Richard Bond is a Norwich-based artist, working mainly in oils and watercolour, whose work has been exhibited in various regional and national group shows such as the Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Competition, and the Royal Watercolour Society Open Competition.
Richard will offer the following art workshop on Tuesday 8 September in Wells-next-the-Sea:
Intermediate En Plein Air Watercolour Painting with Richard Bond
Offered, as part of Paint Out Wells 2015, Richard is competing this year and is a veteran of Paint Out Norwich 2014 and plenty of other competitions and exhibitions. 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 just after 10am and includes lunch in the £50 package price. You will need to bring your own art materials. Please book here.
Richard’s artistic interests range from “rural landscape, architectural subjects and urban themes, to still life and the human figure.” He has appeared in International Artist magazine (Issue 86, 2012) in a feature piece “Master Painters of the World: UK Richard Bond” about his work, style and methods.
“My watercolour paintings range from small ‘plein air’ works painted outdoors on location, to large-scale studio paintings, based on outdoor studies and sketches, photographs and other reference material. As a figurative painter I am captivated by the liquid beauty of the watercolour medium, its versatility, and the ability to say more with less. For all of my work, I use high-quality, permanent paints and acid-free, mould-made papers, or present-day versions of traditional handmade papers. I enjoy researching the methods and techniques of the great masters of 19th and 20th century British and American watercolour, and have always admired, and continue to be inspired by, the paintings of Cotman, Turner, Sargent and HB Brabazon in particular. For me, watercolour is an exciting, expressive and challenging medium, and I strive to maintain in my own work that sense of immediacy and directness which is the essence of the traditional art of watercolour painting.”
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’.
Paint Out‘s mission is to take art back out on to the streets, to reinvigorate en plein air painting, challenging artist and audience alike to partake in the events. We want to bring a diverse range of artists and their mediums to new audiences. For the artists, our aim is to increase their reach and stretch their skills and temperament by putting them ‘out’ there among the challenges of weather, environment, crowds of onlookers and in-picture walk-on parts. Indeed, artists have previously included in their artworks other artists, team members and passers by.
Keeping up with a Changing Environment
Views can radically change during the 3 hours of painting or overnight. Objects can move, rain or roadworks intervene, or you could be surrounded by rubbish and yet produce something the very opposite of that.
The transient light can shift and the subtlety of it was beautifully captured last year by artists, whether looking down medieval cobbled streets or reflected in the river by Pull’s Ferry.
For instance, take the dilemma of whether to include the scaffolding or paint it out, or a parked car that then moved. These were faced by the winning artist – Haidee-Jo Summers. Her competitors faced the same view the next day but with the scaffolding gone.
What to include?
There are many paintings in history with the artist, or their friends, included in or hidden in the finished work. But in a competition, if your vista includes a friend or fellow artist and competitor, do you include them – wheelchair, in this case, and all? For Mo Teeuw entered the competition despite a broken leg and featured in the winning painting by Haidee-Jo Summers.
Varied and Alternative media
Last year we had a young brave open air printmaker, Bryony Birkbeck, battling the clock and the elements whilst also being filmed by BBC Voices and quizzed by fascinated spectators. She handled herself unflappably despite the odd breeze rustling her papers.
Paint Out is open to artists, illustrators, printmakers in acrylic, ink, oil, pastels, pen, watercolour and more – anyone who wants to interpret the modern ‘landscape’. All of the art works are started and finished outside in public view in virtually any media on paper/board/canvas taking in either coastal Wells-next-the-Sea (Sep 9-11) or modern and medieval urban Norwich (Oct 19-22).
Some of the popular pieces last year were black and red wash works that concentrated on people milling around the market, rather than buildings or nature, although a more traditional piece – albeit with scaffolding, a wheelchair and a roadworks sign included, did scoop the first prize.
Last year artists positioned themselves with easel and paints on top of the Forum roof and on top of the Castle mound, or nestled in among the Market or a busy road intersection.
Interpretation is up to the artist with many and varied locations and vantage points at each venue available. This year Norwich has day and optional nocturne sessions running and Wells’ hub is an historic Dutch cargo clipper.
Paint Out is a fantastic opportunity for:
artists to make new friends, surpass their expectations, give their work a new lease of life, challenge themselves, know when to stop painting, and to sell their work.
All these statements come from the feedback of artists at Paint Out Norwich 2014. There is still time to apply for #PON2015.
Stephen Fry chooses canvases & paints for Desert Island castaway luxury
The long-running BBC Radio 4 programme, Desert Island Discs– and its current presenter Kirsty Young, have secured Norfolk and national treasure Stephen Fry, for a second time, to quiz him on his castaway music, literature and luxury choices. One of his biggest regrets, it turns out, is that he feels that he cannot dance or paint, and rather than take a dance teacher as his luxury item he’s opted for the easel life of a marooned and abandoned artist.
