Monday, February 28, 2022

Elisha Enfield wins Landscape Artist of the Year 2022

This is about the Final of Series 7 of Landscape Artist of the Year 2022 at Levens Hall in Cumbria - which was won by Elisha Enfield.

The Final

The Prize

The prizes are:
  • a £10,000 commission for the Manchester Art Gallery to create an artwork celebrating the heritage of the North West of England.
  • £500 of materials from Cass Art.

The location

The location of the Final of Landscape Artist of the Year 2022 was Levens Hall - an Elizabethan Manor in Cumbria, which is privately owned but open to the public during the summer months. It also markets itself as a location for filming purposes.

Levens Hall, the Topiary Garden and the pods

The subject for the final paintings was the Topiary Garden which is over 300 years old. (There's a World Topiary Day on 12th May!)
Topiary is the shaping and cutting of small-leaved trees and bushes into geometric shapes and forms which resemble common objects and people.
The Pods set up looking east towards the Topiary Garden

The pods were set up between the Hall and the Topiary Garden.  Although I think somebody forgot that since this particular perspective faced east, the artists would be painting into the sun all morning! Just look at those shadows - and where the sun is!

Not so much "contrejour" as "blinded by the light"
- and they wondered why Elisha took her time getting started!

Below is a view of very nearly the same bit of garden on a more overcast day. 

The Topiary Garden

In addition, there are times when I think there needs to be a serious discussion about what landscape painting is really about. We haven't had one single naturalistic landscape in the entire series - which in my view is simply appalling. The Location Manager really needs to work harder!

The Weather

They were extremely lucky with the weather - in the sense that it was blue skies, warm and sunny all day long.

Although whether the artists welcomed that sunshine in the morning is debatable!

Here's a tweet from somebody who caught the film crew filming! Hiding in the shade behind the vegetation so they didn't get the sun in the lens of the camera!

The Artists

The artists in the final were:
  • Elisha Enfield  [Instagram] a figurative and landscape painter working between London and Berlin. She graduated from the University of Brighton in 2011 with First Class Honours in Fine Art Painting. Some very impressive paintings on her website. Born in Milton Keynes and comes from High Wickham.
  • Thomas Macgregor (Instagram) - a painter and printmaker living and working in East London
  • Afsheen Nasir [Instagram] - Comes from Karachi in Pakistan and now lives in Surrey. She is self taught and works as a civil servant. She paints landscapes in oil and loves skies - but this was her first time painting 'en plein air'. She exhibited at the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2019 and previously appeared in "Show me the Monet". This is her submission.
Afsheen did an interview with BBC Radio Surrey in which she talks about what reaching the final meant to her

    Elisa Enfield, Thomas McGregro and Afsheen Nasir

    The Final

    The Final programme comprised:
    • pod painting within 4 hours at Levens Hall
    • commissions - of three locations - within London
    • followed by the announcement of the winner.
    Line-up waiting for the announcement....

    I'll deal with each in turn.

    Pod Paintings

    Thursday, February 24, 2022

    The Athenaeum is back!

     It appears that The Athenaum database of artworks is finally back online.

    Many readers will recall I've been a big fan of this HUGE art history resource of public domain images in the past and frequently referenced it when writing about various artists of the past. 

    It started back in 2001 and sadly went offline in April(?) 2020. 

    I then wrote Goodbye to the Athenaeum Art Database? after it seemed to have disappeared and was only available via the Internet Archive

    Thanks to Debra Levie for alerting me to the fact that it was back online.
    The Athenaeum is a free, user-built online portal for art and the humanities. You can browse over 100,000 artworks by thousands of artists, or join us and help improve the site!
    Home Page of The Athenaeum

    Looking at the Internet Archive it appears as if it came back late last year.

    However due to the fact that the website does not have a security certificate - and is prefixed by http rather than https - some people (including me) will have problems accessing it via the  Google Chrome browser as this browser basically stops access to sites which are not secure. It's part of their process of keeping people safe on the Internet. 

