Competition for a spot at a grand exhibition at the Mall Galleries, featuring a former engineer, an ambitious teenage sculptor and an 18-year-old English student.
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Britain's top artists make big money.
Their works can go for millions.
Nine million five. Ten million. Ten million five. 11 million.
Up and down the country, thousands of ordinary people
are also trying to get a piece of the action.
They're putting their necks on the block for the chance
to sell at the hottest exhibition in town.
That would be the biggest exhibition I've ever been involved in.
It'd be out of this world to see my work hung up on a wall.
Being here today is a dream come true for me.
These artists could stand to make some serious cash.
-12,500 on it.
But first, they need the seal of approval
from three of the art world's toughest critics.
Who would buy it and why?
Their hopes are in the hands of the Hanging Committee.
I don't think this photograph is any good.
It's monumental in a way, isn't it?
It's time to Show Me The Monet.
Hello and welcome to Show Me The Monet.
Over the past few months, ambitious artists,
both amateur and professional,
have been facing our rigorous judging panel,
the Hanging Committee.
Roy Bolton is an experienced art dealer.
He's sold thousands of paintings over the years and has an eye
for art that sells.
Emotion in art is what really matters.
Art needs soul to be alive.
Charlotte Mullins is a contemporary art specialist
who's hoping to uncover a new art superstar.
I'm looking for originality.
Artworks that make me see the world in a completely new way.
And David Lee is a no-nonsense critic who doesn't pull any punches
when it comes to voicing his opinion.
Good technique through practise is essential.
Without it, they'll get nowhere.
These experts were the gatekeepers to our exhibition.
Thousands of hopeful artists applied,
but only the very best would hang their work at the Mall Galleries.
Coming up on today's programme,
an artist who's battled the odds to follow his dream.
-I was diagnosed with a brain tumour when I was...
-Oh, my goodness!
Roy delivers a few home truths.
I don't think you're going to like what I'm going to say.
And David is almost lost for words.
It's so bad, I can barely think of anything to say about it.
Eltham Palace, south London, once home to the entire Tudor court.
It was here
when the kings and queens of Medieval England once resided,
that artists from all over the country
arrived to face the Hanging Committee.
First up was 42-year-old Michael John Ashcroft, from Preston.
He was an engineer for a major car manufacturer.
He only started painting
when something happened which turned his life upside down.
I always wanted to be an artist,
but it took a life-changing moment really to bring it on.
-I was diagnosed with a brain tumour when I was...
-Oh, my goodness!
And that was a shock out of the blue.
I got diagnosed with a genetic fault after that,
which causes multiple head and neck tumours,
and I've had, I think, four since then.
But I've had radiotherapy and I'm fine, but throughout...
throughout the ordeal, if you like, the illness, art has kept me going.
See I'm absorbed already. I just love it. I love the power of it.
Why come here, Show Me The Monet?
To come and get the chance to show your work
in front of some great critics.
I mean, your public see your work,
but it's not often you get the chance to show art critics.
What would you do with the money if you did sell?
Oh, I'd have to treat my two children and my wife.
They've put up with a lot, take them on holiday. Absolutely.
You are a fascinating character, and I love the fact
-that art makes such a difference to your life.
I wish you the very best of luck with those judges.
-Away there, through that door.
Not only has Michael battled a life-threatening illness,
this father of two gave up a steady job
to dedicate his life to painting.
Has he made the right decision?
He's hoping his oil on canvas painting
will prove to the judges that he's got what it takes.
Would you like to introduce your work to us?
This painting is called The Bridge
and it's a painting of Canal Street in Manchester.
It represents my fascination with light and dark
and the emotional struggle that I've had
when I was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1998.
It's about the dark and light in the bridge, and crossing the bridge,
and always trying to stay on the bright side of the street,
and always slipping back to the darkness.
That constant battle of trying to get back to the light.
Could you tell us what value you put on your...
And is that based on sales that have already been made?
-It is. Yeah. Two of them.
-Could we have a closer look?
Please, please do.
Michael has poured his heart and soul into this painting,
but to make the exhibition,
it'll need to stand alone as a work of art.
