North East lawyer turned artist to hold first Tyneside exhibition

A North East lawyer, who turned her back on a lucrative legal career to become an artist, is to hold her first Newcastle exhibition.

When Wiktoria Dlugosz decided to teach herself how to paint during the covid lockdown, she never dreamed her hobby would one day take the place of her high earning job. But, just three years after picking up her paintbrushes, the 27-year-old from Longbenton’s work has received such praise she has quit her job and is now a full- time artist.

And art lovers can view nine of her original works and a wide selection of prints, at a special exhibition at the Freelance Dance Studio at Brentwood Avenue, Jesmond on 25 November.

Wiktoria who moved to the UK from Poland with her family in 2006 – works primarily in watercolours and two of her paintings recently formed part of an online watercolour exhibition in Japan, organised by the Japanese International Watercolour Institute.

Although initially self-taught, she enrolled on a 12-week watercolour course at the Edinburgh Drawing School under tutor and highly acclaimed artist David Forster SSA RSW. And, on completion of the course, he invited her to work alongside him to further hone her watercolour skills.

“Of all artistic media, none captures the intimacy of memory like watercolour,” he said. “Having had the pleasure of teaching Wiktoria, I could see in her rich and luminous watercolours that honesty of a moment held, a feeling preserved, and a memory passed on.”

The majority of Wiktoria’s paintings are of land or seascapes, inspired by the Northumberland countryside and coastline and areas in and around the Scottish town of Armadale, where she and her family lived before moving to Tyneside.

“From the beginning I leant towards landscapes and I think that’s very much down to the beautiful UK countryside,” said Wiktoria, who studied law at Northumbria University and who sells her work under the name Wiktoria Anna Art.

“Although I did enjoy being a lawyer, it was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she said. “When I started painting three years ago I became totally hooked and realised that painting was my true calling. And although I don’t now make a fraction of what I was earning, I have had such support and encouragement that I know I have made the right decision and I can’t see myself ever going back.”

Freelance Dance Studio owner Brooke Brown-Adams, who is staging the exhibition, said she is “proud” to be bringing Wiktoria’s work to a wider audience. I never get tired of looking at her paintings,“ she said. “Wiktoria has a real talent and now more people will be able to see that for themselves.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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