    (PS If you're not using a security certificate and the https prefix for your website you need to!)

    I found it much easier to access using my Apple Safari browser. I've not tried others but my experience is that if a website is not accessible via Chrome - or only very slowly.

    We still don't know what happened to The Atheneaum in 2020. I think most of us assumed that the owner was ill and/or preoccupied with other matters and/or ran foul of an allegation of copyright infringement and/or just got very tired of technical problems and spammers (it happens a lot to big sites which have been up for some time).

    Somebody who wrote to me following my blog past knew the email addresses of the owner but said that neither were getting a response.

    I'm going to suggest that if the owner ran into financial problems hosting it - or just got very tired of technical problems - that they should maybe consider:

    • having a digital donations box on the site (but this needs a security certificate!) I know a lot of people very much value the site and would like to keep it going....
    • asking / looking for support in terms of both volunteers for forum moderation and technical aspects of the site
    I know I'm very pleased to see it back - and I know a lot of other artists and those interested in art history will be too.

    PS I still want to know who rocsdad is!! His contributions over the years have been amazing!

    Tuesday, February 22, 2022

    Pastel Society 123rd Annual Exhibition 2022

    The Pastel Society's Annual Exhibition for 2022 opened to the public at the Mall Galleries last Thursday.

    The 123rd Annual Exhibition has a theme of ‘Fresh Eyes’.

    Cover of the Catalogue for the Pastel Society Exhibition 2022

    One of the major regrets of my current post-surgery status (mobilising on one leg only for 12 weeks!) is that I can't visit any art exhibitions - and this is one I always very much look forward to visiting.

    However, if like me you can't view in person, you can view digital versions of the artworks selected for and hung in the exhibition.

    This is an informative introduction to the exhibition by the new President - in which he highlights how the East Gallery which, as well as being a gallery, will also be a studio space where people can learn about pastels and how to use them during the course of the exhibition. This is a listing of the full events programme

    You can see all the artworks on:
    • the award-winning images on a dedicated link
    • the exhibition catalogue on Issuu which includes images of some of the members' artwork and the listing for all artworks in the exhibition by artists' name (in alphabetical order). Use the icon bottom right to make the catalogue full size and readable. This provides
      • title
      • media used
      • framed and unframed size
      • price
    Plus artworks in the exhibition are being posted on:
    Well done to my friend Felicity House for her wonderful photos of the exhibition. She knew I wouldn't be there!

    Plus the Mall Galleries are also using their Twitter account and Facebook Page to promote the exhibition.

    For those who can visit, there are series of events

    More posts about the Pastel Society

    You can review previous posts about Pastel Society exhibitions - from my archives. As you can see I've reviewed this exhibition every year since 2006!

    Monday, February 21, 2022

    Review: Semi Finals of Landscape Artist of the Year 2022 - Forth Bridge

    The finalists for Landscape Artist of the Year 2022 have been selected. Below is my review of the semi-final programme broadcast on Sky Arts - and some thoughts about who the winner might be.

    Judgement time in the Semi Finals of Landscape Artist of the Year 2022

    Before I start - apologies to those who have subscribed to this blog using Mailerlite who seem to keep getting repeat mailings of the same post if I do a correction (eg re. spelling of people's names). I'll try and find out why this is happening - and, more importantly, how to stop it!

    LAOTY Series 7 Semi-Finals: Forth Bridge

    The Location - the Forth Bridge

    "It is the semi-finals - we have to give them a challenge"
    The venue for the Semi Final pods was on the north banks of the River Forth at North Queensferry overlooking the Forth Bridge crossing the Firth of Forth (Estuary) between Fife and Lothian in Scotland. 

