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Updated: Sep 11, 2023

When I received the message that I made it into the finals, I hysterically dropped my bag of tomatoes at the grocery store.

My husband, son and a group of my dearest friends joined me for the Award Night on Thursday, September 7. We enjoyed the exciting atmosphere at the Industrial Theatre Room /100Kellogg. As usual the event was perfectly organized and decorated. I felt very special! ( and I think the other artists enjoyed themselves as well)

On that night we found out that my painting "Into The Blue" made it into the Top 10 of the Panel's Choice category. A photographer took pictures of each finalist and I was so thrilled to receive a small trophy.

Into the Blue was inspired by the striking colours of our very own Lake Huron. Especially on sunny days the colour has Caribbean like shades of turquoise and blue.
I emphasized the shape and colours of the original reference photos. Used my artistic license to give this piece more interest and depth.

Back to the event...

first they announced the People's Choice Awards.

People’s Choice:

1st place - $50,000 Emily Botelho

2nd place - $30,000 Lorrie Robertson

3rd place - $20,000 Stephen Gibb

Well deserved !!!! Congratulations! ❤️

Then they announced the Panel's Choice Award. And please believe me when I tell you:

I NEVER EVER thought that I would hear my name.

I can't explain the fireworks of emotions, when "Wilma Mehl" was announced. My husband almost collapsed behind me, my friends applauded, jumped and screamed. Confetti was in the air. What an unreal moment.

I shook many hands that night, hugged and kissed, many pictures were taken, I briefly saw my mom and stepdad on somebody's phone, fellow artists congratulated me and I had a hard time to find the right words. Not sure if I spoke German, English or both at the same time.

I gave my first autograph that night ( April, I will never forget you) and the impromptu celebration at my friend's house was just perfect.

On the next day I stayed home, looked at all the photos, read all the wonderful comments ( my social media exploded). I got calls from family, friends and German and Canadian newspapers interviewed me.

Now I'm back at my desk, with stained fingers and a huge smile on my face. Pinch me please!

Thank you 100Kellogg for giving a self-taught artist this incredible chance to shine.

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