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Lynne in Vienna, 2016

by Nicholas Harding

ink on paper
30 x 43 cm (open sketchbook)
Collection of Nicholas Harding and Lynne Watkins, Sydney

In the mid-1970s, on the north coast of New South Wales, Nicholas Harding met a lithe golden-haired girl named Lynne Watkins. They’ve been together ever since. Lynne’s parents, teachers Keith and Edie Watkins, had a house at Wooli that Lynne’s grandfather built in the 1920s. In the 1990s, Keith and Edie built a new house on the block and retired to it; widowed, Edie still lives nearby. Having come to regard that region as home, Harding has recently equipped a studio in Byron Bay; but he and Lynne live in Newtown, Sydney, not far from his studio in Camperdown. For some years now Lynne’s clothes and hair have been inner-city art-world black, her nails lacquered, her skin pale. She’s Harding’s business manager, art critic and companion, his rock and his muse, sitting next to him at the theatre, opposite him at the café. They travel together by car, train or air to wherever he’s become obsessed with the landscape or the prospect of visiting a gallery. He carries a sketchbook. Often, in the midst of drawing commuters, dogs, flowers or the features of their accommodation, he’ll throw down a quick impression of his cherished wife.

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