    The Forth Bridge is an important emblem of Scotland. Some facts about the Forth Bridge:
    • It opened in 1890 and is 2.6km / 1.5 miles from shore to shore
    • it's built from 53,000 tonnes of steel and 6.5 million rivets!
    • At the time it was built, its cantilevered structure was groundbreaking in design materials and scale. It was the first major structure anywhere in world made entirely in steel
    • 4.5k people worked on the bridge at the peak of its construction
    • The Forth Bridge was designated a world heritage site in 2015.
    If you want to have a go at the view, I've concluded they were located at the North Queensferry Boat Club.

    "It's the semifinals, we have to give them a challenge!"

    The odd thing is that Tai - who hates boats - absolutely loved the location - even the boats! Mostly because there were so many different ways of tackling it.

    Personally I was not impressed with the choice of view for the semi-finals. This is because this is a very unusual and divisive subject. 

    • It won't suit those who lean towards greenery, vegetation and a more natural environment. 
    • By the same token it may well suit those who like structures but who are awful at vegetation
    Possibly it counterbalances the location for the Final - see the end of this post - except that is also highly structured. There again there's been nothing very natural about the locations in this series.

    Do the Judges know something we don't know as to what subject locations Manchester Art Gallery has in mind in relation to the prize of the £10,000 commission for the winning artist? 

    The Gallery's Commission for the 2022 prize is intended to celebrate two key features of the landscape of the North West - BOTH the:

    • natural beauty of the landscape 
    • AND the structures associated with its industrial heritage 
    i.e. half of it is about structure - but the other half is about the beauty of the natural landscape which has been very sadly neglected by this series.

    The Weather

    This was an episode of two halves weather wise.


    It was a very grey gloomy day to start - with very flat light. 

    Then at midday the Scottish Mist began to burn off and the light improved and it went on to become very sunny with a clear blue sky. Or as my father used to say "typical Scottish weather!"


    The change in light was a challenge for the artists in terms of thinking how it would impact on their composition, colour palette and the degree of detail they included - and what it did to the shadows and reflections.

    The Artists

    Before we start, this is the Cass Arts "LAOTY Series 7: Meet the Artists" blog post which they produce each year as part of their association/sponsorship of the series.

    Professional Artists

    There were three professional artists from the Heats

    Wednesday, February 16, 2022

    What did we think of 'Watercolour Challenge' 2022?

    After four weeks of daily episodes on weekdays, the new version of Watercolour Challenge on Channel 5 came to an end last Friday.

    • I started off hopeful, 
    • was disappointed at the beginning by the technical cock-up, and 
    • then it started to irritate me as the series went on.

    I decided to do a review, however I decided it might be wise to see if others were feeling in the same way. 

    So I asked this question on my Facebook - and received LOTS of very detailed responses Extracts are provided below.

    I'm writing a review of the Channel 5 Watercolour Challenge Series. What did you think of it?
    * What did they do well?
    * What could be improved?
    I've also been keeping an eye on the responses online to the programme - and people have been quite outspoken on the topic of the mentor/Judges.  Digital Spy | Watercolour Challenge Channel 5 started with lots looking forward to the return and quickly began to spot deficits and problems. For example - most wanted to see much more of the artists painting - and explaining what they were doing and why.

    This post summarises both my thoughts and those of others - with quotes!

    Note the series is available - on demand and online on Channel 5  

    The real Watercolour Challenge contest 

    Channel 5 (2022) versus Channel 4 (1998-2001)

    Of course you have to be old enough to be able to compare the two! However for those of us who do remember both, the overwhelming consensus is that the new version is a pale imitation of the original - and needs to get its act together.

    • The positives of the programme reduced for me as the series went on.
    • Aspects which I put down to just being "different" began to grate as the series progressed
    • Many people commented that they didn't watch all the programmes despite having intended to do so.

