HAZELBANK artist Derek Dohren was delighted when he sold one of his paintings at a church fete.
The colourful landscape, showing people hunting for fossils below the cliffs at Whitby, was one of a number of paintings he had taken to the fete in May which was swiftly snapped up by eager art-lovers.
A few weeks earlier Derek had entered the painting into a national competititon but that was at the back of his mind when he sold it.
"I had heard nothing back from the organisers and assumed that was that," he said.
Then, at the beginning of July, came news that it had won — and he was Landscape Artist of the Year!
Competition organisers, Artists and Illustrators Magazine, wanted the Fossil Hunters painting for an exhibition and the final round of judging.
Fortunately, Derek knew the couple who had bought the picture! Although the fete was in Hamilton, it had been bought by a couple in Hawksland and he was able to track them down.
"As luck would have it, I knew the people who bought the picture. I don't know what would have happened if I had not been able to find them," said Derek, who lives in Hazelbank.
The painting itself will now go back to its new owners. And Derek hopes to build on his success.
"I was recently made redundant from my job in IT," he said. "Making something out of painting is a real dream for me as I now plan to take it more seriously."
For more information on this story, pick up a copy of this week's Carluke and Lanark Gazette which is in the shops now.