Artist finds poppy inspiration to honour hero soldier friend

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AN ASPIRING artist is auctioning off a new work to raise money for the official charity of injured paratrooper Ben Parkinson.

Sara Otter, 24, is a friend of Lance Corporal Parkinson, 27, from Doncaster, who is recovering after being injured in a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

After taking up art this summer, she decided to auction the piece, Blood Stained Poppies, to raise money for the charity, Pilgrim Bandits, which funds research into prosthetics and also takes amputee service personnel on adventure challenges.

Miss Otter, from Wheatley Hills in Doncaster, said: “I did a physio degree, but had to quit three months before I was due to graduate due to health problems. I’ve always had a creative side and this summer I got a canvas out and started painting. People said they loved it so I started doing more and more. I’ve started selling them as well.”

Miss Otter’s work is created by “throwing” paint at the canvas using materials such as spray bottles, sponges and her own bare hands. Blood Stained Poppies is created from three different shades of red enamel paint, to represent poppies and blood.

It will be auctioned at a Pilgrim Bandit event in Bournemouth, while Miss Otter’s work will also be on sale at Doncaster Deaf School’s Christmas craft fair tomorrow.