THEY say it puts a rose in every cheek. However, painting with it is a different story.

But for one Beerwah artist, Vegemite is all she needs to craft her portraits.

Julie Gould is rapidly spreading the black gold on canvas as she rushes to put together 30 Vegemite portraits for the Aussie Icons and Inventions exhibition in Yamba, in northern New South Wales starting on December 6.

Not a conventional artistic device, Ms Gould said she'd been an exponent of Vegemite art for a long time, having mastered the art of layering the popular breakfast spread since 1985, to give her works shade, depth and texture.

"You layer it to make it darker," she said.

"It looks like an old sienna photograph when it's finished."

After completion, Ms Gould said the works are coated with a special sealant, to ensure creepy crawlies aren't attracted to the delicious artworks.

Doing a number of portraits of iconic people, including Oprah Winfrey and Paul Hogan, Ms Gould said her talents came very naturally to her, and she was able to create pieces quite representative of her subjects.

"I'm a perfectionist," she said with a laugh.

For the Aussie Icons display, Ms Gould said she had painted the likes of Dame Edna Everage and Crocodile Dundee, to present along with her main piece, a large Vegemite canvas with Aussie slang words carved into it.

She laughed that any donations of Vegemite would be welcome to her cause, as she was going through plenty of the yeasty paste in the creation of her pieces.



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