Will it be good enough to take him through to the exhibition?
Michael's family has been through a lot.
If he sells his painting,
he's promised to take them all on holiday.
-What's your view of this painting?
-Such confident brush strokes.
I think... I love the trees.
When you're sitting back here, there's a quiet stillness to it.
But when you get up close to it, there's so much energy
in some of those brush strokes. The trees are literally alive.
And yet there still is this tranquillity of the water.
I've got some issue with the tranquillity of the water.
Where the light is catching it, just under the bridge,
that seems like a still canal or any body of water that's still.
As you come closer, it almost feels to me
like it's a section of frozen water, it's got a more mottled feeling.
But yet it's still calm.
The light was really to draw your eye towards the focal point,
which was the bridge,
and about the passage from the dark to the light.
Michael has clearly been through a lot in his life
and his work reflects the ups and downs.
It's a highly emotional piece for him,
-but will the judges make that connection?
-I know this street.
I remember it when it was...
This was a squalid strip of open sewer with all sorts in it.
I suppose in a way it's a symbol for the regeneration
of a down-at-heel city.
So, I'm predisposed to like it, for probably the wrong reasons.
If I owned this picture and I looked at it every day,
everything you're saying, without me having never met you,
would, I think, be imparted.
It all reflects a certain sense
of subtle eeriness, depression, dark is bad.
My only criticism
is your emotional involvement with the work
doesn't necessarily come over to me.
Very mixed reactions from the judges.
There's a lot riding on this for Michael.
He needs their approval to confirm he has the talent
to make it as a successful artist.
Is his painting good enough to secure him a spot in the limelight?
I'm going to say, yes.
Charlotte didn't make the emotional connection.
But the painting did enough to gain her yes vote.
Just one more needed.
I'm not going to reject it
on account of its rather stolid traditionalism,
because I think you've made a very good attempt at this,
so I'll say, yes, as well.
It's unnecessary now for me to say anything, but a qualified, yes.
There are elements you should work on in the future, but it's yes.
It's a triumph for Michael. He's off to the exhibition.
But will he sell his work and earn some cash for that family holiday?
The Mall Galleries, London.
Michael's Manchester canal scene took its place on the wall
at one of the hottest exhibitions of the year.
The room was filled with dealers, collectors and the general public,
and Michael was enjoying every minute of it.
Just to walk in and just have a little glimpse of where it is,
yeah, it's a nice feeling, I must say.
If anyone wanted to make an offer on his work, it was made in secret,
and was subject to a 10% sales commission.
The picture of the Manchester canal,
I think that's possibly going to sell.
-I think this is lovely.
-Thanks very much.
-It is the colours that attract one's eye.
The results of the bidding were only revealed after the exhibition,
when I opened a sealed envelope for the first time.
-Michael, nice to see you.
-Great to see you.
You looked as if you were having a ball last night.
It was a fantastic night.
Absolutely fantastic, we've thoroughly enjoyed it.
-Got approached by a gallery, which was great.
-Oh, I like this. What did they say?
They took a card, and they were interested in my work,
and they were opening a new gallery in Richmond,
so, we'll see what happens.
So a bit of wheeling and dealing.
Because if I remember correctly, how much did you want to sell this for?
It was £2,500.
-So about £2,500.
-So, here we go.
Well Michael, you wanted £2,500 for this painting.
You made contacts. You schmoozed.
-You look as if you're building a career.
Did you make any money tonight?
Well, we had one offer.
And it was for...
-£1,000. What do you think?
So, £1,000. Is that enough for you?
Not really for this piece.
No, I know it'll bring the asking price. Definitely, for sure.
-So, it's a no sale.
Give this man a round of applause.
So, Michael didn't sell, which was lucky,
because after the exhibition he did get the full asking price,
and he's had his first major solo exhibition in Lancashire.
For many aspiring artists,
the Hanging Committee was the chance of a lifetime.
But only the very best would win a place at the Mall Galleries.
Professional artist, Emma Fenlon, presented her sculpture,
inspired by her childhood memories of houses.
My granny lived in a... sort of like a manor house,
which was mocked up like a castle.
