Elsing Hall Gardens was visited on 16 Jun & 15 Sep 2019 one of seven days painting in six 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 20-acre estate of the fifteenth-century house and medieval moat near Dereham was previously recorded in nineteenth-century watercolour paintings by Rev James Bulwer now held in the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. In June, the roses were in full bloom but throughout the year the gardens have views around every twist of moat and turn of corner.
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 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.
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.
Paintings created at Paint Out Great Yarmouth, Norfolk 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 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.
Paintings created at Paint Out Sudbury, Suffolk 2018
A baker’s dozen of plein air artists took to the historic wool town of Sudbury, Suffolk, on 30 June 2018. Birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough with its snaking River Stour, water meadows, Saturday market, St Peter’s Church, Gainsborough’s garden, Valley Trail, and some 247 Heritage Listed buildings, it was a veritable treasure trove of idyllic painting locations on one of the hottest days of the year.
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 including Holt, Great Yarmouth, and Wells-next-the-Sea. 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!
Paint Out 2020
2020’s outdoor painting programme includes an 8-day tour of Norfolk and Norwich (16-23 July). Whilst Over 50 artists had been accepted already from the UK, USA, France and Russia and this was destined to be our biggest Paint Out yet Covid-19 constraints mean a more measured event now. We will now have contactless logging, 1m+ distancing, staggered starts, masks at the exhibition etc. Check the latest here.
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 (wide open-air places), coast, and countryside locations including Norwich, Norfolk seaside, inland Broads, seaport and market towns, and historic houses. There will be guest artists, painting demos, and art world judges. Whilst you are waiting why not fill out our lockdown plein air painting survey.
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.