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. A day-and-a-half of outdoor painting by 25 artists should see 50+ artworks created en plein air ready for a Private View at Picturecraft Gallery on Saturday 20 July with awards announced shortly after 1pm. Saturday also sees an Art Car Boot fair featuring artists such as Colin Self running alongside from 11-5pm
The judges are Robert Upstone, former Senior Curator of 20th Century Art at Tate and Charlotte Crawley who is a Norfolk-based Art Historian. After studying Art History at Cambridge University and The Courtauld Institute in London, she worked for five years at Windsor Castle looking after the Royal Collection of Drawings and Prints. Charlotte recently retired as the Director of the East Anglia Art Fund and serves on the Norfolk Committee of the Art Fund.
“This combination of judges has the unique qualification of having, early in their careers, curated the foremost collections of Canaletto drawings and Turner sketches probably the most famous early Plein Air painters on the planet!” – James Glennie, Holt Festival
Holt is home to 500-year-old Gresham’s School (alumni include WH Auden, Olivia Colman, Benjamin Britten, James Dyson, and the artist Ben Nicholson) and features fine 18th-century Georgian buildings and beautiful surrounding countryside.
The two-day Paint Out will be backed up by a week-long 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 Norfolk1-7 July 2019 visits Bishop’s Bridge & the Red Lion in Norwich, Wells-next-the-Sea, the Norfolk Broads at How Hill, Houghton Hall, and the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich for art talks, inspiration from Monet and Hockney, socials, judging by George Rowlett & Paul Greenhalgh, awards and private view, public paint out (6 July) and art exhibition (6-7th). Transport to all painting sites available from Norwich.
Paint Out continues its 2019 programme that has included the inaugural Paint Out Cambridge and an ongoing series of five garden paint-outs with a multi-day premier juried painting event that takes in beach and Broads, countryside and campus, and historical buildings from the 1640s through to 1960s brutalism and 1970s modernism. The loan of a Monet and two Hockney paintings are set to inspire, as well as an art talk by Sainsbury Centre director Professor Paul Greenhalgh. A public paint out on the Saturday during the exhibition weekend (6-7 July) will make this open to artists of all abilities alongside the juried entry event 1-5 July being judged by among others, the eminent plein air artist George Rowlett.
Paint Out is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to host Paint Out Norfolk at the Sainsbury Centre – the preeminent Visual Arts Centre in the region housing an incredible collection of art spanning 5000 years of human creativity. Based at the campus of the University of East Anglia, Norman Foster’s vast 1978 hangar – the size of several football pitches, the Sainsbury Centre provides the backdrop to this year’s flagship Paint Out. It will also be the source of inspiration via an art talk and a special opportunity to view an amazing Monet painting ‘Allée de sapins à Varengeville‘ depicting the Normandy coast and two David Hockney artworks upon which artists can reflect as they head out to paint three classic locations around the county.
The mission of this Paint Out will be to raise the critical agenda of en plein air art practice, whatever form that may take, and continue to bring the genre to a wide and increasingly knowing audience. We’ve been working closely with the Director of Exhibitions, Paul Greenhalgh, who will also be a judge at the event, on how best this can be achieved.
First and most importantly, we feel that it’s vital to not only contextualise the relevance of what’s gone before and recognise that this is often the vital starting point for many outdoor artists but also to allow for contemporary interpretation to flood the artist’s consciousness too. In fact, we have espoused experimentation from the outset of Paint Out, since 2014, and actively encourage artists to work outside their comfort zones.
To that end, the Sainsbury Centre has secured the loans of two notorious exponents of plein air: Claude Monet and David Hockney. The 1882 Varengeville coastal scene by Monet has all the hallmark of the Master’s swirling brushmark notation and clear colour.
The two Hockneys, by contrast, are monumental iPad drawings of Yosemite, fizzing with intense Californian reds and greens and varied mark making. Both may seem out of place in the relatively muted English light but this will be the height of the summer and with luck, the opportunity for artists to gorge on fabulous coastal and Broadland sweeps, as well as be let loose within the grounds of one of England’s finest early eighteenth century houses.
In addition to Paul Greenhalgh acting as a competition judge, we are pleased to announce that the well-established plein air artist George Rowlett will be with us acting as a further arbiter of the artworks created. Born on the West Coast of Scotland in 1941, George attended the Camberwell School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. He has work in public and private collections worldwide and is renowned for balancing both large bold impasto paintings and intimate up-close subjects. A description of Rowlett from a 2009 exhibition catalogue may give you an insight into the character who will be viewing your artistic impressions of Norfolk.
“When George Rowlett paints in the open air he is like a man wrestling with his subject. But what looks like a struggle is really an intimate dance. He stands back from the easel, a blade loaded with oil paint in one hand, and begins to shuffle as a boxer might, or an inexpert devotee of tai chi. His eyes and hands seem to be feeling the landscape, his shoulders move with its contours, both arms embrace its forms. Then, with a sudden stab and twist, another glistening slice of paint has been added to the thickening layers of rich impasto on the board before him.” – Robert Hewison
For those able to arrive Monday afternoon 1 July we will have a short welcome and induction in the Paint Out tent at the Sainsbury Centre site followed by an informal paint out at a pub on the river in the city of Norwich, the Red Lion by historic Bishop’s Bridge.
On Tuesday 2 July, we return to our favourite haunt on the Norfolk coast, Wells-next-the-sea which we’ve painted since 2015. Inspired by Monet’s depiction of the 1880s Normandy coast through the trees we’ll be visiting the timeless beach, dunes and pines there.
Wednesday’s trip will be to the beautiful setting of How Hill, the epicentre of The Norfolk Broads with its wide vistas across river and reed fen, plenty of opportunity to capture boats weaving their way up the river, original reed cutting practice, as well as the beautiful setting of How Hill’s Edwardian Garden with its terracing and eccentric layout. We will return for an art talk at the Sainsbury Centre and social.
On the third day, we have secured access to Houghton Hall and its surrounding deer park. This is an opportunity to capture one of the great houses of England and the original seat of the first Prime minister Horace Walpole.
Culminating on Friday morning, a final paint out around the campus and grounds of UEA and the Sainsbury Centre taking in 1640s Earlham Hall, 1960s Denys Lasdun’s Ziggurats, sculptures and lake, before a Private View and awards on Friday night followed by a weekend art exhibition with public paint out on the Saturday.
Transport to all locations available at a subsidised rate of £5/day.
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).
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 email@example.com or 07432 608015 if you have not received this).
Paint Out Norfolk PV, Awards & Exhibition, 20-22 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Paint Out Norfolk took 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.
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.
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 – more 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