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  • Ruth Sharkey

Re-making a legend

As a complete change of pace, I thought I’d share how I - someone to whom football means getting as far away as possible from the TV - became a Richmond fan overnight.

It happened when a nice man came to see me during my last open-day at my art studio and informed me he’d bought two of my paintings - but wanted a couple more; then asked if I did commissions. To which I answered of course!

That evening he rang to inquire about another painting I had on exhibition (such an extremely intelligent man too!), then arrived the next day with a sample of the work he wanted me to reproduce.

Remember; I did mention my lack of interest in any kind of football, because it will help you to understand how I had no idea who he was.

He arrived with a poster of a footy player kicking a ball. ‘Nice, thank you,’ I said, adding ‘My husband will like that.’ Whoops, I had it all wrong; this was the poster he wanted me to reproduce in oil.

My patron turned out to be the famous (and Tasmanian local boy-made-good) AFL player, Royce Hart – one of the so-called ‘immortals’ and past captain of Richmond - who was producing his own memoirs before profiteers cashed in on his memorabilia. He spent the morning telling Dennis and I funny stories about the numerous artefacts and especially boots being sold as supposedly belonging to him; the number of which on the market would keep a team shod for life!

The painting was a success, and he came back asking for another. Both of which he has made into posters, which he personally autographs and sells on his website. Not bed for my 1st ever portraits! You can see these and more of my paintings at

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