Win a painting worth £300

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the North Norfolk News's popular series of art competitions, and, to celebrate, the paper is giving away a fantastic original painting by watercolour artist Simon Trinder.

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the North Norfolk News's popular series of art competitions, and, to celebrate, the paper is giving away a fantastic original painting by watercolour artist Simon Trinder.

Beautifully framed by Picturecraft of Holt, the picture, which is worth more £300, is inspired by the north Norfolk countryside.

Since launching our weekly gallery competition in February 2006, we have given away framed prints and original paintings worth a total of more than £7,000.

The pictures, by nearly 100 artists living and working in the north Norfolk area, have featured subjects ranging from sea birds to local landmarks.

We have had a tremendous response to the competitions, with readers, artists and galleries agreeing that the News has helped raise the profile of art in the area.

Jim Witherspoon, who owns the Stable Gallery at Kelling, exhibits work by more than 20 local artists, many of whom have taken part in the News's gallery competition.

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“Our artists have been really keen to take part as, especially for people who don't paint full-time, it gives them a chance to show another side of their personality,” he said.

“The other thing is that the competition has helped to make art more accessible. It has brought it into the homes of people who might not normally buy pictures and will hopefully encourage them to collect more.”

Picturecraft managing director Adrian Hill said: “The feature is a good opportunity for a whole cross section of artists to showcase their work on a weekly basis. It is fantastic to think that the area can house 100 artists, which I think is testimony to the wealth of talent we have got here.”

Competition winners have, without exception, been delighted with their prizes, with many people wanting to win specific paintings for sentimental reasons.

The winner of this week's super painting will have the opportunity to meet artist Simon Trinder when they collect their prize from Picturecraft.

Simon, who hails from Surrey, worked at the family market garden before carving a career as a tree surgeon and landscape gardener.

A lifelong nature lover, he began painting birds and wildlife for pleasure, following in the footsteps of his father - a keen amateur artist - and his grandfather, who was an art teacher.

A member of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation since the early 1970s, Simon is inspired by the wildlife of Norfolk and Suffolk.

“Basically, shooting is part of my life and it is because of it that I became and artist,” he said. “I am passionate about conservation and shooting, and I know it might seem like a bit of a paradox, but I do believe the two should go hand in hand.”

Painting from memory, Simon, who is entirely self-taught, aims to recreate the image he sees in his mind's eye.

Once he began exhibiting his work, Simon quickly attracted the interest of art lovers and gallery owners, and within 4 months of selling his first picture in 1989, he decided to give up gardening and tree surgery to paint full time.

His first major show, at Pensthorpe nature reserve, Fakenham, was a huge success, with Simon, who paints every day, selling around 80 per cent of the pictures on display.

He went on have a further 3 one-man shows at Pensthorpe, also exhibiting at galleries at Norwich and Hunstanton, and at country fairs in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Simon moved to north Norfolk in 1996 and began producing pictures of the local landscape.

And although he now lives at Snape, Suffolk, he still visits the area - which he says is his main inspiration - at least once a week.

You can see more of Simon Trinder's work at Le Strange Old Barns, Hunstanton, Tudor Galleries, Norwich and at Picturecraft Gallery, Lees Yard Holt, where he will be staging his fourth one-man show from July 12-16.

The gallery, which is divided into thirty-two separate alcoves, each one dedicated to an individual exhibitor, stages 10 exhibitions a year. It also hosts 7 major shows, which will this year include an exhibition by the prestigious Society of Women Artists.

For opening times, or more information, visit, phone 01263 711040. To contact Simon Trinder, email:

To enter the competition turn to page 7 of this week's North Norfolk News.