AN artist from Witham has been given a wildcard entry into a TV art competition.

Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year is searching for the nation’s best landscape artist in the new series.

Claire Harding is one of 50 wildcard artists invited to take part in the competition.

The artists were invited to Plymouth to present artwork to the judges with the hopes of making it to the semi-finals and one step closer to winning a £10,000 commission to create a landscape piece of Venice for the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects.

Claire began painting landscapes earlier this year as part of a ten-week watercolour course at Witham’s Adult Learning College.

She said: “Two years prior to doing the course, I had been suffering badly with depression. Drawing and painting was a surprising way for me to relax and enjoy creating something – you can just lose yourself in what you are doing.

Having always watched the Sky Arts series, Claire built up the courage to send some of her paintings in and apply to take part.

She said: “I could hardly believe it and was so excited when I got the call. I planned my trip down to Plymouth, booked an Air BnB and went down to Devon by myself.

“I would never have done anything like that before. I would definitely recommend any budding artists to just go for it, have a go and enjoy the experience.”

Claire has also started painting commissions and set up her own social media pages.

She added: “The dream would be to become a successful artist and to earn a living that way, but I am happy to use art just as a way of relaxing and enjoying my spare time being creative.”

Claire and the other wildcard artists will feature on episode six of the series, on Sky Arts on Tuesday, November 19.

See Claire’s art on Instagram and Facebook at @Clairehardingart.