IAN Roberts believes that if you talk the talk, you should walk the walk.
The Alstonville High School visual arts teacher reckons his students "enjoy working with somebody who shows they can actually do what they're talking about".
So, Ian tries to get an artwork completed and entered into at least one major art competition a year. This year he has entered the Gallipoli Art Prize. Again.
"I've entered the Gallipoli Art Prize four times now and been hung twice (which means making the finals)," Ian told The Echo. "I believe that my entry this year Mervyn and Winsome No. 2 is my best work yet."
The art prize is run by the Gallipoli Memorial Club in Sydney and is awarded (along with $20,000) to the artist who best depicts the spirit of the Gallipoli campaign.
The central characters in Ian's painting are Mervyn and his sister Winsome. Mervyn is Ian's mother-in-law's brother. He was conscripted into the Australian Army in 1942 when he turned 18. He served with the 2/12th Australian Field Regiment in New Guinea.
Ian entered the Gallipoli Art Prize last year with his first portrait of Mervyn. This year's entry is a development on last year's effort.
"One of my major motivations for spending so long on this year's work was Mervyn's promise to me that he would attend the exhibition opening if the work was hung," Ian said.
"This is an enormous commitment from 88-year-old Mervyn as he seldom travels any further than 10km from his family home in Auburn (Sydney). I feel close to Mervyn... He still has those qualities of loyalty, respect, love of country and family which were personified by the heroes of the Gallipoli campaign."
"I'm proud to know Mervyn and I know that he is honoured by my painting him," Ian said. "I get hooked on people."