Monday, July 18, 2011

Spoils of War officially ends the 2011 Lehigh Valley Art Wars live competition.

Lehigh Valley Art Wars "Spoils of War" art exhibit at Connexions Gallery in Easton, PA

The first ever Lehigh Valley Art Wars has drawn to a close with last night's auction at Connexions Gallery. All of the art created during the competition was auctioned off to a live audience and I was super proud to see multiple bidders interested in my work. Each of the artists received 50% from the sale of their art and the other half is going to fund next year's competition. The show will be on display at Connexions until the end of August.

Lehigh Valley Art Wars "Spoils of War" art exhibit at Connexions Gallery in Easton, PA

The competition started with 16 artists from all different parts of the Lehigh Valley. In the first round, we competed in groups of 4 using our own materials on an unknown canvas size and were presented with a theme only moments before we started. In each round, we had only 2 hours in which to create our masterpiece. Winners were determined by both a panel of judges and a crowd vote.

Lehigh Valley Art Wars "Spoils of War" art exhibit at Connexions Gallery in Easton, PA

I was one of 8 contestants that moved into the 2nd round, the semi-finals of the event. In this round, we would be provided with unknown art supplies with which to create, as well as a canvas of unknown material. (And again, a theme only moments before we started.) My group was presented with a canvas of sheet metal, and the other group received wood.

Lehigh Valley Art Wars "Spoils of War" art exhibit at Connexions Gallery in Easton, PA

I unfortunately did not make it into the finals but for the four who did, they were each given a $125 stipend with which to buy whatever materials they wanted to use to create their final masterpiece.

Lehigh Valley Art Wars "Spoils of War" art exhibit at Connexions Gallery in Easton, PA

The finals were to take place at a local festival called Mayfair, and while they started to create in front of a crowd of about 600, torrential rain, thunderstorms and monsoon like conditions drove away most of the crowd and created a delay for the participants. They would eventually finish with Alexander Clare's Gunslinger taking the $1000.00 grand prize.

Lehigh Valley Art Wars "Spoils of War" art exhibit at Connexions Gallery in Easton, PA

Would I do it again? Perhaps. But a part of me is looking beyond what I've already done and onto the next big thing- solo exhibits and gallery representation.

Lehigh Valley Art Wars "Spoils of War" art exhibit at Connexions Gallery in Easton, PA

Lehigh Valley Art Wars "Spoils of War" art exhibit at Connexions Gallery in Easton, PA

I am extra proud to announce that I myself am now the owner of my favorite piece in the competition- this piece below by the immensely talented Jessica Echevarria. Jess inspires me with her drive, determination and pure passion for her art. Seeing what she does makes me want to work even harder at what I do. I can't wait to hang it in my house. You can see more of Jess's work here.

Photo of Jess's round 1 painting by Elaine Zelker.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Saturday's Art Auction Upcoming Mandala Workshops and More


Happy Beautiful Summer Day Everyone!

Just wanted to make you aware of a few things happening soon....
  • This Saturday at Connexions Gallery in Easton PA there will be a live auction of all the art that was created during the first ever Lehigh Valley Art Wars - a live art competition I participated in this past spring. All of the art will be on display until August 31st but your only chance to own it will be this Saturday. See a short video about it here. Oh, and while you are in Easton, walk a block or two and be sure to see the other 4 pieces I have hanging at Suddenly Samantha Salon (In the Grand Eastonian Hotel) as part of the group exhibit, "The Girlie Show."
  • Additional opportunities to purchase my original art abound! I have a shop on Etsy, (Fee Bean Art) and just dropped a number of pieces off at Earth Rhythms in West Reading. (Be sure to tell the new owner that I sent you!) I will also be taking a selection of original pieces out to the Summer Rhythm Renewal at the end of this month. Limited edition fine art reproductions will soon be available for my 5 most popular images - stay tuned!
  • Speaking of Rhythm Renewal...  there will be two opportunities to take my workshop Mandala: An Artful Meditation, and I will also be available for one-on-one private sessions, consults, and or creative coaching. And should you see my friend Christine's tattoo, Yes. I am open to creating a piece of intuitive artwork for you as I did for her. (She tattooed it onto her back.) The private sessions cost $75 per hour and I do accept credit cards. You are welcome to contact me in advance of the RR to secure time with me.
  • I am also available for phone sessions - learn to let go and create... contact me if interested- also you are interested in having me teach a class to your group
  • October 15th - Save the Date! I will be teaching my Mandala Workshop at the Baum School of Art in Allentown, PA.  - Remember, no art experience is required - I'm teaching you to let go an create without judgement. Additional details to follow.
Wishing you a wonderful summer and I hope to see you soon!

