Last Friday evening at the Tasmanian Art Awards my drawing Silence at the Table, won the City of Burnie Major Art Award, a $10,000 first prize.

To say I was completely stunned is an understatement. I have never won so much money for an art prize in my life and that night will stay with me forever. What was really significant for me, was that I won the award with a coloured pencil drawing.

It was a very special moment for me as it ‘told’ me that my struggle (and yes, it has been at times a real struggle) with coloured pencil has all been worthwhile.

This drawing I considered to be the best I had ever done. For me, the subject ‘ticked’ all the right boxes.

There was something very special about this deserted, old run-down room in this farm workers’ cottage at Cheshunt, in Northern Tasmania, that grabbed my attention. I just had to draw it. I also included an enamel mug that I found on the property. This mug now features in 5 drawings from Cheshunt, 2 of which have won me awards and there are 2 that I have yet to show.

Even as I write this blog post, the significance of winning this award from a field of 200 entries from around Australia and from Canada has yet to sink in.

Artists need ‘incentives’ to keep going. We are indebted to those who sponsor such awards and to the organisations that conduct them. This prize and the recognition of my work by my peers has certainly given me a lot of creative energy!

This artwork is available as a card or a print at:

Tomorrow I will detail how I created this drawing.



About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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14 Responses to ART PRIZE WIN

  1. Ah ha – I knew you were bloody good!!! That is absolutely fantastic.
    Man alive – I would never forget a night like that for my whole life either. 10,000 congratulations. And yes – wohoo for coloured pencils. You beaudy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done, my friend,

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks so much Julie. Yes, it is a wonderful accolade for the ‘humble’ coloured pencil. It’s the ‘message’ in art that counts, not the medium!
      Best regards, Richard

  2. Wooo hooo Fantastic Richard … well deserved and good on you for sticking through it.. its so great to see someone rewarded for all their hard work!

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks so much Belinda. Your personal encouragement since we met has been invaluable and I thank you for all the work you have done and are doing for coloured pencil art in Australia.
      Best regards, Richard

  3. Pingback: Australian Coloured Pencil Network - Connecting Australian Coloured Pencil Artists & Resources

  4. Janicemarie says:

    Congratulations Richard, you deserve the recognition. You are truly an inspiration to those who want to push coloured pencil into the mainstream. I can not tell you how happy I am for you!!

  5. Lorraine McNeair says:

    Richard, what a popular result it was at that special night when you were acknowledged. Unfortunately I was seated in such a way that I could not see your face, and I waited all night to see your reaction. I was only sorry that I had to even tell you that you were a winner, because I thought some photographer was going to ask you to stand next to your painting and give the show away. When the judges informed Karen and I who had won we were so pleased, and doubly pleased because you were already coming to the dinner and would not have to be asked to come. So imagine my disappointment when someone alerted me to the fact that your photograph was being taken, and I had to intervene. I guess by the time the judge got to the Watercolour Award you knew that you had won the main award. How wonderfully exciting for you and for Val, and my sincere congratulations to you.

    • artkleko says:

      Thank you Lorraine. I can assure you that was very much stunned when my name was announced. I am still coming to terms with the enormity of winning such a prize. It’s wonderful being recognised in such a way by your peers, but I also think this win is a tremendous boost for coloured pencil art.
      Best regards, Richard

  6. Gillian says:

    Hearty congratulations, Richard – a very worthy winner – one of my favourite pieces of yours. You’ve captured the atmosphere so well – it tells a story better than any words.

  7. Karen Hull says:

    Congratulations Richard – what fantastic news and so well deserved!!! It is certainly wonderful too to see CP’s recognised as a legitimate medium for producing fine art!!! Good on you!!!

  8. Chelsea says:

    big happy grins here! Thats just fabulous fabulous Mr K. Well done, you deserve it! Cant wait to see it one day in person.

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks Chelsea. The exhibition is at the Burnie Regional Gallery and concludes on October 16. After that I’m not sure where my drawing will be hung.

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