AN artist has shared her excitement after her oil painting of Harwich Quay won a prestigious award.

Jenny Aitken is a full-time artist, who was initially inspired by her granddad, who was also a painter.

Since her childhood, her grandfather and parents encouraged Jenny to pursue her passion for art.

Her oil painting, 'Sundown at Harwich Quay' won the Baltic Exchange Award at the Royal Society Marine awards.

At the time she was working on the painting, Jenny was teaching at the Old Bank Studios, run by Bev and Nigel Caleno.

She also won an award at the RSMA last year for her painting of a Harwich fishing boat.

Jenny said: “I will always be drawn to the sea. I grew up spending a lot of time on the island of Alderney, my father's home. 

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Art - Jenny's painting Sundown at Harwich QuayArt - Jenny's painting Sundown at Harwich Quay (Image: Jenny Aitken)

“My uncle worked in the chandlery on the island, and again I remember loving the scent of diesel and oil off the boats, seaweed and salt in the air. 

“The love of the sea eventually took me to Aberystwyth for university, studying art and art history.

"I had my first exhibition in 1999, just before my eldest child was born.”

Jenny shared the painting took her just a single day in the studio to complete.

She added: “This may seem quick, but every artist has a different pace depending on how they work. 

“The actual painting is only one part of the process. The photography and design of the eventual painting is just as important.”

When asked about how it felt to win the award, Jenny said: “It was overwhelmingly encouraging, a huge award for me.

"The exhibition is full of excellent work - it feels incredible to be selected, let alone win something!

“The RSMA is run by dedicated full time artists, many of whom have inspired me for most of my career. It's a wonderful feeling to receive their vote of confidence in this way.

“Most artists feel they are only as good as their next painting, and I'm no different - so as happy as I am, I'm already thinking how can I make the next painting better?”