Artist Stephen Johnston

Artist Stephen Johnston painting plein air at Paint Out Elsing Hall Gardens, Norfolk
Artist Stephen Johnston painting plein air at Paint Out Elsing Hall Gardens, Norfolk

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.

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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

Paint Out History

Paint Out Gardens Series – Third Prize (2019)
Paint Out NorwichWinter Nocturne First Prize (2018)
Paint Out Great Yarmouth – selected and participated (2018)
Paint Out Norwich – selected and participated (2017)


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Artist Susan Isaac

Artist Susan Isaac painting Carrow Abbey at Colman's, Unilever, Paint Out Norwich 2018. Photo © Katy Jon Went
Artist Susan Isaac painting Norwich Market, Paint Out Norwich 2018. Photo © Katy Jon Went
Artist Susan Isaac painting Norwich Market, Paint Out Norwich 2018. Photo © Katy Jon Went

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.

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“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.”

Artist Susan Isaac painting Carrow Abbey at Colman's, Unilever, Paint Out Norwich 2018. Photo © Katy Jon Went
Artist Susan Isaac painting Carrow Abbey at Colman’s, Unilever, Paint Out Norwich 2018. Photo © Katy Jon Went

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.

“I instantly fell in love with the whole thing and have taken part each year since. This juried, leading exponent of plein air practice is also a tremendous collective event with similarly motivated and yet singular artists each focussed on their own way of working.”

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. In 2019 with “Below Bishop’s Bridge” and 2020 with “Against the Waves”, she walked away with first prizes in Oils and then the overall competition prize. In 2022, she also repeated her first prize winning streak with “In Memoriam” at Wolterton Hall.

“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]

Her works are definitely distinctive, often described as dark, reminiscent of John Piper and his love of brooding landscapes and iconic churches. There is always a strength to Susan’s works in her choices of subject, composition, and contrast.

“Painting in the public gaze can be a daunting prospect and is often best done in the company of others. Paint Out Norfolk with its various iterations had been my introduction to a supportive community of plein air painters, from regional to international, many of whom return each year, becoming perennial friends. It’s a wonderful way to challenge yourself as well as the genre of plein air and winning the odd prize is always a bonus.”

Paint Out History

Paint Out Norfolk – First prize (2022) awarded by Dr Sally Anne Huxtable
Paint Out Norfolk – First prize (2020)
Paint Out Norfolk – First prize in Oils (2019)
Paint Out NorwichNocturne First Prize (2018)
Paint Out Norwich – selected and participated (2017)
Paint Out Wells – selected and participated (2017)

Other Awards

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)


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Artist Hannah Bruce

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.

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Artist Hannah Bruce on King's Parade with her painting of Smokeworks, Paint Out Cambridge 2019. Photo © Katy Jon Went
Artist Hannah Bruce on King’s Parade with her painting of Smokeworks, Paint Out Cambridge 2019. Photo © Katy Jon Went

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)

Other Awards

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)

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Artist Michael Richardson

Michael Richardson painting an artist painting Tombland public paint out. Photo © Katy Jon Went
Michael Richardson painting an artist painting Tombland public paint out.

Michael Richardson was educated at Ipswich College of Art and later in Paris. His work has been exhibited in the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA), the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA), the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI), the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours’ shows at the Mall Galleries and at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition.

Michael is a member of the Wapping Group of Artists (probably the oldest outdoor painting society in the UK), The Chelsea Art Society, and council member of the United Society of Artists. He is also a founder member of the Brass Monkeys Art Society, a hardcore group of winter outdoor painters.

He won the inaugural Paint Out Norwich Nocturne Prize in 2015 and was runner-up in 2016. He regularly delivers oil painting and nocturne workshops during Paint Out events. At Wells-next-the-Sea in 2017, Michael was a guest artist, demonstrator, and prize judge for Paint Out Wells.

Paint Out Awards

Paint Out Norwich – Nocturne Second Prize (2016)
Paint Out Norwich – Nocturne First Prize (2015)

Artist Richard Bond

Artist Richard Bond painting from the Market at Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne
Richard Bond painting on Fye Bridge, Norwich. Photo © Katy Jon Went
Richard Bond painting on Fye Bridge, Norwich. Photo © Katy Jon Went

Richard Bond’s work has been exhibited in national group shows and painting competitions, including the Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Competition and the Royal Watercolour Society Open Competition. An article about his work and working methods in watercolour appeared in International Artist magazine (vol. 86).

In the summer of 2013, Richard set up the Norwich Outdoor Painting Group, an informal group of local artists that meets once a week throughout the year to paint en plein air in Norwich city centre.

