Wednesday 4 December 2013

Sky Arts Portrait Artist - view from the cutting room floor

Sadly my contribution to Sky Arts' excellent Portrait Artist of the Year series, which we filmed back in the summer and which included me doing a fun interview with Frank Skinner talking about comics - he's a fan and knows his stuff - and me doing a mini Comic Art Masterclass and loads of caricatures, didn't make much of an appearance in the final show. Pity, though, the photographers who staged the excellent Marriage Of The Arnolfini portraits, whose work didn't even get a glimpse on screen.

You see a tiny bit of my workshop in the show, and the trailer, but none of the rest of it. Of all the surrounding artists on the day, ie those other than the main artists in competition on whom the show concentrates, only the man who paints portraits on toast with Marmite (has to be seen to be believed) got his interview shown. It's a credit to the show, which has been eminently watchable, that they planned it well, including a wide variety of artists like myself at each event, just in case the competing portait painters didn't give them enough to work with. But, as has been the case in all the episodes so far, from Glasgow, London, Dublin and Cardiff, the core artists are more than interesting enough to fill the whole show. Indeed there are a lot of the competing artists who don't even get heard on screen, with only a handful getting shown in detail. One can only marvel at the footage that must have been shot and gone unused, with 21 competing artists in each heat all getting cutaway interviews at various stages of their progress, then only the 9 semi-finalists getting their interviews used.

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