LESLEY Newman is well-known in the region’s art circles for her miniature paintings.

A frequent exhibitor in the highly rated Milnthorpe Men’s Forum exhibition and for the past few years at the Lake Artists Society show (among others), she was elected a member of the Hillaird Society of Miniaturists in 2008, winning the Presidents Choice Award the year after.

Now, the Arnside based artist has ascended to even greater heights by joining the ranks of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers.

“To be elected an associate member you have to enter five miniatures for two consecutive years and have them accepted, which I did,” explained Lesley.

As an associate Lesley can enter each annual show without going through the selection process. And after two more years of exhibiting, will become a full member.

She added: “I’m really delighted. For miniatures it’s the highest accolade you can achieve in this country and the world.”

Founded in 1896, the society is internationally recognised as the world's foremost showcase for miniature art.

Lesley said that the work must be in keeping with miniature techniques sticking to strict rules about scale.

Using mainly acrylics, she pointed that her creations were not small paintings but works undertaken using a magnifying glass and very tiny brushes.

Lesley has a busy year ahead with her exquisitely detailed botanical paintings being used in a range of pottery for Roy Kirkham, an English company founded more than three decades ago as a ceramic design studio in Stoke-on-Trent, which is regarded as one of the leading manufacturers of fine quality English Bone China, tableware and giftware products.

Her painted agapanthus and hydrangea designs for Kirkham’s will be due out in 2012.