Paint Out 2020’s outdoor painting programme will be our biggest yet. An 8-day tour of Norfolk and Norwich (16-23 July). Some 40 artists have been accepted already from the UK and USA with more joining us from Russia and elsewhere. We are expecting around 50-70 plein air artists. Brush up alongside new and familiar faces of the outdoor art practice community. Challenge your creativity. Develop your skills. Win prizes. Sell your artwork.
For our 7th year leading the field in UK plein air innovation and inspiration and for the second year in East Anglia, we are making this our flagship event for 2020. As we enter the next decade, our founding event Paint Out Norwich (2014) will become a part of our broader Norfolk event and we are moving it up to high summer from its founding origins in autumnal October where it began as part of the Hostry Festival.
Paint Out is the first and consistently long-running event of its kind in the UK and with over 15 events in 3 counties under our belt, prides itself in its quest to innovate and set new challenges, year on year.
Come and capture the height of summer in city, coast and countryside locations including Norwich, Norfolk seaside, seaport and market towns, and historic houses. Days and destinations are still being finalised but are set to include: King’s Lynn Festival, Cromer, Sheringham, North Walsham, and a couple of days and nights in Norwich.
There will be guest artists, painting demos, prestigious art talks, and daily prizes. Long summer days and evenings spent painting and socialising in stunning coastal, rural, market town and city environments.
Individual, weekend and multi-day choices available and transport options to county destinations. Priced from £15-£30/day – the early bird discount at £120 is sold out but the not-so-early bird discount of all 8 days at £135 till 29 February is open, rising to £150 in March.
Artists looking to hone their outdoor painting skills will be walking on the shoulders of plein air giants. Norfolk and Norwich can justifiably be called the crucible of plein air painting. The Castle Museum in Norwich has the largest collection of Cotmans and Cromes to name a couple of historic luminaries and has very recently acquired a magnificent JMW Turner (Walton Bridges, 1806) – his first open-air work, an analysis of which we hope will form part of our evening lecture programme. Looking to their masterly neighbours across the North Sea (Dutch Golden Age), the vast skies, watery dykes and unique cool filtered light are replicated in Norfolk and have inspired artists down the ages.
2020 will see us transport artists around the county to Georgian set-piece market towns, Victorian and art deco crumbling seaside splendour, replete with piers, funfairs, harbours and crab boats. The magnificent medieval architecture of Kings Lynn and Norwich will be supplemented with a return to our 2019 garden theme by taking in a Humphrey Repton red book garden or similar historic country house. A quick draw in front of one of the UK’s oldest and largest markets will provide more than a surge of adrenalin, draw crowds and create bonds with fellow artists.
Paint Out is your chance to make friends, exchange techniques and laugh too, it will be creative inspiration, life-changing and enhancing.
Paint Out‘s 2019 plein air exploration of Norfolk’s great gardens and houses continues with Houghton Hall walled garden (14 Sep, 11-5pm) but you could also double-up and do Houghton and Elsing Hall across a weekend 14-15 Sep in Norfolk.
A past winner of Christie’s Historic Houses Association ‘Garden of the Year Award’, the 5-acre walled garden has become one of Houghton’s most popular attractions and is itself surrounded by acres of deer-filled woodland and the sculptures of Henry Moore.
Whether the colour of the plantings, or the architecture of horticultural form, or the statues and fine glasshouse, there are views aplenty to paint.
These are available as one-day paintouts for £30 or £100 for the remaining 4 events or all 6 if you’ve already pre-paid for the year.
The space within Houghton Hall’s Walled Garden is divided into several contrasting ‘ornamental gardens’. These include a spectacular double-sided herbaceous border, an Italian garden, a formal rose parterre, fruit and vegetable gardens, a glasshouse, a rustic temple, antique statues, fountains and contemporary sculptures including Jeppe Hein’s “Waterflame”, Stephen Cox’s “Flask II”, and Richard Long’s “Houghton Cross” currently positioned on the croquet lawn.
Historic England entry (somewhat out of date!): KITCHEN GARDEN The 5 acre (c 2ha) walled garden lies c 350m south-west of the Hall behind 3m high red-brick walls (listed grade II).
The interior has been developed over the past five years (1992-7) by the present owner as an ornamental flower, fruit, and vegetable garden and is divided into four compartments by mature yew and beech hedges connected to a late C20 central circle of yew with tree peony beds. Paths of grass and gravel radiate from this, with the long north/south axis defined by double herbaceous borders.