    Here are some summary views
    Glad to have an art programme to watch, but felt it could have been so much better! (VG)
    A poor copy of the original series, sadly. (SG)
    5/10. Could do better! (PF)
    Very disappointing, to put it mildly. (NS)
    Too much repetition , out of sync editing , poor standard of judges except Peter, everyone gets a win. The good artists on here and there were a few had their efforts demeaned being beaten by someone with no ability whatsoever. (DP)
    I used to love this show but for me the presenter was a major let down and some of the professional artists, lacked how can i put it "professionalism". I stopped watching. (KH)
    Despite numerous aspects that people felt were unsatisfactory, it was interesting to see it prompted people to get their paints out! I guess it was a case of "I can do better than that!"
    Still enjoyed watching though - I was inspired to get my watercolours out after a few months of not using them.

    How do the the different series compare on different aspects?

    I'm going to review different aspects of the Channel 5 programmes below - sometimes with reference to the Channel 4 series - and with suggestions for how any future series could be improved.

    Review comments cover:
    • the artists
    • the mentor/Judges
    • the presenter
    • the programme format
    • technical aspects
    The artists from Devon

    Sunday, February 13, 2022

    Review: Episode 5 of Landscape Artist of the Year 2022 -

    ...and so to the  fifth and FINAL episode of Landscape Artist of the Year 2022 had a different perspective on Compton Verney in Warwickshire.

    Awaiting the decision as to who is shortlisted in the final episode of this series. 

    Episode 5 - View of the House and Gardens at Compton Verney

    This post considers:

    • the location and weather
    • the artists profiles
    • themes arising during the episode
    • who was shortlisted and who won


    This episode had a different perspective on the house at Compton Verney in Warwickshire. 
    The LAOTY production team has obviously learned from the disastrous upfront and "in your face" and very boring view of the back of the stately home in the previous series and went with a perspective looking back at the house - from a great distance!!

    Indeed the pods were so far back, a number of artists chose to exclude the house from their landscape compositions!

    The pods at some distance from the house in the grounds of Compton Verney

    Compton Verney House is an aristocratic family home set in acres of parkland - which is now an art gallery. It opened to the public as a major, nationally accredited art gallery in March 2004. It had been saved for the nation by Sir Peter Moores who gifted it to the Compton Verney House Trust (CVHT) and has susequently developed a number of important art collections which are under-represented in national collections. Kathleen Soriano, one of the Judges, was the Director of the Gallery for four years. It's where there's an exhibition of portraits from previous series of Portrait Artist of the Year - see EXHIBITION: Portrait Artist of the Year (2013 - 2021) opening next week.
    A new commemorative exhibition of portraits generated by eight series of "Portrait Artist of the Year" is to be held at Compton Verney Art Gallery - between 19 February – 5 June 2022.
    So you could go and visit the exhibition - and then take your paints and have a go at painting the view from where the pods located in this episode!


    It looked as if they had a perfect day, good light without the sunlight being blinding and warm but not too hot - and no rain.

    The Artists

    These are the final eight artists selected from the 2,000 artists who applied. 
    Links to their websites are embedded in their names and links to social media sites provided where identified.

    Professional Artists

    Five professional artists participated in this episode

    • Julia Borodina - a Fine Art Painter educated in Russia and Britain. She's a full time professional artist and art teacher (classes & Zoom) who now lives and works in West Yorkshire and exhibits nationally and internationally including at the Annual Exhibitions of the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colour, the Royal Society of Marine Artists and the Society of Women Artists at the Mall Galleries in London. She enjoys painting landscapes from life outdoors - and it shows. Very sensibly she organises her artwork for sale on her website into price bands. She also works on commission for a variety of clients.
    • Oliver Hurst (Facebook | Instagram | Twitter) - painter and illustrator based in Bath. Generally paints what he calls an "adjusted landscape" - often something with a historical theme or a fictional view influenced by current events.
    • James Kirwan  (Instagram | Twitter) - Visual artist and muralist based in Dublin. His sites are short on bio detail. His submission was a painting of a view of the black valley in County Kerry and uses his technique of spraying a frame first. 
    • Rebecca Noelle Purvis (Instagram) - an American born artist who is now based in Northumberland. Studied illustration and printmaking at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She has taught art for over 20 years in both private classes and in University classes. She now teaches in Northumberland and for commissioned classes. She works in mixed media on brown paper (from brown paper bags).
    • Kate Aggett (Facebook | Instagram)  - Based in North Devon, she has a BA degree in fashion and textiles and creates collage artwork from natural materials eg reclaimed fabrics, handmade papers, card, pastel and mulberry silk papers to dried pressed leaves, feathers, bark and lichen. She is an Academician at the South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts (SWAc), a member of The Fine Art Trade Guild and an Associate Guild Society Artist (AGSA). This is her blog post Competing in Landscape Artist of the Year 2022
    The weather was in our favour on that long 12 hour day of filming and we all worked to the best of our abilities in the four hours given to produce a picture.  It was such a fabulous, energetic, positive experience. One which took me completely out of my comfort zone. Panic, excitement and working amongst a flurry of film crew whilst trying to focus allowed me or rather forced me to approach my work in a more fluid, sketchy spontaneous way which I hope to take into my future work. Very freeing and satisfying. Just could have done with another four hours and a sit down! 
    Kate Aggett

