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Cranham artist makes it to semi-finals of Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Year

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 April 2019

Tom Mead from Cranham competed in this year's Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Year. Picture: Storyvaults

Tom Mead from Cranham competed in this year's Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Year. Picture: Storyvaults

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A young artist from Cranham made it all the way to the semi-finals of a national portrait competition.

Tom Mead's final piece he created in Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Year's episode on Tuesday, April 16. Picture: Tom MeadTom Mead's final piece he created in Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Year's episode on Tuesday, April 16. Picture: Tom Mead

Tom Mead, of Clyde Crescent, was selected from thousands of contenders to compete in a TV series that crowns Sky's Portrait Artist of the Year.

He just missed out on the winner's title of Portrait Artist of the Year to Duncan Shoosmith from Marlborough in the final episode of the series which aired on Tuesday, April 16.

Tom, 21, told the Recorder: “It was fantastic. It all became quite real when I realised that I had made it to the finals.

“I was such a big fan of the show before and I knew from watching it that to make it to the final three is a major achievement.

Tom Mead from Cranham with Joan Blakewell, co-host of Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Year 2019. Picture: StoryvaultsTom Mead from Cranham with Joan Blakewell, co-host of Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Year 2019. Picture: Storyvaults

“That was my dream, for me to be able to get to that stage, it was quite exciting.”

Speaking about the celebrities he was asked to paint, Tom admitted that he was a bit too young to know who all of them were.

“Laura Linney was the only one I struggled with,” said Tom.

“First of all there was the pressure of being in the final. She was also sitting quite far away and there was the added pressure with the fact that the judges wanted to see us improve and push ourselves each time.

Tom Mead from Cranham with finalists of Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Year 2019. Picture: Stephen PoverTom Mead from Cranham with finalists of Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Year 2019. Picture: Stephen Pover

“I think we all felt that it was tricky.”

This year the show was hosted by Stephen Mangan and Joan Blakewell.

Tom is in his final month of a fine arts painting course at UAL Wimbledon University.

He said: “I think portraiture is the most important part of my art.

Tom Mead, a semi-finalist of Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Year 2019 at an exhibition of his work at Clarendon Fine Are Gallery in Mayfair. Picture: Stephen PoverTom Mead, a semi-finalist of Sky Art's Portrait Artist of the Year 2019 at an exhibition of his work at Clarendon Fine Are Gallery in Mayfair. Picture: Stephen Pover

“I also like telling a story through the painting and to do it through the glitch texture effect.”

The glitch effect involves distorting a piece of artwork to show visual glitches in the art.

Tom was due to join the other finalists at a special event in Mayfair on Wednesday, April 17 at the Clarendon Fine Art galley where the finalists' artwork was exhibited and available for people to buy.

Visit tomemead.co.uk to see more of his work.

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