Artists in the frame (full article from the link)
"...In contrast to her representation of Crooks, Payes' portraits of another Melbourne artist, Rick Amor, are classic images of the artist in his studio. They reflect his elder statesman position in the art world and his old-school approach to his craft: his studio is a place of easels, the smell of oil paints and inspiration on the wall, from photographs of loved ones, to small treasured original works by artists such as John Brack and Jacques Villon.
A painter, but also an illustrator, print maker and sculptor, Amor has been based at this home studio since 1994. His leafy Alphington garden beckons but he keeps the blinds down most of the time, preferring the even glow cast by skylights.
Payes' photographs reflect Amor's paintings: stern and somewhat dark but with a metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel. They represent a quiet man with an undercurrent of humour, who was embarking on treatment for leukaemia the day after the shoot, but still able to reveal a warm personality.
"It's a bit disappointing I look so sick but it's a record of how I looked at the time," says Amor, who's now well.
But Amor is pleased with what Payes captured. He was impressed with the way she photographed things no one else had thought to, like the boxed action figure his son created.
He's even more impressed that Payes managed to capture the sunny side of himself. "I said to my wife, Meg: 'It's amazing, Sonia's got me actually smiling in these pictures!' Being of the Patrick White school of posing, I don't smile for the camera. That's because she flirts - she smiles at you when she takes the photograph, and you smile back."
It's no surprise, then, to learn that except in cases where she already knew the artists, for Payes the photo shoots for her book were "like a blind date". Unlike most blind dates "it was fantastic with all of them", she says.
Untitled. Portraits of Australian Artists is published by Macmillan. Selected photos from the book will be exhibited from next Tuesday to August 25 at Charles Nodrum Gallery, Richmond.
I'm also proud to have contributed to the always excellent Cartoon Brew this week.