It is Friday night approaching 8.30pm. I’m at the Fabulous Fakes Art Prize opening, with some of my students and friends.  As we are waiting for the final prize to be announced one of our group comes up and says  – ‘Where’s Stephanie’s painting gone – it’s no longer hanging where it was?  Do you think someone might have bought it?’

Stephanie shakes her head in denial and disbelief and we all make our way up to the front of the exhibition hall to check out if that is true or not.  While we are on our way up there, Stephanie’s phone rings and after much fumbling in her handbag – as women do, LOL – she finally finds and answers it.  However she never gets to find out who is on the other end because  just as she answers it the MC up on the stage loudly makes the following announcement…..

And the winner of the People’s Choice Award for 2010 is………….STEPHANIE LEWIS!” It was all tremendously exciting and we applauded loud and long.

Woman Combing Her Hair -Stephanie Lewis -after Degas

Woman Combing Her Hair -Stephanie Lewis -after Degas

Now what is exceptional about this story is that Stephanie only began working with me around 18 months ago.  When she came she was a complete newbie.  Not only that, the painting she chose to enter was a Degas nude – ‘Woman Combing Her Hair’ and she only began working on it about 4 weeks before the entry deadline.  Add the fact that this is the first nude Stephanie has ever attempted and she has made a  truly extraordinary achievement.  Well Done Stephanie – CONGRATULATIONS!!!