AN ARTIST drew this portrait of a woman suspected of stealing £15,000 of artwork in a bid to help track her down.

John Charles Page drew the image from memory following the raid on the Southern Nature Art Exhibition, having spoken to the woman, who was wearing a nurse's uniform, as he was hanging his pieces – all of which were stolen.

The Hampshire-based award-winning artist has now handed this image to detectives and they continue their hunt for the art thieves who fled with £15,000-worth of paintings and sculptures from the display at Rookesbury Park estate, near Wickham.

It comes just days after officers issued descriptions of two people they would like to speak to after they were spotted acting suspiciously in the area prior to the theft.

Mr Page told the Daily Echo that he spoke to the woman as he was hanging his four wildlife paintings on the day before the exhibition was due to start, on Wednesday, August 26.

He described her as looking like a “fish out of water” and when he tried to make conversation with her, she said very little and seemed to struggle with English.

He said: “It did seem a bit odd for someone to be walking around because it was only artists inside hanging their paintings ready for the start of the exhibition, but I just assumed she was a friend of one of the other artists.

“She was walking around very quietly.”

Mr Page, 68, had all four of his paintings stolen, each worth £350. He was hoping to sell them at the event.

One was of a male swan flying over Titchfield Lakes, another was of a female swan and her signets on the same lake and there was one of a koi carp swimming in the sunshine. The fourth piece was a portrait of a lion.

He added: “I just feel numb. Paintings are very personal things and I spent more than a month working on each one.

“I do not feel aggressive towards the thieves though, I feel sorry for them. These are people with lost souls.

“I would just urge anyone who knows something to contact police so I can get my paintings back.”

In all, the raiders took 11 paintings and nine sculptures by nine artists overnight between August 26 and August 27.

Police described the two people seen acting suspiciously as a white man and a white woman, both in their 30’s.

The man is described as being more than 6ft tall, of a slim build, with short cropped hair and wearing a dark T-shirt bearing the letters “window cleaner” on the back.

The woman was wearing a dark blue nurse's uniform.

Anyone with information should is urged to call DC Graham Skull on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.