An oil painter said it was ‘scary enough’ to have her work shown in Sidmouth, but now it is being put on display in London after a friend put her forward.

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Jacqueline Steel’s photorealistic work has already received international attention after her appearance at next month’s New Artists Fair was announced last week.

She is now juggling part-time work at an insurance broker in Exeter with getting ready for the show.

“I can’t get my head around it, it’s massively terrifying,” said the 46-year-old.

Jacqueline was put forward for the exhibition in Angel Islington by her friend Ian Hardy, who she said is a keen supporter of hers.

“I didn’t know anything about it, but he’s always backed me – I’m thrilled,” she said.

The mum-of-two used to work in the art department at The King’s School in Ottery, where the teachers persuaded her to finally finish her art A-level.

A year later, she had painted more than 100 pictures and was exhibiting in the East Devon Art Academy in Sidmouth’s Old Fore Street.

Jacqueline said the new exhibition, which runs from March 1 to 3, could be a ‘huge step’ towards her dream of being an artist full time.

“I don’t know what will happen – for now I’m going with the flow,” she said.

The principled artist’s work spans all subjects, in what she admits was a conscious attempt to avoid being ‘pigeonholed’ by critics, and only sells originals rather than making copies.

She said: “I get really emotionally involved, it’s like a baby – it’s quite wrenching to let them go.”

Jacqueline is now ‘excited and scared’ at the prospect of having her work seen so widely, but doesn’t know what London’s critics, art lovers, buyers, investors and collectors will make of pictures of her quaint Devon home.

Her paintings will be shown alongside other emerging and recently established artists from around the world.

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