The inaugural Paint Out Cambridge took place this week and saw over 140 paintings created, each in under 3 hours, across the days and early evenings of 13-15 May. Some 30 plein air artists took to the streets of Cambridge painting its classic colleges, beautiful bridges, meandering River Cam and idyllic meadows with cows, geese and swans, the bustling Market Square, canal boats, punts and of course, bicycles, everywhere.
The successful outdoor art event, run in Norfolk since 2014, finally arrived in Cambridge – aided by partnering with Cheffins Fine Art, whose head of paintings, Sarah Flynn, acted as one of the event judges.
Cass Art donated art vouchers for all participants and the three category winners took home £350 each as well as a box of Cass Art supplies. Artist Robert Nelmes won in Oils, Andrew Horrod in Acrylics, and Susanna Field in Watercolours and Mixed Media.
Judge’s honourable mentions and £100 each went to Stephen Johnston, David Wood, and Sarah Allbrook who also sold 5 paintings at the Private View. Dan Llywelyn Hall was noted in dispatches for his imaginative artworks and titling, and the Spirit of Cambridge and £100 went to Alice Thomson for the energy and vibrancy of her illustrative works which also sold well. The paintings were shown at Cheffins Fine Art on Clifton Road until 17 May and a number will be available online at Paint Out Cambridge 2019 gallery.
The artists painted around Cambridge at some of the many locations on this map, taking in ‘town and gown’, the city market and spires, colleges, and countryside on your doorstep that exists along the Backs, greens, ‘pieces’, meadows and fens.
The winning paintings featured Gonville and Caius College (Robert Nelmes), twilight on King’s Parade (Susanna Field), and Portugal Street from Jesus Green (Andrew Horrod).
The judges were allowed their own personal commendations with London artist Alice Hall choosing Stephen Johnston’s ‘View from the Master’s Garden’ at Trinity looking towards Kitchen Bridge, St John’s College. Local artist and writer James Horton selected local Cambridge artist David Wood’s classic watercolour of Westcott House on Jesus Lane. Head of paintings at Cheffins Fine Art, Sarah Flynn – who also judged at the long-running Paint Out Norwich competition last year, chose Cambridge-based artist Sarah Allbrook’s view south on the River Cam from Garret Hostel Bridge.
The Spirit of Cambridge award won by Girton-based artist Alice Thomson featured Magdalene Bridge with its punts, bicycles and the views towards Magdalene College and St Giles (Parish of the Ascension) on the slight hill on the horizon – our hospitable hub for the week of painting.
Paint Out is grateful for the packed turnout at the Private View on Thursday 16 May and warm welcome received in the city of Cambridge, particularly from the council when our artists were massed around the Market on Wednesday. Hopefully, Paint Out Cambridge 2019 will just be our first foray into this fascinating city and see us return, perhaps next year.
We have other art events beginning 26 May through to October scheduled in Norfolk historic gardens, at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, and at the Holt Festival. Artists can enter any or all of these to continue to push and present their plein air practice to interested art lovers with a growing interest in and respect of the plein air painting tradition.
Eloise O’Hare is a mixed media artist using Quill and Ink and Watercolour wash. She is a veteran of Paint Out Norwich and Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea during from 2015 to 2019. She trained at Bradford and Ilkley Art College, BA Honours Degree, Cleveland College of Art, Illustration, and Great Yarmouth art school, Art & Design and Art History.
Eloise’s political cartoons have been published in VN magazine in the Netherlands and have been included in several books and online websites. She is a full-time professional artist having shown work in Gallery Norfolk’s Summer Show (2017) and Dandifest!
After coming Third at Paint Out Norwich 2015 and more recently First in 2017, the artist John Wonnacott loving her winning artwork, she has become more visible and popular in galleries. Painting is her passion and she describes landscape painting as good for her soul. She paints in dip ink pen and watercolour as it gives “the feeling of movement and joy”, a style she started painting in after sitting on Cromer beach.
Paint Out History
Paint Out Norfolk Gardens, Spirit of Plein Air Award (2019)
Paint Out Norwich, First Prize (2017), Third Prize (2015), selected and participated (2018, 2016)
Paint Out Wells, selected and participated (2016, 2017, 2018)
Paint Out Royal Norfolk Show, selected and participated (2018)
Paint Out Great Yarmouth, selected and participated (2018)
Paint Out Sudbury, selected and participated (2018)
Best independent artist in Norfolk – Top Ten, nominated (2016)
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!
Paint Out 2021
2021’s outdoor painting programme will build upon 2020’s successful and Covid-safe 8-day tour of Norfolk and Norwich with an open air exhibition which saw 40+ artwork sales. In 2021, we are expanding and enlarging the space for more artists and more facilities on-site. With interest from dozens of artists from UK, USA, France and Russia, and half-price and other early bird deals available, do sign up early to join the UK’s most innovative plein air art event. Check out last year’s Covid-19 updates to see how we kept up to date with safety rules.
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, and art world judges, and depending upon Covid, as much socialising as we can. Week, weekend and multi-day choices available. Priced from £15-£30/day – enter here.
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.