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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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 takes place on 1 September 2018, on the East Norfolk coast, during ‘Drawn to the Coast: Turner, Constable, Cotman‘ which explores the identity of Great Yarmouth and its surrounding landscape through the art work 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. Now you can too!
Our one day, two sessions, open-air art event celebrates the practice of en plein air painting and ends with a PV of the artworks created on the day, and week-long exhibition.
Paint Out is thrilled to be working with the Norfolk Museums Service and particularly the Time and Tide Museum to bring artists the opportunity to paint some scenes from Great Yarmouth for this one day event and display of them in a museum setting for a week, at the same time as such renowned painters Turner, Constable and Cotman are being exhibited to the general public.
Paint Out Great Yarmouth gives artists the chance to retrace the steps of Turner, Constable and Cotman, taking inspiration from the artworks on display in the exhibition, allowing them to create their own contemporary scenes of Great Yarmouth life which will be displayed in the museum during the final week of the ‘Drawn to the Coast’ exhibition run.
Throughout the 19th century Great Yarmouth attracted artists to its shores. Its prosperity as a port meant that wealthy merchants collected and commissioned artworks. Some became patrons to artists and helped them to establish national reputations. This was also a time when the town’s popularity as a leisure resort was growing and the wealthier tourists provided additional sources of income for artists. These circumstances helped to support the development of a thriving artistic scene in Great Yarmouth.
Artists ‘drawn to this coast’ include three of the UK’s most important landscape artists. JMW Turner (1775-1851), John Constable (1776-1837) and John Sell Cotman (1782-1842). This exhibition, co-curated by members of the Great Yarmouth community, explores some of the most dramatic local works created by these artists. It includes significant loans of their work from major national lenders including two loaned works by J.M.W Turner from Tate – a watercolour of Great Yarmouth, and, on display in the county for the first time since he sketched in it, his Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex sketchbook.
Join our mailing list to register interest in future Paint Out events and a return to Great Yarmouth and other East Anglian locations if you can’t make this one.
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.
Paint Out Sudbury took place on 30 June 2018, on the Essex/Suffolk border, home to Thomas Gainsborough who inspired John Constable, with picturesque scenery including the Water Meadows and River Stour, an old railway line, the market town itself, St Peter’s Church and Gainsborough’s house. One day, two sessions, en plein air!
A baker’s dozen of plein air artists took to the historic wool town of Sudbury, birthplace of Gainsborough with its snaking River Stour, Suffolk countryside and some 247 Heritage Listed buildings in the town itself. It was a veritable treasure trove of idyllic painting locations on one of the hottest days of the year.
Participating artists included: Eleanor Alison, John Behm, Sarah Berbank Green, Mary Blue Brady, James Colman (non-competing), Tom Cringle, Robin Drury, Jack Godfrey, Julie Hodgson, Andrew Horrod, Robert Nelmes, Eloise O’Hare, Sue Willmer.
Join our mailing list to register interest in future Paint Out events and a return to Sudbury and other towns in Suffolk.
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 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 over 8 years of plein air art events and 2 years successful and Covid-safe 8-day tours of Norfolk and Norwich with open-air exhibitions that saw dozens of artwork sales and thousands raised for charity too. In 2021, we expanded with double the space for over 70 artists and more facilities on-site and we expand again in 2022. With interest from over 100 artists from UK, USA, France and elsewhere, 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 90 artists confirmed.
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 will also see 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. Last year’s included Maggi Hambling, Rob Adams, and Giorgia Bottinelli.
Finally, 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.
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.