South Cantabrian Esther Deans proved artistic talent runs in her blood after her entry in a major portrait competition was named highly commended.
The 31-year-old granddaughter of the late Austen Deans received the award for a self-portrait but it wasn't the artwork she initially wanted to enter in the Adam Portraiture Awards.
The piece she wanted to enter wasn't finished in time, so she quickly found something else to hand in.
"I'm surprised it got in. It's exciting and a little surreal," she said.
Although mainly self-taught, she said she learnt a lot from her grandfather. When she was enrolling for studies, it was a toss-up between English and Art.
English won out until a couple of years ago, when she started painting part-time.
Originally from Peel Forest but now living in Auckland, Miss Deans is inspired by people and psychology and her background in English literature feeds into her inspirations as well.
The portrait that gained the commendation is a "blueish self-portrait" in her preferred medium of oil. She chose to use blue tones because she was looking for reflective colours.
This is the second time Miss Deans has entered the Adam Portraiture Awards, but she believes she has improved a lot this time around.
There were more than 330 entries this year. Miss Deans' work was one of five to be highly commended out of 61 finalists on display at Wellington's Portrait Gallery.
- © Fairfax NZ News