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Stratford artist Andrew Field takes part in TV contest Landscape Artist of the Year

AS we face a bleak midwinter, with lockdown restrictions preventing us from exploring more than a few miles from home, a chink of escapism is being offered with a new series of Landscape Artist of the Year.

Now in its sixth year, the competition show is hosted Stephen Mangan and Joan Bakewell and sees 36 gifted artists challenged to create works of art at some of the UK’s most spectacular settings. Contestants have four hours to complete their landscapes, which range from the classical grandeur of Britain’s historic houses, via idyllic rural scenes, to modern cityscapes. All will be under the watchful eye of the judges: art historian Kate Bryan, curator Kathleen Soriano, and renowned portrait artist Tai Shan Schierenberg.

Joan Bakewell and Stephen Mangan (43916747)
Joan Bakewell and Stephen Mangan (43916747)

On a sunny day last August, Stratford artist Andrew Field found himself in the beautiful vista of West Wycombe Park, a National Trust property in Buckinghamshire, to take part in the season’s second episode, which was broadcast last week but is available to view on catch up.

Father-of-four Andrew worked as an artist and teacher in the Middle East for many years before settling in Stratford in 2015.

He says he applied to be on the show as it was a great opportunity and he relished the challenge. Andrew was selected from thousands of applicants to be a “wildcard artist” – so while he is not one of the main competitors, there’s still a chance he could be selected to progress through the competition.

“It was a gorgeous day. I felt comfortable in front of the cameras and just got into the zone with my painting,” said Andrew. “I was really chuffed with how my painting turned out in the end.”

While most of the 50 artists present on the day chose to depict the obviously picturesque view across the lake at

West Wycombe, Andrew decided on a less obvious spot as he didn’t want to go with the crowd. A particular highlight of the day was when Schierenberg came over to Andrew to chat about his painting. “He’s one of my absolute idols,” explained Andrew.

“You’re painting for hours and it is competitive but chatting to him boosted my confidence.”

Andrew hoped the judges would see the “energy and freshness” in his work.

He added: “I like work that’s got emotion and feeling in it and that’s what I was looking for. I don’t like chocolate box, I like something a bit more raw.

“I love a lot of the abstract expressionists down in Cornwall, artists that really go out in the environment and experience it and represent it in their own way with their own voice.

“That’s what every artist is searching for, their own voice.”

Andrew appears on Landscape Artist of the Year on Sky Arts (available on Freeview) or click here. To find out more about Andrew’s work visit www.andrewfieldfineart.com.

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