Susan with her impressive pieces / Credit: Neil Pledger

The local artist appeared as a wild card on the show where she had the chance to win art materials and a hefty commission.

Local artist Susan Issac formerly worked as part of an archaeology team at Lancaster University, but moved to Nottinghamshire with her husband back in 1990, to live on the family farm he had inherited.

Since then Susan has held several exhibitions at Stodman Street Gallery in Newark, and is well known for her paintings and sculptures.

Most recently, Susan’s ‘Between Time’ exhibition has been in the gallery, made up of pieces she created whilst inspired by the global pandemic.

Susan had watched Landscape Artist of the Year for a number of years, but never felt she had the confidence to give it ago – that was until last year.

She said: “I didn’t think I’d ever be able to put myself forward for such public scrutiny, however after changing my working practice to a more location based approach and winning a number of plein air awards I was feeling a little more confident.

“And then with the pandemic hitting and opportunities for artists disappearing rapidly I felt that if i was ever going to give LAOTY a go, now was the time.”

Credit: Landscape Artist of the Year

Susan was selected as one of 50 wild cards for the shows sixth season, a section which she ended up winning.

Filming for the show took place over the summer of 2020, when the lock down rules had been eased, and although the 2m distancing rule was in place all artists had an allocated area.

Susan’s painting ‘The Folly at West Wycombe Park’ had gotten the attention of judges, Tai Shan Sherenburg, Kathleen Soriano and Kate Bryan, who appeared with the camera crew to ask questions about her technique.

She said: “We had a very tranquil discussion about my processes and later one of the production team told me that he’d really liked what I was doing, it was just so pleasing to have been noticed.

“I didn’t have any expectations of winning as there were some impressive works being produced and other interviews being conducted.

“I was so dismissive of being successful that I’d wandered off when Kate was announcing the judgement and I was astonished and delighted to realise that she was standing next to my easel and congratulating me, it was a surreal ending to a surreal day.”