Snapshot from Black Swan Portrait Awards 2009.

Sam Kutner OAM, is a highly respected and extraordinary inventor who devoted his multitude of skills and talents in a voluntary capacity, inventing mechanical and electronic aids for people with disabilities. He has made a profound improved difference to the lives of disabled individuals, their families and carers. His inventions have featured on the ABC science program Quantum and The New Inventors and in 2005 was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to the community.

I was so in awe of all the different inventions Sam had created specifically to suit individuals that I felt compelled to paint such an amazing humanitarian. Sittings with Sam were very relaxed and interesting, so I wanted to portray him as I saw him, having a cuppa and a chat with an old friend. He is a remarkable reminder to us that good things do happen in the world.

We managed to attend the 2009 City of Perth Black Swan Portrait Prize exhibition held in the Perth Town Hall. This was the first time I'd entered this particular exhibition and was dazzled by the extremely high calibre of works. It was a honor to be hanging with some very talented artists. Tina Wilson and the team from ARTrinsic have obviously done a lot of hard work and put together a really fabulous show. The couple of times I managed to see the exhibit, there was a constant stream of people going through. Approximately over 5000 people attended in less than 10 days.

This years (very deserving) winner was WA artist Nigel Hewitt with his fantastic portrait of photographer Richard Woldendorp. A lovely painting which truthfully reflected his subjects character. It was definitely one of my favourites.

As we'd not really been to Perth before, it was a good opportunity to take in some of the sights, eat too much and do too little. However, are now back home to work, facing an unfinished portrait commission with a tight looming deadline and school holidays have just begun. Yikes!