The Official Infoweave Presence of Alex van der Wijst
VANWIJST.COM Family members tap their creativity in a frantic competition to win The Steggly Cup! Find out how this year's competition turned out by reading onward.

Another year and another competition -but this year with a twist! New rules were introduced in 2009. Basically, everybody had to come up with the best egg ideas they could think of (just like before), but then write them down and put them into a hat. From there participants had to draw someone else's idea and actualize it. Whoa! Some might argue that this new format penalizes the truly creative and favours participants with mere technical competence by transfering good ideas from one to the other, but a counter argument can be made that it encourages sponteneity by precluding participants from planning in advance. The only way to decide whether it was an improvement or not is to view the results and judge for yourself!
SMURFEGG by Bob. Given the theme of smurf, there really weren't a lot of places an artist could creatively take this egg and still stay on theme. Nevertheless, Bob tried. Oh, how he tried! He put a little creative spin on the idea and.... voila! A smurf with two noses! Brilliant! And just for good measure he added a witch's hat and too much lipstick, just to keep it fresh. Bob had broken out of the box of convention, but did he break into the box of good art? Not this time.
TOY by Chris. What is it, a Mr. Potato head with a pirate hat? Where's the colour? The detail? The visible webs of glue? Oh wait, there they are. I think the consensus on this egg was that the artist could have taken the theme further.
MOUSE by Fern. The theme was mouse, not French mustache with mouse attached. And why the devil horns? I think the judges were too confused by this piece to vote for it.
DOG ROADKILL by Connor. To be fair to this artist, he was sticking perfectly to the "dog" theme he was assigned right up to the point when his egg was accidentally knocked off the table by a fellow competitor. He did his best salvaging the piece, but it still comes across as just a little tasteless. What's next, drowned kittens? Not if you want to win votes!
THINGS IN A WASHROOM by Tyler. OK, sure, it's a thing in a washroom. So far so good. But why is it in the toilet? And why does it seem to be enjoying itself? And why - for the love of god why?! - does the rim of the toilet dip down in front?!? The subtext is that the Thing In The Toilet is about to have a Thing On The Washroom Floor, and that's just nasty to contemplate. The judges didn't want to contemplate it either.
NURSERY RHYME by Clare. Does the easter egg competition need another Humpty Dumpty? The judges consensus - it's been done.
RACECAR by Marty. If you look at this entry objectively, the presence of front wheels only and a handle on the back make it look distinctly like a wheelbarrow. Sure, it has a toothy grin and an attacking worm has drawn blood from the forehead region... sorry, where was I going with this? This vehicle drove a long way from the theme, which hurt its chances of placing on the podium.
CARTOON by Mog. Well, Mog's only one year old, and was slightly disadvantaged by the fact that her evil (yet well-meaning) parents don't let her watch cartoons. But, you know, I personally expected more from her. The composition was a bit stale, and the execution bungled. Try harder Mog!
ZOO by Robin. The new rules benefited some artists more than others, and this one showed more improvement than most. Sure he didn't make the podium, but he definitely took a huge step in the right direction. His zoo composition shows a remarkably realistic lion imprisoned in a stylized wrought iron cage. Well OK so it's wrought plastic, and the lion is wearing fluorescent pink lipstick, but if you look back at the artist's submissions in previous years you can't help but be impressed by how far he's come.
ALIEN II by Colin. Another winner in the new themed format, this artist really bloomed in the more structured environment. Forbidden from drowning his eggs (as he was wont to do in previous competitions), he was forced outside of his mental aquarium. The positive results are obvious: a balanced composition and green afro. It's too bad there's not a "most improved artist" category, because this is one on the make.
TEACHER by Alex. You should have heard the groan when this artist drew his theme. Persevering against all bias and cynicism, the artist adapted the theme to his signature deconstructionist style. The problem was the judges only saw the third grade teacher from their nightmares wearing nothing but a pauper's barrel. Net result: no votes.
CIRCUS ACT by Cathy. This artist held her own in the new rule regime. A quirky clown, clearly enjoying the fact that his arms have stretched like rubber bands evokes all the fun and whimsy of your traditional circus act. The problem, as always with this type of submission, is the persistent phobia of clowns that runs in the family. The final evaluation: artistically meritous, but competitively a no show.
