People have asked me why I subject myself to scrutiny and stress by taking part in programmes that are filmed and I often wonder that myself!
Is it because I had always yearned to be a Blue Peter presenter? Or do I yearn to be a famous artist or want my work to be recognised far afield?
What I have learnt from being there in that moment however is I get a tremendous buzz from painting a landscape within a pressured environment and of completing that work in often inclement weather. It is also wonderful to be part of a group of artists in a competitive environment and to see their work too. To enter the competition you have to send images of your work and from thousands of entries eight are chosen as competitors in each round and 50 Wild cards are able to come on the day and paint a similar view.
As a Wildcard in the Sky Landscape Artist of the Year competition I have met artists from all walks of life and am still in contact with some of them.
Here are some of my experiences:
Sky Landscape Artist of the Year at Fountains Abbey,
On my way to the venue and my first experience as a Wild Card Artist:
What you also learn is that the subject matter isn’t always what you thought it would be!
I had imagined that we’d have the opportunity to paint Fountains Abbey and took equipment and imagined I might do a John ‘Piperesque ‘ painting but instead it was a lake and woods and plenty of greens.
The photo below was taken right at the end and doesn’t show the mix of weather we faced! A strong wind ( which saw canvases being blown into the lake!) and plenty of rain made for an interesting day’s work!
My finished watercolour which included some of the other Wildcard artists who battled the elements and sheltered under their umbrellas!
On the Plymouth Hoe for my second venture where again we experienced wind and rain! I chose one of the highest spots from which to paint and consequently had least protection from the elements!
My finished painting.
I chose oils to paint the scene and had primed the canvas in a warm yellow so my finished painting was a much more colourful response to the greys in front of me! My work was commented on by one of the judges, Kate Bryan, in their summary of Wild Card contributions saying my scene was the one she’d most like to jump into!
The wind was so strong on one occasion that a gust of wind blew my canvas onto me and covered me in oils and many of the other Wild Card artists looked distinctly worse for wear at the end of the day too!