    Amateur Artists 

    There were three amateur artists

    • Raymond Gill (Instagram) - a former architect who retired 13 years ago. He likes to add narrative to his landscape paintings and created a fantastical nuclear plant for his submission
    • Quango Leung (Facebook | Instagram) - A hairdresser who has recently turned to landscape art. He produced a very energetic pastel submission of Hong Kong protestors sitting down with their umbrellas. However his website indicates no other landscapes.
    • Adalia Mynett  (Facebook | Instagram | Degree show)- an MA Fine Art student at BCU following BA Fine Art at Aberystwyth University. Her submission was the view from her student residence. She always starts from the darkest colours in her paintings. She also paints from life a lot and keeps her paints in her car and drives around looking for landscapes to paint! I like the paintings on her website better than the ones she did for LAOTY.

    Wildcard Artists

    As always 50 enthusiastic artists - both professionals and amateurs turned up to see what they could make of the subject matter.

    As per normal, there were interesting aspects to the wildcard artists ( see themes below) - and an  eclectic arsenal of techniques and tools. This time we had 

    • pyrography
    • angle grinders
    • and more people than usual using pastels

    If I was a pod artist I'd be very jealous of their good view of the zingy deckchairs with reflections in the water


    The submissions for this episode were international and included
    • Hong kong protesters with umbrellas
    • A view of Manhattan from New Jersey
    • A  streetlight in Aberwyswyth 
    • A fantastical nuclear plant + Elvis lookalikes
    • A romantic landscape in Ireland - with framing device
    • A view in imagination of the artist
    • A view of the harbour at Mousehole in Cornwall - using bark and leaves and tissues - which nevertheless manages to look like a hyperrealistic painting
    • a view of a forest using loose mark-making

    Themes and Learning Points

    Bring your own Studio / Pod etc!

    Both Pod artists and WildCards are liable to surprise in terms of what they bring with them.  Kate Aggett chose to bring most of her studio with her - including the table she normally works at.

    I spotted near the beginning that a number had brought their own version of a pod to keep them dry - in terms of various kinds of tents. One looked suspiciously like a toilet tent - and the owner was subsequently interviewed by Joan Bakewell - and my guess was correct. Apparently it can also double as a shower tent. Seems like a sensible solution to the omnipresent rain issue.

    Fantastical images

    What was interesting in this episode was that there were TWO artists in the pods whose submissions were fantasy landscapes  - they mixed elements of real landscapes today with aspects from history or total fantasy.

    I'm left wondering whether last year's winner prompted more people to think that aspects of fantasy in landscape was acceptable. I think it's entirely possible we might see more in future - although I think it would be a great pity if this ever became a competition for fantasy illustrators as opposed to people who paint real life and landscapes.

    Finding "the right view"

    The major challenge - for every pod artist and wildcard artist in every episode - is to find "the right view".  

    But what is "the right view"?

