landscape artist of the year


Sometimes you just have to go for it and put yourself into that area outside of your comfort zone, as new experiences and fresh challenges most definitely help you grow. So in 2019 I did just that, I  submitted my artwork and applied to Sky Arts LAOTY and WOW  I was fortunate to be selected as one of the 50 wildcard contestants. 


It was one of those days that you know you’ll never forget. A day of anxiety mixed with thrilling excitement. I met some utterly amazing people, had the best behind the scenes experience and managed to paint a little bit too. Although I wasn’t in a pod or lucky enough to be selected for the final I found the whole experience so beneficial and it really gave me and my art practice a boost. 

  • The day started very early….in fact my painting kit and I traveled up to Newcastle the evening before in preparation for the 7AM registration in Gateshead. for the past few months I had to keep everything under wraps so it was great to be amongst the other artists and share the excitement for being there together. Once we had completed the paper work and had our painting surfaces stamped by the production team on the reverse. we had to hang around whilst the crew concentrated on the pod artists. Then we were all called into action! we had to do a little bit of fake walking about and pretending to arrive whilst they filmed us. Then we were instructed where our allocated area was and to go find a spot and get set. Then that was it ready set Paint. 
  • we had 4 hours to compete our painting, in actual fact it was a few hours longer as they took into account comfort breaks and lunch time. However this short time span was quickly passing me by as I tried to laydown my initial composition of my chosen view of the historic bridges and surrounding architecture. There were so many lines to tackle, with it being such an urban area is was quite unlike any landscape scene I had ever attempted before as I usually focus on rural scenes with elements of nature and the natural world. however I was up for the challenge. 
  • an hour in and I was making good progress.....then it all got quite surreal, the judges started wandering about us and peeking at our artworks, "Gorgeous,"  Kathleen Soriano said to me as she smiled at my painting, you can image how chuffed I felt. Then the amazing Tai-shan Schierenberg comes over to me and starts talking about easels. My biggest star stuck moment was when Stephen Mangan asked me what colour my red canvas ground was and I replied "Red" obviously he meant what shade but his quick wit turned the moment into a lovely informal chat. This whole time the cameras were rolling, throughout the day I pretty much constantly had a production crew member next to me either asking questions or filming me. It was such a strange feeling to be observed so closely and try not to be aware of it. The other wildcard artists and members of the public were also very chatty! total opposite to my usual solitary painting practice. 
  • Then that was it, times up! brushes down! I hadn't completed as much as I would have liked to have done but i was pleased with my end result. Half way through the day i had made the on the spot decision (prompted by everyone's feedback) to not add anymore colour layers but to crack on and get the canvas covered and keep as much of the crimson red as possible. adding just Violet, phalto blue and some white details.
  • Then came the judges moment to peruse the final results, how they could pick just one from the amazing 50 creations must have been a difficult task. They slowly wandered about us then they made a bee line in my direction, my heart was pounding, then they walked to the artist sat right next to me and tapped him on the shoulder and said "congratulations". obviously i was gutted not to go to the next round but he was a worthy winner as his painting was fantastic! 

It was a great day and I took away so much positivity with me that it is most defiantly something I would love to attempt again should i have the opportunity. 

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