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Category ArchiveSports portraits

Dani 2014

DS2014_1Dani Samuels 2014, 23″ x 31.5″ (48 x 80cm). Oil on primed board. Phillip Carrero.
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At the very moment I was signing this painting Dani was on fire, throwing a new personal best of 67.99m in Weisbaden, Germany. First  competition of this European Tour, Glasgow 2014 Comm Games year… the best is yet to come, go Dani!

Today Dani Samuels has inched closer to the 20-year-old Australian women’s discus record. The reigning national champion and Glasgow 2014 bound discus thrower improved her personal best three times with three consecutive throws to 67.99m on the last attempt.

Her new PB moves her to second on the Australian all-time list behind only the 68.72m national record of Daniela Costian, set in 1994.

Samuels’ effort won the competition ahead of Julia Fischer of Germany, who threw 66.46 in second place.

(from http://www.athletics.com.au/News/Article-Details/ArtMID/5111/ArticleID/8095/Samuels-PB)

2003 World Youth Shot Put 25/27 Qual DNQ 11.59m
2005 World Youth Discus Throw 1/34 Final 1st 54.09m
2006 Commonwealth Games Discus Throw 3/14 3rd 59.44m
2006 World Cup Discus Throw 6/9 6th 59.68m
2006 World Junior Discus Throw 1/27 Final 1st 60.63m
2007 World Championships Discus Throw 13/28 Qual 60.44m DNQ
2007 Universiade Discus Throw 2/17 2nd 60.47m
2008 Olympic Games Discus Throw 9/38 Final 60.15m
2009 World Championships Discus Throw 1/40 Final 1st 65.44m
2009 Universiade Discus Throw 1/21 Final 1st 62.48m
2010 World Cup Discus Throw 4/8 4th 61.34m
2011 World Championships Discus Throw 10/24 Final 10th 59.14m
2012 Olympic Games Discus Throw 12/35 Qual 63.97m; Final 12th 60.40m
2013 World Championships Discus Throw 10/26 Qual 62.85m; Final 10th 62.42m
National Competition
2004-05 Aust. Junior T & F Shot Put 1 15.01m
Discus Throw 1 53.09m
2004-05 Aust. T & F Shot Put 4 (2nd Aust.) 14.71m
Discus Throw 2 (1st Aust.) 55.78m
2005-06 Aust. T & F Shot Put 2 (1st Aust.) 15.98m
Discus Throw 2 (1st Aust.) 56.67m
2006-07 Aust. Junior T & F Shot Put 1 16.19m
Discus Throw 1 58.48m
2006-07 Aust. T & F Shot Put 2 (1st Aust.) 16.17m
Discus Throw 1 60.40m
2007-08 Aust. T & F Discus Throw 1 62.95m
2008-09 Aust. T & F Shot Put 3 (1st Aust.) 16.30m
Discus Throw 1 60.05m
2009-10 Aust. T & F Discus Throw 1 63.61m
2010-11 Aust. T & F Discus Throw 1 61.79m
2011-12 Aust. T & F Shot Put 1 16.65m
Discus Throw 1 62.34m
2013-14 Aust. T & F Discus Throw 1 66.81m

Dani at the Hunter

DaniS HuntClas223.5″ x 31.5″ (60cm x 80cm) Soft pastel on board . Dani at the Hunter.
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One of two paintings I want to do of our best discus thower ever.

Dani started Little Athletics at a young age and has played basketball at a national level. The Sport Australia Hall of Fame awarded a Spirit of  Sport Scholarship to her in 2006. She hopes to compete in asmany as five Olympics. In 2007 her coach Denis Knowles arranged for U.S champion discus thrower, Mac Wilkins, who won gold in the 1976 Montreal Olympics and silver at the 1984 L A Olympics, to visit Dani in Australia. The visit led to a change in her throwing technique and a year later she became the youngest member of the Australian track and field team.

I ought to add Dani Samuels has been a pleasure to paint. Some people are so amazingly nice!

Dani’s thoughts

DaniSFace1 Soft pastels on Mi-Teintes board 14″ x 16″ (36cm x 40cm)
Preliminary study for a portrait of Dani Samuels to exhibit at SOPAC.

It’s been a while since I did the latest of my Paintings for Poles work. So eager to explore in my newly found medium of soft pastels I asked Dani if I could do a portrait of her. More willing, pleasing and encouraging models I’ve rarely seen.

