Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year – Wild Card Entry Did you know last year on a whim I entered Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year? No? Well, here I go letting you know. 🙂 I didn’t quite make the shortlist, however I was invited to take part as a Wild Card entry – so I decided why not?! 🙂
My Experience – Preparations
And *OMG* what an experience that was. Having not done anything like this before, I felt a little like a fish out of water as the impending challenge crept close and closer. I chopped and changed my idea of what materials I will take with me, regular oils or watercolour or quick drying oils? Then there was the decision about what size canvas would be best?
Decisions, decisions – I changed my mind as quick as a yo-yo spins! On the day, thinking about the logistics in taking the artwork back with me and how well wet oils would travel, I decided to go ahead with quick drying oils. Not realising the drama that would unfold on the day.
Quick drying oils + summer baking sun = sticky painting material (which also equals to tricky working medium – eak!) :O
So canvas packed, supplies gathered I set off with my sister to The Eden Project in Cornwall. I felt like I was taking everything plus the kitchen sink with me. Yet I still felt like I might have left something behind.
Nerves have a funny way of saying ‘hello, let’s enjoy the ride’. In my case, it was packing every bit of art equipment under the sun and then some.
Arriving in Cornwall, the weather was very kind to us. Glorious sunshine greeted us in a blanket of warmth and tranquility. It felt familiar, reminding me of time spent in another sun kissed country I’m quite used to, Turkey. But I digress.
Nerves certainly have a way of wrapping around you. The night before the big event I hardly slept a wink. I felt dishevelled when I woke, I couldn’t quite just believe it. Hoping the lack of sleep might just dig up some reserved adrenaline, I got ready and headed off to The Eden Project with my sister. We were ready and set to go, all organised from the day before.
At Eden’s Gate
Fortunately we arrived at The Eden Project in good time. We joined a queue of fellow artists waiting to be checked in. The whole affair was very organised, with all the cogs turning as expected. My canvas got the seal of approval with a stamp on its back to give providence and I suspect to prevent any potential tomfoolery if anyone chanced upon it. I surely was not planning to!
With me I had a backpack and a trolley with all my art materials and equipment. Walking with this along the long stretch to the allocated spot for the Wild Cards, were quite the feat, I had not catered for the extra trek – particularly navigating the slopes meandering through the landscape a little sleep deprived… Having said that, my sister’s company paired with the lovely artists I met and got chatting to – was second to none and made the lugging around spritely and fun.
The Allocated Space
The Wild Card’s allocated space came as a bit of a surprise, I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but in my minds eye I had envisioned a luxurious space where we would be able to stretch out and paint with no barriers between us and the landscape. So, when we came to a sudden stop in a, what I can describe as a concrete pathed terrace, I was left a little dazed and confused. We had just walked down a slope towards the space, and had just experienced our first step in-front of the cameras, when bam we were asked to stop as we reached barriers ahead of us signalling us to do so. I looked up to my sister and then whirled around to see similar quizzical looks by my fellow artists. It appeared this was where we needed to camp out for the next few hours.
Plein Air Painting
We were allowed to wander the grounds and take photographs of any areas beyond our vision and paint from the photos. Which I intended to do. But the call of plein air painting became too strong, so I ditched what I was comfortable with and decided to peer over the hedge in-front of me and paint the hilly landscape and beyond. I had not fully understood what an undertaking that was going to be, particularly when I was soon going to realise the pitfalls of painting with quick drying oil paints under the basking sun.
Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year – Wild Card Entry
Dun dun dunnnnn… to be continued.. 😉