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Countryside art wins anniversary contest
Abingdon artist Caroline Ritson won the Artweeks poll to find the perfect image of Oxon and is holding her painting with sponsor Simon Nutbrown
After more than 600 votes, the winner of a countywide art competition has been chosen.
The Big Artweeks Poll launched in April and asked people to vote for their favourite out of 30 pieces of art, painted by local artists with Oxfordshire in mind.
Caroline Ritson’s Greenman found on Wittenham Clumps proved the most popular and took first place.
The piece shows a face hidden in the hedgerows, which is more easily seen the further away from the painting you move.
The Big Oxfordshire Poll attracted works of art from a variety of mediums including photography, paintings, wood carving and even embroidery.
Votes were cast between April 2 and May 27, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Oxfordshire Artweeks.
The event saw artists from all over the county throw open the doors to their studios for free.
Mrs Ritson exhibited at Chipping Norton Theatre from May 5 to 12.
Mrs Ritson, a mother-of-one from Abingdon, said: “I am thrilled to win.
“I love to paint the rich flora of Oxfordshire and feel that my painting sums up both the beauty of Oxfordshire’s natural areas and the underlying spirit of an older belief in Mother Nature.
“I have done a series of paintings of the image of the Green man or lady from folklore as I find them hidden in foliage.”
Mrs Ritson will receive £300 worth of printing from the sponsors of the competition, Artistpublishers.com in the form of greeting cards or prints.
Second in the competition was Jane Tomlinson, 49, from Eynsham, West Oxfordshire, with her painting Towards Uffington.
Anna Dillon, 39, from Aston Tirrold in the south of the county, came third with her painting Devil’s Delight.
Both win £100 of Artpublishers.com printing.
Ms Tomlinson said: “I’m very pleased that my painting was so highly regarded by the public.
“Most of the time I work alone and it’s really hard to judge your own work in the vacuum of your own studio and your own thoughts.
“To have my painting seen by the public and heartily approved of gives me a real boost and impetus.”
Ms Dillon said: “I was delighted. My painting is of The Devil’s Punchbowl near Wantage and The Ridgeway.
“Oxfordshire has some of the most unique landscapes.”
Simon Nutbrown from Artistpublishers.com said: “The standard of entries was extremely high and hopefully this competition has helped raise the profile of the wonderful artists and their art in Oxfordshire.”
Prints of all the artists’ work are available to buy at www.artistpublishers.com