Final Messages…

Below are the final messages between me & William Dobell, I have used different forms of communication such as letters,emails and text messages. I chose William Dobell as I wanted to find more information about his life, what he thought about his experiences and more about the Archibald Prize he won in 1943.


Dear Mr.Dobel,

My name is Stephanie Alpin, I am a 19 year old Graphic Design student at the University of Greenwich. I have been researching your work and found your story and inspirations very interesting.

I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about yourself? You have been such an inspiration to so many people and there has been a lot of talk about your work and what you have achieved. Was you excited about being apprenticed at 17? It sounded like an amazing experience!

Hope to hear from you soon.

Stephanie x


To Stephanie,

Feel free to ask me your questions! I look forward to reading them and answering them for you.

When I was 17, I was apprenticed by an architect called Wallace.L.Porter, from Newcastle,Sydney, I found his work to be very interesting as I hadn’t studied architecture but knew I had a strong love for art. It was a very inspirational experience and a great learning opportunity for me to get into the art world and understand more about it all.

Hope you’re well.

William Dobell

P.S; feel free to email me;


Hi Mr.Dobell,
Thanks for giving me your email address, I do have a couple more
questions for you if you don’t mind!

After you were apprenticed, you moved to Sydney and you enrolled in an
evening art class, I know you moved to become a draughtsmen which
sounds like a very interesting job.  What kind of work did that
Also, after enrolling in the art class, what was your thoughts of what
you were going to do next?

Take care


Hi Stephanie,

You’re welcome for my email address, hope you are well. Ask me anything you like!
When I started work as a draughtsmen, it was harder than I had first imagined, it was a very interesting job and I was used for technical drawings with instructions that were very precise and exact. I also had to make sure it was readable to other people as well as myself.

After enrolling in art classes, as Julia Ashton had died, Henry Gibbons had taken over teaching and I was taught by him, he was also a previous student and had many tips and a lot of advice to share. He was the one who started a painting class on Saturdays so that us drawing students could learn how to paint, from there, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.


How did you feel when you won the travelling scholarship and came to England to study at the Slade school? You then moved to Poland, then moved on to Belgium & Paris. What were your 10 years like in Europe and how did that inspire you?
I was so pleased when I found out about winning the travelling scholarship! Just to go to England and study was such an amazing experience and a complete shock to me. I won a first prize for figure painting in 1930 at the Slade school. I travelled to Poland for another experience and learnt a lot there, I then moved to Belgium and spent time there studying artists and new movements, then to Paris to study closely at certain techniques. I left Paris and moved back to Australia, taking with me a new Expressionist style of painting as opposed to my earlier naturalistic approach. My time in Europe changed my thought process and my paintings a lot and I never would have established myself as much if I didn’t receive that opportunity.

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