Winning the Buxton Spa Prize in 2016 really has changed the life of Derbyshire artist Sandra Orme, pictured above with her painting.
The £5,000 prize enabled her to create a purpose-built studio at the end of the garden at her Rock Bank home near Harpur Hill, so now she can hold workshops and classes as well have peace and quiet for her drawing.
“It has been quite life-changing for me, as it has freed up a bedroom in my home and given me my house back, as well providing me with a space in which I can get much more work done,” she said.
“I always wanted my own studio but it was never going to be possible until I heard my name called out that night.
“I never dreamt I would win the competition and always entered because I enjoyed the challenge of pushing myself to draw something I would not normally do,” said Sandra, who creates atmospheric landscapes with pastels and charcoal.
“The competition certainly takes you out of your comfort zone but I would encourage anyone to enter because it really is a great experience.”
Whaley Bridge artist Rob Wilson, who was the winner of the Spa Prize in 2015, says the award helped him to win a prestigious commission from Westminster Abbey.
One of his paintings is now featured in a wide range of gifts including wallets and key rings at the Abbey.
“It was a very special commission, and in part it was down to the exposure the Buxton Spa Prize gave me,” he said.
Rob is now a member of the Spa Prize organising committee and they are calling for artists to take part in the 2017 event.
Artists of all ages and abilities are encouraged to enter and capture the historic spa town en plein air (in the open air) during May and June.
Once again the Open Category has a first prize of £5,000 from the Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and second and third cash prizes. The renowned Harold Riley sketchbook prize will be repeated with a prize of £2,000 from The Riley Trust.
The Buxton Spa Prize also has a Children’s Prize for under 12s and a Teen Prize for those aged under 17; both include vouchers for artists’ materials.
Buxton Spa Prize judges include leading UK en plein air artist Pete ‘The Street’ Brown, Derbyshire Museums’ Manager Ros Westwood, Peak District Artisan Ingrid Karlsson and Prize Sponsor Louise Potter.
Artists can register to enter from April 1-May 14 online at http://www.buxtonspaprize.co.uk where you will be able to find more details and rules about the competition.