Newcastle artist Michael Bell was named on Thursday as one of the 18 finalists for the prestigious Sulman Art Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW.
Bell won the $50,000 Kilgour Prize at Newcastle Art Gallery in July.
The Sulman entry, entitled The Afterparty, is a continuation of the theme of the piece that won him the Kilgour.
"This picture is about my chaotic studio, my process of painting, and about remaining positive against the odds. I have borrowed some images from art history in making this picture. I had a lot of stories going through my head as I worked," he says of the Sulman entry.
"The composition changed radically while I was painting. I kept editing and reworking the surface, endeavouring to keep the picture fresh and new. The figure with the red flags is based on an old photo of myself - totally carefree at the age of seven."
Bell, 61, is best known for his art work for JJJ and Mambo early in his career. He is particularly well-known in Newcastle for his caricature paintings of dogs and "Dog Beach" (Horseshoe Beach).
Bell's works have been hung in The Archibald Prize and The Sulman Prize, and he has works in the collections of the Australian National Gallery and Newcastle Art Gallery as well as many private collections.
The Sir John Sulman Prize, valued at $40,000, is awarded for the best genre painting, subject painting or mural project by an Australian artist in oil, acrylic, watercolour or mixed media.
A genre painting is normally a composition representing some aspect or aspects of everyday life and may feature figurative, still-life, interior or figure-in-landscape themes.
The Sulman is held in conjunction with the Archibald and Wynne prizes at the gallery. The winners will be announced on September 25.