Painter of the Year

EDP Norfolk - - Inside -

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.

www.les­ley­munro.com www.nnopen­stu­dios.org.uk

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

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