John Behm painting on Tombland, Norwich 2016. Photo by Katy Jon Went

Paint Out – The Norwich Plein Air Art Competition

Paint Out™ is an art event aiming to redefine 21st century en plein air art practice. Our core event, now in its fifth year, is 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, and giving the public an opportunity to ‘Experience Art. Live!

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/print embracing drawing, pastels, oils, watercolour, gouache, acrylic, pen and ink, and even screen-printing and digital submissions. Innovation and originality are encouraged alongside traditional art forms.

Join Our Mailing List   Paint Out Register interest   Art & Painting Workshops   Art History & Theory Talks   Gallery   Public Open Paint Outs

Paint Out Norwich 2018 dates

This is our fifth year and ninth competition event. Paint Out Norwich 2018 plein air painting days during the Hostry Festival 2018 will run Saturday 13th through Tuesday 16th October  (weekend-only option also available) with a public ‘paintout‘ on Sunday 21st, and a Private View, Awards & Art sale on Wednesday 17th October. This will be followed by an art exhibition of over 150 paintings until 28th October at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry each day. Applications will be juried on 20 July and 31 August by our selector David Curtis ROI RSMA, with selection announcements in the days after each date so enter as soon as possible for the earliest confirmation of your participation and easiest access to affordable accommodation. View the 2017 winners or 2016 gallery online.

We have a number of events in East Anglia before and during Paint Out Norwich to whet your appetite including several Paint Out days May-Sep in Suffolk & Norfolk with opportunities to paint historical changing rural and urban landscapes as we seek to use Paint Out events to document our changing environment.

Locations for painting will include the bustling market – one of the oldest and certainly the largest in the UK, serene medieval Cathedral quarter including film-featured cobbled Elm Hill, the soon-to-change 1960s urban landscape of Anglia Square, its intact Norman Castle (and art gallery housing the Norwich School of Painters collection, paintings are also held by the TATE, Colman family and Mandell’s Gallery, the proprietor of which is one of the judges this year), and Norwich Lanes by night.  There will also be the opportunity to paint the historic Colman’s factory site before Unilever close operations there.

Join Our Mailing List   Paint Out Register interest   Art & Painting Workshops   Art History & Theory Talks   Gallery   Public Open Paint Outs

Past Events

Paint Out at the RNS 28-29 June 2017

Paint Out 2017 saw 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. Our exhibition tent was supported by Leathes Prior. There was an auction of the still-wet fresh art by Arnolds Keys fine art auctioneers.

Paint Out Norwich 27-28 May 2017

Paint Out Norwich 2017 launched the year with a day of art workshops in perspective drawing, tonal oil painting, and social media skills . The following day saw a full day public ‘paintout‘ around The Market and St Peter’s Street from an open-top double-decker bus! View the prize winners from PON 2017.

Paint Out Norwich 2016 Exhibition photo by Katy Jon Went
Paint Out Norwich 2016 Exhibition photo by Katy Jon Went

Paint Out Norwich 2016 Prizes & Art Exhibition

Artist Douglas Boyd Cross at Paint Out Norwich 2015
Artist Douglas Boyd Cross at Paint Out Norwich 2015

Our 2016 art exhibition is now over but paintings are being added for view, and a few still for sale, to our online gallery. Over 150 artworks from 34 artists aged 26-75, some of whom – including a mother and daughter pair – took to Pub and Paddle‘s canoes to paint from the waterline of the River Wensum, discovering new and old views of the city alike. Sue Mann, renowned for painting from a bicycle, won this year’s Spirit of Plein Air Award for being the first to take the plunge and paint from a canoe.

This year we innovated again by running a ‘Freestyle‘ larger form, 2-day, event alongside our classic Core event of 4 separate 3-hour painting sessions. Our groundbreaking Nocturne event returned for its second year with an increased number of submissions.

Paint Out Norwich 2016 Winning Artists and Paintings - photo by Simon Finlay
Paint Out Norwich 2016 Winning Artists and Paintings – photo by Simon Finlay

The new Freestyle event was won by Robert Nelmes for his widescale painting, “Norwich Market”, and the runner-up second prize went to Brian Korteling for his very urban Magdalen Street flyover, complete with graffiti, “Waiting for the bus”.  This prize category was sponsored by La Ronde Wright.

The returning Nocturne event was won by Tom Cringle for his “Untitled” spire at night, with Michael Richardson‘s “Night Time in the Lanes”, coming second. This prize category was sponsored by Sowerbys.