They used to lock us out and we used to go in
one of the other 500 doors all over the place and explore and explore.
Roy just couldn't feel the connection.
I spent my childhood rambling around ruined castles.
Loads of memories are very strong.
I don't feel like I'm part of this in any way.
But David had a very different response.
I want to examine it, as I would with anything that was made
with love and belief, as this is.
I like follies, yes.
But with only one yes vote, Emma didn't manage to make it through.
Working mum, Pauline Yates, wanted £750 for her photograph
of a busy Cambridge street.
It encapsulates classic Cambridge to me.
There's the bikes, there's the footfall, the students.
Charlotte thought it was an attractive image.
That's beautifully done.
I'm not criticising your technical ability.
But she struggled with its originality.
You don't make me see Cambridge in a new light.
You're not surprising me.
In the end, it wasn't quite enough for the judges.
I think Pauline may be the kind of person
who you need to see a body of work.
-Not far enough for me, sorry. No.
Next up was professional artist, Perdita Sinclair,
with her creatively-titled painting, Show Me The Manet.
I wanted to do a version of Manet's famous painting,
and set it in a very confused setting of the modern world.
It was based on the well-known work, Le Dejeuner Sur L'herb
by Edouard Manet, but it got off to a bad start with Roy.
Using a very famous painting as the skeleton
turns me off right away, as a standalone, proper work of art.
Don't you feel that every artist, as they sort of progress
through their career,
should continually look back at other artists?
Charlotte agreed with Perdita's idea.
I actually like contemporary painters who look back,
and look back at art history, so I feel like I'm in your camp
-as much as I can be at the beginning.
-But she didn't feel Perdita
had achieved anything new with her painting.
I'm just not sure you have communicated
what you're trying to say with using this old image.
-I am going to have to say, no, on this painting.
Professional artist, Jodie Philips, brought along her abstract painting
of the Japanese nuclear disaster at Fukushima.
I was very moved by the tsunami
and subsequent nuclear disaster in Japan.
David was unconvinced by the painting's abstract nature.
I can't understand why you don't just paint what's there.
I mean just the fact that we could identify as a power station
would make it then a more interesting image.
And for Charlotte too, it was Jodie's style that cost her
a place at the Mall.
It's a particularly loaded, heavy subject.
And yet the palette and even the style, is quite decorative.
And the pink sky with the white fluffy swirls.
It's a no from me, Jodie.
Next to arrive at the palace
was 18-year-old Leon Cheung, from Shropshire.
His interest in sculpture was sparked in the kitchens
of his family's restaurant,
and now he's decided he wants to become a full-time artist.
Welcome to Show Me The Monet.
So, your family happy about that,
that you're going into an artistic career?
Well, there's been a bit of debate, cos they're quite traditional.
-So they want me to do a more serious profession,
like be a doctor or a lawyer, something along those lines anyway.
So, how did you pick up an interest in art anyway?
Well, I did loads of garnish sculpting.
I did garnish sculpting for the restaurants,
made them look pretty and stuff,
and then, how can I apply my current skills and translate that
into a different medium?
So, you know, from carving carrots and stuff like that,
I translated it to clay.
Yeah, never have I asked myself,
"What can I do with a carrot that I can do with ceramics?"
but that's what an artist's life is like, I suppose.
If you manage to sell your piece at the exhibition,
what would you spend the money on?
In handling money, I'm quite dynamic!
I like to reinvest it in my work.
Good luck. The judges are through there.
-It's been a pleasure meeting you.
-We'll see you afterwards.
-Just through that door.
Leon is brimming with ambition.
He's ignoring his parents' pleas to get a sensible career
and is determined to become an artist.
A place at the exhibition would prove to them
he has made the right decision.
His hopes rest with this polymer clay sculpture, entitled Sprint.
Please tell us about your work.
For this piece, I wanted to, um...
How did I start?
Can we start again? I'm sorry.
Sorry, I've completely forgot my line.
This sculpture was previously in another competition.
I managed to secure third place in a national competition
based around the theme of the Paralympics.
