Fylde artist takes on a painting challenge in new TV show

Maria Berotolone, from Bispham, at work in Newcastle.
Maria Berotolone, from Bispham, at work in Newcastle.
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A Fylde coast artist is set to take on Britain’s best amateur painters in a popular TV show.

Maria Bertolone is to appear in a new series of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year

TV personalities Stephen Mangan and Joan Bakewell are back with a brand new series, travelling the country on the hunt for nation’s best landscape artist.

In the third episode, which will air on Sky Arts at 8pm on Tuesday, October 29, eight artists take on the awe-inspiring Gateshead Millennium in a bid to impress judges Tai Shan Schierenberg, Kate Bryan and Kathleen Soriano.

The winning artist will go through to the semi-final and get one step closer to claiming the prize, a £10,000 commission to create a landscape artwork of Venice for the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects.

Meanwhile, also vying for the judges’ attention are 50 more artists, the Wildcards, filling Baltic Square with a burst of colour and creativity. If they succeed in creating a masterpiece, they too stand a chance of reaching the semi-final.

Maria, who is originally from Manchester, but moved to Bispham 30 years ago is one of the wildcards in Newcastle, aiming to get noticed.

She says: “I have had considerable success in the Bispham area and I exhibit my work in libraries in Fleetwood and in Poulton.

“I have always been captivated by drawing and I have been an artist for as long as I can remember.

“I enjoyed chatting with Joan, who was pleased I picked up on the boats moored nearby and was painting them.

“I really enjoyed it and had a lovely day.”

Joan Bakewell adds: “It’s always fascinating to watch the artists grow and evolve their style throughout the programme and witness the incredible creativity in their interpretations of beautiful British landscapes – and to witness the debate amongst both the judges and viewers over which artist they believe to be the worthy winner.”

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Sky’s Head of Entertainment at Sky adds: “Landscape Artist of the Year has made watching paint dry a must-see experience.

“And if the show inspires more people to take up a brush and a pot of paints then we’ve all done our jobs.”

To celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of John Ruskin, the winning artist will visit some of the Victorian art critic’s most-loved Venetian architectural icons, to photograph, sketch and take artistic inspiration, before returning to the UK to create a landscape artwork that will be unveiled by Stephen Mangan and Joan Bakewell, and hang at RIBA’s prestigious London HQ.