AN ARTIST from Thornbury is set to have her work showcased among some of the country’s best having been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Contemporary artist Clare Thatcher will be one of 60 artists that will have work featured in the John Moores Painting Prize 2018 exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, having been selected from more than 2,700 entries.

The competition, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, is regarded as the top contemporary painting prize in the country, with entrants allowed to enter only one piece a year.

Clare’s piece, the amazing 24-square-foot “Feature of Landscape” is an abstract oil painting inspired by her back catalogue of landscape drawings from across the country.

When it came to entering back in November, Clare said that, despite having painted hundreds of pieces, she knew that “Feature of Landscape” was the one.

“I felt it was the right one, but entering with such a large piece was a huge risk,” she said. “There was a lot of angst about how to get it there, packaging, including assembly instructions.

“Then there was the fact it needed to be completely dry and oil paintings take a long time to dry. As the deadline day got closer there was a colour that was still a bit tacky so I ended up taking it home to dry because it was warmer.

“The first thing I said to my husband when I got the result was actually just my happiness that it arrived ok!”

At the opening of the exhibition in July, Clare, one of the founders of the CLaSH Artspace studios in Thornbury, will learn if she has won a prize, but she said that to be featured meant she was a winner.

“Judging is done anonymously,” said Clare. “They don’t have your name or anything that can judge the work on anything other than what is in front of them. I think that is the beauty of it. No matter who you are you have a chance.

“It is amazing to know I will be included in the exhibition. I have been describing it to people as if I have been swimming around in League Two during my career but am now playing in the Premiership playing with the big boys.

“Having this recognition has really come at the right time,” she added. “Being an artist is very rewarding, but at times it is also very hard to justify being in such a tough business.”