For this piece, I wanted to draw on inspirations from
the Renaissance artists, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo.
In the Sistine Chapel there's a painting of a character, a figure
on the left side of God, holding a skin in the clouds.
And then, you know, I just based my ideas on that
and how I can, like, incorporate it in this sculpture.
Leon, what's the price you put on this sculpture?
How did you come to that figure?
I had a private offer of £4,000.
I would have snapped that up!
-I would, too.
-I didn't give an answer back.
Why didn't you take it? Is it because you wanted to see...
I just wanted to see what, you know, what comes on my plate,
as it comes, I don't know.
We're going to come and have a look.
Wow! Leon's turned down some serious cash there.
He said he wants to reinvest any money he makes back into his work.
Well, £4,00 would buy him quite a bit of clay.
But perhaps he's hoping he'll get an even better offer
if he gets through to the exhibition.
-Are you studying art?
Are you a BA student, or...
I'm still doing my A-levels.
Are you? How old are you?
Just turned 18.
Oh, my goodness! You look older, that must be useful!
-Tell her the same thing!
Yeah! Yes, thank you.
I wouldn't, if I was you. Leon's got youth on his side,
but has he won the judges over with his artistic skills?
Why did you have him hoisted, dangling from that armature,
rather than in a more earth-bound pose?
No, I wanted it to be, like, dynamic, frozen in time.
Well, can't it be dynamic standing on the ground?
But this is just, like, I wanted to express feelings
of determination, focus and aggression
at the very initial start of the race. That literal, like...
It looks like they're doing the long jump at the moment, cos it's so off the ground.
Maybe, if that's your intention, have it lower.
Off the ground maybe, if you like.
I just want to make it look dynamic.
Michelangelo, who you mentioned,
made his sculptures look dynamic and didn't have them
sort of looking as though they were leaping over the moon.
I quite like the idea that this figure is flying through the air,
only for novelty reasons, I don't think I've seen that,
but I seriously dislike the pole stabbed into the back.
I was just going to mention the modelling.
It looks like plastic spaghetti to me,
it doesn't look like muscle fibre.
I chose this material over potters' clay,
because the properties of this material are second to none,
in terms of, like, holding and retaining the detail.
Really fine, intricate detail,
which you can't achieve with traditional clay.
-The detail's very impressive.
You know, I hate my hat off to you.
18, working on something like that - you know, it's ambitious.
But it does look a bit like...
A sort of superhero character from a game.
I thought it the tackiest object I'd ever seen
when it was unveiled, but it does have something new.
Well, David is intrigued by Leon's sculpture,
and Roy liked the novelty value in it.
It's hard to predict how this vote will go.
Roy, would you like to go first?
Leon, it just doesn't grab me.
OK, thank you.
Yeah, I don't like this, at all.
There's all sorts wrong with it.
I'm going to say yes.
Thank you, David.
Oh, Leon, you have one yes and one no.
I'm afraid I'm going to say no.
-OK, thank you.
-Which means it won't make the exhibition,
but it has been a pleasure to meet you, and to see your work.
It's been a pleasure meeting the three of you.
-All right, thank you.
Well, that's a blow for Leon. He hasn't made it through,
but I hope his dreams of becoming an artist don't stop here.
Sadly you didn't get to the exhibition.
What have you learnt?
Take on board what they have to say, respect it,
and then just try again next time.
-Well, it's been a real pleasure to meet you.
-Safe journey home.
The next artist hoping to impress our judges
was 46-year-old former hairdresser, Maureen Domoney.
Maureen has dreamt of being an artist her whole life,
but only started painting last year
after finding the confidence to pick up a brush for the first time.
-You look a little bit nervous.
Are you really? Welcome.
Are you a full-time artist?
-I'm a full-time mum, and full-time artist.
I left school when I was 16.
My art teacher told me I lacked the imagination to go to art college
and therefore I didn't think that I could, so I became a hairdresser.
What would be your dream? What would you like to do in the art world?
I would like to sell my paintings for quite a lot of money.
-So I can support my small family properly.
You know, we struggle.
I mean, what would it mean to you, then?
-I wouldn't believe it!
