Artist of the Year 2012

We are always impressed by the variety of work that you submit to our Artist of the Year competition. Here we showcase the winners of the 2012 subject categories.

Details about how to enter Artist of the Year 2013 are now online here.

The overall winner of the Abstract or Experimental category was Jackie Ward, with her wonderful ‘Weird Fish’. “I like doing all sorts of paintings, from still life to landscapes, but I really enjoyed this one,” she says. “The base is a collage with all the text referring to fishy things and the sea; that’s covered in transparent ink, with the fish made of collages of random pieces of paper and acrylic beads stuck on for the bubbles.”

Jackie has been running art classes for local schoolchildren for 15 years, but only started entering competitions and selling paintings a couple of years ago. “I was thrilled to hear I’d won, particularly since one of my other pictures, ‘Cherry Tankard’ won the Professional prize in the Still Life category,” she says. “Entering competitions gives you something to strive for. I like other people to see my work and give me feedback, that’s what keeps me going.”

‘Weird Fish’ 53 x 63cm, by Jackie Ward, winner of the Abstract or Experimental category AOY

The main winner of this year’s Still Life category was Sarah Ball with her watercolour painting ‘Still Life v.1’. “In February I joined the SAA, after a fellow member of my art society in Frome recommended it,” she says. “I thought it would be great for ordering my watercolour paper in bulk but when I saw the competition I thought I may as well have a go.

I was elated to learn that I had won Best Still Life and also come close in the Abstract and Seascape categories. It is wonderful to be awarded this accolade when other professional experts are judging and scrutinizing your work, and it has given me the courage and tenacity to carry on believing. I have three sons so my art takes a back seat sometimes.

However, with a little persistence I am able to push through and find some just rewards, such as this one. I now feel in a position to try a ‘pop-up’ gallery of my work with a few other artists in my local village.”

The Still Life category winning painting ‘Still Life v.1’ 50 x 33cm, by Sarah Ball

Teresa Allen was delighted to be awarded the overall prize in the Waterscene, Boats or Seascapes category with her acrylic painting ‘Crashing Wave’ which was done from photographs she’d taken of a beach in Portugal.

She believes her success in Artist of the Year 2012 has already changed the way she approaches her art. “It immediately gave me more confidence in what I’m doing,” she says. “As a result I’ve taken part in the Surrey Artists Open Studios, which I haven’t done before because I thought my work wasn’t as good as everyone else’s.

But winning this has given me a huge boost and I’m now feeling more confident about pricing my work properly and intend to take part in more competitions and may even do something with an online gallery that has contacted me. It has been a wonderful, life changing experience.”

‘Crashing Wave’ 40 x 50cm, by Teresa Allen, winner of the Waterscene, Boats or Seascape category

Mike Thorn doesn’t usually enter competitions. “I’d got a bit lazy with my art recently and my last exhibition was three years ago,” he admits. “But then I thought I’d send in a few paintings to Artist of the Year and see what happened. I painted ‘Wrestler’ in oils at the end of last year, and it was a bit of a fantasy picture – some of it came from my imagination, some from photographs and a friend who’s covered in tattoos helped me with those! It’s a strange subject so I wasn’t sure I’d get anywhere with it!”

‘Wrestler’ won the Portrait, Figure category, and Mike says it’s typical of his figurative work. “I like painting big, bulky people, who often have a menacing look about them,” he says. “But I try to capture their soft side and also inject a bit of humour.”

‘Wrestler’ 70 x 100cm, by Mike Thorn, winner of the Portrait, Figure category

Winning the Wildlife & Animal category was all the more rewarding for Juliet Hodgson because she had entered her first oil commission. “The owners of Oscar and Ollie had asked me to do two separate watercolour paintings of the dogs last year, and were so pleased with them that they commissioned an oil painting of the two together,” she says. “I really enjoyed doing it and felt I was getting the hang of oils more than ever before.”

The owners were happy for Juliet to enter the painting into Artist of the Year, and were as delighted as she was to hear it had won. “Little did they know what they’d started when they asked me to do this picture,” she says. “I’m just an ordinary person, and since I lost my husband I love being involved in my painting.

Through my pet commissions I’ve made some really good friends, because you talk to people, meet them and their animals, take photographs, and often build a good relationship with them. We all feel proud of this painting and what it has achieved!”

‘Oscar and Ollie’ 18 x 11 in, by Juliet Hodgson, winner of the Wildlife & Animal category

Maureen Davies has been a regular entrant to Artist of the Year, and was the overall winner in 2007 with ‘Evening Olives Luberon’. This year she won the Landscapes or Woodland Scene category with ‘Forest Mist’ and two of her other entries were Commended. “I always enter a variety of pictures in different categories,” she says. “After all these years I do have a rough idea of which pictures stand a better chance of winning, but it is always difficult because the more you look at your paintings, the less sure you are about them!”

Picking up so many awards has definitely boosted Maureen’s confidence over the years. “I’m entering more competitions, and galleries start taking notice if you’ve won various prizes; it makes you stand out from the crowd.”

