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.
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 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 over 9 years of plein air art events and 3 years of 8-day tours of Norfolk and Norwich with open-air exhibitions seeing dozens of artwork sales and thousands raised for charity too. Each event sees interest from over 100 artists from UK, USA, France and elsewhere, do enter the UK’s most innovative plein air art event – the 15-22 July 2022 event is over but 2023 early-bird applications will open soon.
This 27-29 October we are revisiting Norwich in the autumn with a specific emphasis on a Nocturne painting festival running Thursday evening through to a Saturday PV and exhibition in Cathedral Close, Tombland, during the Hostry Festival.
A Sunday warm-up event also ran 26 June 2022 featuring 16 open gardens and a 14th-century church based in the beautiful Ludham, on the Norfolk Broads. Home to Edward Seago and Kieron Williamson, this event saw classic cars, heritage boats, and the village life of a summer festival celebration in full swing.
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. Recent judges have included Dr Sally Anne Huxtable, Michael Richardson, Maggi Hambling, Rob Adams, Hugh Pilkington and Giorgia Bottinelli.