Paint Out Cambridge took place 13-17 May in partnership with Cheffins Fine Art. 30 experienced plein air artists used to working on the streets painted Cambridge’s classic colleges, chapels and beautiful bridges, punts on the River Cam, Market Square and other views. Three painting days, eight sessions, day and evening, all en plein air! Read about the Prize-winning artworks here.
Paint Out comes to Cambridge
The inaugural Paint Out Cambridge takes place 13-17 May in partnership with Cheffins Fine Art. Dozens of experienced plein air artists used to working on the streets will paint Cambridge’s classic colleges, chapels and beautiful bridges, River Cam, Market Square and other views as seen on this map.
Founded in 2014, the immersive outdoor art event has already run a dozen events across Norfolk and Suffolk and has been keen to come to Cambridge for a while. Partnering with Cheffins Fine Art has finally made this possible and the Paint Out team are excited to be running the competition, encouraging artists to capture and immortalise Cambridge’s iconic views.
Who could resist a city that drew JMW Turner to its banks to paint Clare Hall and King’s College Chapel, whilst also being home to the Fitzwilliam and Kettle’s Yard and a series of famous art collections at several Cambridge colleges?
“Cambridge has long been on our radar but with new partners Cheffins Fine Art now on board, the realisation of a central exhibition venue as well as other potential sponsors lining up to host various parts of the Paint Out, we see this is an event that will have multiple opportunities for artists to paint both town and gown in one of the most vibrant and fast-growing cities in the UK.” – James Colman, founder of Paint Out
Home to the Cambridge School of Art (now part of Anglia Ruskin University) and the Cambridge Drawing Society the team from Paint Out are keen to see local and national artists casting their creative eyes over the city and bringing their art skills to bear in classical and contemporary styles and various media that can be applied to canvas.
Sarah Flynn, head of paintings at Cheffins, said:
“Following the plein air painting event’s success at Paint Out, Norwich, last year, we are excited to support Paint-Out’s inaugural competition in Cambridge. Cambridge has long been an inspiration for artists such as Gwen Raverat, Edwin La Dell and Elisabeth Vellacott and with its iconic and world-recognised architecture and views such as the Mathematical Bridge, King’s College, Rose Crescent and The Backs, we are sure that it will provide endless inspiration for the artists taking part. Plein air painting is an essential part of learning to paint landscape from life and anything to encourage its proliferation within the artistic community is well supported. As the leading fine art auction house in the region, Cheffins is proud to support art events locally and is pleased to support the growth of Paint Out throughout East Anglia.”
The juried painting competition is open to amateur and professional artists alike and features 3-hour and 2-hour painting sessions around the city in full public view during the days and evenings (‘nocturnes’) of 13-15 May. Three eminent judges from the world of fine art (Sarah Flynn, Alice Hall, James Horton) will select the winning pieces with circa £2,000 worth of prizes awarded at the Private View and Awards evening at Cheffins on Clifton Road, on the 16 May (more information email email@example.com). The finished artworks will remain on display until 17 May and typically range in price from £150-£850.
Paint Out Cambridge 2019 Judges
Sarah Flynn is Associate Director of Fine Art and Head of Paintings at Cheffins. As an auctioneer and valuer she also once discovered a Rembrandt lying in a homeless charity’s box and secured them £1000s for their work at auction by spotting it. Sarah was a judge at Paint Out Norwich 2018.
Alice Hall is an en plein air painter focusing on landscapes. When she sets out to paint, she looks more like a vagrant than an artist: Wearing many warming layers of paint-encrusted clothing and carrying a rucksack full with paints, pallets, brushes and much more essential clobber besides. She sets up her impromptu studio and starts to work, first sketching the composition and then building up areas of colour. The aim being to capture character and mood, while being truthful to the subject. “Hall sets out to distill that moment when even the mundane can be magical. As you look at her paintings, you can travel to another land too.” – Rachel Campbell Johnston, Art Critic, The Times
James Horton works continually from life whether at Portraits, landscapes or interiors. Since leaving the Royal College of Art in 1974, the Cambridge based artist has travelled, worked and exhibited on location all over the world. Since 2000, he has concentrated on trips to India, Tuscany, North Africa and Jordan. His plein air work is rarely adjusted back in the studio, preserving the essence of time and place. He has written numerous books including the well known ‘Pastel techniques’ (Chrysalis) and ‘An Introduction to Drawing’ (DK in association with The Royal Academy).
