next week South Burnett based artist Cary McAulay will be painting the faces of Blackbutt and surrounds as a way of profiling local identities.

For the first three Wednesdays of every month, he will set up on the footpath out the front of the Blackbutt Art Gallery.

Mr McAulay said he had already gained support for the initiative from a number of residents.

“I have started to ask around a bit and some people have already put their hand up,” Mr McAulay said.

“Spud (councillor Gavin Jones) will be my first person next Wednesday, March 4.

“The sitter has to be there for only two hours,” he said.

“Like any artist, it will be my interpretation of the sitter with acrylic paints on canvas.

“When the bell rings, that’s it and they will take the canvas home with them.

“I will also be taking photos of each one and have yet to decide what I will do with them.

Some examples of artist Cary McAulay's artwork. Photo: Contributed
Some examples of artist Cary McAulay's artwork. Photo: Contributed

However, Mr McAulay said he couldn’t take credit for coming up with the plan to paint people from around the region.

“It was originally my partner Carol’s idea, she’s the ideas’ person,” he said.

“An idea usually comes to her in the morning when we are having our first cuppa of the day

“She first said to me ‘Why don’t you do live portraits of the different characters around town when you are volunteering at the gallery?

“I put it to a meeting as it’s a collective space.

“Everyone seemed to like it so we updated our permit to allow painting out the front.”

He said, through his work, he also hoped to raise awareness for artists exhibiting at the gallery.

“We have so much talent here in the region,” he said.

“There’s plenty of characters in this town that no one’s ever painted.

“Being a portrait painter, people have given me photographs but I prefer to work from a live model.

“Sometimes people paint me and I might not think that’s how I look, but that’s the point.

“It’s art, it’s meant to be subjective.”

Some examples of artist Cary McAulay's artwork. Photo: Contributed
Some examples of artist Cary McAulay's artwork. Photo: Contributed

Mr McAulay is also an art teacher and teaches out of his space called Anam Cara Art Studio at Blackbutt plus hosts a class at Kingaroy and at Brisbane every week.

In an age where technology has become present in every day life, he said it was important to instill in his students the need to stay true to their craft.

“I say to them they are far better than any computer will ever be,” he said.

“You don’t really know what it’s going to end up like and that’s the magic in it.

“That’s part of my mantra and how I operate.”

Head down to the Blackbutt Art Gallery next Wednesday to watch Mr McAulay take on his first live model, councillor Gavin Jones.

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