Taking up watercolour painting at the beginning of the year, Maxine said she never thought that she would win the art competition, and she said it was an honour to win the first Pat Walker perpetual trophy, named in memory of long-term president Pat Walker OAM.
With her henna stall set up at the festival on Saturday, Maxine had time to let the realisation of winning this year’s art prize sink in, and she became quite emotional.
“I think it’s actually one of the most amazing things I have ever done,” she said.
“I didn’t imagine it, and the award night was one of the best nights of my life.
“For someone to actually really appreciate what I did, I’m speechless.”
Winning the Moore Park Beach Art Prize may seem like a far step from Maxine’s day job where she writes computer software programs, but she said her “linear and methodical” mind was given a chance to flex when she stepped into the world of art.
Maxine has 10 years’ experience in creating beautiful henna artwork and had only ever dabbled in other styles of art.
But it seems she has now discovered a natural talent within watercolour painting.
“I’m literally gobsmacked, I almost didn’t enter and it wasn’t something that I planned to do,” she said.
“I started painting watercolour at the beginning of the year, starting with florals and things.
“After the first month of so I went in to faces because I just found them so fascinating and everything I have done since then – it has to be a face.
“I am also a make-up artist so I think I have a good understanding of faces and I am so fascinated by them.”
Initially Maxine said she wasn’t happy with her artwork, and over a period of a few weeks she kept adding to it before deciding it was finished.
“I get really obsessed and I am really obsessed with watercolour and faces at the moment,” she said.
“I can’t imagine using anything else now.
“I love how transparent water colours are and I love how it’s like you can see within the skin.”