    The Judges frequently opine near the beginning of every episode - before we get into the painting proper - what they are looking for on the day and what they think artists need to think about when deciding what to pick as their view. It's always worth listening out for - but it's just "an opinion" - and in my opinion, they're not always right.

    This episode identified (explicitly or indirectly) a number of factors and a theme (see next point for the latter).
    • How best to compose a visual interpretation of the Compton Verney estate and house - that is in essence the question. The next question is "both estate and house or estate or house and if the latter which?"
    • What's the focal point? - I can usually tell who will NOT be in the shortlist by whether or not the artist has recognised the need to have one - and how you arrive at it
    • Where to draw a line / how to choose the edges of the composition. Those who use a sketchbook before getting started are more likely to have made a considered response to this issue - but not always. I saw evidence of people not using their sketchbooks in an intelligent way. Drawing one large thumbnail in a sketchbook is not the same as trying and experimenting with different options before selecting the best option.
    • What should you choose to replicate when the landscape is already designed and perfect? It's a very good question which is always relevant every time this series takes them to a historic house with parkland designed by Capability Brown or followers.
    "the perfection is already there so we don't need to replicate it"
    • How precise? The converse of "how loose?" I continue to be absolutely amazed by people who hone in on areas where they can start painting with precision before they have blocked in the complete landscape.
    • What format - when faced with a panoramic view? Should you use a panoramic format or go for a vertical slice and maybe a portrait format?
    • What size is right for the hours available? This seems to me to be a question which is not asked or answered well by numerous artists. I wonder how many realize that larger can sometimes be easier because it enables artists to work more loosely. (I well remember the complete sense of revelation the first time I 'went large'). Or that if you intend to work smaller, then it might well be advisable to send in a larger submission.

    The Long View

    Four of the artists went for "the long view" - these were
    • James Kirwan - who included both bridges on the lake
    • Julia Borodina - who included both the lake and the house and an expansive amount of parkland
    • Quango Leung  - who chose to paint the house, the location and the film crew. At least I could see cameras and cameramen at some point!
    I'm always left wondering how many go for a wander before painting starts to check out options and maybe take a sneeky photo or two....

    How to apply and remove paint

    I love it when we see artists using methods to add and remove paint which don't involve brushes. So we saw.......
    • Julia using what looked very like a sponge to wipe on fluid paint as a sky very accurately and quickly. It's 'tricks' like this which can make all the difference to artists who need to find quick ways of applying first layers of their painting to make sure they finish within the four hours.

    • a wildcard who was using pyrography to create her artwork. Now that's a technique where there is going back - a burned line does not erase easily!
    • a wildcard chap using an VERY noisy angle grinder to remove paint
    There's a school of thought on Twitter about those with the more unusual approaches i.e. that it's a common technique used to attract attention and get on television - and the film production companies fall for it every time! 

    I do wonder though whether most viewers wouldn't prefer to see rather more of the wildcard paintings in preference to the latest 'gimmick'. 

    Things that can trip you up

    It's good to recognise that artists do realise there are various ways in which they can sabotage their own efforts. 

    I remember well the episode where the artist had a very loud reminder note pinned in full view - to remind her of her particular rabbit hole which she needed to avoid.

    This time a couple of artists identified the following
    • Spending far too much time on one bit - at the expense of the rest of the  painting
    • Not going fast enough generally - which means you're rushing at the end when you ought to be slowing down and taking a considered view of how best to maximise the impact of the painting
    It's always very sad to see artists, who are obviously very competent, failing to finish on time and having unfinished paintings to present for the critique by the Judges.

    I felt sure Raymond was a contender for the shortlist when he started - but he simply didn't finish his painting.


    The Wildcard Winner

    The Wildcard winner was pastel artist Ewen Walton from Henley on Thames. He was one of three pastel artists who caught the attention of the Judges.  (I can't find a website or any social media).

    He produced a large and accomplished rendition of a sizeable corner of the parkland - and was not seduced by the bright colours of the deckchairs.

