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In pictures: Windsor Castle opened up for En Plein Air art event

A huge amount of grit and talent was needed on Saturday as artists braved the downpours at Windsor Castle for its third annual open air painting event.

Windsor Castle opened its gates for En Plein Air, which is French for painting outdoors.

The competition allows amateurs and professionals alike to set up their canvas in one of more than ten different locations in the castle grounds.

After about seven hours they are asked to exhibit their work in the Windsor Royal Shopping centre.

The day started off brightly at first.

Joe Webster, a landscape painter from Devon, had just set up on the guardsman's roof, an area not normally open to the public.

The 38-year-old said: "I've painted outdoors for over 20 years, I like to paint in challenging situations.

In the moat gardens Celia Bennett had picked a spot underneath an archway anticipating the rain.

She had a contemporary style and said she works mostly in acrylics.

Overlooking the gardens, retired teacher Keith Glass from Bedfordshire just had time to put his umbrellas up before a brief shower soaked his canvas.

The 68-year-old was in good spirits despite the weather. He said: "I don't mind the rain.

"You've got to expect it, it adds another level to your work."

At the end of a tough day's work, Deputy Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, Cllr Eileen Quick (Cons, Clewer East), presented the awards. She said: "To be creative in such appalling conditions takes grit to stay the course as well as talent.

"Some of the work on display is amazing.

"I'd like to take a couple home myself but I'm not sure I've got the wall space."

Young person's award winner Maryam Zaidi, 15, said: "I had a couple of times the ink just spilt everywhere.

The Londoner said her decision to use ink on canvas was a new experiment.

She added: "I'm really pleased."

First place winner Andrew Horrod won the judges over with his impressionist piece.

He said: "I'm delighted and surprised after what was a challenging day in the engine court of the castle."

The winners were:

-Young person's award - Maryam Zaidi

-People's award - Brian Smith

-Third place - Rick Holmes

-Second place - Emma Perring

-First place - Andrew Horrod

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