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  • Writer's pictureTina Rae

A Lesson in Persistence

Last night my husband and I decided to go to on a date to an ArtBattle that was being hosted in our city. The ArtBattle is a speed painting competition where paintings need to be created in 20 minutes or less. It was similar to what I had participated in before but set up a little differently. There were no surprise themes but there was less time to create.

A month ago I had applied to participate in this evening's event, but I did not hear back from the coordinators. I assumed that I either did not submit good enough material or that the evening was full and there was no room for another artist. Despite this set back, I still wanted to go. I wanted to see what the official ArtBattles were like and I wondered, "What if I did make it the next time they hosted an event?" Seeing this event would help me prepare.

When my husband and I arrived at the door we started chatting with the person who greeted us at the door. During our conversation I mentioned that I had applied but didn't get in and I was curious to see how the event went. She mentioned that maybe I could still participate because they had a wildcard spot where members of the audience could put in their names and potentially participate. She asked if I wanted to participate and I agreed that she could add my name to potentially take the wildcard spot.

Well, I got the wild card spot and I was competing in 15 minutes having come totally unprepared. Everyone else had brought brushes and was dressed to get messy. Thankfully there were brushes provided for the wildcard spot and I was willing to risk my clothes getting messy.

As I prepared to paint, I decided that the night was going to be a fun one. I had already competed in 2 speed painting competitions and both times I had not made it to the second round, so my expectations were not high. I had also seen some of the amazing work that ArtBattle participants had created, so I did not know how the night would play out.

When you paint, you have to stay very focused since you only have 20 minutes, so I was only able to look at the other participant's artwork at the end of the round. There was some amazing work, but I still made it to the next round, ironically, with a similar painting that I had not advanced with on a previous painting competition.

I was unsure what to paint for the second round, because I had never made it that far, but thankfully I had been teaching classes to youth and had a few of those that I could probably recreate. I picked a sea turtle painting because it was something that I knew how to paint. I thought it would pale in comparison to artwork that included faces because they showed such skill and I admired their work. I did not think my work would outweigh theirs.

In the end it did. The people voted for my painting and it was a surprise to me because I saw such great talent in the other artwork. I came in last minute, just hoping to have fun. It really did pay off to be persistent and keep on giving it another try. Despite my surprise it was quite an encouragement and really brought some extra joy to my evening.

Tina Rae

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