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In 2013, we returned to the World Bodypainting Festival with another new skill set acquired (airbrush painting) and a new ambition, to compete with the global best vying for top honors in the Airbrush Category. Our two first place wins in two different categories, in two years’ time was a standout feat, could we possibly pull off another? We landed in Austria with a year’s worth of practice and preparation behind us, knowing there was only one way to find out.

The themes for 2013 inspired new horizons for our creativity. We went off in a sublimely silly direction for the qualifying round theme of “Planet Food”, basing our painting and headpiece on a children’s poem Scott had written in the rhyming-couplet style of Dr. Seuss. Our piece, entitled “Butterbean Broccoli Berzerk” was presented it to the jury by trading  back-and-forth the sing-song stanzas of our fantastical yarn, while Kim turned and twisted to show off the illustrations. Our tale featured a harried mother trying to entice her picky eater, by tempting him with some of the most extraordinary-sounding dishes ever known to man! We had never before branched out into a purposefully un-serious presentation and this one was delicious fun. When they announced the finalists, we learned we were in the number three spot.

The final round brought us back to produce a more spiritually-centered work for the theme, “Holy Geometry”. To approach this with our own spin, we revisited a culture for whom the sacred geometry concept was central, the ancient Egyptians. We designed and employed a multitude of tiny and precise, hand-cut stencils for this piece and put in hours cataloguing and organizing them for competition day. In addition, a fair amount of freehand skills were involved in the faces of the Egyptian gods depicted. In the jury tent, our concept presented the idea that this ancient culture had invited the rulers of the spiritual realm to dwell within their physical forms, employing concepts of Holy Geometry to that end.

Though we had sunshine for the Jury Tent and Photo Area that day, a sudden turn in the weather delayed the stage presentation with a string of downpours. Our model Kim braved the soggy stage barefoot once the rain had subsided, making a beautiful showing of our painting while we stood proudly, upstage. We returned to the audience and were surrounded by our excited entourage of friends and Kim’s family as we waited for the final results to be called.

When the countries of the artists who had been in the two spots above us were announced for third and for second place, our small group squeezing hands in a circle exploded in pandemonium! Shouts, screams, embraces and kisses gave way to jumping up-and-down as they proclaimed the new World Champions were from the USA! We took the stage and the trophy for our sweetest victory yet, claiming the trifecta of the two-day World Award Categories and marking our spot in history as the first artists to ever do so, much less in three consecutive years. It was an unbelievable finish to a year of dedicated study and 2013 will burn brightly in our memory, as a year of landmark accomplishment.

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