Much love,
Stephanie Smith

I am all over the web! Feel free to be social with me -

My Blog: Spiritual Evolution of the Bean
Buy my art on Etsy: Fee Bean Art
My other Blog: Rhodia Drive
On Facebook: Stephanie Smith's Mandala Art
On YouTube: Biffybeans
On Tumblr: Small Bean Bites
On Flickr: Biffybeans Photostream
Follow me on Twitter: @biffybeans

Monday, July 11, 2011

This Saturday July 16th: Spoils of War Live Art Auction in Easton PA - Bid to Win My Art!

Piece created during 1st round of Art Wars at the Bethlehem Brew Works. Photo by Elaine Zelker

This Saturday night at Connexions Gallery in Easton, PA a live auction will take place to offer up the Spoils of War - all 28 pieces of art created by each of the 16 participants from throughout the recent Lehigh Valley Art Wars live art competition.

This event will be a fundraiser to sustain the Lehigh Valley Art Wars for next year and also to give back to the artists who were involved in the competition. (Come bid to win my art, you know you want to!)

Live Auction Event Details:

Connexions Gallery presents: Spoils of War
A collection of work from the Lehigh Valley Art Wars
Saturday July 16th from 7 - 10 PM
213 Northampton St. Easton PA 610-250-7627

$5 Donation at the door, Food and drinks will be on hand, live entertainment from DJ Discreet. See the event on Facebook

The Spoils of War exhibit is currently on display if you wish to preview the art prior to Saturday's auction. The only way to purchase these works is by being present at Saturday's live auction. The art will remain on display at Connexions Gallery until 08/21.

To see more of my art in Easton PA, walk down the street & around the corner to see the 4 pieces I am currently showing as part of "The Girlie Show" exhibit at Suddenly Samantha Salon at 200 Northampton St. Easton, PA. Call for hours: 610-559-8590.

Piece created during 2nd Round - Semi Finals of Art Wars at Molly's Irish Grille

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Trying Hard to do Some Summer Reading

My new Kindle

I bought a Kindle e-reader close to a year ago because I was convinced it would be easier on my wrists- and while that part was true, I find the hardest part to owning a Kindle is actually buying the books. For years I had been procuring most of my books via used book shops, book sales, sites like or by buying used through Amazon and Ebay. Part of me wished I had known what the e-books cost before having taking the plunge on the reader. I guess I was somewhat naive in thinking that since there was no physical book, that costs cost of an e-book would be negligible. hahahahahahahahaha. While you can find loads of free classics and tons of .99 books, these are the same titles I usually ignore on the "Last Chance" discount tables at the Barnes and Noble.

Seeing now how most of the popular titles run anywhere from $6.99-$12.99 or more, (sometimes grrrrr even costing MORE than the paper version) it takes me FOREVER to pick a book for fear of not liking it and well, I can't trade digital books for credit at my favorite used bookstore. I mean what do you do when you don't like an electronic book? I bought that second Tattoo Girl book and couldn't get through the 1st few chapters, so now what? Bye-bye $7.99.

One thing that makes me feel a wee bit better about buying e-books is using any Amazon credits I have accumulated. The other day, I actually went on somewhat of a spending spree, telling myself to stop bantering about and just buy the books I've had on my wishlist forever and a day. And so I did. I actually bought ten books.

What did I buy?
Using Amazon credits makes me feel a lot better when I splurge like this especially knowing that my book brain will be well fed for quite a while. I do know that Kindle book lending options exist, but I'm the kind of person that renews their library books 3 times then still ends up paying late fees. I might gripe and complain about paying for these books but in the end, I am reading and there aren't piles of books all over the house silently mocking me for not having yet having cracked their covers.

Which book am I reading now? "Tis. And I absolutely love it. I'm probably the last person in the work to read Frank McCourt. I can't wait to read his other books.... 

PS: It is helpful to me if you click through one of my Amazon links whenever you want to buy anything from them. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small % of your purchases which helps keep me in books. :o)

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