Richard won the First Prize at Paint Out Norwich 2015. In 2016, he followed that with a First place win in the Watercolour category. The judge, Hugh Pilkington, awarded him a judge’s commendation in 2017 for Richard’s “Indian Summer”, on Mousehold Heath.

Paint Out Awards

Paint Out Norwich – First Prize (2015, 2016), Commended (2017), selected and participated (2014, 2018)
Paint Out Wells – selected and participated (2015)
Paint Out Norfolk – selected and participated (2020, 2021)

Art Exhibition Gallery of Plein Air Paintings

Galleries of Paint Out events

Our events offer everything from mass public plein air paint outs, to one-day pop-up explorations of East Anglian towns and countryside, intense weekend events painting dawn to dusk, and our premier fully-juried and selected 8-day event in Norwich & Norfolk. Click the links below to view the historic event galleries or scroll down for the most recent events. Paint Out Norwich 2022 & Paint Out Norfolk 2022 online galleries are seeing regular updates/uploads – partial previews showing now. Contact us if interested in any paintings for up-to-date availability.

Paint Out Ludham 2022Paint Out Norfolk 2021Paint Out Norfolk 2020

Paint Out Cambridge 2019 | Paint Out Norfolk 2019 | Paint Out Holt | Paint Out Gardens Series

Paint Out Great Yarmouth 2018Norwich 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | Royal Norfolk Show 2017 | Sudbury 2018Wells 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

Paintings created at Paint Out Norwich 2022

Paintings created at Paint Out Norfolk 2022

Paintings created at Paint Out Ludham 2022

Paintings created at Paint Out Norfolk 2021

Artist Robert Nelmes

Artist Robert Nelmes
Robert Nelmes painting his First Prize winning painting at Norwich Market, 2016

Robert Nelmes paints in oils and watercolour, both with their own unique set of challenges, particularly en plein air with environmental pressures and “greater sense of urgency, with a level of intensity and concentration unique to the discipline.” He says that creating a plein air painting and leaving it in its raw state is a very “honest representation of you as an artist.

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Robert was born in Leeds and moved to the Isle of Skye when he was 16, completing his education in drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art in 1987. Whilst illustrating for the last 25 years he has maintained his passion for painting and drawing. Illustration clients have included: BP, Diageo, Jura Whisky, Standard Life, RBS, National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland.

“The shifting light and changing weather will always present a greater test to the artist than the safety of the studio can. For me this increases the sense of urgency, promoting a more instinctive reaction and vibrant result.” – Robert Nelmes

He has taken part in Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2015 and has been teaching landscape painting in Italy as well as getting out into the local Norfolk countryside from his new base in Roydon, Diss – close to the Norfolk/Suffolk border.

“I enjoy capturing the essence of what makes each landscape unique, be it the light, a majestic mountain range or the vastness of the ocean and now the big skies and patchwork landscape of Norfolk draw me in.”

Robert Nelmes painting Blacksmiths at RNS17
Robert Nelmes painting Blacksmiths at RNS17

Robert Nelmes scooped the Paint Out First Prize at Paint Out’s inaugural Freestyle competition (2016) and again for his painting ‘Blacksmiths‘ at the Royal Norfolk Show (2017), presented by Keys Fine Art Auctioneers and the Chairman of Archant Newspapers.

“I am over the moon and amazed because the standard was so high. I decided to paint the blacksmiths because the subject suits the way I paint. It’s all about light and dark, energy and movement and contrast, and it’s a challenge too.” – Robert Nelmes, EDP

He also sold at the Royal Norfolk Show Paint Out art auction run by Keys Auctioneers, exceeding the list price. One to watch, and invest in!

Paint Out Awards

Paint Out Great Yarmouth – First Prize & People’s Choice (2018)
Paint Out Sudbury – Participated (2018)
Paint Out Norwich – Freestyle First Prize (2016), Nocturne First Prize (2017)
Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea – Judge’s Commendation (2017)
Paint Out Royal Norfolk Show – First Prize (2017)


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Paint Out Plein Air Art Competition

Forthcoming Plein Air Painting Events

Paint Out Norfolk13-22 July 2023

Our outdoor painting programme builds upon 9 years of plein air art events and 3 years successful 8-day tours of Norfolk and Norwich with an open-air exhibition that sees dozens of artwork sales. In 2023, we are expanding again to welcome over 100 artists in our 10th year and add more facilities on-site (art materials, food and beverages etc). It is the UK’s most innovative plein air art event – 13-20 July 2023 – open for entries. Come and capture the height of summer in county, city, coast and countryside locations including Norwich, Norfolk seaside, inland Broads, market towns, and historic houses, gardens and parks, allotments and cemeteries!