Paint Out Great Yarmouth took place in the historic Norfolk coastal town on 1 September 2018. Yarmouth has featured in historic paintings and its history in art was portrayed during ‘Drawn to the Coast: Turner, Constable, Cotman‘ which explored the identity of Great Yarmouth and its surrounding landscape through the artwork it has inspired. J.M.W Turner and John Constable, Norwich School of painters such as Joseph Stannard, John Sell Cotman and John Crome were all drawn to paint here.
Paintings created at the Royal Norfolk Show 2017
Paint Out 2017 saw an en plein air invitational event at the Royal Norfolk Show. Fifteen hardy artists painted all the colour and character of the UK’s largest two-day agricultural event amidst torrential downpours and mud to rival Glastonbury! From fairground to farriers, and pigs to poultry, there was plenty to paint. Our artists were positioned around the Norfolk Showground site, returning their wet artworks every few hours to our tent for a live art auction on the first day, and continually refreshed rolling exhibition over both days.
Paintings created at Paint Out Sudbury, Suffolk 2018
A baker’s dozen of plein air artists took to the historic wool town of Sudbury, Suffolk, on 30 June 2018. Birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough with its snaking River Stour, water meadows, Saturday market, St Peter’s Church, Gainsborough’s garden, Valley Trail, and some 247 Heritage Listed buildings, it was a veritable treasure trove of idyllic painting locations on one of the hottest days of the year.
Paint Out, which began life in Norwich five years ago, takes to the road and will bring a dozen or more plein air artists to Sudbury, Suffolk, on 30 June 2018. This will be followed by a same-day pop-up art exhibition at St Peter’s of fresh artworks, straight off the easel.
The wool (and now silk) town was home to Thomas Gainsborough, founding member of the Royal Academy, who inspired fellow notable artist, John Constable. Modern outdoor artists follow in their tradition, painting in situ, and in Paint Out’s case with curious public onlookers as we invite passers-by to ‘experience art, live’.
The picturesque scenery including the Water Meadows trail and River Stour, the bridges and old railway line, Mill, the market town itself, St Peter’s Church, Gainsborough’s house and period-planted garden, will all serve as landscape inspiration for our experienced outdoor painters and illustrators.
The artists will spend one day, across two intense open air painting sessions, 10-1pm and 2-5pm, recording local views on canvas, and then displaying and selling them in a pop-up one-hour art exhibition in St Peter’s Church, 6-7pm, which also hosts the Sudbury Summer Art Fair, 2-8 July.
The artworks will all have been painted in under three-hours and many will still be wet, even with the sunny forecast! Just like the weather, they will be hot off the easel, and sold unframed, ‘painting-to-go’ so to speak, in carry away boxes, not unlike pizza boxes!
This is a process Paint Out first tried at the Royal Norfolk Show, last year, and has since continued, enabling art lovers to take away a fresh artwork, moments after it is painted, and then to frame it at their leisure and according to their preferred style.
Paint Out began in Norwich in 2014 and has since run a dozen events in Wells-next-the-Sea, other North Norfolk towns, and five large scale multi-day events in Norwich itself, during the annual Hostry Festival (October 2018). Sudbury, is the first of many planned wider East Anglian events.
Galleries of Paint Out events
Our events offer everything from mass public plein air paint outs, to one-day pop-up explorations of East Anglian towns and countryside, intense weekend events painting dawn to dusk, and our premier fully-juried and selected 4-5 day event in Norwich, Norfolk. Click the links below to view the Norwich or Wells-next-the-Sea galleries or scroll down for other Norfolk and Suffolk galleries. View the latest Paint Out Cambridge 2019 gallery.
Paintings created at Paint Out Great Yarmouth, Norfolk 2018
Paintings created at Paint Out Sudbury, Suffolk 2018
Paintings created at the Royal Norfolk Show 2017
Paint Out™ is an art event aiming to refresh and redefine 21st century en plein air art practice. Founded in 2014, we are the UK’s premier and only fully juried en plein air art competition, celebrating the talents of national and international artists before a wide and growing audience in the heart of medieval and iconic Norwich, as well as around beautiful Norfolk including Holt, Great Yarmouth, and Wells-next-the-Sea. Many of our events are about extreme painting challenges, in any weather, up against the clock and the gaze of the art-loving public. Come and Experience Art, Live!
