Pam McCorkindale's painting, The Memory of You, has clinched the People's Choice Award in the Impressions Art Awards in Nelson.
For the woman who left a career in banking in London to return to her hometown Nelson and indulge her passion for painting, the award is a huge confidence booster.
It was one of 72 artworks selected from 170 entries to go on show at the Refinery Art Space.
While it did not win one of the judges' awards, it was voted winner of the Impressions Tony Allain People's Choice Award.
McCorkindale said the award was a complete surprise.
However, she is a committed artist, and combined her art studies with a high pressure job in London's financial district, developing and managing new credit card products and consulting to various banks on behalf of Mastercard.
She had studied at The Learning Connexion, in Wellington, and in London completed a two-year Fine Arts course at the highly regarded City Literary Institute that required 11 hours a week of tutored class as well as work at home.
"It was quite a full on couple of years but it was fun," she said.
After 10 years in London she has stepped away from her corporate career and come home to establish her art career, so the award is timely.
"This is a huge step, more than I could have expected and I am incredibly grateful for it," she said.
Her intention with The Memory of You was to convey to the viewer "remembering a person they care about and imagining themselves in a different time".
While the face of the woman portrays a clear sentiment, the rest of her is not so defined to convey the impression of her imagining herself far away.
Arts Council Nelson community arts manager Lloyd Harwood said three paintings stood out as firm favourites for the voting public, with the race so close it required a recount.
By just one vote The Memory of You clinched the award over Karen Neal's Lace Moko Three which also won the Impressions Supreme Award, closely followed by Adrian Barrett's work Pukeko on Piano.
All voters went into a draw for a $200 voucher redeemable at the Icon Gallery and Sculpture Park, which was won by Cath Robinson.
The Memory of You is for sale for $3800.
- © Fairfax NZ News