If you are a participating artist use the Logging and Logistics pages for Event information and the password previously sent you (contact or 07432 608015 if you have not received this).

Paint Out Norfolk 2023   Join Our Mailing List   Paint Out Register interest   

Paint Out Norfolk PV, Awards & Exhibition20-22 July 2023

From 6pm on Thursday 20th July you can be among the first to see the judging, awards, prizes and scoop up some amazing paintings. Friday-Saturday 21st-22nd July the Exhibition and sales continue 10-6pm and thereafter online. Previews and the opportunity to purchase or reserve paintings are possible from 15th July daily on site before the final curation after midday on the 20th.

Paint Out Norfolk 2023 Awards & Exhibition  

Past Events

Paint Out Norwich Nocturnes27-29 October 2022

This autumn, we returned to Norwich and its contrasting medieval streets and modern shops with a specific emphasis on a Nocturne painting festival running Thursday evening through to a Saturday Private View and Sunday exhibition in Cathedral Close, Tombland.

Paint Out has showcased Nocturne painting since we began in 2014. This year’s October event focused on the plein air skill of painting as the sun disappears and evening lights appear, perhaps reflecting off damp cobbles the neon glows of shops and yellowed street lamps.

Paint Out Norwich Nocturnes 2022 Gallery 

Paint Out Norfolk, 15-24 July 2022

Braving the hottest British summer in over 40 years we saw 75 artists paint Blickling and Wolterton Halls, Norwich, the Broads, and the coast.

Judges included artist Michael Richardson, curator Dr Sally Anne Huxtable, and curator/art critic Hugh Pilkington.

Paint Out Norfolk 2021 Gallery 

Paint Out Ludham26 June 2022

In June we will paint 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.

Paint Out Ludham 2022 Gallery 

Paint Out Norfolk Churches** postponed ** 2022

This year sees two warm-up events ahead of July’s art festival and competition. In May we will paint a historic 1000-year-old church in order to help fund its preservation and also paint the sweeping views to the East Coast, lakes and arboretum belonging to James Colman nearby.

Paint Out Norfolk Churches 2022  

Paint Out Norwich, 15-17 October 2021

We returned to the autumn and Norwich for a Hostry Festival anniversary special and exhibition in the Maddermarket Theatre.

Paint Out Norwich 2021 Gallery 

Paint Out Norfolk, 16-23 July 2021

We continued the new 1-8 days+ summer format with 70 artists and double the exhibition capacity. Artists painted from Hunstanton to Winterton, Gooderstone Water Gardens to Gunton Park, and across Norwich and the Norfolk Broads. 

Judges included artists Maggi Hambling and Rob Adams, and curator/art historian Giorgia Bottinelli.

Paint Out Norfolk 2021 Gallery 

Paint Out Norfolk, 16-23 July 2020

Moving our premier event to the summer allows us to spend up to 8 days in Norwich and Norfolk, around city, coast and countryside, including seaside and market towns as well as the iconic historic medieval city of Norwich itself.

Paint Out Norfolk 2020 Gallery 

Paint Out Norwich Midwinter, 18 Dec 2019

Following 2018’s midwinter free event we are returning to Norwich Market, Jarrolds and the surrounding area to paint the seasonal scenes. We’ll be there from 1-5pm and then have a drink together. Paint early for the light, paint late for the lights, or paint both! There is no charge for this free event but registration via our website or Facebook would help us with numbers and racking space.

Paint Out Norfolk Gardens, May-Oct 2019

Throughout 2019 we explored Norfolk’s great gardens with a succession of one-day events at:

Paint Out Gardens 2019 Gallery

Paint Out Holt, 19-20 July 2019

The Holt Festival (21-27 July), now in its eleventh year, invited Paint Out to open this year’s Festival with a two-day Paint Out and Private View (19-20 July) around the charming North Norfolk town. Robert Upstone a Tate curator judged the event at Paint Out Holt as well as Charlotte Crawley (Art Historian, former EAAF).

Home to 500-year-old Gresham’s School (alumni include WH Auden, Olivia Colman, Benjamin Britten, James Dyson, and the artist Ben Nicholson), this two-session Paint Out was backed up by a ten-day exhibition in Picturecraft of Holt, a gallery and Art material supplier with the winners exhibiting alongside the now well established Holt Art Prize

Join Our Mailing List   Paint Out Register interest   Paint Out Holt 2019 Gallery

Paint Out Norfolk, 1-7 July 2019

Paint Out Norfolk took place in conjunction with The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts 1-7 July (painting days 1st-5th, PV 5th, Exhibition 6th-7th) based around the Sainsbury Centre/UEA campus site and painting further afield including Wells-next-the-Sea, the Broads, and Houghton Hall park. 

