Landscape Artist of the Year 2018

In May this year I applied for Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year, an annual competition open to professional and amateur artists in the UK. A friend suggested I go in for it, a few days before the submission deadline. Very shortly after I recieved a phone call, and, thinking initially this would be an interview, was told there and then that I was a chosen contestant for heat 6 in Inverary, Scotland. My Manhattan submission piece (found on my City Scenes, City Steeets page) was loved by the judges and helped secure a place on the show.

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Here I am in the pod on the day!

I thought carefully about my submission painting, which is a good example of my fascination with colour play in low level light conditions (as well as the architecture!). My selection to paint Inverary Castle seemed great, I love buildings so that didn’t pose a problem. However our pod proximity to the building was very, very near – the castle almost dominating my field of vision. I had an annoying tree in the way (which I edited out) and a very large expanse of green (including the stone of the castle, not very evident on internet photos). It was interesting to see Tai Shan Schierenberg and Stephen Mangan discussing the ‘obvious’ castle ahead of us, and to see whether artists would interpret the scene differently. Well for me the castle was fabulous and I wanted to embrace it all (I knew I had enough paint!!) – grey tupperware skies aren’t very exciting but again I’ve painted that many times before (cold dark grey November skies can be tricky however, but that’s another story….).

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My studio, my submission piece and I.

If you are thinking of applying to the show then why not! It’s free to enter and if you get selected you get great exposure, opportunity and sales. If your location is nearby then I strongly suggest that you visit prior to the actual heat, it could help loads. Be prepared for interruption and also the regular ‘tap, tap’ sound of the time-lapse camera behind you (you’ll get used to it). I must confess after four hours of painting non stop I was feeling knackered but the experience overall was great. I feel that friendship was made with the other very talented artists, and I am in contact with most from our heat. The production team really know what they’re doing, and the breakfast buns were superb.

Who knows, I might enter again..

One final note for men with hairy chests, the microphone won’t stick there.

Below – the heat painting, with accompanying bin store on the hill.

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