THE search is on for the next apprentice.
But this time the lucky winner will not be working in the world of business, they will be tutored by one of the country’s top artists.
Last night budding Picassos and Degases lined up in front of a panel of top arts judges at the Biscuit Factory, Newcastle, hoping to make the next stage of a competition to win one-on-one tuition from Newcastle artist Alexander Millar.
They will also have their work displayed in 200 galleries across the UK.
The panel, including Millar, Glynn Washington, of Washington Green art publishers, and Adele Cardonnel were looking for someone with the potential to become a world-class artist.
Mr Millar said: “This region has loads of really talented artists. We are looking for a painter who I can work with and really improve and hopefully they will be able to become professional.
“They can paint in any material and we aren’t looking for any specific style, it can be landscapes or still life, I’m just looking for someone with natural talent which I can work with.”
For the wannabe apprentices, of all age groups and experiences, there was a gruelling TV show-style interview before a shortlist of six to go through to the next round is announced in a few weeks’ time.
Facing the judges was 16-year-old Madeleine Hazlehurst, of Heaton, Newcastle. The Newcastle College student, who had brought along an oil painting of the Tyne Bridge to show the judges, said: “I paint a lot with my dad.
“We have painted murals at old folks’ homes and other things.
“I’m nervous but I think I have a great chance of making it to the next round. I certainly hope so.”
Also in the queue was Lisa Porter, 31, from Blaydon, Gateshead.
She said: “I’m really nervous. I hope the judges aren’t too harsh with me.” Judge Adele Cardonnel said: “I’m just hoping to see something nice tonight, something which surprises me.
“The things I have seen so far have been a very high standard.”
As well as showing off their work, the artists had to undergo questioning from the judges about their experience and choice of work.
After her time with the judges, Susan Kenneth, 40, originally from Teesside but now living in Scotland, said: “We had a good chat about my work and they seemed to like it. They said to me no matter if I win the competition or not, I should contact some galleries to try to get my work exhibited.
“I have been painting since I was about three and it really helps me. I recently had ME and painting has helped me get back on my feet.
“I’m chuffed to bits with what the judges have said. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed, hoping I win.
“Time will tell who becomes the apprentice.”
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