At the Queenstown Art Society Locations Art Awards on Friday Ms Hitchman won the Best Artwork of the Exhibition award for her painting titled Ebony.
Ms Hitchman described herself as a "very active member" of the Queenstown Art Society, although she had not been expecting to win the best artwork award.The painting of her niece, who lives in Perth, Australia, was inspired by a photo Ms Hitchman saw online and felt compelled to paint.
"It just looked really moody and I thought I would like to paint that."
A total of 47 artists, primarily from the Wakatipu but also from as far afield as Dunedin and Invercargill, submitted 104 pieces of art.
Other award winners were best contemporary, Ro Bradshaw; best traditional, Spike Wademan; highly commended, Christine O'Conner; highly commended, Sunhee Shin; commended local artist. Hamish McBride; commended local artist, Rachael Errington; youth award, Zac Imhoof; most "out there" artwork, Mike Higson.
The artworks were judged by Mark Moran, who is the founding director of Queenstown gallery Toi o Tahuna.
The exhibition will be on show at the Queenstown Arts Centre in Ballarat St until December 2.