This is the 5th painting this year and the 5th in soft pastels. Yet, it is the first that I set myself to do careful detail. I consider it a 70% achievement of realism. Aims towards more improvement include hair, eyes and skin at magnification level but I’m very happy with my steps so far.

Dani’s Bio data:
I noticed that every time I read about Australian pole vaulters my fav event, Dani was always there. Wether it was Steve Hooker or Alana Boyd, Dani was there in the news with them. One reason is because she’s so nice to be a friend of but also because she is so good at her speciality: Discus throw.

Dani Samuels (born 26 May 1988) is an Australian discus thrower who in 2009 became the youngest ever female world champion in the event.
Samuels is one of only nine athletes (along with Valerie AdamsUsain BoltVeronica Campbell-BrownJacques FreitagYelena IsinbayevaKirani JamesJana Pittman, and David Storl) to win world championships at the youthjunior, and senior level of an athletic event. Her personal best throws are 65.84 m for the discus and 16.30 metres in the shot put.

Joe Dial with flag 1986


915 cm x 122 cm (36″ x 48″) Oil on stretched canvas.
Joe Dial With Flag 1986, Phillip Carrero 2013.

Portrait of Joe Dial commissioned by his loving wife and biggest fan ever, Shawna Dial.


Joe Dial (born 26 October 1962 in Marlow, Oklahoma) is a retired American pole vaulter, best known for winning the bronze medal at the 1989 World Indoor Championships in Budapest. His personal best was 5.96 metres, achieved in June 1987 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Since retiring from participation in the sport, Dial has turned to coaching. He’s been head coach of the men’s and women’s track and cross country programs at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma since 1993.


Joe at ORU,
“As Joe Dial enters his 18th full season at the helm of the ORU Cross Country and Track & Field programs in 2012-13, it’s no stretch of the imagination to say that he has presided over the most successful era in Golden Eagle history.Included in his time at ORU are three NCAA National Championships, including two by Andretti Bain (Indoor 400m, Outdoor 400m) in 2008 and one by Jack Whitt (Outdoor Pole Vault) in 2012. …
For his efforts, Dial has received Mid-Con Coach of the Year honors on 13 occasions since ORU joined the conference in 1997, including four such accolades during the 2005-06 season. He was also named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCA) 2006 Midwest Region Men’s Coach of the Year for the outdoor season, after guiding the Golden Eagles to a ranking as high as 16th in the USTFCCCA Division I poll. There have been 19 Golden Eagle All-Americans during Dial’s tenure at ORU, as those athletes earned All-American honors in 28 events. Dial’s most recent All-Americans include Jack Whitt, Marvin Bonde, Andretti Bain, Shaun Smith and Rachel Talbert. Whitt finished second in pole vault at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships and sixth in the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships. Bonde finished fifth in the 200-meter dash at the 2009 Indoor Championships, while Talbert placed sixth in the discus at the 2008 Outdoor Championships. Smith picked up All-American status in the 800-meters at three championship meets, including an eighth place finish at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships, a sixth place finish at the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championships and sixth place finish at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships.Dial understands what it’s like to win. He was the world record-holder in the pole vault in 1986. He also held the American pole vault record for nine years (1985-94), breaking his own record nine times in that span. His highest vault was 19’06.5″. Dial won the bronze medal at the 1989 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. For his efforts, Dial was inducted into the Pole Vault Hall of Fame in 2011.While at Marlow High School, Dial set the current Class 2A state record in the long jump with a leap of 23’05” in 1981. He was the Oklahoma Class 2A state long jump champion in 1980 and 1981, and was a four-time state champion in the pole vault (1978-81). Dial was the first high school pole vaulter to clear 18 feet.Dial and his wife Shawna, an assistant coach at ORU, have three children: Timmy, Tommy, and Tyler.”… extract courtesy of Joe’s Biographical notes, Oral Roberts University.

Joe Dial, preliminary studies

Messenger_5773466588618948887_13765017006747144Joe Dial With Flag 1 and 2. Preliminary studies in soft pastels 16″ X 24″ on Mi-Teintes pastel board.

This are two small studies in soft pastels. The work was commissioned by Joe’s wife Shawna as a present to her husband.
I usually do a preliminary painting to check that the elements fit together well. I want to determine early whether the whole will fit well or it needs more work. Also it makes me familiar with the subject and eliminates headaches in the final painting.

Another important reason for preliminary studies is color and how it will combine with light and shade in the final work.

In this commission there were particular hurdles to overcome from the very beginning.

