TOP artists from Sussex are in the running to win the UK’s biggest painting prize.

The John Moores Painting Prize is open to all UK artists working with paint and four Sussex artists have made the final shortlist of 50.

Tim Renshaw, Daniel Pettitt, Alessandro Raho and Robert Fawcett are all in with a chance of winning the first prize of £25,000.

Mr Fawcett, who is currently based in Lewes, created Frank as Androcles after forming a friendship with one of his models.

When asked about what inspired his painting which is a nude image, Mr Fawcett said he was surprised to receive the nomination.

He said: “My girlfriend entered me without telling me so I’m quietly thrilled about it but, at the same time, surprised.”

Mr Raho was also thrilled to be part of the John Moores Painting Prize.

He said: “To be selected when so many people have entered is an incredibly exciting and uplifting moment. I will be saving the email that notified me that’s for sure.

Mr Raho, of Hastings, enjoys painting family members and that is what inspired him to paint Jessica.

He said: “She’s close to me and over time I’ve come to realise that these are the people I enjoy painting most.”

Mr Renshaw, from Brighton, has been nominated for the prize for his painting, Nowhere.

The artwork is part of his Notebook series.

The Argus:

When asked about his chances of winning the competition, Mr Renshaw was just happy to be part of it.

He said: “It’s a good competition and I’m happy to have my work seen by so many people.”

Brighton artist, Daniel Pettit, who has been nominated for his painting, Standard, felt ‘privileged’ to exhibit.

The Argus:

He said: “I look forward to exhibiting alongside my peers and the opportunity to connect with a wider audience.”

The artists’ shortlisted work will be on show at The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool from June 5 until November 30.

The final shortlist of 50 artists were selected from over 2,500 entrants.

A judging panel will decide the winner in September.