I felt I’d done well in the circumstances, although I would have preferred to do more on it.
I’d achieved my goal of finishing in the time. By now, I’d seen where the Wildcards were placed and their location is more suited to my style. We were allocated slots so given no choice in our location. Personally, I’d have chosen one of these two.
Having finished the paintings we were encouraged to look at the work of our fellow competitors.
I managed to see the people either side of me before we were whisked away to the Island. This was to allow the judges to make their decision and to film the comments. We were not permitted to hear what they were saying.
To keep us busy they did more filming.
Throughout the day we’d been doing “Vox pops” – interviews where you talk to the camera.
A production assistant asks you a question which you then answer, including the question but not looking at the camera, Sometimes it was hard to keep a straight face as various sound engineers and lighting men tried to hold their equipment close enough to work but not in shot. It was a bit like watching attempts to break the “How many can you cram into a telephone box” record. or maybe a scene from a cartoon.
We all did them. In the morning it had been “How we felt about getting through?”, “What we were worried about?”
Now it was “How did we think we had done?” What would we spend the money on if we won? What did we think of the other Artists’ pieces?
There was a lot of hanging around to take pics.
Then the dreaded moment arrived, the first round of judging.
We stood, motionless in a line for what seemed an eternity while the camera did a panning shot. Eventually the judges decision were announced, and the three shortlisted artists stepped forward. Those of us not selected shook hands with Joan Bakewell and Frank Skinner before being led away from the judging area.
The “Also-rans” had to remain on site, so there was a lot more hanging around.
In the beautiful grounds of Scotney Castle in baking sun. It’s a hard life!
Finally we were called back and the Heat Winner was announced, Howard Weaver.
What did I think of the winning piece?
It was a very well executed, traditional painting. Of the final 3, not the one I was expecting to win. I understood the judges favoured more contemporary work in the past. So it will be interesting to see the results of the remaining heats, and, of course, the overall winner.
You can find a link to the full episode at the end of this post.
Would I do it again?
Yes! If I get the chance. (And I did)
Would I do it differently?
Yes! I would
- bring binoculars so I could see more detail of the buildings.
- have focused more or a part of the architecture.
- have modified my technique more. Included more mixed media.
- taken more risks
- bring a hairdryer!
Would I paint in a different style?
No. I was keen not to abandon my established working method completely. I freely admit my finished picture is not my best work. I struggled with drying times, a problem I was expecting and why my paintings normally take days to create. It meant I wasn’t able to develop my piece as much as was necessary. Watercolour tends to go flat if you put too much on at once. It also takes time for the effects I use to develop. I had to let it dry. In fact the judges were worried I wasn’t going to finish in time. This does not come across in the final edit as most of it was cut out.
I had considered trying a more conventional approach prior to the competition but felt that was selling out. I was selected based on my unique style. I’ve worked hard to create it. I just need to figure out a way to make it work in the time frame, if I get through. All I can say is…
Watch this space!
The original painting is now available for sale in my shop.