WITH an overwhelming majority, Queanbeyan resident Heidi Flaherty has taken out the People's Choice Award at the 2014 Queanbeyan Regional Art Awards.
Mrs Flaherty's mixed media piece, titled 'A Novel Tree', received more than 50 votes out of the 169 submitted.
It's the first time the 29-year-old has entered the competition, and she said she's flattered to be appointed the People's Choice.
"I saw the [award] in the paper and thought it was a good idea. I was thinking of getting back into painting and there's nothing like a deadline to get you inspired," she said.
"[To be named the People's Choice] is very, very flattering and quite encouraging as well. A few people have seen [the artwork] and hinted that they want it for presents and/or commissions ... it's a really big compliment."
The marketing manager has always had a creative streak with a Bachelor in Design (Fashion Design) and a photography business on the side.
She said the artwork, which features all recycled materials (other than the canvas), strayed from her usual style. But she said it really was just an exercise to learn some new techniques.
And along the way, she used social media for some constructive feedback which helped her determine the final result.
"There was lots of experimenting with soaking paper, folding, running drips and then combining it with gouache and twisted paper. I really wanted to do a mixed media piece," she said.
"I worked on it after work and kept playing with it. Occasionally, I would put a photo up on Facebook to get people's responses on it. It's actually an effective way of getting feedback."
And just to top it all off, the piece has also been purchased.
"It's very exciting," she said. "I'm not too sure who it is but it's nice to know it'll be hanging in someone's house and hopefully, they enjoy it."