In 2015 Paint Out ran a 100-person mass public paint out on Mousehold Heath, Norwich and also a sunrise on Wells Beach, North Norfolk. This year we are running a Sunday afternoon paint out for all in and around the historic Tombland and Cathedral Close/Quarter district. These public paint outs are great opportunities to paint alongside experienced competition artists. If you want to brush up your drawing or painting skills, there are art workshops the day before at Anteros Arts on Fye Bridge St.
Sunday 16 October 2016, Norwich, Tombland afternoon paint out (1-4pm)
The cost is just £10 for individuals or £20 for families to come out and paint together with the opportunity to have the best and most varied paintings, drawings, collages, hung in Anteros Arts Centre.
There are plenty of places you could paint including Princes Street, Fye Bridge, Tombland, around the Cathedral Gates, Cloisters and Close. Dozens of artists will be there, come and join them and take art back out onto the streets of Norwich.
From midday, you can also get a prix fixe special lunch+drink deal at North Cafe Bar for just £7.
A local art student is completing a project onen plein air in Art History and has requested responses from other artists on their experience of painting en plein air for comparative study.
“I am incredibly interested by painting outdoors, and was wondering if it were possible for you to answer some questions I have on the topic?”
Their particular area of study has included Scandinavian artists such as Peder Severin Krøyer (1851-1909) working en plein air in the town of Skagen, Denmark. They are looking at the Skagen artists’ relationship with light in Skagen, and especially, Krøyer’s en plein air works created during his ‘blue period’.
If you are able to answer any of the questions below to aid their understanding of painting en plein air (particularly before Friday 6 May) that would be fantastic and we will pass on responses to them.
A fantastic turnout of well over 90 people, by some counts 100+, amassed on Mousehold Heath yesterday. Not a reenactment of the 1549 Kett’s Rebellion but a mass art event with dozens of artists painting side by side the skyline views of Norwich before a beautiful sunset descended.
The light changed frequently adding to the en plein air challenge of painting a changing scene with the distraction of public gaze, press filming, bemused dog-walkers, and kids either rolling on the green hillside or picking up crayons to draw their own young masterpieces. The attraction of the varied views and inspiration of so many fellow artists of all ages and abilities made the event a resounding success, and one we will no doubt repeat.
One of the judges for Paint Out‘s core and nocturne event prize awards, David Curtis, also took up his easel and palette to paint. Renowned local ‘pop artist’ Colin Self was also about the Heath planning to do a brass rubbing.
The Big Draw
The event proved to be a big draw, bringing people not just from Norfolk but several driving 3-4 hours from Kent and Yorkshire just to take part in the public spectacle. October is also the month of the world’s biggest drawing competition – The Big Draw, with events taking place all month, so it was appropriate for art in all its forms from pens to paint, brass-rubbing to mixed media collage, to be taking place on the Heath.
Art for All Ages and Abilities
Unlike our juried entry main Plein Air competition this event was open to all-comers by prior registration and nearly 60 signed up to join around 40 Paint Out artists. Many just showed up on the day and braved the initially ominous but turning-out-to-be beautiful weather. All ages from 5 to 85 were represented including whole families treating art on the Heath as a creative day out. Picnic blankets filled with pens and paints, rather food and fizz, filled the undulating slopes as people sought the best positions to paint the landscape.
Three generations of one family took part – from grandmother to mother and daughters. The artistic East Anglian Sendall family also included a mother and daughter pairing, Jennifer and Susannah Sendall, taking part in the main competition as well.
Both uses of the word media were in evidence as most forms of media were represented. Artists using oils, paints, pastels, pens, papier mache, glue, grass, and even a beer can, meant mixed media was much in evidence in the creation of art works. Meanwhile, radio, TV, photographers and videographers grabbed footage of the rolling hills and heath filled with artists and families on a fun day out for all.
Cass Art were our sponsors for the event, their mission being to “fill this town with artists”, the hills were indeed filled with artists of all ages and who gratefully received Cass Art discount vouchers and later next week will also be awarded Cass Art prizes to spend online or at Cass Art stores.
Several artists had clearly shopped there before as some Cass Art bags were in evidence on the heath alongside the Paint Out bags.
The Paint Out artists were well fed courtesy of Café Britannia and quite a number of artists turned their backs on Norwich, which at times became contre-jour and instead chose to paint the Victorian Prison or Barracks turned café. The former home of the Royal Norfolk Regiment barracks is an imposing red brick building almost matching the Autumnal colours of the trees in seasonal change.
“Café Britannia is a shabby chic café offering freshly cooked British cuisine. Open 7 days a week, the café is staffed by category D low risk prisoners, that have volunteered to learn new skills, improve their lives and make a fresh start. All tips and profits generated from the café go to rehabilitating prisoners and charitable causes.”
Public Art Exhibition at OPEN
The Paint Out competition artworks will be displayed alongside the core and nocturne painting events of the last few days at the Cathedral Hostry gallery exhibition show of nearly 200 artworks from Saturday 24-30th October. The Mousehold public artworks will be displayed from Tuesday 27th till Saturday 31st October at the OPEN venue (20 Bank Plain, top of London Street, Norwich NR2 4SF).
