Rose's artistic talent is flowering

By Rebecca SheppardMOST children only have their artwork displayed on the family's fridge.But one six-year-old girl is celebrating after winning a competition to have her painting exhibited in the National Gallery.

By Rebecca Sheppard

MOST children only have their artwork displayed on the family's fridge.

But one six-year-old girl is celebrating after winning a competition to have her painting exhibited in the National Gallery.

Rose Watkins Jones, from Ipswich, scooped first prize in her age category in the In the Pinks competition, which challenged children to use Raphael's The Madonna of the Pinks as inspiration for their own artwork.


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The youngster also beat her father, Jevan, who is an artist, in getting her picture exhibited in the gallery first.

He said: “We are glowing with pride this morning. We had a joke when we sent the painting off that maybe Rose would get there before me.”

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When Rose's watercolour painting is returned by the National Gallery, Mr Watkins Jones may also have to relinquish the best picture space in their house. “It will have pride of place over the mantelpiece - the prime position,” he said.

Rose, who Mr Watkins Jones described as “absolutely bowled over” by her success, has grown up in an artistic environment and shown a keen interest in the arts.

Her father is a semi figurative artist and an art teacher at Christchurch Mansion and Firstsite at the Minories Art Gallery in Colchester, while her mother, Debbie, is a dance teacher.

Mr Watkins Jones, of Hatfield Road, said Rose interpreted Raphael's 16th-Century masterpiece - which depicts the Virgin and Child in a bedchamber passing flowers, named pinks. In the background a window opens to a sun-drenched landscape.

“We thought it was a good idea to buy some pinks from the florist and put them in a vase. It just proceeded from there and unfolded as children's paintings do,” he added.

“Rose's picture shows a Madonna-come-princess and a reclining baby. What was nice about the idea was that she wanted to do the sky full of pinks and there are pinks flowing down from the sky as well as two lovely large birds.”

Judges for the competition included artist Peter Blake and Carol Plazzotta, curator of the forthcoming Raphael exhibition, and they picked out Rose's painting from hundreds of entries to the contest.

Rose's work, and the paintings of 19 other winning young artists, will be displayed at the National Gallery's exhibition from August 15 to September 14.

But the youngster has no plans to become a full-time artist when she grows up. “She is stuck on hairdressing at the moment,” said Mr Watkins Jones.

rebecca.sheppard@eadt.co.uk

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