Part-time teacher and artist, Stephen Johnston lives in Norwich and regularly paints with the Norwich Outdoor Painting Group. He first participated at Paint Out Norwich in 2017 and also entered two Paint Out events in 2018. In 2019, he was the only artist to manage all 7 Paint Out Gardens visits around the county of Norfolk across the seasons producing 14 artworks and winning Third Prize at the Awards and Exhibition.
He describes himself as a creative person who gains much satisfaction from producing artwork.
“Being outdoors and in nature’s grip gives me space to be inspired and refreshed. The process is the most important aspect in my journey, I am often dissatisfied with the results but keep the outcome as a record of my observations, aspirations, application, time spent outdoors painting plein air.” – Stephen Johnston
Emily Faludy studied Fine Art at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where, she was focused on portrait painting. Since then, the Kent countryside, a remote Greek mountainside, and now Hampshire, all provide her with an outdoor studio to pursue plein air landscape art. She describes the “the whole of nature as her true studio” and sees life as “one long painting trip…”.
“I have been painting plein air in oils for almost a decade now, since the urge came upon me on a cold, soggy, November day in 2009, when I packed up a canvas in a cardboard box and headed out into the first place outside of London I thought of as ‘countryside’ – Kent. I was equal measures miserable and exhilarated, and since then I have painted in a variety of climes.”
Whilst Emily won First Prize in Oils at Paint Out Norwich in 2017, just months after going full-time professional, she has also taken to painting nocturnes with vigour and an impassioned strength and use of impasto paint layers.
“Ever since I first painted plein air, I have been addicted not just to the results (irrefutably different to studio painting in terms of freshness and feeling), but to the whole process and feel of working outside – of being part of the day in a way I don’t feel anything else does. It brings with it so many wonderful, bizarre and beautiful experiences, from unusual weather to the people you meet, to just being wholeheartedly present with the day. There is nothing quite like it and I am honoured and extremely grateful that this is both my ‘job’, and my passion.
2017 was my first Paint Out, and I was still relatively new to plein air painting, having only started pursuing it properly around 18 months before. I was so excited to find myself amongst a like-minded group of artists, and such an enthusiastic team of organisers and volunteers. Painting can seem lonely sometimes and it was wonderful to be out, doing what I normally do on my own with a group, and to have people to discuss the experience with afterwards. The feeling of camaraderie was really something special.
I was ecstatic to win the ‘Oils’ category that year, the first time I had ever won an award. That affirmation that my efforts since I had started painting plein air had not been in vain was priceless to me, and gave me a confidence I had lacked before. It felt like a significant marker point at the beginning of my career, as it seemed to kickstart a series of events which has included being shown at two galleries, winning an award at another plein air event, and being accepted into the Royal Society of Marine Artists’ annual show for the first time this year.
Paint Out has become not just my favourite painting event, but actually my favourite event in the year, full stop! I’m excited about what they will come up with next time…”
AndrewFarmer is a professional artist living and working in Yorkshire, one of the ‘The Northern Boys’, who paints primarily in oils exclusively from observation. He has a First Class Degree in Fine Art Painting from Canterbury Christ Church University and distinctions in Art from Church View College, Doncaster. He completed an MA at The Royal Drawing School, London.
“As I’ve developed over the years, my work has become much looser in the handling of paint, creating works which are lively and sometimes verging on the semi-abstract…I try to sum up my subject matter using economical mark making, colour and drawing.”
Describing outdoor painting and the countryside as “permeating” him, he loves to paint en plein air citing Constable, Monet, Sisley, Marquet, as artistic heroes and inspiration.
At his first Paint Out, Andrew received a judge’s commendation from Tony Robinson, an experienced artist himself, and founder of Art in the Open.
NEAC Mall Galleries London, Northern Landscape painting, Haworth Prize – Shortlisted (2016)
ROI Mall Galleries, Windsor and Newton Award for Oil Painting (2015)
Prince’s Drawing School, Prado Residency in Madrid, Richard Ford Award for drawing (2009)
Tony Robinsonis the founder of plein air festival, Art in the Open (2008), based around Wexford, Ireland. Whilst hailing from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he completed a Fine Art Foundation course and a fine art degree at Stoke-on-Trent, he has since made his home in Ireland.
“Painting outdoors is difficult and sometimes frustrating but it is something I’m passionate about. I try to let the subject dictate the painting, whether it be loose and spontaneous or more precise. Working in an ad hoc way helps me take an intuitive and exploratory approach. It can bring surprises but is essential to convey the authentic response to the subject. The surface may be distressed or scraped back before finding the image again. I try never to waste a positive accident and to be looking to declare the painting finished at the earliest opportunity, without overworking it.”
Tony is passionate about painting from life outdoors and participated in the inaugural Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea in 2015 producing some stunning artworks. In 2018, he was a guest artist at various points during Paint Out Norwich, offering demonstration during the event, as well as being one of the three judges.
“While judging exhibition entries for Paint Out Norwich 2018 I was greatly impressed by the dedication, quality and inventiveness shown by the thirty artists who took part. The organisers had set an artistic assault-course for them to try to portray and interpret the city of Norwich from her bustling market scenes to the academic quarter, and from the medieval streets around Tombland to 1960s slide-rule architecture in concrete, glass and steel. I commend the artists and organisers of Paint Out Norwich on a marvellous festival and the foremost plein air painting event in the UK. I urge any artist to put Paint Out Norwich in their timetable in their anorak and not miss it.”
