Bucks native Elisha Enfield won the title for Landscape Artist of the Year 2022 after her unique depictions of landscape charmed the judges.

In Landscape Artist of the Year on SkyArts – now in its seventh season – painters compete in heats at different stunning locations like Cornwall, Scotland and the Lake District.

They must paint the landscape in just a few hours before judges decide, who continues to the next round and who's out.

Art shows like Grayson’s Art Club became loved by home-bound audiences during the pandemic, and many took up drawing and painting for the first time after seeing the show.

Some might even remember cult-figure Bob Ross’s landscape painting TV tutorials in the 80s and 90s!

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For the Milton Keynes- born painter Elisha Enfield, the days after her win was announced on TV by comedian Steve Mangan and presenter Joan Bakewell were a whirlwind.

She had to keep the results a secret before the final episode aired on SkyArts in February.

“The amount of exposure has been a bit of a shock that the competition has given.

“It’s been incredible because I wasn’t really prepared for it.

Bucks Free Press: The fire piece by Elisha Enfield has already sold out.The fire piece by Elisha Enfield has already sold out.

“A lot of people have reached out to me to say they have connected with my work.

“And some of those have led to painting sales, which has been incredible.

“I’m hoping it does lead to exhibition opportunities, but honestly the best thing about it is those sales and that interest has meant that my stocks are really depleted, and I need to make more work because people are asking for it and because of those sales I can afford to do that.”

After studying an art degree in painting, Ms Enfield wanted to work in film and TV, and found herself with two careers, which supported each other.

While her work was often influenced by films, her entry painting for Landscape Artist of the Year showed a mesmerising bonfire she came across during the annual celebration of ‘Walburgis Nacht’ on May 1 when she lived in Berlin.

“It’s one of those celebrations that has pagan origins and then got taken over by Christianity and it has developed, and what I really liked was its relationship to the witch burning craze.

Bucks Free Press: Elisha at the Eden Project in Cornwall, a location during the competition (Image: screenshot of Landscape Artist of the Year on SkyArts)Elisha at the Eden Project in Cornwall, a location during the competition (Image: screenshot of Landscape Artist of the Year on SkyArts)

“Even to this day, on a lot of the fires they still burn effigies of witches on top, which is bizarre when you think about it because they’re always represented by women, it’s essentially burning women on these fires.

“It’s really antiquated but because it’s a big community celebration now it’s lost some of that meaning and contention.

“I found that really interesting and it’s very loaded, even when it’s just a fire.

She was the only one who chose fire in the competition.

“It was such a mix of styles, and while it stood out it wasn’t out of place."

Eventually, her work won the hearts of the judges Kate Bryan, Kathleen Soriano and Tai-Shan Schierenberg.

Bucks Free Press: Elisha with partner Josh Allan and family.Elisha with partner Josh Allan and family.

Living near many National Trust properties in Buckinghamshire, Ms Enfield could picture her fire paintings in their majestic settings.

She said: “Even though for the past couple of years I’ve used fire to express my art, the connecting factor is a certain kind of oddness, strangeness.

“I really like signs that there’s more than meets the eye.

“I’m always looking for stories that stand out to me."

Although Ms Enfield now lives in Wooburn Green with her partner Josh Allan, the forest in south Milton Keynes and Burnham Beeches continue to inspire her.

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The thirty-two-year-old artist’s advise for anyone wanting to take up landscape painting was to make rough sketches with a thick marker pen, take lots of pictures of the scene to finish later at home and “definitely making sure you have some kind of a hat and waterproof gear,” she laughed.

“I was worried I needed the right equipment, when actually you can use whatever you have lying around”, she said and showed an old gift box with a lid she used to store her brushes and to rest the board on.

“I’d just put that in my rucksack and go and sit it on my lap.

Bucks Free Press: Elisha painting at a location. Elisha painting at a location.

“You can buy beautiful things that cost hundreds of pounds, or you can see what you have in your recycling bin.

“A lot of people use it as an excuse not to get started.”

Her win of Landscape Artist of the Year – which she applied for with just one hour to spare before the deadline- has brought an unexpected gain.

“There are family members I haven’t been in touch that much over the past couple of years, and the competition win has brought everyone together a little bit.”

Could you be the next master painter? Season 8 Landscape Artist of the Year is open for applications until 15 April here.

Elisha Enfield's website can be found here