Ever wondered what it’s like to take part in Sky Landscape Artist of the Year?
June 2018 I took part as a Wildcard at Broadstairs. So here is a breakdown of how it all happened. Legally I was only able to tell you after the programme had aired.
I had to start by deciding not do Surrey Artist Open Studios as it clashed with almost all the initial filming days in June. In your application you have to submit three paintings and all of those submissions have to be in your possession and not sold so they can be used in exhibition if Sky wanted. So in essence – locking down three pieces for a potentially long duration. In January I submitted two plein air Ink drawings and one full scale painting of London. In June I was invited as a wild card to
|Inveraray, Argyll, Scotland |
HEAT 6: Wednesday 11th July 2018
I was delight to be given a space but it was quite a trek to get to. I firmed up accommodation and then looked at flights. £300 eek. Then I decided to try and negotiate. I explained that I could go to Inveraray, but if there were any cancellations for Broadstairs that would be much better for me. Low and behold in a couple of days they had a spot for me. So on the 11thJune I had bagged Broadstairs for the 27thJune. So I made my way there a day early.. It was during the heat wave and that days filming must have been very exposing for all the artists concerned. I got to see the end of the first day and where all the film crew were and the main artists as the session concluded. If you haven’t ever been to Broadstairs. It’s a beautiful small sandy bay with steep white cliffs and sweeping town buildings down to the quayside. Almost quintessentially English looking. The first days filming had the best view but the most exposed and sunburnt day.
The day of our filming started early. 45 of us located in one carpark jocking for position with all our art luggage. It amused me to see all the different forms of art materials and ingenious gear. One lady had four foot by three foot canvas. Now that morning happened to be extremely windy and cold – she nearly took off. Another fellow artist had come down in her summer dress from London with hubby. She was absolutely freezing. I found a spare coat for her in my car. So irony of ironies it turned out to be a bitter cold morning and they decided the wild cards should go on the Pier hidden behind the bandstand. (They probably intended to protect us from the sun). We all wanted to paint the town, but in the end we had to be out of filming view for the main participants. So we had to hide ourselves with the worst view possible that morning. Grey lightless sea sprayed distant three white chalk cliffs! Oh heck – but you have to make the best of it. So I decided if I can’t see them (filming) they can’t see me. I went under the huge bandstand canopy and faced the town for the buildings, for which I had a narrow view. I brought glass and a frame. I wanted to paint the buildings in ink on the front then switch view to the sea and smear oil paint abstractly onto the back for an essence of the bay water. During our day the tide came up and lashed the bay and loads of artists positioned out on the far edge of the pier got drenched in waves. It was a bit of a mess to be honest. Poor people. The sun eventually came out around 2pm and the day improved, artists dried off, paintings dried off… then the public came to take a look at about 4pm when we had to stop. On the day, I liked what I’d done – Looked alright and the public loved it. Perhaps It was a bit too experimental, never having worked like that outdoors before. So please don’t judge – I was freezing cold that day and had to hold onto my easel constantly for fear of taking off in my wind tunnel!
The TV show judges came around at about 4.30pm having taken a few sweeps during the day and went for a lovely triptych done of the cliffs. It was masterful considering the elements she had faced. I got a few photos of other works done too.
I then went on to watch the final filming sessions on the beach as the judges gave verdicts on the finalists.
All in all a wonderful day out – an experience for life and something you should definitely give a try. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. And if you’ve entered once – enter again. A lady I now know has been a wild card twice. A guy I know has been a wild card and then a main contestant. The world is in your paintbrush.