‘Forest Mist’ 81 x 91cm, by Maureen Davis, winner of the Landscapes or Woodland Scene category

Finally, winning the Flowers or Gardens category came as a wonderful surprise for Jane Minter. “This is the first time I have felt ready to enter, and as an overseas member I welcomed the opportunity to submit via email this year, as costs for entering competitions overseas, with framing, shipping and returning works, can be expensive,” she says.

“My inspiration comes from everyday life: we live in the Italian countryside and make our own wine, and I painted ‘Vintage Vendemmia’ in our vineyard just before harvesting the grapes in September. It represents what I love doing - painting on a daily basis, recording and finding inspiration from nature and changes of seasons.”

‘Vintage Vendemmia’ 23 x 30.5cm, by Jane Minter, winner of the Flowers or Garden category


Artist of the Year 2012

We are always impressed by the variety of work that you submit to our Artist of the Year competition. Here we showcase the winners of the 2012 subject categories.

Details about how to enter Artist of the Year 2013 are now online here.

The overall winner of the Abstract or Experimental category was Jackie Ward, with her wonderful ‘Weird Fish’. “I like doing all sorts of paintings, from still life to landscapes, but I really enjoyed this one,” she says. “The base is a collage with all the text referring to fishy things and the sea; that’s covered in transparent ink, with the fish made of collages of random pieces of paper and acrylic beads stuck on for the bubbles.”

Jackie has been running art classes for local schoolchildren for 15 years, but only started entering competitions and selling paintings a couple of years ago. “I was thrilled to hear I’d won, particularly since one of my other pictures, ‘Cherry Tankard’ won the Professional prize in the Still Life category,” she says. “Entering competitions gives you something to strive for. I like other people to see my work and give me feedback, that’s what keeps me going.”

‘Weird Fish’ 53 x 63cm, by Jackie Ward, winner of the Abstract or Experimental category AOY

The main winner of this year’s Still Life category was Sarah Ball with her watercolour painting ‘Still Life v.1’. “In February I joined the SAA, after a fellow member of my art society in Frome recommended it,” she says. “I thought it would be great for ordering my watercolour paper in bulk but when I saw the competition I thought I may as well have a go.

I was elated to learn that I had won Best Still Life and also come close in the Abstract and Seascape categories. It is wonderful to be awarded this accolade when other professional experts are judging and scrutinizing your work, and it has given me the courage and tenacity to carry on believing. I have three sons so my art takes a back seat sometimes.

However, with a little persistence I am able to push through and find some just rewards, such as this one. I now feel in a position to try a ‘pop-up’ gallery of my work with a few other artists in my local village.”

The Still Life category winning painting ‘Still Life v.1’ 50 x 33cm, by Sarah Ball

Teresa Allen was delighted to be awarded the overall prize in the Waterscene, Boats or Seascapes category with her acrylic painting ‘Crashing Wave’ which was done from photographs she’d taken of a beach in Portugal.

She believes her success in Artist of the Year 2012 has already changed the way she approaches her art. “It immediately gave me more confidence in what I’m doing,” she says. “As a result I’ve taken part in the Surrey Artists Open Studios, which I haven’t done before because I thought my work wasn’t as good as everyone else’s.

But winning this has given me a huge boost and I’m now feeling more confident about pricing my work properly and intend to take part in more competitions and may even do something with an online gallery that has contacted me. It has been a wonderful, life changing experience.”

‘Crashing Wave’ 40 x 50cm, by Teresa Allen, winner of the Waterscene, Boats or Seascape category

[accordions title="" active=3 event="click" collapsible=true disabled=false autoheight=false]
[accordion title="Read the rest of this article"]

Already a member?

Members Click here to log in and access the full article.


Not yet a member of the SAA?

Access to the full article is reserved for SAA members only.  If you are not a member of the SAA, then find out more about joining here.

As well as access to this article and more, just some of benefits SAA membership provides are:

  • The inspirational PAINT magazine delivered for FREE six times a year
  • Interact with like-minded artists and find your place in the UK’s largest art community
  • Full access to the PAINT article reference library
  • FREE welcome pack including practical help, advice and gifts
  • Exclusive discounts, member-only offers and FREE P&P on thousands of brand name art supplies

Join the worlds biggest and friendliest art society

Whether you're just starting out or you've been painting for years, being a member of the SAA can help to encourage and inspire you for years to come.

Join today from as little as £27.50 a year.

A recent review from a member

”I heard about the SAA through my Art Group and a friend let me have some old copies of PAINT magazine to look at. I was immediately impressed with the articles and the help inside and wrote away for the free sample of the magazine. Well that clinched it! I joined up the next day and using the easy website began buying artists materials on their Home Shop. They were much cheaper than other suppliers.

They send a welcome pack with a hard copy of the catalogue, which is glossy and a good flick through for selection of materials and DVDs etc. PAINT magazine is full of helpful and inspiring articles, and I keep my copies close to hand in my studio for reference.”

Vanessa Bavington

[/accordion]

[/accordions]