BLACK KNIGHT by Jen. There was a day when this kind of cute piece would have thrust its creator onto the podium, but the degree of competition has become just too heated these days for a raisin riding a mummified donkey. The piece is stiff and formal, which further discouraged the empathy of the voters. Aloof, patrician; call it what you will, you can't call it a winner.
EXTREME SPORTS by Amy. A cute expression, a creative take on an interesting theme: on the surface at least this entry has everything going for it. But where is the impression of movement, the element of danger, the rationally styled hair? And why has gravity pulled harder on the inside of the character's eyebrows than on the rest? In the end these glitches made it hard for the judges to feel the scene, and thus they passed it over.
MOON by Clare. Is that the man in the moon or a well-buttered croissant? A bit of sugar glaze and little dollop of raspberry jam complete this tasty little treat. Why this tasty treat is displayed on an oil rag held together with cobwebs and gum is a bit of a mystery, one that the judges never solved.
SPACE MONSTER by Connor. Who doesn't like grotesque space monsters traveling about the universe in a jar of their own ooze? Nobody that I know of! So why wasn't this a winner? The story goes that this entry's number got lost in the shuffle, so of course no one could vote for it. My personal take? It's the government trying to cover things up yet again.
BIRD by Lea. A well-composed scene, complete with nest, flock and... giant feathers? The Easter palette creates a consistancy that is rudely interrupted by.... a superman cape? This piece hits more than it misses, but for the judges it was the misses that stood out.
SALAD by Cheryl. Clever. Tasty. But art? This ain't Food TV, honey.
GLORIFIED RELIGION by Chris. This could have been a contentious topic, but fortunately Chris drew it. The worst case scenario now is that Tim Burton will be inspired to make another animated movie. I guess the jugdes don't go for that whole goth scene, since this egg didn't place.
FLYING INSECT by Cathy. This cacaphony of colour and fleury of feathers creates an eye-pleasing extravaganza the likes of which we have come to expect from this artist. Over the top, almost baroque in execution, this piece screamed "vote for me!" Unfortunately the actual egg itself wasn't decorated, so... no votes here!
OUTER SPACE by Mog. Is this a rocket ship or a science experiment? And if it's a science experiment, is the pressure from the pop can supposed to launch you into space or function as a really, really powerful bidet? The judges all squirmed when they thought about it too much, so they took their votes elsewhere.
DUCKY by Fern. It's a really cute little bird -built kinda like a chickadee, or maybe a chick. Duck, though? The consensus was that the artist should take an anatomy class (see next entry).
HUMAN ANATOMY by Lea. A very interesting entry from a very interesting topic. The attention to detail is as commendable as it is ghoulish. Perhaps the work was just a little too scientifically precise to garner widespread support as a work of art, but the brilliant adaptation of the egg to a difficult topic must command the viewer's respect.
CIRCUS by Ryely. The topic was "circus", not "Tim Burton animated film cast reunion". C'mon Ryles, read the paper.
DRUMMER by Alex. A muppet rapping out a beat?!? How did this entry not win??? I'm going to go pout somewhere.
DEVIL by Lee Ann. At least the artist didn't do the obvious thing with mayonaise. The flames and the posturing are both a nice touch, but the work falls apart with the glued-on mouth drawing and the undyed-skin. Or maybe it is supposed to be a "white devil" like the Chinese slur against caucasians? At any event the judges took their votes elsewhere.
CHRISTMAS by Amy. A beautifully detailed close up of a christmas tree, complete with ornamental balls and tinsel. The "zoom-in" effect, doing only a fragment of a larger element, is a praise-worthy innovation. Why didn't it win? There was probably a bias among the judges against anything that reminded them of the interminable winter by the time Easter came around, but that's hardly the artist's fault. Luck of the draw with the new theme rules, I guess.
NOISE by Marty. A challenging theme was given a run for its money by this up-and-coming artist. Ear protection, a jack-hammer and maybe just a bit of dynamite give the definite impression of loudness. Unfortunately, the fellow in the work seems to be enjoying noise-making entirely too much, and no one likes "that guy". Thus no votes, no win.
ROBBER BARON by Robin. To be honest, this artist has been invited to attend all these years for the express purpose of making all the other artists look better by comparison. But far from lacking in artistic skill, his apparent handicap in years past was a deficiency of good ideas. Once he had to rely on other people's themes this artist became a serious contender for the podium. Here observe the Robin-Hood-esque character stealing an egg-carton full of cash (how typical for an egg-head). Note the impression of fluid movement, the devious expression, and the authority-beguiling mask -all combine to create a really believable piece. Maybe the artist didn't win this year, but it's a big step in the right direction. Watch out next year!

