Paint Out Gardens took place May to October in 2019 across 6 historic or hidden Norfolk gardens. 36 plein air artists painted the gardens through the seasons. Prizes were awarded by Charlotte Crawley – art historian, former curator and past Director of the East Anglia Art Fund, and by Tom Humphreys and Sophie Barrett of Fairhurst Gallery.
Paint Out Holt took place 19-20 July. 22 plein air artists across 3 sessions from Friday to Saturday morning ahead of opening the Holt Festival at Picturecraft Gallery in Holt. Prizes were awarded by Robert Upstone, former Senior Curator of 20th Century Art at Tate and Norfolk-based Art Historian, Charlotte Crawley – a former curator and past Director of the East Anglia Art Fund.
Paint Out Norfolk took place 1-7 July. 27 plein air artists toured Norfolk’s rivers, beaches and Broads, the palatial Palladian Houghton Hall with Henry Moores, as well as Bishop’s Bridge in Norwich itself and the Sainsbury Centre at UEA campus and sculpture park. Seven painting days in the summer sun! Read about the Prize-winning artworks here.
Elsing Hall Gardens on 16 Jun & 15 Sep 2019 is the second of six days painting in several of Norfolk’s great gardens, and this grade I listed rural home has been described as “one of the hidden treasures of East Anglia”. The one-day paint out will take place among the 20-acre estate of the fifteenth-century house and medieval moat near Dereham. In the nineteenth-century, its appearance was recorded in watercolour paintings by Rev James Bulwer now held in the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery.
Of particular interest in June are the roses in full bloom including:
“a multitude of old English roses that adorn the walls of the house, the walled garden and many borders giving off an almost overpowering scent when in full bloom. Roses in the collection include the famous R. Mme. Alfred Carrier, Vita Sackville West’s favourite R. Souvenir du Dr. Jamain, R. Fantin Latour, R. Cardinal de Richelieu, R. Rambling Rector, R. Ragosa Rosa de l’Hay as well as literally hundreds more.” – Elsing Hall Gardens
The romantic gardens were established over 30 years ago under the direction of Shirley Cargill and have constantly developed ever since in terms of both restoration and innovation. There is a historic hydraulic ram pump that was installed almost 200 years ago and is still housed in its original underground brick pump house accessed by a spiral stairway.
Many other interesting features include the probably unique gingko avenue, the rapidly maturing pinetum, the formal Osprey Garden, the flowing planting around the moat, and densely planted with Lonicera Nitida viewing mound with a spiral path taking one slowly to the summit.
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 plein air art competition event dates go live early each year but additional events may still be announced throughout. You can lodge a registration of interest in our various events – this is not an entry to an event, it just gets you on the Call to Artists announcement mailing list. The buttons below will also take you to live entry forms within the event entry-date windows.
The Norwich plein air competition painting days (14-15 Oct 2019) take place during the city’s Hostry Festival often with artist workshops and art talks, welcome and walking tour of Norwich, a public ‘paint out’, 2-4 days of painting, an awards night and private view (16th), and 10-12 day exhibition.
The inaugural Paint Out Cambridge takes place 13-17 May (painting 13-15th, PV 16th, exhibition till 17th) in conjunction with Cheffins Auctions.
The Holt Festival (21-27 July), now in its eleventh year, has also invited Paint Out to open this year’s Festival with a two-day Paint Out (19-20 July) around the charming North Norfolk town with winners exhibiting alongside the now well established Holt Art Prize.
Throughout the year we will also be exploring Norfolk’s great gardens through one-day events including:
Events in previous locations may return in 2020. Paint Out Wells is usually early September, as was Paint OutGreat Yarmouth in 2018. Paint Out Sudbury in Suffolk took place on 30 June 2018 and will likely be back in 2020. Other locations to be confirmed and dates may be subject to change.
You can register your interest below to be kept up to date when submission forms for each event are live and to be a part of future Paint Outeventsas well as other locations, and even suggest your own.
This year sees two warm-up events ahead of July’s art festival and competition. In May we will paint an historic 1000-year-old church in order to help fund its preservation and also paint the sweeping views to the East Coast, lakes and arboretum belonging to James Colman nearby.
Our outdoor painting programme builds upon 8 years of plein air art events and 2 years successful and Covid-safe 8-day tours of Norfolk and Norwich with an open-air exhibition that saw dozens of artwork sales. In 2022, we are expanding again to welcome over 90 artists (70+ already enrolled) and add more facilities on-site (art materials, food and beverages etc). With interest from over 100 artists from UK, USA, France, do sign up early (still 33% off) to join the UK’s most innovative plein air art event – the 15-23 July 2022 event is now open for entries with early bird pricing. Come and capture the height of summer in city, coast and countryside locations including Norwich, Norfolk seaside, inland Broads, market towns, and historic houses, gardens and parks, allotments and cemeteries!
We continued the new 1-8 days+ summer format with 70 artists and double the exhibition capacity. Artists painted from Hunstanton to Winterton, Gooderstone Water Gardens to Gunton Park, and across Norwich and the Norfolk Broads.
Judges included artists Maggi Hambling and Rob Adams, and curator/art historian Giorgia Bottinelli.
Moving our premier event to the summer allows us to spend up to 8 days in Norwich and Norfolk, around city, coast and countryside, including seaside and market towns as well as the iconic historic medieval city of Norwich itself.
Following 2018’s midwinter free event we are returning to Norwich Market, Jarrolds and the surrounding area to paint the seasonal scenes. We’ll be there from 1-5pm and then have a drink together. Paint early for the light, paint late for the lights, or paint both! There is no charge for this free event but registration via our website or Facebook would help us with numbers and racking space.
