Tuesday, March 5, 2013



Lucy Lehmann, published novelist and painter of portraits in words, is in the midst of a raffle-ticket-selling campaign to raise funds to print Part One of her newest novel.

Below, Lehmann answers the most frequently-asked questions:

1:  If you win the raffle, what do you get?
"I'll be painting a full-length portrait in words of the winner, or any subject nominated by the winner.  I envisage approximately 2000 words (as calculated by Stell's watertight reasoning about pictures telling a thousand words).  Perhaps the portrait will be a description of a meeting between the subject and me - say, an informal chat over a cup of tea, or even a gala event such as a 21st or a wedding.  Perhaps it will be 'a day in the life of'.  Or the subject might prefer to sit for me over several sessions until I have described him or her from head to foot.  A full-length portrait in words has never before been attempted, so I'm not placing any limits on myself.  Except the word-count."
2: How much is a full-length portrait in words worth?
"A question for you, Stella," defers Lehmann.
McDonald, the brains behind the portrait-painting business, takes over, "Lu isn't really worth much at the moment, but for all we know, this new novel of hers might eventually sell a few copies.  Stranger things have happened.  Think of a full-length portrait by Lucy Lehmann as a long-term investment."
3: How much do you have to fork out for a raffle ticket?
McDonald: "Five dollars.  Same as your standard-length five-minute portraits-in-words.  The raffle ticket makes a good bookmark, if you're into reading."
Lehmann: "I'm also offering a free ticket to anyone who can sell a book of ten tickets for me.  I'm not the world's best salesman."
4: When will the raffle be drawn?
"I've set myself a minimum quota of 150 raffle tickets before the winner is drawn.  I am considering scaling that back to something more manageable-"
McDonald laughs, "How does 20 sound?"
Lehmann: "Just keep an eye on this blog.  I'll announce the drawing ceremony, which will probably take place at the Lord Wolseley in Ultimo because they have a raffle-ticket tumbler.  I'm guessing it'll happen around September."
5: What will Lehmann do with the proceeds?
"I'll print up Part One of my new novel.  I love 'making things' - whether it's novels, songs, knitted blankets.  Trying to get a novel published is often a long process, and it makes me feel a bit powerless to think that this novel of mine will have no life until some great publishing god deigns to smile upon it.  So I like the idea of printing up something.  If I sell 11 tickets, it will be a few photocopies of the first three chapters with a hand-painted cover; if I sell 150, I might be able to afford a larger print-run, with more chapters."
McDonald interjects: "A copy of Part One might also be a good long-term investment, especially if Lu only manages to sell a few tickets, which is looking likely."
6: Will Part One be for sale?
"I might sell some.  I might leave some on bus-seats."
7: What's the novel called?
"The One Who Loved Best.  It's from Henry Lawson's poem, Past Caring.  'He's droving in the great north-west, I don't know how he's faring, and I, the one who loved him best, have grown to be past caring.'  The novel's had about 5 names already, but I think this one is a keeper."

To buy a raffle ticket from Lehmann, email her at lucy_lehmann@yahoo.com, or come to their next portrait-painting session, which will be at Firstdraft Gallery, 118 Chalmers St, Surry Hills, on Saturday March 9 from 7-11pm.  No guarantees McDonald and Lehmann will still be there at 11pm.  A two hour session is usually quite long enough.  And don't forget to ask Lehmann about her great free-ticket-for-selling-a-book-of-ten offer.  To see the latest portraits, go to: http://thestudioofsrmcdonaldandllehmann.blogspot.com.au/

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