Sunday, November 07, 2021

Review: Celebrity Landscape Artist of the Year 2021

Series 7 of Landscape Artist of the Year started last week with a special episode - Celebrity Landscape Artist of the Year "does Climate Change". Actually it was the first ever Celebrity Episode they'd had - and it saw a renewal of competitive paintbrushes for Jim Moir and Tomasz Schafernaker who have both previously appeared in Celebrity Portrait Artist of the Year.

So a bit of a fun programme - except for Jim and Tomasz - with the stakes raised when the contestants were told that they weren't just painting what they could see but rather they were painting on a theme of Climate Change.

Artists lined up with pods behind at the harbour at Whitstable


The celebrities / amateur artists participating in this episode were
  • Jim Moir - a comedian, actor, musician and artist known best for his TV work under the name Vic Reeves. He's a previous winner of the Celebrity Portrait Artist of the Year episode in 2018. He's also a resident of Kent. (This is about Vic Reeeves the artist on his website
  • Tomasz Shafernacker - a meteorologist for BBC Weather. I've yelled "get your hair cut" at him many times in recent months.  He owns a very arty apron which has a layer of paint spatters - so very obviously a keen amateur painter. (This is his art website)
  • Caryn Franklin - a British Fashion journalist and Educator who has a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design from Kingston and did a postgrad year at Central St Martins and can obviously draw plus a MSc in Applied Psychology in Fashion at London College of Fashion. She was sewing for this episode - and brought her sewing machine bought with her 18th birthday money with her to the seaside.
  • Jessie Cave - an English actress, comedian and cartoonist, known for her role as Lavender Brown in the Harry Potter film series. Her cartoons are observational and somewhat child-like.
  • Rose Matafeo - a New Zealand comedian, actress, and TV presenter. - who has produced dioramas in the past - and produced another one for the programme.
  • Jordan Stephens - half of the English hip hop duo Rizzle_Kicks - who was perhaps the least experienced of the six artists.
Interestingly all the artists normally work in their studios - so the experience of being outside and the changing weather was a new experience for all of them. I think some might be trying it again...

The artists with their artwork after the four hours were up

Location: Whitstable

A grey day in Whitstable

The location for this episode was Whitstable - a small seaside town on the North East Kent Coast. The only time I've visited Whitstable it was exactly the same as the weather in the episode - cloudy grey skies and rather windy. 

The town is famous for its Oysters which have been grown just offshore since Roman times.

The pods were all lined up along the West Quay of Whitstable Harbour, next to a boat park. It was obvious the filming became a little bit of a local attraction over the course of the day with a few people stopping to take a look at what was going on. 

Artists in pods on a wet day in Whitstable

Ifv you fancy visiting and having a go for yourself, the location was on the concrete strip on the rectangular bit jutting out of Whitstable Harbour (i.e. the East Quay - just past the Harbour Car Park and RNLI Station)

A bird's eye view of Whitstable Harbour

Artwork done before the show

The tent with artwork done before the show

The two most impressive pieces - only one of which was really relevant to the theme of landscape were done by Tomasz Shafernacker - and Jim Moir.  All were interesting through 

This was Tomasz Schafernaker's cloud system - which I thought was extremely well painted. I guess you get a head start on understanding how clouds work if your a meteorologist!

As always I'm very tempted to say that the artwork you bring with you plays a major part in overall decision-making.

Earlier work by Tomasz

Celebrity Landscape Artist of the Year

There was a good mix of media creating artworks on the West Quay. 
  • Three of the artists painted Whitstable (Jim, Tomasz and Jordan) painted what they saw 
  • Caryn went out for looking for found objects on the beach and came back with an assortment of materials - both natural, manmade and synthetic - which had been washed upon the beach
  • Jessie drew a cartoon of the beach and the town - which focused on a small boy carrying a "bag for life" who she thought was picking up rubbish from the beach
  • Rose created a diorama of beach in a box - with blue-painted tissue paper creating waves and matchsticks being constructed and cut to make the groins along the beach. Plus the seagull sitting on top of the pole

Finished artwork on Easels - with their own work behind 
- but interestingly not lined up the artwork done on the day

Oddly Jim Moir played it straight and did a pretty realistic painting of the view on Whitstable on the day - albeit he added in crushed oyster shells into his paint - to ground the painting. His eyes lit up when a family pitched a green tent on the beach as a windbreak - and they were duly added to his painting. It was a good painting - but very, very grey.

Jordan turned left and painted the boats and the RNLI station - which was a good call - albeit it a challenging subject. Good for him for going big and painting with oil paints when he didn't know how to use them.

Tomasz was at the end of the quay and turned to his right and looked out to sea - and the distant view of the Kentish Flats Offshore Wind Farm - on a large, flat and shallow plateau in the sea - just outside the main Thames shipping lanes. Also, as he pointed out they were located on a marine wall which is a protection from the sea and rising sea levels. His dystopian view - with added orange glow - was a winner.

Painting of view out to sea from West Quay, Whitstable
by Tomasz Shafernacker

Congratulations to Tomasz Schafernaker
on being awarded Celebrity Landscape Artist of the Year 2021

I do very sincerely hope that the rest of Series 7 has some substance and that we're going to see a whole series of Landscape Artist of the Year come January 2022.

You can see my previous reviews of the last three series of Landscape Artist of the Year programme below. 

You can view it on Sky Arts (Sky / Freeview / Now TV).

More about Landscape Artist of the Year 

Below you can find

  • the link to my reviews in the current and previous series
  • THEMES for each of my reviews are highlighted under the link for each review of the episode
  • links to blog posts written by the participants - which are always very helpful!

2021: SERIES 6


  • Review: Episode 1 of Landscape Artist of the Year 2021 at Chartwell + themes
    • Artist profiles
    • Composition and completion
    • Simplification and what to leave in and what to leave out
    • The importance of shadows
    • Highly Coloured Grounds
  • PLUS participant blog posts
    • Landscape Artist of the Year 2021 | Stuart Jarvis
    • Preliminary drawings of the day. | Stuart Jarvis



    • Review: Episode 5 of Landscape Artist of the Year at West Wycombe House
      • Working in different media - silkscreen printing and marker pens
      • Give the artists a proper chance to do well (one for the production team!)
      • How to use a frame to find a picture
      • Coping with the weather
      • What the artist likes to paint - and what happens if you avoid aspects you don't like
      • The darkest darks and the lightest lights



    2019: SERIES 5




    • Review: Semi-Final of Landscape Artist of the Year 2019 at Cromarty Firth


    2018: SERIES 4

    HEAT 1

    HEAT 2

    HEAT 3

    HEAT 4

    HEAT 5

    HEAT 6 


    the heat; the view; the wind;PLUS




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