I caught up with a new (?) BBC show from the weekend - The
Great British Big Painting Bake-Off Challenge.
I don't know if it is made by the same people as the Bake-Off, Pottery Throw Down, Sewing Bee etc, but it is very much in the same mould - Group of amateurs are given a series of disparate challenges each week as they're whittled away to a winner.
Thing is, art isn't baking (or sewing or whatever) and their attempts to treat it as such are utter bobbins. This first episode had the artists all doing a still life and then painting a recreation of a bedroom scene from a famous painting. Thing is, one of the artists they'd picked for the show is an abstract artist. They were setting her up to fail.
The other weird thing is that they've split the contestants into two groups and given each group a "mentor" - professional painters to advise and help them. Except, they're basically just telling them what to do. One contestant was going along with his work quite happily (and it looked alright) and his mentor came along and basically told him he needed to make bold changes. Another went to a guy as he was doing his still life and said "you're concentrating too much on the left side of the painting, stop working on that now" and then slagged off what he had there even though he clearly hadn't finished it. It's complete nonsense.
Next episode they've got them out doing landscapes, contending with the weather (no fancy studio pods like on the vastly superior Sky Arts Landscape Artist show), but those are disparate specialisms. You don't get that many professional artists that can switch between portraits and still life and landscape, so it makes no sense to make these amateurs (some of whom are pretty naff, it has to be said) do so.
It really feels like they've seen Sky Arts' excellent Landscape/Portrait Artist of the Year shows and tried to shove it into a Bake-Off format and it doesn't work at all. Oh and the judges are crap as well and actually makes me more keen on the pretentious Sky Arts ones.