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A STUNNING watercolour painting capturing the unmistakable skyline of New York has won a Bolton-born artist a top award in a Sunday Times competition.

Multi-award winning artist Janet Kenyon was the winner of the Smith and Williamson Cityscape prize for her painting entitled Gridlock (Manhattan).

The competition is the described as the most prestigious watercolour competition in the country, which attracted more than 1,000 entries.

It is the second time Janet, who studied arts at Bolton College of Art and Design, has won the sought-after prize, after she won over judges in 2009 with her painting Northern Lights, Blackpool.

Janet, who grew up in Farnworth and now lives in Carlisle, said: "My inspiration for painting Gridlock (Manhattan), was after a recent trip to New York.

"Whilst viewing the city from The One World trade Centre, I was taken by the shear expanse of buildings all concentrated into a relatively small area.

"The way the light and shade played on the structures, all fighting for space, organised, yet chaotic, caught in a gridlock with the only option left but to climb ever more vertical."

Janet, who graduated in graphic design at Leeds Polytechnic, is one of just 69 painters shortlisted from the entries to display their work in the Mall Galleries, London, from September 19 to 24 and her work will be featured on The Smith and Williamson tour taking place until next spring.

Her distinctive landscapes have been exhibited in many leading galleries including the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh and The Lowry.

The former Harper Green School pupil said: "I visited New York at the end of March earlier this year.

"I'm delighted to have won the Cityscape prize and have my work recognised by such a prestigious judging panel.

"The other winning paintings are amazing and completely different to mine.

"I enjoy the challenge of painting in watercolour because it's not the easiest of mediums, there's a lot of trial and error which makes it all the more rewarding when it does work out."

Her paintings will be exhibited at the Buy Art Fair at the Old Granada Studios from September 22 to 25.