The north-east quarter contains a newly planted (1990s) rose garden with herbaceous areas, yew hedging, a central pool, and four statues, while the north-west quarter is currently (1999) being planned.
The south-east quarter is divided by a newly planted (1990s) pleached hornbeam walk and the north-east quarter planted with old orchard trees in part, new fruit areas in part and an ornamental potager for vegetables.
The walled garden is contemporary with the building of the new hall and stables in the early C18 whilst the internal layout and glasshouses are all of late C20 origin.
The inaugural Paint Out Cambridge takes place 13-17 May in partnership with Cheffins Fine Art. Dozens of experienced plein air artists used to working on the streets will paint Cambridge’s classic colleges, chapels and beautiful bridges, River Cam, Market Square and other views as seen on this map.
Founded in 2014, the immersive outdoor art event has already run a dozen events across Norfolk and Suffolk and has been keen to come to Cambridge for a while. Partnering with Cheffins Fine Art has finally made this possible and the Paint Out team are excited to be running the competition, encouraging artists to capture and immortalise Cambridge’s iconic views.
Who could resist a city that drew JMW Turner to its banks to paint Clare Hall and King’s College Chapel, whilst also being home to the Fitzwilliam and Kettle’s Yard and a series of famous art collections at several Cambridge colleges?
“Cambridge has long been on our radar but with new partners Cheffins Fine Art now on board, the realisation of a central exhibition venue as well as other potential sponsors lining up to host various parts of the Paint Out, we see this is an event that will have multiple opportunities for artists to paint both town and gown in one of the most vibrant and fast-growing cities in the UK.” – James Colman, founder of Paint Out
Home to the Cambridge School of Art (now part of Anglia Ruskin University) and the Cambridge Drawing Society the team from Paint Out are keen to see local and national artists casting their creative eyes over the city and bringing their art skills to bear in classical and contemporary styles and various media that can be applied to canvas.
“Following the plein air painting event’s success at Paint Out, Norwich, last year, we are excited to support Paint-Out’s inaugural competition in Cambridge. Cambridge has long been an inspiration for artists such as Gwen Raverat, Edwin La Dell and Elisabeth Vellacott and with its iconic and world-recognised architecture and views such as the Mathematical Bridge, King’s College, Rose Crescent and The Backs, we are sure that it will provide endless inspiration for the artists taking part. Plein air painting is an essential part of learning to paint landscape from life and anything to encourage its proliferation within the artistic community is well supported. As the leading fine art auction house in the region, Cheffins is proud to support art events locally and is pleased to support the growth of Paint Out throughout East Anglia.”
The juried painting competition is open to amateur and professional artists alike and features 3-hour and 2-hour painting sessions around the city in full public view during the days and evenings (‘nocturnes’) of 13-15 May. Three eminent judges from the world of fine art (Sarah Flynn, Alice Hall, James Horton) will select the winning pieces with circa £2,000 worth of prizes awarded at the Private View and Awards evening at Cheffins on Clifton Road, on the 16 May (more information email firstname.lastname@example.org). The finished artworks will remain on display until 17 May and typically range in price from £150-£850.
Alice Hall is an en plein air painter focusing on landscapes. When she sets out to paint, she looks more like a vagrant than an artist: Wearing many warming layers of paint-encrusted clothing and carrying a rucksack full with paints, pallets, brushes and much more essential clobber besides. She sets up her impromptu studio and starts to work, first sketching the composition and then building up areas of colour. The aim being to capture character and mood, while being truthful to the subject. “Hall sets out to distill that moment when even the mundane can be magical. As you look at her paintings, you can travel to another land too.” – Rachel Campbell Johnston, Art Critic, The Times
James Horton works continually from life whether at Portraits, landscapes or interiors. Since leaving the Royal College of Art in 1974, the Cambridge based artist has travelled, worked and exhibited on location all over the world. Since 2000, he has concentrated on trips to India, Tuscany, North Africa and Jordan. His plein air work is rarely adjusted back in the studio, preserving the essence of time and place. He has written numerous books including the well known ‘Pastel techniques’ (Chrysalis) and ‘An Introduction to Drawing’ (DK in association with The Royal Academy).
Paint Out‘s plein air art events and exhibitions in Suffolk, UK, including Sudbury and other future Suffolk towns and locations.