    Note the use of the monochrome thumbnail sketch and the colour palette sketch pinned top left of his easel to provide 
    • a record of the original idea for the composition and 
    • a roadmap for the completion of the work.
    The Judges thought it a wonderful evocation of the scene.

    My favourite pastel artwork done by a wildcard was this one - in part because it broke a lot of usual rules e.g. don't put your focal point in the centre; don't have a vegetation fringe at the bottom of your artwork - but somehow it worked for me - and I liked the colourful deckchairs!  I've no idea who did it. If anybody wants to help me out with a name I'd be very happy to include it.

    Who created this pastel painting?

    The Shortlisted Artists

    The artists waiting to hear who has been shortlisted

    The shortlisted artists were (left to right below)
    • Rebecca Noel Purves
    • Oliver Hurst
    • Julia Borodina
    I don't recall another shortlist where two of the three artists came from other countries - although they now live in the UK.

    It's interesting that two of the three had a quite wide perspective on the landscape panorama in front of them.

    Plus they're also three very diverse interpretations of the same view. If hung in an exhibition in an art gallery you'd be hard put to realise they were yards apart in the same location when they drew/painted them.

    Artwork by Rebecca Noelle Purvis, Oliver Hurst and Julia Borodina

    Rebecca Noes Purvis

    submission and heat painting by Rebecca Noelle Purvis

    Both of Rebecca's drawings were panoramic - with one being a portrait slice of a distant view of Manhattan and the other being a panoramic landscape format view of the iconic trees in the foreground with a glimpse of the building which is Compton Verney House in the background.

    The Judges commented that the language she uses for her drawing is very consistent despite changing format.

    Oliver Hurst

    submission and heat painting by Oliver Hurst

    Oliver's is an interesting but quite small painting. If intending to paint small in the heat, I'm of the opinion that it's vital you demonstrate you can paint larger in your submission.

    His two paintings have a consistency of both tone and colour palette and also across both the factual aspects and the illusions - but the submission is the stronger of the two. The heat painting seemed to lack any sort of narrative.

    Julia Borodina

    submission and heat painting by Julia Borodina

    I was totally unsurprised that Julia got shortlisted. My only surprise was that she didn't win. I think she quite possibly lost out to the desire by Storyvault Films to NOT have every artist in the semi-final using the same media and painting in the same kind of way.

    The Judges commented that: 
    • Julia plunges into nature and understands well how it looks and feels
    • She's very good at using the light to move the eye through paintings
    • She has a great use of colour and uses it well to conjure up distance within her paintings.

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    Heat Winner (Episode 5)

    The shortlisted artists waiting to hear who has won
    (Left to right) Rebecca Noelle Purvis, Oliver Hurst and Julia Borodina

    The Heat Winner was Rebecca Noelle Purvis

    Tai shared with us that the reason Rebecca won was "we all want to see what she does next"

    She's a really intriguing artist. She uses mixed media but it's really all about drawing. Not just the appearance but something more and the result is beautiful surprising and takes us to a different place.

    Semi Finals

    The next episode is the Semi Finals - which will comprise the winners of the five heats plus a wildcard artist selected from the five wildcard artist winners in each heat.

    They haven't put up the link as yet - but I happen to know that the semi finals involves "painting the Forth Bridge" - literally! 

    My blog posts for this series of LAOTY 2022

    My reviews of the first four episodes in the current series are below
    This post is about the Call for Entries for those wanting to submit an application to paint in the heats to be held this summer.

    Past Posts about Landscape Artist of the Year

    CALLS FOR ENTRIES - Series 6, 7 and 8

    To help you prepare I RECOMMEND that you
    • Take a look at my reviews of the last THREE years (below) - which include lots of pics - to help you have a think about whether you want to enter.
    • Watch previous series in a major binge on Sky or Now TV - where all episodes are available.

