'Yow’s got my good side there bab' - Doreen Tipton portraits at Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Queen of the Black Country Doreen Tipton has been immortalised in art – after budding portrait artists took on the challenge to draw and paint the comic in a special competition.
The unique competition closed at the end of December, and now the shortlisted entries, which were chosen by a panel of judges, are on display for the public to see at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, in Lichfield Street.
The competition's judging panel included Antiques Roadshow expert Will Farmer, Tess Radcliffe from Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Doreen Tipton herself and writer David Tristram – who organised the competition.
The winning entry, which is due to be unveiled in a Doreen video in the coming weeks, will later be auctioned off by Mr Farmer at his auction rooms in Stourbridge – if the artist agrees, as they get to keep the proceeds.
Doreen even held a still-life sitting at the art gallery in November last year, so professionals, students and amateur artists could draw their subject from life.
Mr Tristram said: "I haven't had chance to see the exhibition myself, as I am currently in Australia.
"The paintings will stay at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on exhibition until the end of April and then a winner will be judged for auction by Will – who is a Doreen fan – if that's what the artist wants to happen.
"I did see the entries online and thought there were some great portraits and the standard was very high."
Doreen posted on her Facebook page: "If anybody fancies a bit of culture, go and take a peek at the exhibition of Doreen portrait competition finalists. It is now at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery for the rest of this month."
Tess Radcliffe, curatorial and learning manager at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, said the exhibition, which opened on April 7, has proved popular with visitors to the gallery so far.
She said: "We held the life-drawing session here last year, where Doreen posed as a model. Now we are displaying the finalists' works at the gallery.
"We thought it would be something different. There are 10 portraits in total – and even an engraved glass vase featuring Doreen – being exhibited here.
"They all are a very figurative representation of Doreen – most have got her typical grumpy look.
"But some make her look quite thoughtful – and visitors may see her in a different light. They are all very good.
"The exhibition has been popular so far, it's been quite amusing – people have been going in and out every day."
The competition was organised whole Doreen was among the stars of the Grand Theatre's 2017/18 pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk. It has since been announced she will appear in this year's pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, as the Nurse.
Her original million hit YouTube viral success has now blossomed into a series of theatre tours, a full-length feature film featuring Robert Plant and Steve Bull, an autobiography, BBC radio show and online comedy sketch channel called Doreen TV.
Doreen will next return to the Wolverhampton stage with her unique travelling Circus of Loffs on November 2. Her new show, Doreen's Big Top, will also visit Rugeley, Stafford, Cannock, Birmingham, Worcester, Telford, Brierley Hill and Redditch throughout October and November.
The Doreen Tipton artwork will be featured in Wolverhampton Art Gallery's Community Gallery until Sunday, April 29.