Hazel Butterworth is a professional artist’s model. She has been Lewis Miller’s model for eight years and is the subject of countless Miller nudes and portraits in oil, drawings and prints. ‘When you get a good model you want to hold onto them,’ says Miller. ‘Hazel has become a good friend and so this is a Lewis Miller tribute to her.’
Every time they take a break during sittings, Hazel puts on her dressing gown and has a cup of tea. ‘That’s what she does so that’s why I’ve painted her like that,’ says Miller. ‘It’s very natural.’ He has also painted a nude version exactly the same – a reference to Goya’s The naked maja and its companion piece The clothed maja, painted around 1800.
Born in Melbourne in 1959, Miller studied at the Victorian College of the Arts. He has been hung in ten previous Archibalds, winning in 1998 with a portrait of artist Allan Mitelman. He also won the Art Gallery of NSW’s Sporting Portrait Prize, held in conjunction with the 2000 Archibald, for a portrait of Australian rules football player and coach Ron Barassi.