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

    2021: SERIES 6

    Filmed in 2020 after the first lockdown - and the production company were not travelling far from London!
    “I had been called by the production company at the end of June to tell me that I had been selected. I knew I would only have four hours to paint something on the day, so set about training myself on days in July to create something acceptable in my style in four hours, I took some days off work and went off on my bike to paint for four hours in the open, so that on the day I would be used to sitting and painting for that time. It meant that on the day I was able to focus and not panic. In the end I think I did the best I could, but everyone can judge when they watch the programme." Stephen Jordan - Lecturer displays artistic talent on Sky Arts - who produced one of my favourite landscape entries for the competition (which had taken a while to paint) - see below - hence his approach to getting up to speed
    In my view those most likely to do well put very simply are
    • those who have a well developed method for painting i.e. they know what they're doing and they've done it lots of time before
    • those well used to painting plein air - and coping with all sorts of weather and variation of weather and light during the time you are painting
    • artists who focus on composition and how best to represent the view
    • those who produce the best paintings. It's not about style - it's about quality
    Commission and pod paintings respectively by:
    (left to right) Shelagh Casebourne, Ophelia Redpath and Clare Lord

    2020: SERIES 5 

    EPISODE 1: Review: Episode 1 of Landscape Artist of the Year 2019 at Smeaton Tower, Plymouth Hoe
    • A dominant vertical and a strong horizontal and an awful lot of water
    • Being flexible with your formats
    • No game plan
    • Finding the beauty on the day - and avoiding the twee
    • and finally - don't arrive with a gimmick to market your normal artwork
    EPISODE 2: Review: Episode 2 of Landscape Artist of the Year 2019 at Herstmonceux Observatory
    • Finding clothing / kit solutions for extremely challenging weather
    • Skies are important: what to do about a grey sky which keeps on changing
    • The value of a coloured support
    • Don't dodge the complexity (What to do when you don't like the subject)
    • Where have the tablets all gone? 
    EPISODE 3: Review: Episode 3 of Landscape Artist of the Year 2019 - Millenium Bridge Gateshead
    • How to crop a complicated view
    • Sketching as preparation
    • How to work out the wildcard winner before the announcement
    • Tools: masking tape and sharp edges
    • Game Plans and time management
    • Use the Heats to enhance your preparation 
    • PLUS
      • Landscape Artist of the Year 2019 | Camilla Dowse
      • Landscape Artist of the Year 2019- Gateshead | Fujiko Rose
      • Sky Arts 'Landscape Artist of the Year 2019' An amateur artist's journey ... | Keith Tunnicliffe
      • Filming Day... | Keith Tunnicliffe 
    EPISODE 4: Review: Episode 4 of Landscape Artist of the Year 2019 at Herstmonceux Castle
    • What to do when it's a grey day with bad lighting
    • Buildings versus nature
    • What to do about a very BIG building which is very full on?
    • Practical tips from a pod artist
    • PLUS
      • Smile for the Camera: Sky Landscape Artist of the Year | Sarah Manolescue
      • Landscape Artist of the Year 2019 - Wild Card
    EPISODE 5: Review: Episode 5 of Landscape Artist of the Year 2019 at the Tyne Bridge
    • Studio Artist vs Plein Air Painter
    • How many different ways can you paint the same view
    • Where is the sun?
    • To shadow or not to shadow
    • Don't be twee!
    • Different tools for different folks
    • PLUS: Sky Landscape Artist of The Year Contestant! by Clare Bowen
    EPISODE 6: Review: Episode 6 of Landscape Artist of the Year 2019 - Drake's Island
    • Submission paintings reflecting last year's venues
    • Which view to choose in bad weather?
    • Which medium to use in changing weather?
    • Lush oil and interesting brushwork
    • Hold back on the kitsch
    • Not a lot of tablets
    SEMI FINAL: Review: Semi-Final of Landscape Artist of the Year 2019 at Cromarty Firth
    • PLUS: Landscape Artist of the Year | Semi Finals | Cromarty Oil Rigs | Fujiko Rose 

    I'm adding Series 4 back in later!