Golden girl Jesssica captured on canvas

Artist Jan Szymczuk has painted a portrait of Jessica Ennis after being inspired by the Olympics.
Artist Jan Szymczuk has painted a portrait of Jessica Ennis after being inspired by the Olympics.
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AN iconic image of the London Olympics has been captured on canvas by a Northumberland artist.

Stannington resident Jan Szymczuk was so inspired by Team GB’s performance and the electric atmosphere of the Games that he began a painting of one of their brightest stars.

And less than two weeks on, his huge oil painting of gold medal-winning heptathlete Jessica Ennis is almost complete.

The idea for an artwork came while Mr Szymczuk was watching ‘Super Saturday’ on television when the British team secured two gold medals for rowing and one for cycling, before Greg Rutherford took the Olympic title for long jump, Jessica Ennis claimed victory in the heptathlon and Mo Farah claimed his first of two Gold medals in the Games in the 10,000m.

Mr Szymczuk said: “I have just been so inspired by the last few weeks.

“I was watching the Games on the Saturday when we won three gold medals in the stadium and I was just taken up by the thought of doing a painting.

“I thought the whole thing was amazing and I remembered the picture of Jessica Ennis wrapped up in the flag. I thought that was the embodiment of the Olympics and what people were striving for so it would be good to do a painting of that.”

The 53-year-old is used to working quickly after spending 30 years in the Met as a police artist.

When he retired in 2009 he moved back to his native Northumberland and currently runs classes in Rothbury, as well as taking part in school open days, fetes and drawing caricatures at weddings.

He works in all mediums and paints a vast range of subjects, from portraits and animals to landscapes.

His pieces are displayed at galleries across the region, including Morpeth, Rothbury and Hexham.

Mr Szymczuk said next up might be a painting of Mo Farah.