So it’s finally here. After first hearing I was selected in April, and filming in June, it has been a long wait for Landscape Artist of the Year, but the first episode airs this Wednesday at 8pm. I will appear in the second episode, first showing on Wednesday 25th October at 8pm. I know many of you don’t have Sky, but I’ve found another (free!) solution for you to see the programme (see below).
I knew the location for my heat about a month in advance, and from that moment practised pretty much every day. Never having painted outside before, and not being at all confident on the timescale (you have 4 hours to complete the work), I was really worried! I also had a reccy trip up to Teesside, where my heat was, which was definitely invaluable. Here’s the view we were given – some fishermen’s huts and an old blast furnace! Unusual and actually pretty inspiring (although a lot of green!)
The day of the heat started early, 6am, It became pretty clear that of course the primary aim was to make a TV programme, not run an art competition. I could not believe the number of people there, maybe 100 staff. I even had a gopher who followed me everywhere and got cups of tea on demand! There were many interviews and questions, before during and after the painting time, which I to be honest found difficult to cope with. I couldn’t really get in the zone. The whole thing though was an amazing experience, and such a buzz. And I was pretty happy with my final piece, I felt I’d done myself justice to how I work. I can’t tell you the result of course, you’ll have to watch. And the best thing were the people, everybody was incredibly pleasant and kind, and really looked after us, including Frank Skinner and Joan Bakewell, in fact especially them. I haven’t seen the final programme, so I’m very nervous about recommending it. I suspect I’ll be watching between my fingers – I hate seeing myself on film! But anyway, I do encourage you to find a way to watch.
There is a relatively new operation which allows you to watch the Sky channels without a Sky contract. And better than that, they currently have a FREE 14 day trial, which means you can watch the first two episodes for nothing, as well as the previous 2 series on catch-up and indeed a lot of other Sky output. Now TV is available on some Smart TVs, and also on PC’s. You will have to register online for the trial, and then watch the show on Wednesday 25th October, 8pm
You’ll remember I showed you this work, which had been selected for the National Open Art competition. This is Paddy’s Hole, the view you get if you look the other way from the blast furnace (and what I thought we’d be looking at). Good news though, this piece has sold from the NOAC website, before the exhibition even starts – which will at least cover my costs of the Landscape Artist
National Open Art Exhibition, 17th – 26th November, Bargehouse Gallery, OXO Tower, London