Dartmouth Park doctor's paintings raise funds for her hospital's respiratory charity

PUBLISHED: 14:49 12 September 2019

Highgate Road/Heath Frost is among works by Laura Price exhibiting at Parliament Hill Lido Cafe until the end of October

Highgate Road/Heath Frost is among works by Laura Price exhibiting at Parliament Hill Lido Cafe until the end of October

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Dr Laura Price has found success after taking painting and etching courses at Hampstead School of Art

Parliament Hill Lido by Laura Price is on show at the lido's cafe until the end of OctoberParliament Hill Lido by Laura Price is on show at the lido's cafe until the end of October

Doctor and artist Laura Price is exhibiting her paintings of Hampstead and the surrounding area to raise money for a medical research charity.

The Dartmouth Park medic is a respiratory consultant at the Royal Brompton Hospital. All proceeds from her exhibition at Parliament Hill Lido Cafe will go towards its charity researching Pulmonary Hyptertension.

Price was on maternity leave with her third child when she started classes at Hampstead School of Art in Kidderpore Avenue.

Growing up in Hampstead Garden Suburb and attending St Christopher's and North London Collegiate schools she always had a passion for painting.

"I loved art as well as biology and had some amazing teaching," she says. "I pursued A level art for a year but never took the exam. I decided to keep art as a hobby and become a medic, which was the right thing to do. But then came this time in my life when I got a pass not to work for a year."

Dropping her nine year old daughter off at an HSoA summer camp, she met Director Anat Sherman who told her 'you should bring your baby and get painting.'

"Her encouragement to sign up for classes even though I had a baby in tow was amazing. Learning etching and printmaking from such talented teachers I had an incredible year. My mum and nanny held the baby while I painted and etched. It's been a kind of foundation course that's suited me and worked around my kids. I have fallen in love with painting and seem to have hit something right."

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First 90 Degrees framers in Tufnell Park put her etchings in their window. Then she won HSoA's prize at June's Hampstead Art show, and reached the final selection for the RA's summer exhibition. Now her Lido cafe exhibition runs until the end of October, curated by friend and Dartmouth Park local Barbara Martorelli.

"The response so far has been incredible," says Laura. "We have an amazing community. Even the lifeguards are excited."

Although she didn't take up painting for the money, and isn't seeking an "alternative career" Laura is pleased her works are selling well.

"It's really taken off. I started working on Heath landscapes, the women's pond, the Lido, places that mean a lot to me, but also to people passionate about the Heath," she says.

"I say to myself 'just draw what you see'. It seems to work and has struck a chord."

Treating patients and painting use "different parts of the brain."

"I love my job for the problem solving aspects, working with an incredible team, and the different approaches to patient care.

"But I have found my other thing. I love the symmetry of buildings, of light and shadow. It makes me very happy to be able to put that down on paper, and to know that people share it is incredibly rewarding.

"It's just a bonus that it's commercially successful."

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