I had only just got into Sky's Landscape Artist of the Year 2015 when along came The Great British Pottery Throwdown.
What I'm thinking of Sky's Landscape Artist of the Year. I'm loosely a landscape artist myself so this has been of great interest to me. I like the format, stick the artists out in the cold and wet and let them get on with it. I thought it might favour the plein air brigade but a printer and a delicate watercolourist have both done well so far. Whilst it's called landscape artist of the year it seems more a case of stately home artist of the year, which I suppose is fair as the National Trust is providing the venues.
I find it interesting to see how other people work, and particularly discovering that they're not afraid to use all the tools available in this digital age. A few were overwhelmed by the tasks and others attacked it with vim and vigour and an awful lot of colour.
In each episode the organisers invited someone with a strong link to the venue to choose one of the paintings to keep. It's been noticeable that they've chosen the most representational of the pieces. The judges on the other hand had no such concerns!
I'm not sure I will agree with the judges when they get to their winners, but it's an entertaining and mildly instructive programme and I like it.
The Great British Pottery Throw Down is a delight of entertainment in the same way as the Bake Off is. It's produced by the same production team and follows a very similar format, but with a time span of days, not hours.
I love pots, I buy pots, so it was an enjoyable bonus to see them being made. My potter friends were particularly pleased to having light shone onto their skills. And if there's one thing I took away from this programme it's how strong your hands have to be. All that kneading and manipulating large chunks of clay.
It's been the first episode this week, but we're settled in for a nice run and I shall be watching and cheering to the end.