Washingtonian Sheila Wolk discusses her painting "Through the Ancient Victor," part of the Advertising Club of Metropolitan Washington's Art Auction for Special Olympics, at Mazza Gallerie on Saturday. Preview at 7 p.m.; auction at 8 p.m. The $10 admission includes parking, refreshments and wine bar. 466-6065.

I worked during the Winter Olympics for ABC- TV doing energetic, realistic portraits of the athletes. Doing someone like Eric Heiden, the speed skater, I have the show, the competition, the win.

When I did a painting to raise money for the Special Olympics, I found something better: love. To research this painting, I had to go beyond looking at photographs. I spent two days at the National Children's Center to meet retarded kids.

First, they see you and they smile; their eyes are piercing you. Then they put out their hands to know you, a kind of loving touch. They can teach us about love.

The lower portion of the painting shows how the handicapped used to be treated. I show the twisted hands. The upper portion is a child with Down's syndrome winning a race in the Special Olympics; the hands are raised in a triumph of love.