(left to right) KALMU, JEN and RYELY. There were a lot of winners this year, indicating an extremely close vote. If anyone of these people had failed to bribe a single voter then they could have easily lost their position on the podium. As unusual (for it's not terribly usual at all), the white trophy is for fourth place. The following three pictures are their entries, in no particular order.
HAWAIIAN EGG by Ryely. A lot of judges voted A+ for this one, but I'm sticking with double D. Support for this egg was particularly strong with the Hawaiians and young males within the family, and we don't have a lot of Hawaiians. Sally Fourth, Ryles!
MEXICAN EGG FROG by Kalmu. Hey, whatchu lookin' at, esse?!? The sombrero, the stoggie, the mustache -classic. And he's a frog. The symbolism is as profound as it is archane, as miasmic as it is dyspeptic, as blithe as it is photosynthetic. What the heck am I trying to say here???? The judges liked it, so onto the podium you go, Mr. Kalmu.
BEYOND THE GRAVE by Jen. Many artists would have taken the easy way out here with scrambled eggs and ketchup, but top marks to Jen for tapping the nursery rhyme votes and the vampire votes. Classic postmodern mismatch -solid white!

(left to right) TYLER, LEE ANN, KALMU, CHERYL. Jeez, it's starting to get a little crowded on that pedestal. So many people with bronze winning eggs; where to start??
EGGSISTENTIALIST by Tyler. Not one to be hampered or hindered by not understanding the theme he drew, this artist soldiered on creating a remarkable work of self-expression. Is this a winning egg, or does it just seem like it from the vantage of your own little life-world? Let's cut the philosophy short and cut to the chase while we're at it: the judges liked it enough to vote it bronze. Good work, Tyler!
TIME by Lee Ann. A devious topic for an egg decorating competition, but a brilliant riposte by this up-and -coming artist. Move over Mr. Rolex and take a hike Sir Swatch: people are going to be wearing these egg-timers en masse next fashion season. Contact the webmaster for franchise information. Congrats Lee Ann!
PEACOCK by Kalmu. To be fair, the theme for this egg was supposed to be the incomprehensible gibberish mumbled by a baby, which the artist somehow interpreted as meaning "peacock". Colourful, balanced and creative, this work had all the trappings of a winner. Too bad the judges thought it was an Indian smoking a cigar and wearing his headress, or it might have won gold. Nevertheless, I commend you on your most excellent achievement, sir!
BODILY FUNCTIONS by Cheryl. The machinations of a juvenile mind brought this topic to the competition, but it was this artist's recent study of the very same topic at a nursing seminar that gave it such life and... texture. The attention to the finest detail is almost anal -there I said it -but top marks for treating a natural process with such dignity instead of actualising the poo-joke that it was intended to be. Needless to say that after such hard work the artist was reportedly pooped. Hey, did you notice that bronze and poo have kinda the same lustre? If this artist had pushed a little harder she could have made Number 2. Alright, I'm going to stop.... poop Yay Cheryl!

COLIN A. CROSSMAN The ranks begin to thin as we approach the appex of the podium. After years of washouts owing to an obsession with subaquatic themes, the new competition rules forced this artist out of his box, aquarium, with amazing results.
SPACE by Colin. The final frontier, or so the topic-conceiver thought! An egg isn't terribly conducive to making planets, though it is kind of shaped like a Martian moon. And it only makes a passable rocket ship (see above). But the genius of this artist to see the theme from a new perspective brought him to the podium for the very first time. Sure the execution could have been a little more professional, but that's what first place is reserved for. Here at number two it's all about raw creativity. Second-from-top notch, Colin!

BOB At the pinnacle of the competitors there can be only one, towering giant: the ultimate winner. Continuing the van der Wijst family's streak of egg-decorating supremacy, the artist has solidified the dynasty's place in the annals of Eastertide.
HOME APPLIANCE by Bob. Another struggling artist once stuck in a rut - in this instance a rut of self-portraiture - has found success at last with the new rule structure. Compelled by the luck of the draw to create a home appliance of some sort or variety, the artist brilliantly adapted his egg to be the cooking elements and the oven pan in this winning submission. The oven door, the control dials, the display consol and the chique metallic finish combine to make this piece truly a work for the ages. Half-baked, you say? I think not. Now he's cookin' with gas!
Et c'est tout! We had a really good turn out and some Egg-straordinary entries this year. Look forward to seeing everybody out for 2010.