Picture perfect competition for next generation of artists
A Limerick student scooped the top prize in this year's Texaco Children's Art competition - with the judge stating the quality on show from Ireland's young artists "just keeps getting better".
Marta Turalska (17) from Newcastle West was the pick of the bunch, with her portrait of her grandmother eating a grape.
The young Scoil Mhuire agus Ide student said her grandmother was delighted with the painting.
It was based on a photograph taken two years ago.
"I live with her when I go back to Poland every summer, she's very happy with it," Marta said.
"We were having fun when I took the photo," she added.
Portraits seemed to adorn most of the canvasses submitted for this year's awards.
Deciding judge Declan McGonagle praised the sheer technical ability on show in the competition, having reviewed tens of thousands of entries.
"What I look for is something that stands out, so it's a whittling down process," said Mr McGonagle.
"The standard is incredible and it just seems to be increasing year by year - it's almost scary how technical these artists are.
"I think arts are being taken more seriously in schools, and I hope it continues.
"I think people are understanding the importance of being creative," he added.
Another portrait came from Jack McKeon, also from Limerick, who finished in third place with a crayon drawing entitled 'Other People's Success Isn't Your Failure'.
Jack (17) said the painting of award-winning Broadway actor, Christian Borle, was inspired by the actor's Tony acceptance speech.
"Entering arts competitions I've faced competing and failing but you've got to look at yourself and say my time will come, others' success isn't my failure," Jack said.