Suffolk-based Alfie Carpenter is both musician and artist. He studied at Leeds College of Music but has returned to East Anglia where the “tapestry of textured terrain” here inspires him.
“Whether the components are shapes, colours and textures or pitches, words and voices, I am fascinated by assembling them in different and diverse ways in order to give life to a particular landscape, vision, idea or emotion.”
His response to the land is:
“…quite impulsive, utilising whatever can be found in the vicinity to concoct a rich playground of materials: hoover bags, parcel tape, old (clean!) clothing, newspaper, candles or bog roll – giving ‘ugly’ items a chance at glamour. I combine many techniques and approaches but each collage has a playful uniqueness, an evocative texture and a generosity towards colour and shape. With the combination of wind and a dustbin full of scrap bits of paper, Plein air painting is a challenge however it is one that I relish. I am eager to show the public my unusual style and I think it brings an element of excitement to the tradition.”
Alfie described his success at Paint Out in 2016:
“As I drove up to start competing in Paint Out Wells in September – windscreen wipers on full, heating on full blast, waterproof trousers at the ready, thermal underlayers gently warming my tiny, goosepimpled body – I thought, gee, what an ideal weekend for painting, nay, COLLAGING outdoors in the elements. Three days later and upon the final brush stroke and splattering of P.V.A, the sun finally made an appearance. A highlight was befriending a fellow artist whilst squatting under a beach hut, occasionally dashing down the beach to catch an errant scrap of paper. Oh, and of course producing five new works which can all be seen in the Gallery section. I was completely humbled to win FIRST PRIZE for my ‘sunrise’ painting (inverted commas as there was no sun to rise). I also, kind of greedily, won a commendation award for another small piece – needless to say, I am thrilled and very grateful.”
“A month later and it was the turn of Paint Out Norwich. Not quite the hurricane levels of Wells but still the thermals featured. It was an inspiring couple of days, chatting to the public and the usual act of convincing them that I have a fixed abode. The competition peaked with an exhibit at Norwich Cathedral Hostry which displayed the incredible and varied artwork of the artists. I was honoured to win the prize for the mixed media category for my painting ‘Guildhall aglow’ – capping off a sensational Paint Out season.”
Paint Out Norfolk – Judges Commendation (2020)
Paint Out Norwich – Participated (2018)
Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea – First Prize (2016)
Paint Out Norwich – First Prize (2016)
Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea – Second Prize (2015)
Paint Out Norwich – CASS ART Bursary Winner (2015)
Paint Out Norfolk 2020 saw some 50 artists take part in a Covid-distancing coast and countryside plein air art event. 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.
The well-deserved first prize was awarded to artist Susan Isaac for her ‘Against the Waves’ painted at Winterton-on-Sea on day two of the art competition. It’s a large 50x65cm oil painting juxtaposing and leading the eye between two big concrete blocks and the dunes, sea and sky at the east Norfolk beach.
“I struggled for most of the day with the various elements to the composition, trying to balance scale and contrast with colours and tones, in order to give some sense of the intense blues and mauves of the hot summers day without being too literal. I eventually felt that I had done all I could to explain what lay in front of me and what I wanted to extrapolate from it.”
American artist, currently living on and loving the North Norfolk Coast, Mary Blue Brady, for her “Cultivating the Edge”, Wiveton Down, Acrylic, 8x32in. Mary weaves wet paint and words together in poetic landscapes.
Newmarket-based artist Amanda Barrett, studied at the British Institute, Florence (Renaissance Art), Brighton Art College (Fine Art Painting) and Chelsea School of Art (Graphic Design) and her “Berney Arms Windmill and Breydon Water”, Burgh Castle, Oil, 23x45cm is full of fluid strokes and layers.
Paint Out Norfolk 16-24 July 2021 expects 600+ paintings to be created by 75+ plein air artists at a dozen Norwich and Norfolk locations around coast and countryside with a week-long rolling exhibition at Whitlingham Country Park, Friday Awards and Private View with prestigious judges, and Saturday all-day Final View
Paint Out Norfolk 2020
Paint Out Norfolk 16-23 July 2020 saw 400+ paintings created by 50+ plein air artists at a dozen Norwich and Norfolk locations around coast and countryside with a week long rolling exhibition at Whitlingham Country Park and last day Final View. View the winners and other selected paintings gallery.
Paint Out Gardens Series 2019
Paint Out Gardens in Norfolk ran May-October 2019 and saw 130 paintings created by 36 plein air artists across the seasons and 6 hidden or historic gardens. Prizes were awarded by Norfolk-based Art Historian, Charlotte Crawley – a former curator and past Director of the East Anglia Art Fund, as well as Tom Humphrey and Sophie Barratt of the Fairhurst Gallery, Norwich. View the winners and other selected paintings gallery.
Paint Out Holt 2019
Paint Out Holt 19-20 July 2019 saw 55 paintings created by 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. View the winners and other selected paintings gallery.
Paint Out Norfolk 2019
Paint Out Norfolk 1-5 July 2019 saw 100 paintings created by 27 plein air artists at 5 Norwich and Norfolk locations from coast to county ending at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art for a last day paint out and Private View. View the winners and other selected paintings gallery.
Karen Adams, Paul Alcock, John Behm, Mary Blue Brady, Shaun Carey, James Colman (guest artist), Tom Cringle, Sheila Cunningham, Jan Dingle, Jan Gaska, Jack Godfrey, Audrey Hay, Julie Hodgson, Mary Kallagher, Susanna MacInnes, Aggie Matyjaszek, Eloise O’Hare, Georgina Potter, Sam Robbins, Lesley Williams
Paint Out Great Yarmouth 2018
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.
Paint Out Sudbury took place in the historic wool and silk town on 30 June 2018, on the Essex/Suffolk border, home to Thomas Gainsborough who inspired John Constable, with picturesque scenery including the Water Meadows, Valley Trail and River Stour, the old railway line, market town itself, St Peter’s Church, and Gainsborough’s house and garden, among the 247 Heritage Listed buildings. One day, two sessions, en plein air! View the gallery of artworks online.
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. View the gallery of artworks online.