Elsing Hall Gardens was visited on 16 Jun & 15 Sep 2019 one of seven days painting in six of Norfolk’s great gardens, and this grade I listed rural home has been described as “one of the hidden treasures of East Anglia”. The 20-acre estate of the fifteenth-century house and medieval moat near Dereham was previously recorded in nineteenth-century watercolour paintings by Rev James Bulwer now held in the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. In June, the roses were in full bloom but throughout the year the gardens have views around every twist of moat and turn of corner.
The romantic gardens were established over 30 years ago under the direction of Shirley Cargill and have constantly developed ever since in terms of both restoration and innovation. There is a historic hydraulic ram pump that was installed almost 200 years ago and is still housed in its original underground brick pump house accessed by a spiral stairway.
Many other interesting features include the probably unique gingko avenue, the rapidly maturing pinetum, the formal Osprey Garden, the flowing planting around the moat, and densely planted with Lonicera Nitida viewing mound with a spiral path taking one slowly to the summit.
Paint Out Gardens took place May to October in 2019 across 6 historic or hidden Norfolk gardens. 36 plein air artists painted the gardens through the seasons. Prizes were awarded by Charlotte Crawley – art historian, former curator and past Director of the East Anglia Art Fund, and by Tom Humphreys and Sophie Barrett of Fairhurst Gallery.
Paint Out Holt took place 19-20 July. 22 plein air artists across 3 sessions from Friday to Saturday morning ahead of opening the Holt Festival at Picturecraft Gallery in Holt. Prizes were awarded by Robert Upstone, former Senior Curator of 20th Century Art at Tate and Norfolk-based Art Historian, Charlotte Crawley – a former curator and past Director of the East Anglia Art Fund.
Paint Out Norfolk took place 1-7 July. 27 plein air artists toured Norfolk’s rivers, beaches and Broads, the palatial Palladian Houghton Hall with Henry Moores, as well as Bishop’s Bridge in Norwich itself and the Sainsbury Centre at UEA campus and sculpture park. Seven painting days in the summer sun! Read about the Prize-winning artworks here.
Paint Out Cambridge took place 13-17 May in partnership with Cheffins Fine Art. 30 experienced plein air artists used to working on the streets painted Cambridge’s classic colleges, chapels and beautiful bridges, punts on the River Cam, Market Square and other views. Three painting days, eight sessions, day and evening, all en plein air! Read about the Prize-winning artworks here.
Paintings created at Paint Out Great Yarmouth, Norfolk 2018
Paint Out Great Yarmouth took place in the historic Norfolk coastal town on 1 September 2018. Yarmouth has featured in historic paintings and its history in art was portrayed during ‘Drawn to the Coast: Turner, Constable, Cotman‘ which explored the identity of Great Yarmouth and its surrounding landscape through the artwork 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.
Paint Out 2017 saw an en plein air invitational event at the Royal Norfolk Show. Fifteen hardy artists painted all the colour and character of the UK’s largest two-day agricultural event amidst torrential downpours and mud to rival Glastonbury! From fairground to farriers, and pigs to poultry, there was plenty to paint. Our artists were positioned around the Norfolk Showground site, returning their wet artworks every few hours to our tent for a live art auction on the first day, and continually refreshed rolling exhibition over both days.
Paintings created at Paint Out Sudbury, Suffolk 2018
A baker’s dozen of plein air artists took to the historic wool town of Sudbury, Suffolk, on 30 June 2018. Birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough with its snaking River Stour, water meadows, Saturday market, St Peter’s Church, Gainsborough’s garden, Valley Trail, and some 247 Heritage Listed buildings, it was a veritable treasure trove of idyllic painting locations on one of the hottest days of the year.