ARTISTS in North and West Oxfordshire have been showing off their paintings and other colourful creations.

Hundreds of artists from across the county have been displaying their work at studios and exhibitions for the 35th Oxfordshire Artweeks festival.

Starting from May 6, artists in South Oxfordshire were the first to invite art lovers to see what they had been creating.

Then last week it was the turn of artists in North and West Oxfordshire.

Oxford artists are now showing off their talents until Monday, May 29.

Alexandra Sertage, originally from Toronto in Canada, has been displaying at The Little Shop in High Street, Witney.

The 20-year-old said: "I have been living here since last summer – I show my work in The Little Shop, where they sell cards and gifts,

"I have been an artist for pretty much my whole life.

"I moved to this country to be with my partner James Adam and my work is on show in his parents' shop.

"We met through a friend who lives in the Witney area after I came to visit the town.

"I heard about Artweeks through a customer at Starbucks in Witney where I used to work."

Ms Sertage said customers at the shop had been very enthusiastic.

She said: "I like looking at people and drawing their faces.

"I took art in high school in Toronto and I like going to galleries to look at the work of great artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat – his work is unique."

Artist Jane Tomlinson lives in Eynsham and has been showing her maps and paintings at her home in Newland Close.

The mother-of-two, 54, who lives with her husband Moth, said: "This is the 18th year I have taken part in Artweeks.

"The festival allows people who would not otherwise go to a gallery to see stuff that might be meaningful and inspirational to them.

"Some people consider art to be highbrow but it's not, it's a sane response to an insane world.

"Art allows people to see the world in a different way and that is why I have been creating maps.

"My map of rock music uses pop art to chart the musical history of the last 50 years, since the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles in 1967."

"I also thought it would be fun to make some papier mache birds and they have been very popular."

Miss Tomlinson works in marketing for an Oxford-based computer training company.

She added: "The only exhibition I do is Artweeks but the rest of the time I sell my work on my website

"Some fans of my work come back year after after during Artweeks.

"Last year I won an award from the British Cartographic Society for my map of the shipping forecast.

"Someone from Long Hanborough bought the map and they have it on display in their house.

"Artweeks is a fantastic festival and we are looking forward to next year already."

Among artists in Oxford who will be showing their work is hat maker Lizzie Hurst, who will be displaying her colourful hats at St Barnabas Church in Jericho from noon to 6pm.

Artweeks organiser Esther Lafferty said: "As the Oxfordshire Artweeks festival enters its third week, and dozens of exhibitions pop up in every neighbourhood within the ring road, there’s a chance to see a refreshingly real picture of Oxford.

"People can see the art of the locals who know it inside out, and be surprised by both the world they see through artists’ eyes and the creative talent hiding in the backstreets of Oxford."

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