Northants teacher gets wildcard entry to Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year

Michele painted Plymouth Hoe as a wildcard artist on Sky Arts' Landscape Artist of the Year
Michele painted Plymouth Hoe as a wildcard artist on Sky Arts' Landscape Artist of the Year

A teacher from Wollaston will appear in the first episode of Sky Arts' Landscape Artist of the Year on Tuesday (October 15).

Michele Milroy, a science teacher at St Thomas More Catholic secondary school in Bedford, won a wildcard to be on the show.

The eight main contestants get pods to paint in

The eight main contestants get pods to paint in

Michele said: "I responded to an advert at the end of the programme, and you send off copies of three pieces of work and then you get a response several weeks later."

Each week, the competition pits eight artists against each other to paint a landscape in just four hours with the winning artist progressing to the semi-final.

The overall winner will receive a £10,000 commission to create a landscape of Venice for the Royal Institute of British Architects.

There are also 50 more wildcard entrants each week all vying to catch the judges' eye and win a place in the semi-finals.

The 50 wildcard artists have to paint in the open, exposed to the elements

The 50 wildcard artists have to paint in the open, exposed to the elements

Michele said: "They invite 50 other artists to come along and you sit in the background and you paint."

Michele said the eight main artists are given small pods to protect them from the elements as they paint but she and the other wildcards were exposed to the weather.

"We had to contend with the elements," she said.

Michele will be featured in the first episode of this series and painted Plymouth Hoe with acrylic paints.

The science teacher took a day off work to travel to the competition and said: "It was nice that they supported me to be able to do that. Being a teacher, it's quite difficult to get time off."

Michele said: "I have always done a lot of drawing, it's only more recently that I have painted and painting landscapes is much more recent.

"I've recently started in acrylics and I'm currently trying out oil pastels.

"It's just for pleasure but I have sold the odd piece."

Michele normally draws and paints animals, she said: "I particularly like doing horses and I do some dogs."

The teacher said she enjoyed the experience and will try her luck next year.

She said: "It was great fun. It was an interesting experience and I think there's a £10,000 prize, so why not [enter]?

"I got some nice comments from the judges."

Michele added that a man she painted alongside as a wildcard last year was a main contestant in this year's competition, so she hopes she has a good chance for next year.

Landscape Artist of the Year will be on Sky Arts at 8pm.

It is presented by Stephen Mangan and Joan Bakewell and is judged by Tai Shan Schierenberg, Kate Bryan and Kathleen Soriano, who are all artists.