Meet the St Helens potrait artist wowing London’s art scene

Artist Laura Quinn
Artist Laura Quinn

An artist has the chance of scooping a £10,000 prize after being shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Laura Quinn, from Haydock, has been selected for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Artist Of The Year exhibition in London.

Mirror Mirror by Laura Quinn. It has been shortlisted for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation's Wildlife Artist of the Year exhibition

Mirror Mirror by Laura Quinn. It has been shortlisted for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation's Wildlife Artist of the Year exhibition

The painting, named Mirror Mirror, will be on display at the Mall Galleries in London from June 28 to July 2.

Laura, who has twice won the World of Glass’ annual arts prize, said: “I’m really glad just to be selected for it. I have entered a few times and have never been selected.

“It’s a really prestigious exhibition to be involved in and I’m really thrilled to be chosen for it.”

Laura mostly paints from photographs she has taken herself, but the image of a polar bear was taken by a couple who got in touch after seeing her on Portrait Artist Of The Year.

She said: “They had some really great images I thought would be good for paintings and they very kindly let me use them.

“They got some really good shots of the polar bear. I cropped the composition so it was just that one strip of the polar bear looking at the water.”

Laura is looking forward to the competition but is not confident of taking the top prize.

She said: “I’m not expecting to win at all. The standard is always very high.

“I’m quite a traditional painter and I think normally they tend to choose something that’s a little bit more unusual.

“I’m over the moon just to be involved in it.”

It is another step in a successful career for the 32-year-old, who works full-time as an artist since leaving her job as an accounts assistant.

She was a finalist on Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year 2014 and painted actor Sir Ian McKellen.

She did not win the competition, but the attention she received via the show proved to be an excellent stepping stone.

Since then, she has been busy with private commissions of portraits of humans and pets.

But she has also picked up awards after entering a host of competitions.

Last year Laura won first prize at St Helens Open Art Competition with a painting of her fiance Dylan Harris, who runs Lupine Travel.

And last week it was announced she had won best portrait in this year’s show with a portrait of a friend.

A portrait of Dylan was part of an Artists Of The Year exhibition in London by Artist And Illustraters magazine and her work was exhibited in Singapore a few months ago in a wildlife exhibition featuring international artists.

On Wednesday she went to a private viewing of the Face Value exhibition, featuring her work, at Collyer Bristow Gallery in London.

She plans to continue entering competitions as her career develops.