Sources: Chron.com – By Don Maines | All Things Michael
Chyna Wheatley dashes out a painting in just 90 seconds as a crowd watches with bated breath.
Rhythms from a “Fast and Furious” movie intensify each sweeping motion of brush strokes. Time ticks away as the music shifts to a Michael Jackson song, then Wheatley steps back to reveal her creation.
What seemed like random flourishes now appears as a portrait of the King of Pop.
Drawing was a leisurely pastime for Wheatley, 23, from the time she could hold a crayon, but she picked up the pace when she took up speed painting.
The West Oaks resident recently graduated with a degree in interior design from The Art Institute of Houston at 4140 Southwest Freeway.
But that’s not where she “stumbled upon” speed painting.
She decided to enter the Miss Texas pageant, which picks the Lone Star State’s representative to the annual Miss America scholarship pageant.
“One of the main things that separates Miss America from other pageants is the talent competition, and I saw another contestant create a charcoal drawing for her talent,” Wheatley said.
That gave her an idea to paint art in a 90-second exhibition.
Wheatley was crowned Miss Houston 2015 at a pageant Nov. 2 at the University of Houston’s University Center.
Wheatley often speed paints in her appearances as a Miss Houston titleholder, such as her performance for an audience of youngsters at Miller Outdoor Theatre that launched Domestic Violence Awareness Month last fall. For that presentation, she chose the Michael Jackson song “Beat It” for musical accompaniment.
“I was inspired in that Michael was all about peace and more specifically, peace through his music,” Wheatley said.
“In the actual video (of ‘Beat It’), he stopped a gang fight and everyone danced with him. This is what I want to encourage our youth to do.
“Bullying and gang violence plague our school systems and our community,” Wheatley said.
“Using an illustration of an iconic figure such as Michael Jackson allows me to reach the hearts of students and engage them in rethinking their actions before they commit acts of violence.”
For more information about Wheatley, visit chynawheatley.wix.com/htoh.
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