Tuscany Plein Air, Florence, Italy, Honorary Guest Artist (2016)
Royal Talens Rembrandt Award at Noordwijk Schildersfestival, First Place (2014)
Noordwijk Schilders Festival, Netherlands, Commended Artist (2012)
Hertogenbosch Schilders Festival, Netherlands, First Place (2011)
Greenacres Gallery, Wexford, Emerging Artist Award (2011)
Susan Isaac trained in fine art at Cardiff and Newport Art Colleges. Design history at Brighton followed and then industrial archaeology at Birmingham University. She initially worked as an illustrator and surveyor of historic buildings and landscapes before turning to painting and sculpture full-time at the turn of the millennium.
“A central theme in my paintings is a search for those particular characteristics that define British towns and countryside. I seek to convey this in a distinctive loose figurative style, drawing on my early fine art training whilst continuing to reflect influences from my time studying industrial landscapes and the built environment.”
Susan’s practice is a mixture of studio work and en plein air work and she first tried her hand at Paint Out at Wells-next-the-Sea 2017 before entering the Norwich event. In 2018, she won the Nocturne First Prize for her 2-hour oil painting, “Up The Steps”, painted from the rear of St Peter Mancroft with its eerie gothic feel late at night lit by a single street lamp.
“I was pleased with the theatrical effect of this composition and the slight sense of foreboding and mystery. It also made me think of an emptied auditorium, its proscenium lights inverted and cast upon the emptied raked seating, following the days performance. “ – Susan Isaac [more on the creation of her Nocturne winner here]
Buxton Spa Prize Open Art Competition – International Festival Choice (2017)
Leicester and East Midlands Art Exhibition – Open26 winner of Wilson Brown Prize (2015)
Oxford Art Prize plein air competition – winner of 1851 prize (2015)
Artist & Leisure Painter Open Art Competition – winner of Winsor & Newton Award (2015)
Thoresby Gallery Open Exhibition – exhibition prize & Tony Wilkinson Prize (2011, 2012, 2015)
Hannah Bruce studied Fine Art at Aberystwyth University before Art Teacher training at Cambridge University and going on to teach Art for 15 years, 9 of those as head of department in Woking and Guildford. She has now left teaching and has been back painting full time since 2015 and since then also been chair of Woking Art Society.
Hannah paints primarily in oils, sometimes ink and occasionally acrylic. She has been actively pushing her own plein air work as well as helping to set up Surrey Hills Plein Air painters.
“I am passionate about painting and creating artworks that are vibrantly colourful, conveying joyous and calming moods that make you smile every time you look at them.”
In 2018, she won the Spirit of Norwich Prize sponsored by Norwich Art Supplies for her collection of artworks portraying Norwich day and night during Paint Out Norwich 2018. Prior to that, she has won prizes at A Brush With The Broads, Art in the Open and Windsor Plein Air Painting.
Paint Out History
Paint Out Norwich – Spirit of Norwich Prize (2018)
Guildford Art Society – President’s Prize (2017)
Surrey Artist of the Year – Nominated (2016)
Artist and Illustrators – Artists of the Year, Top 50 Nominee (2016)
Art in the Open, Ireland – Public Paint Out Third Prize (2016)
A Brush with the Broads – Public Paint Out public vote winner (2015)
Windsor Plein Air Painting – Third Prize (2016)
Karen Adams works in large and small scale having exhibited in The Brancaster Staithe Midsummer Exhibition and painted murals for the Brancaster Staithe Sailing Club’s Annual Summer Ball. Her preferred medium is oil painting in which she paints a variety of landscapes but particularly enjoys painting beaches – where she initially encountered and participated in Paint Out Wells first beach sunrise ‘paint out’ in 2015 – marshes and boats in Norfolk, and street scenes. She now travels to paint and continues to grow in consistency and quality securing her first Paint Out prizes in 2017 & 2018.
John Behm has a natural affinity for the landscape of Norfolk and the Scottish borders where he was occupied in the conception and execution of public sculptures. He had been unable to work for a while due to a near fatal accident but fortunately has sufficiently recovered to be back to creating art and sculptures and has been making some beautiful paintings en plein air.
John studied Drawing & Painting, Sculpture and Architectural Design in the US, and at the Edinburgh College of Art.
Several decades of working within art and design with turns in teaching, writing, portraits, life-drawing, and several exhibitions means that John has a strong background in art that he is currently augmenting by studying Art History. He has numerous sculptures on past and/or present display in Scotland and Norfolk, as well as work in public collections including the City of York, the National Museums of Scotland, “The House for an Art Lover” in Glasgow, and the Coldstream Museum.
Whilst mainly painting in oils, when not carving stone and wood, and casting sculptures in bronze, he has occasionally gone mixed media including adding twigs to a three-dimensional painting at Paint Out events; he is always willing to try something new. His preference of subject includes landscape as palimpsest, the spirit of place human experience, history, family, and sensory delights.
John says of his work that:
“The idea is first, then I choose the medium – paint, wood, bronze, steel, stone, film. The word ‘art’ comes from Sanskrit, from a root meaning simply to make: it’s the making, and what, that keeps me going.”
John made the press when, in 2018, he dived into the River Wensum to rescue fellow artist and Paint Out founder James Colman’s artwork that has fallen in, easel and all, and was floating face-up in the water, heading towards Fye Bridge. Despite the October chill, John handed over his own painting, stripped off his art clothes, mounted the bridge wall and dived in the cold river to cheers from onlookers. He swam towards the waterlogged gouache and dragged it to dry land, lifesaver-style!
Now a four-times winner of the Paint OutSpirit of Plein Air prize in two locations, John is renowned for getting into deep water! Back in 2009, he waded chest-deep into the sea to install bronze sculptures in the sea off the Berwickshire coast. “All in the name of art,” was his explanation or perhaps excuse, looking for any reason to get wet!
“Ultimately it was an adventure that took us over two hours in the sea wading about bringing everything ashore. We lit a fire to warm ourselves up then installed the waymark without two much trouble.” – John Behm