Join Our Mailing List   Paint Out Register interest   Paint Out Norfolk 2019 Gallery 

Paint Out Cambridge, 13-15 May 2019

The inaugural Paint Out Cambridge took place 13-17 May (painting 13-15th, PV 16th, exhibition till 17th) in collaboration with Cheffins Fine Art who hosted the packed Private View. Iconic views, Cambridge colleges, Kings College Chapel, the River Cam – its punts and bridges, the Market, all featured in our first plein air Cambridge art event. Prizes included award cheques and Cass Art materials. View the winners and selected others gallery.

Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne, 19 Dec 2018

Paint Out Norwich ran a winter nocturne Christmas lights plein air and social, Wednesday 19 December 2018 4-7pm. The open-air painting and ‘pinting’ event, started out at the Bell Hotel pub and included a bottle of bubbly for the best painting of the evening. Some of the locations painted included the fifteenth-century Bell Hotel itself, Jarrolds, and the Market/City Hall. All three were decorated and illuminated with tasteful seasonal lighting.

Paint Out Norwich, 13-28 Oct 2018

Premier plein air juried art competition (13-17th) since 2014, artist workshops (13-26th) and art talks (15-16th), public paint out (21st), private view & art awards (17th), Hostry exhibition (18-28th) – more information | event gallery

Public Paint Outs & other One-Day Paint Outs

21 October 2018 in Norwich and more of these to follow…

Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea, 8 Sep 2018

North Norfolk coast plein air painting competition. Since 2015 this event has seen workshops, demos, beach public paint outs at sunrise, Buttlands exhibition, day trips to neighbouring towns such as Blakeney, Burnham Market, Brancaster Staithe etcmore information | event gallery

Paint Out Great Yarmouth, 1 Sep 2018

A new one-day event is taking place – 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 – more information.

Paint Out Sudbury, Suffolk, 30 Jun 2018

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 – more information | event gallery

Paint Out at the RNS 28-29 June 2017

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 – more information | event gallery

Paint Out 2014-2016

Previous paint outs also ran in Norwich 2014-2016 and Well-next-the-Sea 2015-2016.



Paint Out Plein Air Painting Competition, Exhibition & Live Art Experience

Oxana Klip and James Colman painting Houghton Hall at Paint Out Norfolk 2019

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 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 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 Experience ArtLive

Our last event was 27-30 October in Norwich and our big event itself in its 10th anniversary year – Paint Out Norfolk is 13-20 July 2023 attracting over 100 artists, a rolling Exhibition and PV & Awards of the best art of the week.

Enter Paint Out Norfolk July 2023  Participating Artist Info  Paint Out Exhibition  Paint Out Norfolk 2022 Gallery  Paint Out Norwich 2022 Gallery  Paint Out History   

Paint Out 2023

Artist Kate Gabriel painting Winterton allotments, Paint Out Norfolk 2020
Artist Kate Gabriel painting Winterton allotments, Paint Out Norfolk 2020

Our outdoor painting programme builds upon over 9 years of plein air art events and 3 years of 8-day tours of Norfolk and Norwich with open-air exhibitions seeing dozens of artwork sales and thousands also raised for charity. Each event sees interest from over 100 artists from UK, USA, France and elsewhere; do enter the UK’s most innovative plein air art event running 13-22 July 2023 with early-bird applications having seen over 90+ artist entries already.

Artist Karen Adams painting on Winterton Beach dunes during Paint Out Norfolk 2020
Artist Karen Adams painting on Winterton Beach dunes during Paint Out Norfolk 2020

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 county, city, coast, and countryside locations including Norwich, Norfolk seaside, inland Broads, seaport and market towns, historic houses and gardens, and over-the-border forays to Suffolk. There will be guest artists, painting demos, talks, socials, and art world judges.

Recent judges have included Dr Sally Anne Huxtable, Michael Richardson, Maggi Hambling, Rob Adams, Hugh Pilkington and Giorgia Bottinelli.

Enter Paint Out Norfolk 2023  Interactive Map of Painting Locations  Paint Out PV & Exhibition  Paint Out Norwich 2022 Gallery   View Paint Out Norfolk 2022 Gallery  Paint Out History   

Experience Art – Live!

Get inspired by experiencing art “live”, watching its creation and creators and then come to an exhibition to see the finished paintings and artworks. 


Artist Will Topley at Paint Out Wells 2016 by Giacomo Gex on Vimeo.

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