Paint Out Norfolk 2020 – Covid Update

Paint Out Norfolk 2020 2m apart

With over a month into lockdown and the world in free-fall, thanks to Covid-19, the thought of Paint Out Norfolk taking place at the end of July, or indeed any cultural event, may at the moment seem remote, laughable or even potentially irresponsible.

Or maybe not?

This is to inform all those that have signed up to this year’s event, or those still considering the possibility of taking part, that no hard decisions about whether to go ahead or not will be made until mid-June at the earliest. Our fingers and paintbrushes remain crossed!

Our week-long event had included partnering with The Kings Lynn Festival, which has sadly had to close its doors this year. Our Exhibition host for 2020, the ubiquitous and much loved Norwich Department store, Jarrolds, has had to curtail the celebration of their incredible 250 years in business and close for the time being.

Out of these upsets, though, new opportunities have arisen. We are currently looking into partnering with a North Norfolk Art Prize organisation, an East Anglian-based auctioneer and have adjusted our ambitions for this year’s event, in the hope that it can still go ahead in some form, to cope with social distancing measures and other vital health and safety considerations which we will outline to those taking part.

Paint Out is a flexible and adaptable organization, capable of finding new and creative ways to achieve its primary aim – to provide a platform for plein air painters to excel under the pressures of newly set challenges; to celebrate and disseminate the results of those challenges by giving artists the accolade from top art world luminaries, as well as trying to sell work to as wide an audience as is possible in the short exhibition window.

It aims to act as a forum for the exchange of new ideas within outdoor art practice and to embrace those new developments, whether it be working in new media or taking on new subjects previously considered off-limits; to collaborate with other like-minded organisations, particularly through these difficult time; and most importantly to act as a conduit for artists to form life-enhancing, lifelong, creative friendships.

Particularly during Covid-19 we are interested in the challenges faced by artists to keep painting outside or from within. Has it sent you back to the studio or do you have a garden to paint in or from? Has it changed your subject matter? What are the lockdown pros and cons, what do you miss most about a plein air paint out? Please fill in our plein air painting ‘lockdown’ survey – it’s peppered with inspiring art quotes too and quite fun.

We really hope that you will keep tuned in to the website, social media and our mailings and prepare for some exciting new initiatives to ride us out of lockdown and with luck out into the sunshine of Paint Out Norfolk 2020.

Do keep in touch via our Facebook community page and share your plein air #ArtistSupportPledge paintings there and tag @PaintOut on Instagram similarly if you want extra help signposting your plein air works and any other artist campaigns that still centre the world of plein air art practice. In the meantime keep well and keep safe.

Paint Out Norfolk – Our Biggest Plein Air Event in 7 Years, July 2020

Emily Faludy and Karen Adams painting How Hill, Paint Out Norfolk 2019

Paint Out 2020’s outdoor painting programme will be our biggest yet. An 8-day tour of Norfolk and Norwich (16-23 July). Some 40 artists have been accepted already from the UK and USA with more joining us from Russia and elsewhere. We are expecting around 50-70 plein air artists. Brush up alongside new and familiar faces of the outdoor art practice community. Challenge your creativity. Develop your skills. Win prizes. Sell your artwork.

Artist Julie Hodgson painting at the Castle during Paint Out Norwich 2018
Artist Julie Hodgson painting at the Castle during Paint Out Norwich 2018

For our 7th year leading the field in UK plein air innovation and inspiration and for the second year in East Anglia, we are making this our flagship event for 2020. As we enter the next decade, our founding event Paint Out Norwich (2014) will become a part of our broader Norfolk event and we are moving it up to high summer from its founding origins in autumnal October where it began as part of the Hostry Festival.

Paint Out is the first and consistently long-running event of its kind in the UK and with over 15 events in 3 counties under our belt, prides itself in its quest to innovate and set new challenges, year on year.

Artist Sarah Allbrook at Paint Out Norfolk, Wells Beach
Artist Sarah Allbrook at Paint Out Norfolk, Wells Beach

Come and capture the height of summer in city, coast and countryside locations including Norwich, Norfolk seaside, seaport and market towns, and historic houses. Days and destinations are still being finalised but are set to include: King’s Lynn Festival, Cromer, Sheringham, North Walsham, and a couple of days and nights in Norwich.

There will be guest artists, painting demos, prestigious art talks, and daily prizes. Long summer days and evenings spent painting and socialising in stunning coastal, rural, market town and city environments.

Individual, weekend and multi-day choices available and transport options to county destinations. Priced from £15-£30/day – the early bird discount at £120 is sold out but the not-so-early bird discount of all 8 days at £135 till 29 February is open, rising to £150 in March.

Artist Emily Faludy painting a nocturne during Paint Out Norwich
Artist Emily Faludy painting a nocturne during Paint Out Norwich

Artists looking to hone their outdoor painting skills will be walking on the shoulders of plein air giants. Norfolk and Norwich can justifiably be called the crucible of plein air painting. The Castle Museum in Norwich has the largest collection of Cotmans and Cromes to name a couple of historic luminaries and has very recently acquired a magnificent JMW Turner (Walton Bridges, 1806) – his first open-air work, an analysis of which we hope will form part of our evening lecture programme. Looking to their masterly neighbours across the North Sea (Dutch Golden Age), the vast skies, watery dykes and unique cool filtered light are replicated in Norfolk and have inspired artists down the ages.

Artist Tom Cringle at Paint Out Norfolk, Wells Beach
Artist Tom Cringle at Paint Out Norfolk, Wells Beach

2020 will see us transport artists around the county to Georgian set-piece market towns, Victorian and art deco crumbling seaside splendour, replete with piers, funfairs, harbours and crab boats. The magnificent medieval architecture of Kings Lynn and Norwich will be supplemented with a return to our 2019 garden theme by taking in a Humphrey Repton red book garden or similar historic country house. A quick draw in front of one of the UK’s oldest and largest markets will provide more than a surge of adrenalin, draw crowds and create bonds with fellow artists.

Paint Out is your chance to make friends, exchange techniques and laugh too, it will be creative inspiration, life-changing and enhancing.

Enter Paint Out Norfolk, 16-23 July 2020 

Artist John Behm painting Anglia Square outside Hollywood Cinema, Paint Out Norwich
Artist John Behm painting Anglia Square outside Hollywood Cinema, Paint Out Norwich with Alan partridge mural