The Core event was won in Mixed Media by Alfie Carpenter, with runner up Tom Cringle – who also won Second Prize overall, sponsored by La Ronde Wright, lifting his prize total to £500. In Watercolour, Richard Bond‘s “Between the Showers” won, with second place going to Andrew Horrod. The Oils category saw second place go to Roger Dellar, and first place to Chris Daynes for “Yelow Canoe” which also won the overall First Prize and a £1000 in total including his category win, sponsored by Strutt & Parker. We are also grateful to Archant for sponsoring several second placed prizes as well as the Watercolour and Mixed Media categories.

The Paint Out Norwich 2016 competition, with multiple categories, saw 17 prizes in total, old and new locations, and continues to provide artistic challenges and opportunities for both seasoned plein air professionals and aspiring amateur artists. Over 180 artists registered an interest this year, with over 40 being accepted into the third-year of Paint Out Norwich. 33 took part, producing 140+ paintings in the exhibition.

Artists and public gather outside Anteros Arts on Fye Bridge to view the Paint Out Norwich Tombland artwork - photo by Katy Jon Went
Artists and public gather outside Anteros Arts on Fye Bridge to view the Paint Out Norwich Tombland artwork – photo by Katy Jon Went

Paint Out Register interest

Sponsorship & Partnering with Paint Out

Paint Out is put on and sustained by art-loving founders and team members – some paid, some volunteers, with the aim of supporting the growth of plein air art. To achieve and maintain this we are indebted to our partners and sponsors who have provided funds, prizes, or goods and services-in-kind. If you would like to partner or sponsor current and/or future ‘paint outs’ please contact us.

Volunteering Opportunities

Paint Out is thankful for the hard work of its volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering for our current ‘paint outs’, assisting artists, helping manage the registration desks and paintings, and being part of our arts events can register online or join our volunteers facebook group. It looks great on a CV!

Volunteer at Paint Out

Paint Out History

Paint Out Norwich launched in 2014 and since then well over 100 different artists have taken part in our professional competitions and over 120 in our public paint outs. Our first satellite painting event was Wells-next-the Sea 2015 on the North Norfolk coast. That year also saw first-of-its-kind mass public ‘paint outs’ firstly on Wells Beach at sunrise and then, the following month, of some 100 artists, of all ages,  painting the expansive Norwich skyline, from historic Mousehold Heath.

Paint Out Norwich 2015 – Art Exhibition

Judges deliberating at the Paint Out Norwich 2015 Exhibition
Judges deliberating at the Paint Out Norwich 2015 Exhibition

Paint Out Norwich displayed the art work of 40 artists at a Gala Private View and Art Auction on Friday 23 October 2015 and from 24 October through to December the art is on view at various exhibition venues around Norwich including the Hostry, Maddermarket Theatre and OPEN.

Paint Out Norwich 2015 Online Gallery

Paint Out Norwich 2015 – Prizewinning Artists

Paint Out Norwich 2015 Competition

October 19th-23rd 2015 saw the selection of 40 artists working in a variety of mediums to create work in response to Norwich’s vibrant cityscape during a timed competition in full view of the public. This year, the enlarged pool of artists, painted over 3 days and nights, to include daytime and nocturne painting, a mass “paint out” from Mousehold Heath with around 100 artists overlooking Norwich, youth/student entry prizes, and new location options. Register interest in our 2017 competition.

The 2015 Prize Winners were Richard Bond (1st), Mo Teeuw (2nd), Eloise O’Hare (3rd), Michael Richardson (Nocturne 1st) with judges commendations to Brian Korteling, Gennadiy Ivanov, Liam Wales, additional prizes including the ‘Spirit of Plein Air’ award to Alex Egan.

Paint Out Norwich Register interest


Mission statement

Paint Out logo 2015

Paint Out is a multifaceted arts event that aims to attract national and international talent by its annual events that focus on the challenges imposed by creating work ‘on the spot’ in the urban environment. Paint Out is keen to see a competition that tests artists’ skill and craft to the maximum, promoting the burgeoning UK arts scene, and providing an interactive educational experience. Our expanding events have included schools, public, and professional art competitions, artwork exhibitions and auctions, talks, “Artist’s Question Time”, and open air art workshops.

Paint Out News, Updates & Social Media

You can read our latest blog posts, news and updates here. You can also contact us by Email and follow us on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube to keep up to date with local art exhibitions, progress of the annual competition, and news about our artists.

Paint Out  © is a James Colman Project

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