JANE Braithwaite is in the home straight as she looks to complete her prize winning commissioned piece of horse racing art.
But the Delph born and based painter is more than happy to be saddled with her race against time.
As revealed on the Independent website, former school teacher Jane, 63, was a four to one shot to win the Silk Series Best Racing Picture Award by a Female Artist.
And thanks to her outstanding brush skills and with a little help from Saddleworthians who voted for her in a social media poll, she scooped the first prize including a £1,000 commission to produce a piece of work celebrating The Silk Series and female jockeys.
That left Jane with only three weeks to produce her winning piece to be presented when the nine race Series concludes at the world-famous St Leger meeting at Doncaster on September 14.
“It’s panic time for me now,” laughed Jane. “I am painting every second of the day.
“I haven’t really got a brief other than a celebratory piece of work. The problem is I don’t know who the winner is going to be because the final race of the series is at Doncaster.
“It is bit of a challenge. But I have painted at least one horse,” smiled Jane, an associate member of the Society of Equestrian Artists.
The finished piece will hang at the 38th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Equestrian Artists – Horse in Art (September 23 to October 7 at Sally Mitchell’s Gallery at the Museum of the Horse in Tuxford, Nottinghamshire).
Jane started her painting career at Manchester College of Art in the early 1970s and later moved into teaching and for 15 years ran Saddleworth Riding and Country Wear in Uppermill.
“I had horses all my life until about 20 years ago,” she explained. “Unfortunately, I lost the horse I used to ride and didn’t replace him.
“It’s such a huge financial commitment and there are other things to do. If you have horses, you don’t have time for anything else.
“And I wouldn’t be painting now if I still had horses. But I love seeing fit thoroughbred horses.
“And while I am not a betting person particularly I love to see horses well cared for. And you see them at the races.”
Jane has exhibited locally and nationally since 2014 and has won a number of awards for her work – Patchings Open Art Competition 2014 and Best in show at The Horse in Art 2016 Society of Equestrian Artists (SEA) Annual Open Exhibition, among others.
“I am thrilled to bits with the whole thing and it is just spurring me on. I paint pretty much all the time from 9.30am to 6pm with just 30 minutes for lunch.
“A painting can take anything from 10 days to four weeks depending on size and complexity.
“But I feel I have come an awful long way since I picked up a paint brush again after a gap of 40 years.”