THE TOP winners at Warrnambool and District Artists' Society's Annual Awards are inspired by the nature surrounding them.
More than 100 pieces were entered into the competition with the winners announced at the packed out Merri View Gallery in Warrnambool on Friday.
Jenny Vick's piece, titled Down Blackwood Road, took out the best overall award, the Judith Watson trophy.
The late Ms Watson joined WADAS in 2001 and was its secretary in 2007 and 2008.
Ms Vick said she was surprised at the win. Her painting depicted a gum tree she spotted one day while driving near Dunkeld.
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Another award honouring a past WADAS member (and president) was the Maureen Healey memorial award.
Her son, Brett, told attendees what the art group meant to his late mother. "She took up art really late in life and really got a buzz out of the people and time she spent here," he said.
"It's very important for people to feel connections especially after they've lost loved ones.
"After dad passed away, this was a good way for her to make friends and have a wonderful connection to art and drawing."
Mr Healey said his mother, like his grandmother, took up painting in her seventies. "You're never to old or young to take up painting," he said.
It was awarded to Gwyn Taylor for her painting of bottlebrush based on plants picked by a friend from their friend's garden.
"I was thrilled because I know the donors and I knew Maureen Healey personally because I was on the committee with her - she was president and I was treasurer," Ms Taylor said.
Another painting inspired by real-life was Water East Timor (WET) award-winner Judy Rauert's piece of the Grampians. "I just love being up in the Grampians, hiking up there and just love being in the bush," she said.
The pieces were judged by Narrawong realist artist and Bay of Whales Gallery's Brett Jarrett, while a Timor-Leste man living and working in Warrnambool selected the WET award winner.
To see the full list of winners click here.
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