Paint Out Sudbury, 30 Jun 2018
One-day art event in Gainsborough’s hometown with options to paint the town, Gainsborough garden, old railway line walk, the Watermeadows, Mill, River Stour, and more. Great views and amazing local countryside on the Suffolk/Essex border. [Info here…]
Paint Out‘s plein air art events and exhibitions in Norfolk, UK, including Great Yarmouth, Holt, Ludham, Wells-next-the-Sea and other North Norfolk coastal towns, Norfolk Broads, seaports, market towns, country houses and gardens. We’ve stretched far and wide across the coast from Hunstanton to Wells and Mundesley down to Happisburgh, Waxham, Horsey and Winterton. Inland, we’ve explored Gooderstone Water Gardens, Gunton Park, Blickling Hall, Wolterton Park, Norwich and Whitlingham. Visit the online gallery of the events (2020, 2021, 2022).
If you are a participating artist use the Logging, Location and Logistics pages for Event information and the password previously sent you (contact email@example.com or 07432 608015 if you have not received this).
Paint Out Norwich Nocturnes, 27-29 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.
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 will now open for entries soon 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!
In June we painted 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.
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.
An 8-day tour of Norfolk and Norwich, coast and countryside which saw over 70 artists participate and paint 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.
(See our 2020 Covid update for how we handled safety with a socially distant safe practice event and exhibition)
This year, Paint Out Norwich will provide a finale paintout in the Plantation Garden to the Paint Out Norfolk Gardens series which will have taken place May-October, through the year’s changing seasons, light, and colour. We are now painting Norwich Bishop’s Garden (14 Oct) as well as Plantation Garden (15 Oct) and hope to have sessions exploring other urban parks and gardens in and around Norwich.
Paint Out Holt, 19-20 July 2019
The Holt Festival (21-27 July), now in its eleventh year, has 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 will be judging at Paint Out Holt.
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.
Paint Out Norfolk takes place in conjunction with The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts1-7 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.
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 etc. Apply here or more information about our long-running Wells events.
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. Apply here.
Paint Out Great Yarmouth takes place on 1 September 2018, on the East Norfolk coast, during ‘Drawn to the Coast: Turner, Constable, Cotman‘ which explores the identity of Great Yarmouth and its surrounding landscape through the art work 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. Now you can too!
Our one day, two sessions, open-air art event celebrates the practice of en plein air painting and ends with a PV of the artworks created on the day, and week-long exhibition.
Paint Out is thrilled to be working with the Norfolk Museums Service and particularly the Time and Tide Museum to bring artists the opportunity to paint some scenes from Great Yarmouth for this one day event and display of them in a museum setting for a week, at the same time as such renowned painters Turner, Constable and Cotman are being exhibited to the general public.
Paint Out Great Yarmouth gives artists the chance to retrace the steps of Turner, Constable and Cotman, taking inspiration from the artworks on display in the exhibition, allowing them to create their own contemporary scenes of Great Yarmouth life which will be displayed in the museum during the final week of the ‘Drawn to the Coast’ exhibition run.
Throughout the 19th century Great Yarmouth attracted artists to its shores. Its prosperity as a port meant that wealthy merchants collected and commissioned artworks. Some became patrons to artists and helped them to establish national reputations. This was also a time when the town’s popularity as a leisure resort was growing and the wealthier tourists provided additional sources of income for artists. These circumstances helped to support the development of a thriving artistic scene in Great Yarmouth.
Artists ‘drawn to this coast’ include three of the UK’s most important landscape artists. JMW Turner (1775-1851), John Constable (1776-1837) and John Sell Cotman (1782-1842). This exhibition, co-curated by members of the Great Yarmouth community, explores some of the most dramatic local works created by these artists. It includes significant loans of their work from major national lenders including two loaned works by J.M.W Turner from Tate – a watercolour of Great Yarmouth, and, on display in the county for the first time since he sketched in it, his Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex sketchbook.
Join our mailing list to register interest in future Paint Out events and a return to Great Yarmouth and other East Anglian locations if you can’t make this one.
Paint Out, which began life in Norwich five years ago, takes to the road and will bring a dozen or more plein air artists to Sudbury, Suffolk, on 30 June 2018. This will be followed by a same-day pop-up art exhibition at St Peter’s of fresh artworks, straight off the easel.
The wool (and now silk) town was home to Thomas Gainsborough, founding member of the Royal Academy, who inspired fellow notable artist, John Constable. Modern outdoor artists follow in their tradition, painting in situ, and in Paint Out’s case with curious public onlookers as we invite passers-by to ‘experience art, live’.