Paint Out Norfolk Gardens, May-Oct 2019
Throughout 2019 we explored Norfolk’s great gardens with a succession of one-day events at:
The Holt Festival (21-27 July), now in its eleventh year, invited Paint Out to open this year’s Festival with a two-day Paint Out and Private View (19-20 July) around the charming North Norfolk town. Robert Upstone a Tate curator judged the event at Paint Out Holt as well as Charlotte Crawley (Art Historian, former EAAF).
Home to 500-year-old Gresham’s School (alumni include WH Auden, Olivia Colman, Benjamin Britten, James Dyson, and the artist Ben Nicholson), this two-session Paint Out was backed up by a ten-day exhibition in Picturecraft of Holt, a gallery and Art material supplier with the winners exhibiting alongside the now well established Holt Art Prize.
Paint Out Norfolk took place in conjunction with The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts1-7 July (painting days 1st-5th, PV 5th, Exhibition 6th-7th) based around the Sainsbury Centre/UEA campus site and painting further afield including Wells-next-the-Sea, the Broads, and Houghton Hall park.
Paint Out Norwich ran a winter nocturne Christmas lights plein air and social, Wednesday 19 December 2018 4-7pm.The open-air painting and ‘pinting’ event, started out at the Bell Hotel pub and included a bottle of bubbly for the best painting of the evening. Some of the locations painted included the fifteenth-century Bell Hotel itself, Jarrolds, and the Market/City Hall. All three were decorated and illuminated with tasteful seasonal lighting.
North Norfolk coast plein air painting competition. Since 2015 this event has seen workshops, demos, beach public paint outs at sunrise, Buttlands exhibition, day trips to neighbouring towns such as Blakeney, Burnham Market, Brancaster Staithe etc – more information | event gallery
Paint Out Great Yarmouth, 1 Sep 2018
A new one-day event is taking place – 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 – more information.
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 – more information | event gallery
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‘s towns, countryside, broads and coast. We’ve also popped up in Suffolk and in 2019 branched out to Cambridge. 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 ExperienceArt, Live!
Our outdoor painting programme builds upon 8 years of plein air art events and 2 years successful and Covid-safe 8-day tours of Norfolk and Norwich with an open-air exhibition that saw dozens of artwork sales. In 2021, we expanded with double the space for over 70 artists and more facilities on-site and will expand again in 2022. With interest from over 100 artists from UK, USA, France and Russia, do sign up early to join the UK’s most innovative plein air art event – the 15-23 July 2022 event is open for entries with early bird pricing (save up to £120) but is filling up fast with over 80 artists confirmed.
It’s an opportunity to brush up alongside new and familiar faces of the plein air art community. Challenge your creativity. Develop your skills. Come and capture the height of summer in city, coast, and countryside locations including Norwich, Norfolk seaside, inland Broads, seaport and market towns, historic houses and gardens. There will be guest artists, painting demos, talks, socials, and art world judges. Last year’s included Maggi Hambling, Rob Adams, and Giorgia Bottinelli.
2020’s outdoor painting programme included an 8-day tour of Norfolk with over 50 of the 60+ accepted artists still able to attend, despite Covid. It meant a more measured event with socially distancing artists and a masked-up exhibition. Check out the painting locations Google map here. View the gallery of some of the finished artworks. Well over 400 paintings were created and the three judges: Sarah Flynn (Sworders), Amanda Geitner (EAAF) and artist Bruer Tidman, had a tough choice to narrow them down to 3 main prizes and a personal commendation each. James and Katy also awarded two artists with the Paint Out Spirit of Plein Air prizes for their body of work produced during the event, consistency and quality. The prizes, as in 2019, went to a trio of female artists: First Prize – Susan Isaac, Second Prize – Mary Blue Brady, Third Prize – Amanda Barrett, and commendations to Alfie Carpenter, Jack Godfrey, Naomi Clements-Wright, Spirit of Plein Air awards to Paul Alcock, Sam Robbins.
Following 2018’s midwinter free event we returned to Norwich Market, Jarrolds, Haymarket and the surrounding area in mid-December 2019 to paint the seasonal scenes. Some 20 artists participated, painting early for the light as well as late for the Christmas lights.
2019’s outdoor painting programme brought us to Cambridge with Cheffins Fine Art for the first time (13-15 May), The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (1-7 July), a collaboration with the Holt Festival (19 July), and with the Norwich Hostry Festival (14-16 Oct). Our premier Norfolk plein air event offered variety of visual stimuli from beach and pine at Wells next the Sea, inland Broads at How Hill, park, house and Henry Moore sculptures at Houghton Hall, modern and more sculptures at UEA & the Sainsbury Centre culminating in judging, awards, a private view and an exhibition – now online.
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 Norwich 2018 competition, categories, prizes, event dates, and locations, for the plein air painting days during the Hostry Festival 2018 ran 13-17October with 2-5 days of day and night (optional) painting, artist workshops, a public ‘paintout‘ (21 Oct), and a private view, awards and art sale. This was followed by an art exhibition of over 150 paintings until 28 October at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry each day. Over 50 applications were juried by our selector David Curtis ROI RSMA, and some 35 artists participated this year.
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.
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.
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, perspective, and best en plein air practice in oils, watercolour and other media, both as practical workshops and as public paint outs. Our education programme is taught by experienced professionals and covers everything you need to take your art to the next level, with a particular emphasis on Plein Air essentials. In addition, we have entrepreneurial advice about growing your art business alongside your art practice covering blogging, social media, photography, framing, pitching to galleries, and selling. Finally, we put things in context with cultural and historical talks and tours.
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.