An intricate painting of bees buzzing about a mass of bold paeonies has caught the judge’s attention at the Blossom Festival Art Exhibition 2020.

The work by Alexandra artist Dorothy Piper, titled Paeonies and Honey Bees, was the premier award winner at this year’s event.

Ms Piper was honoured to receive the accolade.

“I was absolutely thrilled and really pleased, considering the quality of the art work in the exhibition as a whole, that mine should be selected as the winner,” she said.

“It makes it special.”

The watercolour took Ms Piper about two months to complete.

“That’s not full-time painting because it’s highly detailed and I can only paint for a maximum of two hours at a time.


Eye-catching blooms . . . Paeonies and Honey Bees, by Dorothy Piper (pictured), was named premier winner at this year’s Blossom Festival Art Exhibition. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/DOROTHY PIPER


“I’ve got to go and have a break and then come back to it.”

She also only focuses on one painting at a time, ensuring each of her works gets her undivided attention until the creation is complete.

The exhibition, hosted by the Central Otago Art Society, featured 153 art works, across a range of media and subjects.

Artists from across Central Otago comprised a large portion of exhibitors.

Among them were society president Nigel Wilson, who showcased his range of expressionistic landscapes crafted with a pallet brush, and judge and guest artist Victoria Claire Dawes, who displayed a collection of her ceramic tableware and interior installations.

The exhibition closed on Friday.

Award winners

  • Premier award: Dorothy Piper
  • Highly commended: Lynn Grace, Karl Jensen, Aimee Bunnage
  • Revival category: Helen Blair
  • Elizabeth Stevens Memorial Award: Nigel Wilson
  • People’s Choice: Karl Jensen

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