Australian artist, Denis Clarke, is in Norwich for Paint Out‘s art competition and events the week of 19-23 October. Before hitting the streets of Norwich with over 40 other artists and some 80 artists on Thursday at the mass Mousehold Heath ‘paint out’ he will be delivering an art workshop on Monday 19 October. Open to artists of all abilities, why not get enthused and inspired by this rare opportunity to be taught by a visiting experienced artist and art teacher.
Bold and Expressive: Mixed Media From Life
The workshop is titled “Bold and Expressive: Mixed Media From Life” and is an introduction to some diversions from habitual ways we look and draw from a subject. Methods might be challenging to get your thinking more attuned to a practice of learning to see form and space using drawing media as well as paint. Expressive use of mark and gesture will be encouraged.
Matisse proclaimed that to see things fresh and as if for the first time, “as if with the eye of a child” was a constant effort. Drawing is an ongoing dialogue in which you are being encouraged to suspend disbelief so as to encourage all the senses to respond. The sense of touch or imagined sense of touch seems to be as present in all good drawing as the sense of sight. Clumsiness and refinement, accident and control, may interchange in the process.
The otherness or impact of nature seems to be our ongoing goal to a realization of a meaningful statement in a mix of drawing media as well as paint.
Denis is renowned for devising and delivering innovative master class courses linking observational drawing to creative and experimental methods with drawing and mixed media. This is a rare opportunity to learn from an international artist and art teacher.
Denis Clarke is a well established artist who exhibits and teaches in Australia and the UK. He studied at the National Art School Sydney, St Martins School of Art, London and Byam Shaw School of Art, London. He also taught in Switzerland and was awarded a studio scholarship at at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. He has been both the recipient of major awards as well as judged several prestigious art prizes.
From 1975 to 1998, Denis lived, exhibited and taught in London and Switzerland, teaching at the Camden School of Art, London and exhibiting most notably in London at Gillian Jason Gallery, Boundary Gallery and three one-man shows at James Colman Gallery at Montpelier Sandelson, Knightsbridge.
In 1998 Denis returned to live and paint in Sydney, where he exhibited with the Harris Courtin Gallery in Sydney. In 2003 he was awarded the Blackfriars Drawing Acquisitive. He has collaborated with several premier arts organizations such as Opera Factory in London and Switzerland, Warwickshire Arts Festival in the UK, and most recently as the artist in residence at Wollombi Valley Arts Council.
Denis has lectured at the National Art School, Sydney Australia, for ten years, and runs master classes and summer schools at numerous art institutions, universities and colleges.
Art Workshop Booking
Denis will offer the following art workshop on Monday 19 October in Norwich:
Bold and Expressive: Mixed Media From Lifewith Denis Clarke
Offered, as part of Paint Out Norwich 2014 local and visiting amateur, aspiring and experienced artists, as well as members of the competition, are all welcome to take part. The workshop will take place from 10am and includes lunch in the £50 package price. You will need to bring your own art materials.
There is also an oil painting workshop with Paint Out veteran Michael Richardson if you prefer to work with traditional oils instead of mixed media.
Why can’t you paint what has been painted before? German artist, Hermann Albert asked in 1972 of whether one can still paint an idyllic Tuscan countryside scene. “Why can’t you? You can do everything. Why should anyone tell me I can’t paint a sunset?”
“In the summer of 1972 I was in Florence for a while, and one weekend I went on a trip to the mountains with some colleagues. We got out of the car and there we were standing in the Tuscan countryside, with cypress trees, the olive groves and the old houses–it was harmony…. The sun was setting and soon it was out of sight, but the rays of sunlight were still, illuminating the countryside obliquely, the shadows were getting longer and longer, and you could sense the approach of nightfall although it was really still daytime. We stood there, with our own consciousness, looking at this dramatic spectacle, and suddenly one of us said “Its a pity you can’t paint that anymore these days.” That had been a key word I’d heard ever since I started trying to be a painter. And I said to him, out of pure impudence: “Why can’t you? You can do everything.” It was only after I’d said it that I realized what had initially been a piece of provocation was really true. Why should anyone tell me I can’t paint a sunset?” – Hermann Albert from an exhibition catalogue, 1985 by Thiele-Dohrmann
In commenting, on whether repetition of what has been painted before lacks originality, the art critic Arthur Coleman Danto decried that on the contrary one should neither be put off nor be blinded to the freshness of the new interpretation.
“As a critic, I am never put off by the fact that what an artist does has been done before. That someone did it “first,” it seems to me, is often an observation that only blinds you to what the artist did who did it “second.” The repetition need not entail a lack of originality.” – Arthur Coleman Danto, 1993
James Colman, one of the founders of Paint OutNorwich (and now Wells-next-the-Sea), was inspired to set up a plein air arts competition that draws dozens of artists with easels to paint similar locations but each interpreting it in their own ways. He says:
“Until you’ve started the plein air journey your perception as to what it takes to do it to a very high standard may be clouded by having to walk on the shoulders of giants or having to overcome the fear of being ridiculed as some outmoded eccentric. Forget that straight away. Easel painting never went away. Pick up your brushes and come and join us in Wells. You may surprise yourself. It will open up a whole new world of challenges. You will meet new and interesting people and it will be a lot of fun along the way. See you there!”
Easels are indeed not dead, in fact, they are being revived as Paint Out and other plein air events revive open air painting across the UK, Ireland, Europe, and America. You can see easels everywhere during 9-11 September in Wells, North Norfolk and 20-22 October in Norwich. You can apply to take part or enter the public sunrise ‘paint out’.