I think I'd like to be told I'm not wasting my time.
-A lot at stake. Good luck.
-The judges await. Keep smiling.
-Thank you. OK.
This is going to be quite an ordeal for self-taught Maureen.
And with so much riding on the judges' decision,
she's going to need nerves of steel.
'I'm terrified of walking down that huge hall
'towards the Hanging Committee,
'and having to talk about my work, and justify my work.
'I find that quite scary.'
It's make or break for Maureen right now.
She wants a straight answer to a straight question -
is she wasting her time?
Her hopes and dreams all rest on this oil painting,
which she's called Water Baby.
-Welcome to the Hanging Committee.
Please tell us about your painting.
Well this is a painting of my son, Freddie, in the bath,
and it sort of was a happy accident, really.
I was jut snapping away with the camera.
I've been drawing for quite a few years,
but I've only been painting for about 18 months,
so I've been on a very steep learning curve.
I started with acrylics, and this is my first oil painting.
And what value do you place on this work?
We'll come and take a closer look.
Maureen's a bundle of nerves, and this can't be helping...
..her very first oil painting just inches from the eyes
of three of the leading critics in the art world.
Her dream is to be able to help support her family
from the sales of her paintings,
so a spot at the Mall Galleries would be the perfect place to start.
I mean, for a first attempt that face is really...
He's a cheeky chap isn't he?
It's not bad.
But the water is the problem for me.
This is an image about...
What, where the surface of the water actually is?
Where the surface of the water hits the face
and conveying the sense of water across the rest of the image.
It's like an abstract blue ground.
It looks like a background, the rest of it.
As I said, this is my first oil painting,
and my learning curve has been very steep,
and I'm learning each time.
For a first oil painting it's...
I think it's fantastic work, for a first effort.
But do you realise...
..that this is a very freakish-looking image?
Yes, I do. To me, it's not freaky. But...
Mmm, that's what I thought.
Some of my friends, my son's friends, yeah, find it quite spooky.
That's what I thought.
This is the problem with painting from photographs,
that you get the shadows, the lighting that was at that moment.
This is lit from underneath.
It's a horror, it's a horror image.
It doesn't say any of the things that I think you see in it because you see them.
A horror image?
Steady on, Roy, that's Maureen's son you're talking about here.
What was wrong with the photograph?
Are you saying that I should just use a photo?
What does a painting add that you don't get from the photograph?
I think, for me, with this photograph
I just thought I could add more depth.
And I just had the overwhelming desire to paint it.
It's a tricksy idea to try and paint a child in the bath.
The water isn't successful, but the face is,
and for a first attempt I really think you've got something
as a portrait artist.
So I would say, cut out the tricks,
and stick to simple portraits of your son, or other children,
because, actually, that's very good, and could be really good.
It was quite important for me to feel that I'm not wasting my time...
-You're not at all.
That's what I really wanted to hear, so thank you.
OK, well we are going to take it to a vote.
We'll just consider your work one last time.
You're going to say no!
You never know with us!
Hang on in there, Maureen.
The judges haven't pulled the plug on your painting yet.
Let's see if you're right. Roy.
Maureen, I look forward to seeing you next year.
When you have a new and better painting.
This time, no.
-Yeah, bring us a painting next time. No.
It's no from me.
You were right, but thank you very much, Maureen, it's good to see it.
-Keep it up, seriously.
Kind words, also. Thank you.
-You're certainly going in the right direction.
-Thank you. Thank you.
Maureen won't be joining us at the exhibition,
but she has got what she came for -
she's definitely not been wasting her time.
Oh! Come here, come here. I'll give you a hug!
I could see that was quite tough work for you, wasn't it?
Yeah, I was really shaking. Yeah.
Deep breaths, deep breaths. How was it for you, then?
Better than I thought.
I will never have a critique like that again, you know, so...
-You never know.
-Come back and show another one?
-We'd love to see you again.
-Cos we'd love to see how you've progressed...
..and maybe you might have something next time
-magical enough to be at our exhibition.
-That would be good.
You better. Good.
-Lovely to meet you.
-Thank you, take care.