Paint Out 2019
2019’s outdoor painting programme brings us to Cambridge with Cheffins Fine Art for the first time (13-15 May), a collaboration with the Holt Festival (19 July), The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA) 2-4 July, and with the Norwich Hostry Festival (15 Oct).
Through a series of one-day Paint Outs we will also explore Norfolk’s historic and hidden gardens including: Stody Lodge gardens (26 May), Elsing Hall gardens (16 June), Houghton Hall walled garden (14 Sep), Hunworth Hall garden (5 Oct), Norwich Plantation garden (15 Oct).
Register for any and all of these events to be contacted when entry forms and pricing are live.
Plein Air – Art works carried out in the open air – chiefly painting.
The Paint Out competitions and invitationals accept any 2-dimensional media or mixed-media applied to a canvas/board/paper embracing drawing, pastels, oils, watercolour, gouache, acrylic, pen and ink, screen-printing, and even digital in certain categories. Innovation and originality are encouraged alongside traditional art forms. We are increasingly moving towards displaying mostly unframed ‘art in the raw’, showing off plein air art in a fresh way, hot – or rather wet off the easel.
We seek to capture the urban city and country environments in contemporary ways for a new and modern audience as well as established art collectors. We bring art and artists to the people, rather than vice versa, with our artists on the streets and pop-up galleries on the greens. If you want to commission or collaborate with us to bring an event to your location, please get in touch.
We have a number of events in East Anglia before the annual premier event Paint Out Norwich to whet your appetite including several one-day PaintOuts in Norfolk historic and hidden gardens from May-early October including opportunities to paint historical changing rural and urban landscapes in Cambridge, Holt and Norfolk as we seek to use Paint Out events to document our changing environment.
2017 saw Paint Out go to the Royal Norfolk Show, and in 2018 we had events in Sudbury, Suffolk and Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. We aim to grow Paint Out year-on-year in terms of the variety, challenge, location, and quality of events.
Paint Out Norwich 2018
Paint Out Great Yarmouth, 1 Sep 2018
A new one-day event – Paint Out Great Yarmouth on 1 September, from Seaside to Quayside, in collaboration with Norfolk Museums Service and particularly the Time and Tide Museum’s event ‘Drawn to the Coast: Turner, Constable, Cotman‘ which explores the identity of Great Yarmouth and its surrounding landscape through the artwork it has inspired.
Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea, 8 Sep 2018
The Paint Out Wells 2018 competition on the North Norfolk coast offers either a weekend-only pop-up event (2015-2017) or a one-day intensive paint day on the coast (2018) making it more accessible for those with jobs and other commitments. The event runs early September and in 2018 it was 8 September.
Paint Out Sudbury, Suffolk, 30 Jun 2018
One-day warm-up event in Gainsborough’s hometown with options to paint the town, Gainsborough garden, old railway line walk, the Watermeadows, and more. Great views and amazing local countryside on the Suffolk/Essex border. [Gallery here…]
Norwich & Wells, Norfolk Art Class/Workshops/Talks
Paint Out provides an excellent opportunity for aspiring and seasoned artists to acquire and refresh core skills. Themes include painting and drawing, colour theory, composition,
Paint Out at the RNS 28-29 June 2017
Paint Out 2017 featured a select group of invited artists painting the UK’s largest two-day agricultural fair – the Royal Norfolk Show. With up to 100,000 visitors it is the premier event of its kind. Our artists and team were to be found around the Show and at the Leathes Prior sponsored Paint Out tent. There was an auction of the still-wet fresh art on the Wednesday 28th by Arnolds Keys fine art auctioneers and a rolling gallery exhibition and sale of paintings from shortly after 8am 28 June to 6pm 29 June. Archant sponsored and presented £500 of prizes for First and Second places “Best in Show” paintings to Robert Nelmes and Tom Cringle. Norwich Art Supplies provided the art materials voucher prizes, presented to Haidee-Jo Summers and Mo Teeuw, for the jointly-shared Spirit of Plein Air award. View the Gallery of art painted and those still for sale.
Paint Out News, Updates & Social Media
You can read our latest blog posts, news and updates here. You can also contact us by Email and follow us on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube to keep up to date with local art exhibitions, progress of the 2016 competition, and news about our artists.