FOR many people Radio 4's Shipping Forecast sends them to sleep, but it had the opposite effect on Eynsham artist Jane Tomlinson.

She was inspired to create a stunning watercolour painting featuring place names listed in the forecast and won the John C Bartholomew Award for Thematic Mapping at the British Cartographic Society's annual conference.

Mrs Tomlinson, 53, has no training in map making but her artistic impression of the daily weather bulletin issued by the Met Office inspired judges.

They praised her for her originality at their conference in Cheltenham earlier this month.

The mother-of-two, who lives with husband Timothy, 54, and works in marketing, said: "I am delighted that my work has been recognised by eminent professional cartographers.

"I’m not a proper map maker at all – I just love maps and I love painting.

"Of all the paintings I’ve ever made, this one was the most fun – it practically fell off my brushes.

"I’ve always loved the stark factual poetry of the broadcast and since I painted this map I’ve discovered that the Shipping Forecast seems to be embedded in the DNA of every Brit.

"It’s a part of who we are – weather-obsessed, word-loving islanders.

"I wanted to capture the spirit of the forecast and record all those magical words in their rough geographical position."

Mrs Tomlinson said she sold the original painting to a collector in Long Hanborough for several hundred pounds but now plans to sell copies as prints.

She added: "I did a history of art degree at Brookes in the 1980s but I'm not a professional – I was astonished when I got this prize."

The judges said the painting was "excellent communication of a clear, and much-loved theme through a clever blend of cartography and art".

They added: "A new, interesting and engaging portrayal, with a clear eye on its romance.

"Images, text and thoughtful use of terms from the shipping forecast combine to make a highly attractive, and fun product."

In the painting Mrs Tomlinson features ships, birds and fish and in the bottom right corner she has illustrated the Beaufort Scale, the measure of wind strength used in the forecast.

The forecast has been broadcast daily to British audiences since 1861, initially by telegraph and then by BBC radio.

The award is made every year by John C Bartholomew maps, part of Harper Collins publishing.

Ms Tomlinson won a trophy, a certificate and £500 presented by Jim Irvine, head of digital resources at Harper Collins.