Leeds Castle Watercolour Winner Announced

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Leeds Castle Watercolour Winner Announced

Kent artist Graham Clarke has selected Clare Weatherill as the winner of this summer's watercolour painting competition.

Earlier this summer, Leeds Castle was on the hunt for England’s finest undiscovered artistic talent. After inviting everyone in Kent and beyond to paint the majestic 900 year old Castle in watercolour, they received over 40 fantastic entries.

With so many entries to choose from, they invited local artist, Graham Clarke, to select the winner. Graham is an artist, author, illustrator, humourist and Kent Ambassador, who h has produced thousands of watercolours of Kent.

The winning entry, selected by Graham, was painted by Clare Weatherill from Fulham.

Graham said: “The entries are all of a very high standard but the picture that stands out to me has a marvellous observation of the subject matter and is the most accomplished. The composition and angle is just right. There are so many lovely angles of the Castle to choose to paint from. My pictures are always based on where there is somewhere comfortable to sit and paint from!”

Clare said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have won the competition doing something I love. I have really enjoyed the whole process and it is very exciting that my watercolour has won. I visited the Castle back in August on a gloriously sunny day. As a keen golfer, I chose to nestle myself under some trees close to the golf course where I sat and painted for most of the afternoon. On my way out I noticed the wooden punts on the moat, which I felt I had to add when I got home. I painted this in using a photograph as reference.”

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The Castle also received six entries from pupils at Trinity School in Rochester; an independent day school specialising in teaching children aged 6 to 18 with a diagnosis of speech, language and communication difficulties, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Graham awarded Freya Bond (aged 10) and William Cook (aged 9) a special commendation for their colourful interpreatations of the Castle. The class receives a free school trip to the Castle.

An exhibition of all entries to the competition is now on display in Costa at Leeds Castle until the end of October (please note that valid entrance ticket to Leeds Castle is required to see the exhibition). Clare’s winning entry will be available to purchase as a print and on a range of merchandise next spring.


Below is Graham Clarke with the winning painting by Clare Weatherill (photo courtesy of the Leeds Castle Foundation)


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