NEW PERSPECTIVE: Toowoomba artist Peter Fitzpatrick entered a painting of Shane Webcke in the inaugural Brisbane Portrait Prize. It is one of the richest art prizes in Australia.
NEW PERSPECTIVE: Toowoomba artist Peter Fitzpatrick entered a painting of Shane Webcke in the inaugural Brisbane Portrait Prize. It is one of the richest art prizes in Australia.

Toowoomba artist to take on Queensland's best

LESS than eight years after picking up a paint brush for the first time, Toowoomba artist Peter Fitzpatrick is set to enter of one of the richest Australian portraiture prizes.

Worth up $80,000, the inaugural Brisbane Portrait Prize is second only to the Sydney Archibald Prize in value.

"The organisers kicked it off to create awareness of the art industry in Brisbane," Mr Fitzpatrick said.

"Both the subject and the artist must have a connection to Brisbane."

Mr Fitzpatrick worked in finance until a near death experience in 2006 inspired him to spend his remaining time doing something more enjoyable.

"I had a pulmonary embolism and my whole body shut down," he said.

"I should be dead."

This was followed by a prostate cancer scare in the 2010.

The importance of art: Toowoomba and it’s sister city Whanganui could soon have an artistic exchange between the two cities.
The importance of art: Toowoomba and it’s sister city Whanganui could soon have an artistic exchange between the two cities.

Once Mr Fitzpatrick was healthy he enrolled in a art summer school at the University of the Southern Queensland.

He said it was liberating to work in a medium without boundaries.

"I have not found my style yet and I don't think I will."

Mr Fitzpatrick's entry is a portrait of the Darling Downs football legend Shane Webcke.

"Shane the farmer, the mentor, the public speaker, the footballer, commentator and, above all, the family man and mate who enjoys a good laugh," he said.

"I know him from outside his football career and his only condition was that I do not paint a realistic portrait."