Artist William Dobell is seen here in the studio with fellow artist Margaret Olley and his 1948 Archibald winning portrait painting of her. Dobell explains his reason for painting Olley in Edwardian costume and her interest and connection to Edwardian ideals: at the time she 'liked to dress that way at parties and I thought that was part of her character'.
Dobell discusses his portrait studies of poet and feminist Dame Mary Gilmore and his preference for painting ordinary Australians rather than commissioned portraits.
This is an excerpt from Painting People, 1965, Film Australia Collection © NFSA. Buy a copy at the NFSA shop.
The NFSA YouTube Channel has the whole film in full.
Notes by Beth Taylor