The picturesque scenery including the Water Meadows trail and River Stour, the bridges and old railway line, Mill, the market town itself, St Peter’s Church, Gainsborough’s house and period-planted garden, will all serve as landscape inspiration for our experienced outdoor painters and illustrators.
The artists will spend one day, across two intense open air painting sessions, 10-1pm and 2-5pm, recording local views on canvas, and then displaying and selling them in a pop-up one-hour art exhibition in St Peter’s Church, 6-7pm, which also hosts the Sudbury Summer Art Fair, 2-8 July.
The artworks will all have been painted in under three-hours and many will still be wet, even with the sunny forecast! Just like the weather, they will be hot off the easel, and sold unframed, ‘painting-to-go’ so to speak, in carry away boxes, not unlike pizza boxes!
This is a process Paint Out first tried at the Royal Norfolk Show, last year, and has since continued, enabling art lovers to take away a fresh artwork, moments after it is painted, and then to frame it at their leisure and according to their preferred style.
Paint Out began in Norwich in 2014 and has since run a dozen events in Wells-next-the-Sea, other North Norfolk towns, and five large scale multi-day events in Norwich itself, during the annual Hostry Festival (October 2018). Sudbury, is the first of many planned wider East Anglian events.
Paint Out Sudbury took place on 30 June 2018, on the Essex/Suffolk border, home to Thomas Gainsborough who inspired John Constable, with picturesque scenery including the Water Meadows and River Stour, an old railway line, the market town itself, St Peter’s Church and Gainsborough’s house. One day, two sessions, en plein air!
A baker’s dozen of plein air artists took to the historic wool town of Sudbury, birthplace of Gainsborough with its snaking River Stour, Suffolk countryside and some 247 Heritage Listed buildings in the town itself. It was a veritable treasure trove of idyllic painting locations on one of the hottest days of the year.
Participating artists included: Eleanor Alison, John Behm, Sarah Berbank Green, Mary Blue Brady, James Colman (non-competing), Tom Cringle, Robin Drury, Jack Godfrey, Julie Hodgson, Andrew Horrod, Robert Nelmes, Eloise O’Hare, Sue Willmer.
Join our mailing list to register interest in future Paint Out events and a return to Sudbury and other towns in Suffolk.
Paint Out plein air art competition event dates go live early each year but additional events may still be announced throughout. You can lodge a registration of interest in our various events – this is not an entry to an event, it just gets you on the Call to Artists announcement mailing list. The buttons below will also take you to live entry forms within the event entry-date windows.
The Norwich plein air competition painting days (14-15 Oct 2019) take place during the city’s Hostry Festival often with artist workshops and art talks, welcome and walking tour of Norwich, a public ‘paint out’, 2-4 days of painting, an awards night and private view (16th), and 10-12 day exhibition.
The inaugural Paint Out Cambridge takes place 13-17 May (painting 13-15th, PV 16th, exhibition till 17th) in conjunction with Cheffins Auctions.
The Holt Festival (21-27 July), now in its eleventh year, has also invited Paint Out to open this year’s Festival with a two-day Paint Out (19-20 July) around the charming North Norfolk town with winners exhibiting alongside the now well established Holt Art Prize.
Throughout the year we will also be exploring Norfolk’s great gardens through one-day events including:
Events in previous locations may return in 2020. Paint Out Wells is usually early September, as was Paint OutGreat Yarmouth in 2018. Paint Out Sudbury in Suffolk took place on 30 June 2018 and will likely be back in 2020. Other locations to be confirmed and dates may be subject to change.
You can register your interest below to be kept up to date when submission forms for each event are live and to be a part of future Paint Outeventsas well as other locations, and even suggest your own.
Fifteen hardy artists painted all the colour and character of the fauna, flora, and fun of the fair amidst torrential downpours and mud to rival Glastonbury! From fairground to farriers, and pigs to poultry, there was plenty to paint. So long as the rain held off! That said, we pushed the artists out irrespective of the weather. (See the gallery)
It took, however, an adventurous, as much as artistic, spirit in each artist to seek out semi-sheltered locations from which to paint some challenging views with overbearing skies and a sea of tents and puddles.
Some artists ended up sharing a sty with pigs, a tent with an owl, a marquee with chickens, the back of a van with rescued greyhound, or the awaiting-judging ring with cattle.
Our artists were positioned around the Norfolk Showground site, returning their wet artworks every few hours to our tent for labelling, pricing, and display in our contemporary pop-up art gallery.
Sat next to the main art tent at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association showground the Leathes Prior sponsored Paint Out tent was filled with art made on the day. 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.