The big news is that I won the ARTFIELDS portrait competition on May 3, 2014, from a field of 23 very talented and creative artists. It was pretty exciting. But whatever the outcome, it was an awesome opportunity to turn people on to the art of the portrait. We all felt a like rock stars, with people marveling at every little stroke, like they were watching their favorite sports team. Personally, I think watching people create something brand new, right before my eyes, is far more exciting than watching people throw a ball around.
The subject of this final round was a wonderful old farmer, named Mr. Paul Poston. I pictured him with a tobacco barn behind him, which was his cash crop. We had exactly one hour to bring the magic. I hope I captured his dignity and resiliency, which is my mission in everyone I paint. SurTHRIVal takes many forms and there are billions of stories of lives well lived. When I see that in another, I just want to share the victory. I hope I did it with this painting.
I will be making my first installment of Charleston Artbeat with Cate and my experiences this weekend, a magical time of inspiration and creativity. I got to speak with Darla Moore, the extraordinary force behind ARTFIELDS. We talked about the incredible economic impact this megashow has had on Lake City, with over $150,000 in awards. Those who know me, know I’ve been talking about this for years. I am incredibly grateful to people like Darla for recognizing the transformative power of art on a community. She gets it, in a very big way. Also, special thanks to Karen Fowler, the ED of the project, who hosted my piece in her store, B on Souls Street.