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Inspired win for artist George

Art can inspire other art and this was certainly the case with George Shotton who produced a prize-winning painting after a masterpiece at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle left a lasting impression.

Art can inspire other art and this was certainly the case with George Shotton who produced a prize-winning painting after a masterpiece at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle left a lasting impression.

George, from North Shields, was inspired by the prominent red sky in John Martin's painting The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which draws the eye as visitors enter the art gallery in New Bridge Street.

He came up with Dead Dinosaurs - an acrylic work based on the composition of Martin's painting - showing cranes in a Wallsend shipyard outlined against a dramatic red and yellow sky.

And the atmospheric painting has been judged overall winner of the leading Inspired by art competition, in which George beat stiff competition in the North-East.

He said: "I'm really pleased to win the competition - it was totally unexpected."

A volunteer on the People's Panel at the Laing, George has been painting all his life and recently began a GCSE level two in art at his local YMCA.

"I am a self-taught painter and to win the Inspired by competition is amazing," he added.

Tyne & Wear Museums is involved in the annual competition which is led by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and is open to anyone on a part-time art course.

Its aim is to encourage adults to visit museums and galleries and take inspiration from art and history collections to create their own piece of art.

George had applied to the competition last year and was delighted to receive a letter asking him to participate again this year. More than 20 mature students entered from the region and their work was judged by a panel of museum curators.

Their entries are exhibited in an online web exhibition, designed and created by students at Northumbria University.

To view the competition entries, including George's Dead Dinosaurs, visit www.twmuseums.org.uk/ inspiredby.

A selection of the work is also on display at the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead until June 2.

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