Our very own Art & Design teacher, Shaun Morris, has recently appeared on TV in the Sky Arts series Landscape Artist of the Year 2021. The competition saw 36 professional and amateur artists from all over the UK go head-to-head in six heats to be crowned Landscape Artist of the Year, and to win a massive £10,000 commission. Each week, a group of 6 artists were taken to a new location where they had just 4 hours to recreate their surroundings and demonstrate their unique styles and talents.
Shaun was one of the 36 artists to be selected from thousands of applicants. He has been a successful professional artist for over 25 years, having been awarded grants from Arts Council England as well as hosting exhibitions and completing commissioned work.
Shaun and the other 5 artists in his heat were tasked with painting West Wycombe Park, a beautiful National Trust property near High Wycombe. The artists were painting an unfamiliar landscape under strict time constraints to be judged by 3 professional curators and artists. To add even more to the challenge, the painting was to be completed ‘plein air’, or outdoors in the elements.
At the end of a fantastic episode, the judges and presenters praised Shaun’s use of bold colour and loved his playful and energetic painting.
‘It was very exciting, and I was proud to have my painting selected, a small urban landscape, and to be invited to become a contestant. Painting in those circumstances was a real challenge on the day but a unique opportunity that I had to grasp with both hands. The highlight was working alongside some incredibly talented artists that I’ve become friends with since, and the positive feedback I’ve received since the show aired has been phenomenal. I’ve since discovered that ‘Landscape Artist of the Year’ over its many series brings a wonderful community of artists from all over the country together and it’s great to become a part of it. I really think I’ve become a better painter since I took part’.