-See you. Safe journey home.
We invited artists from all over the country to send in their work,
and we were overwhelmed with the response.
Paintings, photographs, drawings and sculptures,
all of an incredibly high standard.
Next up at the palace was 18-year-old student Mark Izatt.
Mark's dream is to show his art in galleries all over the world.
But he's not actually studying art - he's studying English literature.
-Hi, Mark. Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you too.
I thought it'd be great to have a sort of academic basis to my art.
Was it a bit of a struggle?
Yeah, a really hard decision to choose between art and English,
but I think it's good to read a lot and use that
as a basis of creating art.
-No regrets so far?
-No, not yet!
Good, that is a good sign.
What would it mean, then, for you,
if you can get two yeses from the judges, to get to the exhibition?
It would mean that my work has a bit more credibility.
It would give me confidence.
If you sold at the exhibition, what would you spend it on?
I'd love to go on a trip to somewhere like Iceland,
see the Northern Lights, something really inspiring like that.
OK, well I wish you the best of luck. Give as good as you get,
-and the judges are awaiting through that door.
-Thank you very much.
Literature student Mark has a real opportunity here.
A career in the art world and a trip to see the Northern Lights
are both within his grasp
if things go his way in the next few minutes.
He's brought along this pencil drawing
he hopes will impress the hanging committee.
Would you like to tell us something about your drawing?
Yeah, this is my illustration of Dido from Virgil's Aeneid.
And it's the moment when her lover, Aeneid, has left her,
and she's killed herself, and kind of,
she's pinned to the bed, and to the domestic setting,
and I made her out of tights to kind of, as a symbol of femininity,
and as a victim, I suppose.
And how much would you charge someone who was buying this drawing?
-I wouldn't want to let it go for anything under about 650.
I would suggest, in a gallery setting, that that's far too cheap.
OK. Could I ask what sort of price you might put on it?
It would not be out of place at two, or even three times that price.
Phew! If student Mark makes it to the exhibition
he might want to rethink that price tag.
His intriguing drawing is inspired by an ancient classic epic
written by a Roman poet,
a tragic love story in which Dido - Queen of Carthage -
takes her own life after being dumped by her lover.
Pretty harrowing stuff.
But will the judges be able to read all that in the drawing?
Mark, in my remembrance, Dido killed herself from lost love.
She killed herself falling on her own sword.
It seems to be a working of that from the inside,
it's her entrails being taken out with a pitchfork, literally.
Then there's the boat that her lover sailed away on.
You've obviously made this, it's a very suggestive figure,
in terms of the parts look kind of almost intestinal,
or anthropomorphic, but we do not have a woman
pinned on the bed with a pitchfork, it's your interpretation of it.
But you made this, a sculpture...
..to then draw.
Why did you not just present the tights as the sculpture?
I think I just wanted to guide people of how to look at it,
and a composition with the angles and the certain folds of the fabric.
-It seemed to me to be entrails, and that makes sense to me.
Did it cross your mind that that would have been a better prop?
Do you mean real entrails?
Yeah. Less practical.
Yes, it's not often we discuss entrails on Show Me The Monet.
Roy's really getting into the subject matter here.
Do we think this is rather, rather an interesting,
-surreal take on the classics?
-I am fascinated by it.
-And he obviously, has read and appreciated the classics,
which I would say is fairly rare these days.
I don't think you need to know about the classics.
It's a startling image without the classical allusion.
Are you a student? Have you just graduated?
Yeah, I'm a lit student, in my first year at the moment.
-A what student?
Did you study art before that?
Yeah, I did it up to A-level.
-And that's all?
The work is very mature for someone who's not studied beyond A-level.
You can see your understanding of drawing,
that you've looked properly at old master drawings,
just the way you use the colours, the technique - it's assured.
The judges seem surprised by Mark's limited art training,
and impressed by his literary knowledge.
But is his work good enough to grace the walls of the Mall Galleries?
We're about to find out.
-Mark, absolutely. Yes.
You have a rare talent, yes.
-Thank you very much.
-See you at the Mall.
Unbelievable. Three yeses - Mark is off to the exhibition.
