Friday, April 22, 2011

Made it to the 2nd round of the Lehigh Valley Art Wars!

My winning painting from the 1st round of the Lehigh Valley Art Wars. The theme was "Evolution"

I made it through the 1st round of the Lehigh Valley Art Wars last night with my painting above. Whew!

About 30 seconds before the MC said "Go!" we were given the theme of "Evolution" to work with. Admittedly, I see the mandala as being connected to, and encompassing the universe as a whole, so I was prepared to create a mandala representative of any theme presented to me. We had two hours to create and though I had practiced painting 4 pieces within that time limit over the last 10 days, working with that time constraint wasn't the only challenge I encountered.

At the word "Go!" I felt the same gut reaction as when back in the mid 80's I'd be at a concert and they would turn the lights off just prior to the main act taking the stage. That surge of adrenalin combined with the compulsion to jump the rows in front of me and get right in front of the stage. It was a fight or flight response for sure. I didn't know what color to pick first, or what my mandala would look like. Should I work with one of the color palettes that I used recently? Yes. I decided to run with the same primary color theme that I had tried earlier in the week because I thought it really POPPED, and since the lighting wasn't spectacular inside the venue, I wanted to do something that would surely stand out.

I think the hardest part for me was deciding what to do next, for fear of mucking something up. I felt like each decision was life or death and wow... it was all just so intense and surreal.

The most interesting part of it all was having people come up to me to tell me that they loved what I created. I hadn't really imagined that part. My work has been on the web for years and I often receive many wonderful comments but to have a stranger actually look you in the eye and say it... wow again. Also to hear their interpretation of my work. Of how it made them feel. That was totally new to me. All my feedback (good or bad) is my feedback to work harder at what I do. Looking at my piece from last night, my only criticism to myself is that I think I worked a bit too fast and that may have contributed to it looking a bit rougher that I would have liked. But I am very proud of the job that I did and am looking forward to the next round, where we will be given a box of unknown materials to complete our piece. I'm a mixed media kind of girl and am unafraid.

Mucho huge thanks to my husband and best friends for showing up and providing me with their support. Also mucho thanks for everyone who couldn't be there but who wished me luck and fed me full of their positive energy -> I felt it for sure!

One last thing... exactly one year ago, I wasn't yet able to call myself an artist. I had been making art for a long time but was unable to accept the responsibility of that role for fear of rejection... criticism.... But is IS who I am, and as long as I continue to do what I do from my heart, it will always be good, and there is nothing to fear.

For more info on the Art Wars, search Facebook for the fan page: "Lehigh Valley Art Wars."

4 comments:

Rebecca Ryder-Galardo said...

You're so inspirational, Stephanie, and so strong! I wish I could have been there to watch you create and support you! I was there in spirit :)

B2-kun said...

Congratulations! great account of the event and insight of an accomplished artist. Enjoy the weekend with your family and fans!

Peninkcillin said...

That painting is great! I love the bright colors. Very very nice and you deserved to win!

Adrian said...

congrats for the wining and its a great painting.continue like this to make our heart warm.

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