1) The original photographs were in black and white, and 2) they were not in very good focus. This presented a dilemma of how to get the face to be recognizable, the hands were blurry, moving fast in the twilight and there was no detail visible in the socks, shoes, pole or crossbar. I obtained help from friends that knew which poles Joe used on the day (we couldn’t ask him) and their colours. One of my friends Steve Rippon, today national PV coach in Finland, even competed against Joe when he was in Australia around 1985 when the picture was taken. He provided me with old colour pictures of the original poles and crossbar Joe used and were not distinguishable in the newspaper picture.  To do the hands I employed an old artist’s trick, which was to draw my own hands the way Joe waved them in the actual jump, but in focus and detail. I ought to say Shawna graciously offered to get the originals from the newspaper, which I didn’t pursue as it could have meant a long wait for little gain.

I reckon that from a possible 100% realism, I achieved an 85%. Not bad considering all of the above.
Having said that, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and they all loved the finished painting as I believed Joe deserved it, after 30 years of passing on his best at ORU for athletics and the future of pole vaulting as Head Coach.

In despite of the above this is my best painting in many ways. It’s about the sport that is my passion, painting is also my passion, and commissioned by Christians. Then Joe told me that the painting  “looks just like the jump felt ( AWESOME )”… So, that was my goal and it looks like I achieved it.
I’m a happy Vegemite today.

These preliminary studies provided me with another idea. The writing on Joe’s singlet was more visible in the picture Shawna didn’t like so much, so I transported it from there to the singlet in the second pastel and from there to the main painting. Thus it was much more legible than in the original photo and still true to history.

Soft pastels – Tilly and Elsie

TM2013_pp30cm x 41cm (A3) Soft Pastels on rough Mi-Teintes board. Phil Carrero

From the gir’s medal winning performances at the Australian Junior Championships Perth 2013

My first attempt to learn pastels. I love the medium, the purity of color and the challenge to produce realistic work with it. Challenges were fixing, with which spray, how and how many layers. Which surface is best for my purpose, tried smooth illustration board, rough Mi-Teintes and primed board. This last one, the board, seems to be the one to develop further.








Justin Merlino

Justin Merlino79cm x 61cm (30″ x 24″)

Oil on canvas board. Phillip Carrero 2009
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Justin commenced Little Athletics in under-9s and got into hurdling by mistake after his father entered him in a hurdles event instead of the flat. He took it in his stride, literally, and won zone, regional and State titles that year.

Justin has just completed a degree in physiotherapy at Sydney University.

A win at the Australian University Games in September of 2007 rounded out a landmark year for Justin.

In 2008, Justin claimed his second national title in the 110m hurdles. Justin then went on to compete in a number of international meets and was selected in the Target 2012 Squad.

Youcef Abdi

100_036879cm x 61cm (30″ x 24″)

Oil on canvas board. Phillip Carrero 2009
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Youcef began his athletics career over 800m and at the 1996 World Junior Championships in Sydney, representing his native Algeria.

Since then he has made Australia his home and progressed over distances, stepping up to 1500m and the 3000m steeplechase. He enjoyed some successes over 1500m, winning a Commonwealth bronze medal in 2002 and Australian title in 2004. Since moving up to the 3000m steeple, he has become Australia’s second fastest man, won the 2006 national title and made his Olympic debut in Beijing 2008, where he finished sixth in the final.

Steve Hooker (Head)

p07976cm x 61cm (30″ x 24″)

Oil on Canvas Board. Phillip Carrero
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Steve Hooker created history at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, becoming the first Australian to win a gold medal in the pole vault and the first Australian field event athlete to win Olympic gold in 60 years.


In dramatic circumstances, Hooker twice cleared clutch jumps on his third attempt in the final, before clinching the gold medal with yet another third attempt clearance at 5.90m.

With the gold medal secured he went on to break the Olympic record, with another third and final attempt heart-stopper at 5.96m.


In February 2009 Steve recorded a new personal best height of 6.06m at the Boston Indoor Games.

Michael Sullivan

Michael Sullivan79cm x 61cm (30″ x 24″) Oil on canvas board. Phillip Carrero 2010
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Michael Sullivan (born 18 June 1980 in Taree, New South Wales) is an Australian professional

rugby league footballer for the Bulldogs of the National Rugby League (NRL) competition.

His usual position is hooker. Sullivan previously played for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

and the Northern Eagles as well as the Warrington Wolves in the European Super league