Bundaberg artist 11-year-old Lilly Reents has won first prize for her age group in a national art competition for her emotive painting of an endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle.
The Kalkie State School student has an eye for creativity and a knack for producing surreal artwork which she showcased proudly in the recent Australian Conservation Foundation's Wild at Art competition.
The annual art competition is open to children aged 8 to 12 and allows them to unleash their artistic creativity while learning about Australia's animals and plants and the threats facing them.
On the advice of her schoolteachers earlier this year, Lilly entered the competition and won first prize in her age group category with her eagle painting.
Lilly said it took a few weeks to complete her Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, as she also researched the species which helped her depict it’s known threats in the background of her artwork.
“Surrealism is currently my favourite style because I enjoy using my imagination to create something different,” Lilly said.
“I mostly use pen, pencil, acrylic paint and watercolour and often a combination of them.
“Animals are my favourite subjects.”
Lilly said she felt proud to have won a major prize in the national competition and now hoped to pursue a career in art.
“It means a lot to me because I learnt a lot about endangered species in Australia,” she said.
“I am an animal lover, so I am happy this competition brings awareness to the public as well.
Lilly's eagle artwork inspires judge
Australian Conservation Foundation’s Wild at Art age 11-12 category judge Marilyn Ross said Lilly’s artwork had stirred a lot of emotions within viewers.
“Like the eagle this painting is very strong. It shows that Lilly knows what she is doing, and like the eagle she is very capable,” Marilyn said.
“The depth and contrast of colour gives a feeling of power. The vibrant blue in the background highlights the browns of the central figure.
“This painting has such feeling and emotion… I feel it makes me want to bow to its greatness.
“This painting has created a lot of emotion in me.”
Lilly said whether she was drawing with pen, pencil or picking up a paint brush, she had always loved to capture the essence and emotion of her subject.
“I started really getting into art when I was in Year 3, so I was around 7-and-a-half at the time,” Lilly said.
“Sometimes I draw people, but not all the time as I prefer animals over people – in real life and in my drawings also.
“I feel happy, and I feel calm when doing my art.”
More of Lilly's artwork can be found on her Instagram page.
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