But will he make a sale and raise some money for that trip to see the Northern Lights?
He's going to go far.
The Mall Galleries, London.
Mark's drawing took its place on the wall at our prestigious exhibition.
18-year-old Mark was the youngest artist to hang his work
and was enjoying his moment in the limelight.
I mean it's really weird to see people looking at my art and talking about it.
But it's really exciting at the same time.
His work was attracting a lot of attention,
but would anyone want to take it home with them?
I think, for a young lad of 18, producing this imagery today...
This pencil drawing is superb, absolutely superb. Very impressed.
Any bids were made in secret
and were subject to a 10% commission on the final sale.
The results of the bidding were handed to me in a sealed envelope
and only revealed to the artist after the exhibition.
Mark, nice to see you again.
-Nice to see you.
-How old are you?
-So, obviously just beginning.
Just starting out, yeah.
Must have been a great experience for you.
Yeah, it's the first time I've ever hung anything in an exhibition
or even had a chance of selling, so it's been really good.
And were you surprised by yourself, how easy you found it to speak to people?
Maybe sell, do some business?
The free wine helped, as well, but it was good.
What did people say to you? Did they swap cards?
Did they say "Contact me, give me a call, or email me?"
I got a few cards, interest, yeah, for future work.
So just remind me how much you wanted for this.
In the Hanging Committee I said 650, but I really took the judges' advice
on board, cos they thought I should go higher.
So I went up to £1,200 for the exhibition.
-Yeah, cos they did say 650's nothing.
OK, well we'll see.
OK then, Mark.
-You wanted £1,200.
-You didn't get any offers.
Cos we think it's fantastic.
Well, thank you.
No, it was such a good experience,
and I wasn't really expecting to come away with any money,
so I'm just happy to have got this far,
and really proud that my work's hung in a gallery, and stuff like that.
-It's been a pleasure to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
I'm sorry we didn't sell,
-but to get to our exhibition was fantastic, and good luck in the future.
No sale this time for Mark
but what an experience for the young artist.
Next to face the Hanging Committee was 70-year-old John Ross,
a retired vicar from Wickham.
Now, if you're thinking he looks a bit familiar,
it's because John is no stranger to Show Me The Monet.
He made it through to last year's Hanging Committee,
but his painting of an elephant didn't get the reaction he was hoping for.
Have you observed elephants in the wild yourself?
No, I haven't.
There are too many random elements that don't tie in together.
It looks like a giant shrew to me.
Go back to the drawing board, literally.
In the end, John, serious artists don't paint elephants.
It's no, I'm afraid.
Well, John's back, hoping to prove that the judges made a big mistake.
You got a rough ride and this would probably be
the last place I'd come back to.
-Can you remember it?
-Yes, I remember it.
-Now, you've got to go back and face these judges again.
-You've done it.
Be honest, who do you fear the most in terms of the judges?
It's not fear so much
but David certainly came across as the most stringent.
Yes! I love the use of the word "stringent", yes.
OK, if you did sell, what would you do with the money?
Oh, put it on canvases.
-All right, well, good luck.
I'm really looking forward to Show Me The Monet Two, involving you!
-Away you go, through that door.
-Thank you now.
You have to admire John.
It takes guts to go in front of the Hanging Committee once,
but is it madness to go in front of them twice?
And this time he's brought a colourful piece
entitled Late Autumn Trees.
So, will the judges have a better reaction to this year's painting?
-John, welcome back.
-Thank you very much.
-You must be a glutton for punishment.
-I certainly am.
Would you like to introduce your painting for us?
This painting came about because I was driving through Northumberland, the countryside.
And about a mile away on the right I saw the hill,
and I saw these silhouetted bushes or trees.
I thought I'd like to paint those, there was something rather special about it.
It didn't turn out quite the same as what I was looking at
in the camera because, in fact, this here wasn't a cliff,
it was green fields,
it wasn't this crimson red with the leaves, in fact it was green leaves.
Everything was a bit lifeless.
I changed the blue, it was a kind of wishy-washy ultramarine
when I was looking at it, so I changed it to that.
