An award-winning Scottish artist who began her career as a single mum has won a major national art prize with her tribute to single parenthood.
Jennifer McRae from North Berwick was this week named as the winner of the 2019 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize for her portrait of three generations of women in her family: her granddaughter, her daughter and her. The painting, Past, Present and Future: Tracing the Female Line, wins McRae £20,000 and a gold medal.
The judges said that McRae’s work was ‘a beautifully rendered self-portrait showing the artist at work. It demonstrated great sensitivity and created a sense of intrigue about the figures.”
Reacting to her win at the Mall Galleries in London on Tuesday, Jennifer McRae said: “The drinks are on me! To win the Lynn Painter-Stainers prize is very special. I’m going to ring my family with the news right now. When I started, my daughter was one of my main models. Now my granddaughter is. It’s a natural progression.
“There’s a story behind my painting. When I’m started in art, I was a single mum, which was really hard. Back then, being a young single mum was more unusual. But my art school, Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, made everything easy. They helped me hugely. It made such a big different to my life.”
McRae, who is now married, is a member of the Royal Scottish Academy and has had her work displayed in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. She has painted many well-known figures include Sir Chris Hoy, Dame Judi Dench, Baroness Gail Rebuck and Kirsty Wark.
Second prize of £4,000 went to Lara Cobden from Norwich for The Winterkeeper’s Cabin.
The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize the UK’s highest-funded annual art competition for representative and figurative art – art based on the real world.
Other winners on the night were Charlie Schaffer from Brighton, who won the Brian Botting Prize for figurative art, worth £5,000, and Ewan White from New Malden, who was named Young Artist, also worth £4,000. The Daphne Todd Prize for £2,000 went to James Lloyd from North London.
The Lynn Painter-Stainers competition is open to any artist resident in the UK painting or drawing works of representational or figurative art and over 18-years-old.
81 artists were shortlisted for the prize out of 1,191 who entered this year’s competition. This represents the highest level of entries in the prize’s 14-year history.
Created in 2005 by The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and The Lynn Foundation, the competition champions the skill of draughtsmanship and figurative painting. The exhibition aims to reflect the breadth of approaches and materials from across the artistic spectrum.