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Art Battle 305 Captivates Prince George!

For the 3rd year in Prince George the Art Battle competition lit up the night, energizing and captivating the art community!  This year the live painting competition was held at Heartbreakers where 12 incredibly talented artists went head to head in heats lasting only 20 minutes long.  The spectators watched in a circle, down at the ring as 3 heats, each with 4 artists fought to pull the best piece they could out of themselves onto 18″ x 24″ canvases.

This years selected artists were, Audrey McKinnon, Darrien Minnie, Shae Morin, Carla Joesph, Christina Watts, Crystie Jensen-Tarr, Janice Parker, Keith Carlson, Jennifer Annais Pighin-Pete Joseph, James Spankie, Mandy Paavola Mua and Trevor Stanley.  All high calibre artists!  They drew numbers for which heat they would be in.

Audience members were hypnotized as the paintings formed and came to life right before their eyes.  Viewer Katie Schmid recounted, “having the competitors in the middle like that was very dramatic and battle like”. After each heat the viewers were able to look at the art up close and vote on which piece they liked the most and that artist went to the final.

In heat 1… Keith Carlson (face), Carla Joesph (crow), Janice Parker (poppies) and Trevor Stanley (motorcycle).

heat 1

Janice Parker Trevor Stanley Keith Carlson Carla Joesph

In heat 1, Trevor Stanley won over the crowd with his dynamic motorcycle painting!

Heat 2: Jennifer Annais Pighin-Pete Joseph (sunset), Darrien Minnie (inspire this), Mandy Paavola Mua (abstract) & Crystie Jensen-Tarr (flower).

heat 2

Jennifer Pighin2 Darrien Minnie Crystie Tarr Mandy Paavola Mua

Winner of Heat 2 was Jennifer Annais Pighin-Pete Joesph with her glowing sunset.

Heat 3: James Spankie (Tall Tree), Shae Morin (red abstract), Audrey McKinnon (eye) and Christina Watts (sailboat).

heat 3

Shae Morin James Spankie3 Christina Watts3 Aubrey McKinnon

And in heat 3 Christina Watts made it to the finals with her impressionistic sailboat.

Each striving for the victory, out came all the stops as the 3 finalists poured it on for their last attempt at the championship.  Jennifer with an incredible winter scene, Trevor with his bold abstract and Christina with a night city reflection image.

Christina Watts final Jennifer Pighin final Trevor Stanley final

After the votes were counted, and the finger nails were bitten…they announced this year winner.  Christina Watts.

A great time was had by all.  “I enjoyed it as did my friends! Loved watching the painting happen in front of our eyes”, exclaimed Jan Thompson.  Executive Director of the PG Arts Council, Wendy Young noted that “this is growing into an even more amazing event then when we started two years ago! I loved watching all the spectators get up close with their ballots and make serious decisions, whilst the artists were scurrying out of their way!”

The comradery shared between the artists was inspiring!  Here are some of the artists comments on their art battle experience.

Shae Morin:

” I just wanted to say I knew it would be intense and challenging – but I had no idea it would be so fun and encouraging. I’m very grateful to have connected with the other painters as well.”  You can find Shae on instragram at @vs_shaemorin

Mandy Paavola Mua:

“This was my 1st battle and it was epic!!! I had a really great time.  I did my thing and really enjoyed every moment of my painting experience.  It was fantastic to see the support of the community and to watch art being created live!!!”  Website:


Jennifer Annais Pighin-Pete Joseph:

This is my third year participating at the Art Battle in Prince George. It has sure been an exciting experience in our community. Painting is usually a long process and private affair so art battle really takes the artists out of their comfort zone and into a whole new realm. I had a wonderful time and was both terrified and excited to have the second round. I had to think on the fly and changed my plan several times while painting in the small 20 min window. I am pleased with the results of all the paintings I saw develop that night. Fun fun fun!


Trevor Stanley:

“What a way to introduce myself to my new art community, artbattle was a perfect way to get acquainted with my people. It was so intense and such a profound learning experience. Prince George is endearing itself to me more everyday”.


Darrien Minnie:

“My experience with art battle was incredible! I had no idea how it would feel to be a competing artist, since I just observed the past Art Battles.  The music started and we were off in our little worlds of paint and swirling paint brushes! For myself I have not painted in two years since my art show “inspired adventures” with Megan McKenzie. This was an opportunity to jump head first back into painting and learn from the experience! I loved the whole event and was able to interact with some amazing artists that are beautiful inside and out!  I was definitely scared and nervous. There was many times throughout that I couldn’t touch brush to canvas since my hand was trembling so much, I had to move to another section of the painting! I hope to take part in the next Art battle.  Thank you to the wonderful souls who made this event a reality!

Facebook for Darrien:

James Spankie:

“So I’m a bit of a thinker.  I like to plan and take my time.  I tweak, I contemplate, I go, I come back………It’s a process that takes time.   Sometimes days, when there is a deadline. Sometimes months. Sometimes years.

When I make art I’m also a bit of a drinker……my hands have been cracked and busted, nerves pinched and damaged,  so some of the digits are numb, other ones hurt, and the whole paw is usually shaking……so a little sauce seems to help keep things steady (or just not matter….whatever works).

I thrive in a closed studio – Its mine – no witnesses to the process, no eyes, no unwanted sounds, it’s my music…..private. The outcome is the only thing I share with the world.

And then bring on the Art Battle!

With a timed art contest with 11 extremely talented painters, away from my comfortable painting areas, in a venue that I need to drive to get to (so sobriety is the only option), everything comfortable completely disappears.  No overthinking, no overdrinking, no hundreds of colors to choose from, no huge table to lay everything out on, no time.  Now add in that you are mostly self-taught and you are up against serious, professional, and very talented artists.

OK Go!

Get your Primary colors plus black and white (and maybe some premixes if we are lucky enough to have an awesome AB coordinator).

Get in and organize.

Paint – Tick

Mix colors.  Put it on the Canvas. Don’t smudge!  Wet. Don’t streak!  Still wet! Damn that music is loud! Don’t drip on your work. EXECUTE……  Go! Go! Go!

Done – Tock

Over.  WTF just happened?

Not my process.  Super uncomfortable.  Worth every second of it!

What a rush.  It’s planned, but ends up spontaneous.  It’s scary,  but it turns out OK.  And 12 people end up get to know each other and their process a bit better.  I didn’t get to chat with everyone (definitely some intense concentration going on), but I meet some really cool folks, and I think you bond a bit going through this gauntlet together.  Prince George has some amazing people in the arts community!

I know I can thank the PG Community Arts Council (Lisa! Wendy!) and all the volunteers for an amazing experience.”

Website: and on Ridge Side Art

Christina Watts:

“The competition was fierce! The company, divine!  What an exceptional, exciting event for our community.  Now to get back to the drawing board and prepare for Vancouver.”

Website:  You are on it :o)

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