Who is Paul Newton?

By Gwylym Owen

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Paul Newton (born 1961) is an Australian artist. He has won the Archibald Prize Packing Room Prize twice: in 1996 with a portrait of radio attach John Laws CBE; and, again in 2001 (along taking into consideration the People’s Choice award) with a portrait of characters Roy Slaven and HG Nelson.

He has works in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, and is a portrait artist for Parliament House, Canberra. He has painted Prime Ministers and Governor General Sir William Deane AC, KBE. Other portraits by Newton have been Archibald Prize finalists including paintings of model Kate Fischer in 1997, model Maggie Tabberer AM in 1999, and rugby artist David Campese AM in 2000 (which was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery). He has after that won portrait competitions in Philadelphia and the Portrait Society of America’s 2003 International Portrait Competition in Washington DC.

In 1999 his portrait of Bryce Courtenay AM was hung in the Archibald Salon des Refusés. His portrait of John Doyle was plus hung in the Salon des Refusés in 1995.

In 2002 he painted arts figure Brett Sheehy AO for that year’s Archibald Prize with the painting forward-looking being a finalist in the 2004 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

In 2003 an image painted upon Ian Thorpe’s jeans by Paul Newton was used as a fix for the Jeans for Genes Day. The jeans were higher auctioned by the intervention for $26,000.

Newton holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney and a Diploma of Art from the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney.

He painted a portrait of Tara Moss which was a finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, and was ‘highly commended’ at the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Awards in Bega.

Newton was commissioned to paint a depiction of the Madonna and Child Our Lady of the Southern Cross for World Youth Day 2008, which now hangs for eternity in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.

He has entered the Archibald Prize twelve become old and been a finalist in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 (with Self portrait #2 – dark night of the soul), 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2020.

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