I thought I took the best of nature, really,
and tried to put a two pennyworth of myself into it.
OK, thank you. What price do you put on this?
About 550, I thought, but I really don't know.
Well, we'll come back to that after we've had a closer look at it.
I love John's style -
the real world just isn't colourful enough, so he changes it.
Once again, his work will be judged on its originality,
his technique, and if it has an emotional impact.
And John will still need two judges to vote yes
to make it through to the exhibition.
John, I do admire the way that you take nature
and completely rearrange it to your own ends.
It takes a lot of guts to do it,
but it takes a lot of skill to do it convincingly.
My question is, why did you choose...
to get rid of the foreground, make it black?
Are they leaves, the pink dashes on the black foreground?
Yes. I might say, this is the third painting of this.
The first one was very much as I photographed it,
although I had to brighten it up because the leaves and the grass were so...
-I don't know what the word is.
-Sorry, just let me get this right.
-You based that on a photograph?
What kind of trees are they?
From a distance they look like small trees,
-but I think it may have been a hawthorn hedge.
-Small pink ones!
-Frankly, John has said he's changed the foreground,
the sky, the tree colour.
This is an imaginative landscape, I don't think we should be
getting hung up on what kind of trees these were.
-let's move on to the sky, in that case,
which looks like he's been painting a door to me.
I mean, where the sky meets the floor, between those trees,
I mean, it's...
I mean, it's just a kind of blue thing.
John, since we last saw you, have you sold work?
The last time was after this programme.
A viewer phoned up, contacted me
and bought the painting of the elephants.
-Oh, how lovely!
-The elephant, by the way.
Oh, it was an elephant was it?
-Oh, yes, definitely an elephant.
-I seem to remember it was mouse.
And another one from my work, as well.
-Look at David's face!
I think the word is "speechless".
You see, despite all last year's criticism,
there is clearly a market for John's work out there.
John, the way you paint and the way you've reinterpreted this doesn't...
It just isn't of the standard that I'm looking for for the exhibition.
John, this falls down in more places
than the last picture that we saw, I fear.
I find the foreground inexplicable.
John, I'm sorry, it's so bad, I...
..I can barely think of anything to say about it.
So, we're going to take it to a vote now about whether we want it in the exhibition.
I don't know how but I think the judges like John's
colourful landscape even less than his infamous elephant.
It's no, sorry John.
-John, it's a no from me, I'm afraid.
But thank you very much for bringing it in.
It's been interesting to see it.
-Thank you very much.
-Do you know what that painting needs, John?
-Do you know what that painting needs?
It needs an elephant between those trees.
Are you sure you'd recognise an elephant now?
Now, you may be mocking, David, but that elephant sold for £300,
so John could still have the last laugh with this painting.
Do you realise what's happened?
We've created a star!
-I've been here before, haven't I?
-You've been here before.
-I'm not going to say, "How do you think that went?"
-I know how it went!
It was about as tough as last time, wasn't it?
Yes, I know. We'll have to change the judges, I think.
We'll turn one of them on your side.
I'll have to think of something else.
Another elephant might do.
Thank you very much indeed. Lovely to see you.
-Safe journey back to the north east.
-You take care.
Well, that's it from us, but join us next time,
when the judges could be giving an artist the chance to show
and sell their work at the Show Me The Monet exhibition.
See you then. Bye bye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
42-year-old Michael from Preston was an engineer for a major car manufacturer when a shock diagnosis at 28 turned his life upside down. While undergoing treatment, it was Michael's passion for painting which he had as a child that kept him going. Now he's got the chance to show his work to leading art critics, will they be as moved by his art as they are by his personal story?
Also facing the judges is 18-year-old Leon from Shropshire, a young and ambitious sculptor whose interest in his art was sparked in the kitchens of his family's Chinese restaurant when he discovered a talent for sculpting garnishes. His hopes rest with his sculpture entitled 'Sprint'.
18-year-old student, Mark may be studying English Literature, but his dream is to showcase his art in galleries all over the world. Will his black and white pencil drawing entitled 'Dido' get him a place in the exhibition and help to make his dream come true?