Painter of the Year
We meet the winner of our inaugural landscape art competition
THE SEARCH for the EDP Norfolk magazine Landscape Painter of the Year is over.
After poring over the host of wonderful entries the five-strong judging panel’s votes were counted – and Shotesham artist Lesley Munro was declared the winner. The Glasgowborn painter was thrilled when told that she had won; “I can’t believe it! That’s wonderful - the best news I’ve had in a while. It just goes to show that all the hard work does pay off!”
The judges loved Lesley’s bold, confident works and her striking use of colour in
Shotesham Summer Evening and Riverside, Norwich. “I think the strength and use of colour, as well as draughtsmanship, appeals to me most in Lesley Monroe’s image of Riverside,” commented James Colman, of sponsors Paint Out. Anita Barry of Gallyons was also impressed by her “fine detail and inspiring use of colour”.
“I am certainly inspired by light and colour,” says Lesley. “I love the depth of colour and I want people looking at my work to feel they’re in it. I sketch all the time; I love drawing things and I’m always taken by my surroundings in the countryside, seeing beauty that I want to capture.”
Lesley has had a lifelong passion for art and her home and garden studio are filled with her beautiful works. She grew up in Glasgow and went to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, before the bright lights of London beckoned and Lesley began a career, initially with Grampian TV in advertising, before moving to trendy marketing agency Toys in the Attic.
London was where she met and married her first husband; children and a move to Kent followed, putting her art on the back burner. But she always retained her love for painting and, 15 years later, found herself back in her native Scotland, teaching art at Dunblane High School. “I didn’t teach Andy Murray though!” she laughs.
She had a spell as the ‘artist in residence’ with giant engineering contractors Babcock – her works grace the walls of a boardroom and a shipboard naval wardroom – and she found love again with Ken, the firm’s HR director.
She passed her creative streak to her
children – daughter Catriona lives in the same village and is an interior designer while son Ruari works in London as a designer with a web agency.
Lesley and Ken, who have been married for 15 years, moved to the village a couple of years ago and have fallen in love with living in Norfolk and with the spectacular views of the Tas Valley they enjoy from their huge picture windows. Chocolate Labrador Dexter and spaniel Ted also love the countryside and often accompany Lesley as she sketches or paints in her studio.
Lesley is continuing to experiment and push her boundaries with different styles; she is currently working on paintings with north Norfolk as the subject and hopes that her success in our Painter of the Year competition will help her to find a gallery to showcase her work. In the meantime she will be taking part in Norfolk Open Studios from May 27 until June 11.
Below: EDP Norfolk Magazine Landscape Painter of the Year Lesley Munro receiving the award from editor Dominic Castle at her Shotesham home
Above: Lesley Munro Shotesham Summer Evening
Right: Lesley’s Riverside, Norwich
EDP Norfolk magazine Landscape Painter of the Year Lesley Munro sketching in the undulating scenery of the Tas Valley near her home. On the right are some of her recent coastal pieces