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A school teaching assistant is celebrating after winning a top art award.

Trudy Harman, who teaches at Glemsford Primary Academy’s nursery, submitted a pastel drawing of her dog, Fergal, for the national Jackson’s Painting Prize.

She admitted she was shocked to discover she had been named the winner of the People’s Choice Award.

Trudy, 45, said: “It is the first time I have submitted a piece of my work for a competition – I just thought it was a good way of getting my name out there.

“I was pretty chuffed and surprised when I found out I had made the shortlist, let alone to hear that I had won the award. To say I am over the moon is an understatement.

“I only started drawing for friends and family and it has gone on from there.”

Describing her submission, Trudy said: “I wanted to capture the character of my dog.

“He is a proud dog but has a gentle soul shown in his eyes. I wanted to show the different colours of his fur in different lights.”

Specialising in wildlife, equine and pet portraits, Trudy has worked in graphic design, but only returned to art two years ago.

She said: “I have found a new love of drawing. It takes me away and helps me to relax and when you have someone say how well you have captured their pet, it is a great feeling.

“I also use my love of art to help the children at Glemsford Primary Academy.”

While continuing to focus on animal drawings, Trudy revealed she is starting to take her art in a new direction including landscapes.

To see more of Trudy’s work, visit https://trudyharman.myportfolio.com/.