Sarah Pickstone and Sir Peter Blake either side of Sarah's first prize winning 'Stevie Smith and the Willow'
John Moores Painting Prize 2012 winner, Sarah Pickstone shares her thoughts on winning the coveted prize:
"The John Moores Painting Prize is the best of all art awards. It is the longest running prize, established in 1957 and carries a reputation for being the heavyweight of the painting awards.
The judges are artists, curators, museum directors or writers - all of whom you'd like to have a conversation with - and so being selected or winning gives the work the kind of validation you never usually get to hear about. The selection process is long and given lots of thought and attention.
Winning is certainly a fantastic experience, the best of my career so far. The Walker have bought my painting now and it will hang alongside previous winners like Lisa Milroy, Peter Doig, Mary Martin, Richard Hamilton and David Hockney.
Having said that, the exhibition itself is the reason why painters enter. It's great to show as part of a larger group. The judges curate a show, where although each work is picked on merit it is an index of what is current in painting - and also what is new. In 2012 there was a variety of thoughtful work and not all of it conventional painting. Unlike writing-prize shortlists or the Turner- something greater than the aspect of winners and losers comes about. It is just simply the best Painting Show."
Registration for the John Moores Painting Prize 2014 closes 5pm Friday 1 November 2013.
Find out more about Sarah's work here.