AN award-winning beauty therapist who rediscovered her love of art during the most recent lockdown is to see her work go on display at local galleries.

Jo Thompson has run Blink Beauty in Malpas Road in Northallerton for the last 15 years and she was awarded the best salon award by the skincare brand Heaven in 2016 and 2017.

But when the beauty salon was forced to temporarily close for the third national lockdown in January this year, Mrs Thompson ordered some pastel paints and did a painting of the family’s seven-year-old sproodle, Roo Bear.

“As soon as I started, I knew I’d found my niche,” said Mrs Thompson, 51, from Northallerton. “It was a lightbulb moment and I was lost in time. I loved art from as early as pre-school and primary school, but over the years I’d been busy with work and the children. The lockdown gave me the time to take it up again.

“People saw my painting of Roo Bear and they wanted paintings of their own dogs. It just took off.”

After doing some paintings for friends, Mrs Thompson started getting commissions by word of mouth. As well as painting dogs, she has done other pets, birds, flowers, landscapes and wild animals in pastels, and even a portrait of the late Prince Philip in acrylic.

Now she is to see her paintings on display at a preview evening at 1 2 3 4 Gallery at 25 Westgate in Thirsk on July 22 from 5pm until 8pm. Her paintings, which start from £75 for commissions, and £195 for originals, can also be seen at Coastal Fine Art and Framing at Town Hall Buildings in Northallerton and at 1Twenty7 Café in Northallerton High Street. She is also selling mugs, clocks and cushions with her designs on. For commissions, contact her on 07751-597717.