Indira Carmichael was thrilled after winning the 2018 River of Art Prize, but admits to occasional churlish thoughts about another T-word.
Ms Carmichael won on Thursday, May 17, for her work, Midas’ Daughter – a portrait of her daughter, Golden – rendered fittingly in gold ink and pencil.
A prolific artist who once created an artwork every day for a year and shared the journey on Facebook, Ms Carmichael also knows how lovingly slow the journey to something beautiful can be.
Being told she is “talented” does not always make for a golden moment.
“I quite grumpily say it is not talent, it is hard work,” Ms Carmichael said.
“It is probably a bit churlish of me.
“When you are young and full of your own importance, it is a lovely thing for someone to say you are talented.
“When you have spent a lifetime working at that craft or that art, you want that work to be acknowledged.
“People need to know that nothing comes easy. Great art is always worked at and considered – those things are worth knowing.”
Which is not to say she begrudges the commitment – that’s the point.
“I love every moment of creating art; it is hard work - and it should be hard work,” Ms Carmichael said.
“It is about the fundamental thing to us - our creativity. We are creative beings; it should take time and it should take consideration and those things are work.”
Ms Carmichael was highly commended in the 2017 River of Art prize – and this year again found inspiration close to home.
“Last year was a portrait of my son, this year is a portrait of my daughter, so I will have to tell my daughter she has trumped my son,” the artist said after her win.
Midas’ Daughter began life as one of those daily Facebook drawings – then came the nurture.
“I did the basic drawing in one day, then I revisited it for this exhibition,” Ms Carmichael said.
“My daughter's name is Golden; I did the portrait with the idea of using a gold ink. She is so beautiful and I love drawing portraits of her, but looking at the picture, I was thinking, ‘it is as if she is being turned to gold or the curse is being lifted and the gold is ebbing away’.
“I thought, ‘it is like Midas' daughter’, so that is how I came by the title.”
Ms Carmichael is known not just as a talented (whoops!) and hardworking artist, but also as a champion of all things and people artistic in the Eurobodalla Shire – and of the River of Art festival. She is the shire’s Coordinator of Creative Arts Development.
“I am thrilled to pieces,” she said at SoArt, in Narooma, on May 17.
“I am having a great festival already.”