Sunday, September 14, 2014

BIG news!!

Walking through buttercups, Harpur hill
Oils 26" x 28"
Buxton Spa Prize Winner

With our certificates!
Rob Wilson (3rd prize), me and then Keith Wilkinson (2nd prize)
Thanks to Bertolutti Dora for photo

I am absolutely delighted to announce that I am the first prize winner of the Buxton Spa prize 2014, the inaugural plein air painting competition held in this beautiful and vibrant Derbyshire town. The prizes were announced at the exhibition preview and prizegiving evening on Thursday and I haven't had a chance to blog until now or for it to sink in really!

The judging panel consisted of the eminent artists Harold Riley and Ken Howard OBE RA, Viscountess Cobham the Chairman of VisitEngland and the Art Fund Prize, Ros Westwood the Derbyshire Museums Manager, Anne-Lise Fraser the Programme Cordinator at Leek School of Art and Louise Potter local businesswoman and Manager of the Literary Festival a long standing supporter of cultural initiatives in Buxton and Trevor Osborne who is leading the project to restore Buxton Crescent and an active supporter of the arts.

I painted this large work en plein air on Harpur Hill in Buxton, which was my allocated spot for the competition. I don't often get a chance to paint a wide ranging vista and of course the light changed fantastically throughout the day but I really enjoyed the whole process and was pleased with the freshness of the result. I also felt that it was a landmark work for me and fortunately I've had a few of those lately. It's hard to explain but it's sort of a feeling that something in the painting is showing me the way forward for my work, ahead of it's time almost or a turning point.

Of course I didn't know that the judges would love it as much as I did! The eminent artist Harold Riley spoke about painting being about love and honesty, and then said that my work showed emotion and captured the spirit of the Derbyshire peak district. 

I am still a little stunned by the events of the evening! My prize is £5000 and my painting has also sold. After the prize giving some photographs were taken and then we the prize winners were given a sumptuous dinner at the Old Hall hotel with the judges and organisers. It was the most exciting night, thank goodness I had booked a room for myself in the beautiful place next door, No 6 The Square, as I was in no fit state to drive two hours home afterwards. Too shaky! 

The exhibition of all the works created for the competition in the summer of 2014 can now be seen at  the Green Man gallery situated at Hardwick Hall in Buxton, and will remain on show until October 12th. I am going back to see the exhibition soon as there are so many gorgeous paintings and I didn't get a chance to view them with all the people there and all the activity going on during the preview.

With my painting and red dot!
Now before anyone mentions, no I didn't realise I was co-ordinating my dress with the painting and of course I didn't know I would be having my photo taken at all! A lot of the Facebook comments are loving the dress and saying that I look like a buttercup myself :-)

With judge artist Harold Riley on the stage
Thanks to Bertolutti Dora for photo

The painting in progress on Harpur Hill in July

Detail from painting


  1. Beautiful painting Haidee, and congatulations, you deserved it. All the best.

  2. I am delighted for you Haidee-Jo, both for the win and the sale. I wish I had spoken up sooner as I was so tempted by this painting, especially as the hills at Harpur have special memories for me. Your painting career is certainly going at a pace and you so deserve it with all the time and effort you are putting in. Wonderful! The very best of luck for the future. PS Yes, I like the dress too :)

  3. Huge congratulations to you Haidee-Jo such a worthy winner. I love the direction your work is taking - great leaps forward.
    I had to laugh at your comment about colour co-ordinating. I was in a similar position on Saturday evening as I too won a prize and my top also echoed the colours in the painting! We must have psychic powers.

    1. Thanks very much Carol and congratulations to you too! xx

  4. Lovely painting - and lovely dress too! Well done Haidee-Jo - thoroughly deserved!


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