VISITORS who voted for their favourite pictures in an open exhibition in Batley will see more of the same next year.
For the artists whose work finished in the top three in the voting will be invited to show more of their paintings in the gallery next year.
Off Piste, Jan Farthing’s stunning action painting of a skier bursting out of a snowy hillside set against a bright blue winter sky, proved a big hit with many and was voted the visitors’ favourite.
Asma Gora captured visitors’ votes and second place with a delicate painting of a Red Rose.
The surrealist style of Ian Leadbeater’s picture, René Magritte’s Armchair also found favour and was voted into third place.
Winning artist Jan Farthing was born and brought up in Yorkshire. Having lived most of her life in Scarborough, she moved to Morley four years ago. “I have been painting since the age of four and have never really stopped.
Jan jokes: “My ambition is to rule the world! And to bring the dynamics of the sea, surf and extreme sports into the city areas, to bring some life and fun into people’s lives.
“I want my work to be appreciated by young children as well as old and most of all I want to inspire others to take up art.”
Jan has exhibited extensively over the last 20 years. She currently has an art space at the Blue Crush, North Bay, Scarborough where she exhibits seascapes though she paints anything from cars to cats.
Asma Gora lives in Batley and says her favourite subject at school was art and she went on to study it at A level.
“There was something about being in the midst of paints, pencil and paper that seduced me,” she said. “At that age it was more about enjoying it.”
After many years Asma decided to pick up her paints and paintbrushes again to see if she still enjoyed it as much as she remembered.
“I decided to join a local art group that met once a week, they welcomed me with open arms, and I knew I had made the right decision. I was part of that group for four years.”
“My painting Red Rose was greatly influenced by the work of Georgia O’Keeffe.
“I love how her paintings first appear as if very few colours have been used, but on closer inspection you come to realise that there is more to her paintings than meets the eye.
“I love the way her pictures look as if they are magnified, where you can almost see layers upon layers. I hope people will enjoy my paintings as much as I enjoy painting them.”
For Ian Leadbeater, art has been a lifelong passion.
“I was grabbed by the power of art from a young age, probably at about seven years old,” he said.
“The wonder of it has never left me. As a teenager, I managed to secure a place at art school.
“I wanted to be a record sleeve designer, hopefully to all my favourite bands at the time. For various reasons this plan wasn’t implemented and I went down the pit instead. The rest is history.
“I never stopped painting though. It’s always been personal and exclusive as a result, I guess.”
“Batley is the first real exhibition I’ve been in. I am grateful for the opportunity and it sounds like the event has been very successful for all involved.”
“Rene Magritte’s Armchair is a landmark painting for me for lots of reasons and holds a history all of its own. It also allows me to give a nod to the great man. Different artists strike you for different reasons. Magritte has always been one of my favourites.”
The gallery’s 2012 open exhibition invited artists to submit up to three works for inclusion. The final exhibition featured 169 works from a submission of around 300 pieces.
The artworks will remain on show at Batley Library until June 16.