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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Forthcoming Events

Paint Out Norfolk PV, Awards & Exhibition22-24 July 2022

From 6pm on Friday 22nd July you can be among the first to see the judging, awards, prizes and scoop up some amazing paintings. Last year it was very busy! Saturday-Sunday 23rd-24th July the Exhibition and sales continue 10-6pm and thereafter online.

Paint Out Norfolk 2022 Awards & Exhibition  

Paint Out Norfolk15-22 July 2022

Our outdoor painting programme builds upon 8 years of plein air art events and 2 years successful and Covid-safe 8-day tours of Norfolk and Norwich with an open-air exhibition that saw dozens of artwork sales. In 2022, we are expanding again to welcome over 90 artists and add more facilities on-site (art materials, food and beverages etc). It is the UK’s most innovative plein air art event – 15-22 July 2022 – still open for lastminute entries. Come and capture the height of summer in 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 info@paintout.org or 07432 608015 if you have not received this).

Paint Out Norfolk 2022   Join Our Mailing List   Paint Out Register interest   

Paint Out Norwich Nocturnes27-29 October 2022

This autumn, we are revisiting 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 will be primarily 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 (coming soon) 

Past Events

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.

 

 

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Artists silhouetted at Paint Out Wells 2015 sunrise. Photo by Katy Jon Went

Paint Out 2022-23 Plein Air Art Competitions

ENTER Paint Out Norwich, Oct 2022   ENTER Paint Out Norfolk, July 2023   Paint Out Register interest   

Paint Out Norwich, 27-29 October 2022

An autumnal special just in Norwich during the  Hostry Festival. Prioritising the light of the morning on the market and medieval buildings to the dark of nocturnes and lamplit cobbled lanes, the October 2022 event is now open for entries.

Paint Out Norfolk, July 2023

Artist Kate Gabriel painting Winterton allotments, Paint Out Norfolk 2020
Artist Kate Gabriel painting Winterton-on-Sea allotments during Paint Out Norfolk 

Our outdoor painting programme builds upon 9 years of plein air art events across of Norfolk and Norwich with an open-air exhibition that sees dozens of artwork sales. We expect to welcome over 100 artists from UK, Europe & USA, do sign up early to join the UK’s most innovative plein air art event – the July 2023 event is now open for entries with early bird pricing (save up to £150). Come and capture the height of summer in city, coast and countryside locations including Norwich, Norfolk seaside, inland Broads, market towns, and historic houses, gardens and parks, allotments and cemeteries!

Paint Out Norfolk 2023 Application  

 

Past Events

Paint Out Norfolk, 15-24 July 2022

Our third 8 days+ summer format saw 80+ artists brave the hottest heatwave in UK history. Artists painted from the North Coast and its creeks to the sublime serenity of Gooderstone Water Gardens, the National Trust’s Blickling Hall to Wolterton Hall and Park, and across Norwich and the Norfolk Broads. 

Judges included Dr Sally Anne Huxtable, Michael Richardson, and Hugh Pilkington.

Paint Out Norfolk 2022 Gallery 

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 returned to Norwich Market, Jarrolds, Haymarket and the surrounding area to paint the seasonal scenes. Some 20 artists participated, painting early for the light as well as late for the Christmas lights.

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 will be 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, 13-17 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. Iconic views, Cambridge colleges, Kings College Chapel, the River Cam – its punts and bridges, the Market, may all feature in our first plein air Cambridge art event.

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

 

What is Paint Out & Plein Air?

Paint Out™ is a multi-faceted event aiming to redefine en plein air art practice. Our core event is the premier and only fully juried en plein air competition in the United Kingdom, celebrating the talents of national and international artists before a wide and growing audience in the heart of medieval and iconic Norwich and at satellite locations. Our events aim to push the experience of painting en plein air and its challenges in all weather conditions, times of day and light, and varied locations and points of view. 

Plein Air – Art works carried out in the open air – chiefly with reference to painting. The Paint Out competitions, however, accept any 2-dimensional media or mixed-media applied to a canvas/board/paper embracing drawing, pastels, oils, watercolour, and even screen-printing. Innovation and originality are encouraged alongside traditional art forms.

History of the Paint Out Competition

Paint Out Norwich launched in 2014 during the city’s October Hostry Festival, that itself began in 2011. Some 30 artists participated in the first Norwich event, 35-45 in subsequent events. Read about the prizewinners from Paint Out Norwich 2014, Norwich 2015, Norwich 2016Paint Out Norwich 2017 and Paint Out Norwich 2018. Paint Out events also hit the North Norfolk coast of Wells-next-the-Sea, Blakeney, Brancaster Staithe, and Burnham Market, in 2015-2018 and Great Yarmouth in 2018. See some of the past winners: Paint Out Wells 2016, 2017, 2018.

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 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 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 July 2023 will attract 100+ artists, a rolling Exhibition and PV & Awards of the best art of the week.

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

Paint Out 2022-23

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 raised for charity too. 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 – the 15-22 July 2022 event is over but 2023 early-bird applications will open soon.

This 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, during the Hostry Festival.

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 saw classic cars, heritage boats, and the village life of a summer festival celebration in full swing. 

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 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. 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 Norfolk 2021 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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