2022 will now be known as the year I won something!
I applied to attend the filming as a Wildcard entry in Whitstable, following in the footsteps of my Mum who was a Wildcard at Chartwell in 2020.
The wildcards were positioned in socially distanced lines along the pontoon, looking out across the coast to the West towards Seasalter. It was difficult for me at first, because I am a graphic designer by trade and I like to compartmentalise with lines and block colours. So, after sitting, staring around me for about twenty minutes, I turned myself sideways and decided to focus my attention on the Lifeguard Station. After all, to me this is one of the key elements that makes Whitstable what it is. A family friendly beach town. In fact, during the day the lifeguards were called out 4 times! It was an extremely busy day, the hottest of the year so far and the coastline was covered in people trying to enjoy the sun together.
I’ll be honest – I was a bit too enthusiastic to begin with and realised after half an hour that drawing straight on to my linoleum would have been fine, if I had remembered to draw my landscape reflected! With the fact that I had already wasted an hour of my 4 hour time allowance, I started again. Amusingly, Kathleen Soriano caught me starting my second and we shared a giggle at my expense.
The rest of the day went well. I decided to create a jigsaw block – cutting my Lino in to 3 slices so that I could ink them in separate colours and pop them back in to my jig reassembled. This yielded a clean and vibrant print, which was honest & unquestionably mine. I am glad I made a jig and used my Turnes Burton Pins as this made the process a lot quicker and easier.
Colour choice was easy. It was the hottest day of the year and everyone was uncomfortable, so the combination reflected that. The heat made the ink run away, but I was glad I chose oils as the quick drying of water based inks would have been potentially awful.
Pack down was interesting, as I had so much to clean up. However, using vegetable oil and paper towels meant that I didn’t need access to water, so I just wiped everything clean and popped it in a bin bag to take home and recycle. I collected my Lino shavings in a pot and put everything back in my box.
Linocut outside is definitely hard work. Keeping out of the sun as it changed position was a challenge, but I’m glad I chose to sit on the floor – it was preferable to being hunched over my lap for 4 hours. The crew seemed amused by my little floor area but Kate was happy to sit down with me for two progress interviews.
At the end, the director explained that one Wildcard would be chosen from the 50 artists as the Wildcard winner and that Kate Bryan would reveal who that was. I stood and had a giggle with Dame Joan Bakewell, though I will admit that at the time, I had no idea who she was! It’s fortunate that I was on my best behaviour.
When Kate stopped to speak to me I was completely unprepared and shocked. Having spent the day surrounded by so many capable artists, it seemed surreal to be the chosen one. Watching it back, my face says it all!
7 months later, I am still utterly riding the wave of this experience.
Linocut is a very misunderstood art form and isn’t represented enough. To create a print in just 4 hours is a huge challenge and as the image only arrives at the end of the process, it’s difficult to visualise – especially for those who are new to the concept. It’s not as instant as a painting.
My work has often invited criticism and I definitely felt out of place amongst the oils and watercolours. But I am proud that I was true to myself, I created a print that is honest and having watched the programme back now, I believe that I won simply because I was different. And ultimately, that’s what all of us artists are trying to achieve isn’t it… ?
5 thoughts on “Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2022”
I’m interested in your rochester castle lino cut. I was wondering how much you charge?
Hello, thank you for your interest in my artwork!
An original A4 linocut is £60 and an archival quality Giclee is £20.
I will be updating my website with available new print runs over the weekend.
If I can help with anything else, please ask. KT
I would also be interested … please keep me ipdated
I thought your print was lovely and well done! Having been a Wildcard myself a few years ago, I appreciate the challenges.