After choosing T.S. Elliot’s Four Quartets, alongside the supplied Bible and Shakespeare, he opted to take as a luxury item on which to spend “all the time in the world”:
“canvases, and easels, and watercolours and oils and acrylics, I think, and all the brushes and turpentine and linseed, that go with them, and possibly an instruction manual.” – Stephen Fry on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs
Stephen Fry’s love of art & artists
Fry admires art and respects artists, as revealed to Kirsty Young:
“Well it’s is a whole area of endeavour that I admire enormously, is art, yet I can’t paint.”
When younger, at the Groucho Club, Fry recalls meeting a young artist and being fascinated by his confidence.
“I can’t paint… except use words, use language, so that’s what I’ve poured all my joy into…I’m not an artist and I really respect artists. I can remember… Damien Hirst…he just has some strange gift in his head that allows him to look at one thing and one thing only and decide upon it and think about it, hard and not get distracted by what people think… But you can’t be an artist if you care about what other people think.”
Learn to Paint by watching other artists
Stephen Fry has given us such joy with his use of words and language. Perhaps, Stephen will get his chance to explore art in his home county of Norfolk. As James Colman and Will Buckley of Paint Out have said:
“There is no better way to learn how to paint than to be able to watch and talk to people actually painting. It is the opposite of watching paint dry.”
Paint OutWells-next-the-Sea is to board theAlbatros during its inaugural September Plein Air arts event on the North Norfolk coast. The Albatros is a late 19th century Dutch cargo ship built in 1899. The North Sea clipper, being of Dutch origins is spelled Albatros, not the English ‘albatross’.
She is one of the oldest sailing ships still afloat, albeit now permanently moored alongside the quay of picturesque Wells-next-the-sea. The quayside coastal mooring provides stunning 360° views of the fishing village, salt marshes and historic harbour area, and now provides on-board accommodation in the old crew quarters, a bar, restaurant, and music venue.
The Dutch Captain, Ton Brouwer, serves many authentic dishes from the Netherlands including pancakes and his mother’s homemade soup recipes. In addition, he serves his real ales from his adopted home-county supplied by Woodforde’s Brewery in Woodbastwick. Woodforde‘s was originally named after Parson James Woodforde of Weston Longville in Norfolk, whose personal diaries described his 18th century passion for fine food and hearty ales, often home-brewed.
Albatros as Artistic HQ for Paint OutWells
The Albatros will provide a suitably quirky and historic event hub during the Paint Out artists’ painting days of 9th-11th September and will hopefully inspire their creative output and sustain their endeavours with the ship’s supplies of food and drink! Artists can still register or apply to take part in the juried-entry competition by 31 July.
The Albatros was first built as a cargo clipper for Captain Johannes Muller of Middelharnis, near Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Surviving World War I, the ship changed hands in 1920 and under Danish ownership gained her first engine in 1993 to augment her sails. In 1941 she was sold again by then Captain Lolk to another Dane, Captain Rasmussen, who kept her trading throughout World War II.
Rasmussen also used the Albatros to rescue Jews and carry political dissidents from Nazi-occupied Denmark to neutral Sweden returning on those round-trips with guns and explosives for the Danish Resistance secreted among the cargo.
Albatros purchased by Ton Brouwer
Rasmussen retired in 1978, but after a couple of years laid up in Copenhagen, in 1980, Ton Brouwer purchased the Albatros and sailed her to Amsterdam, in his native Netherlands. Brouwer, originally from near Gouda, had started life as an academic teaching German literature in Amsterdam but was determined to not be –
“trapped between four walls for the rest of [his] life…and wanted to do something with [his] hands.” (Source:EDP)
After four years of complete restoration the Albatros was recommissioned in 1987 as a sailing cargo vessel and over the next decade become “Europe’s last cargo ship under sail in the Home Trade and the Baltic trade”.
Her first cargo after restoration was sailing soya beans to Macduff, Scotland. Brouwer took to recommissioning lives as well as the ship by taking on disaffected young offenders as crew.
Albatros visits Wells-next-the-Sea
From 1990 the Albatros became a regular visitor to the port of Wells bringing in over 100 cargoes from Europe. On September 5th 1996 the Albatros “delivered 100 tons of soyabean meal from Rotterdam to the North Norfolk port of Wells-next-the-Sea. Those who stood on The Quay two days later and watched her sail back to Holland were present at an historic moment: The Albatros was the last sail driven cargo ship in Europe and this marked the end of her 98 year career as a freight carrier.” What finally finished the cargoes to Wells was BSE – mad cow disease, and the closure of Wells as a commercial port.
Albatros as Education Afloat
By 1998 the Albatros was re-licensed as a passenger ship and until 2000 was chartered by Greenpeacefor children’s environmental education along the coast of Holland.
Albatros returns to Wells-next-the-Sea
From 2001 the Albatros became permanently based at Wells-Next-The-Sea, still sailing but as an educational venture under the auspices of The Albatros Project Trust.
The Trust dissolved in 2005 and the Wells Harbour Commissioners and North Norfolk District Council granted Ton Brouwer his license to trade as a dining and entertainment venue. In as interview with the EDP he said:
“From the first moment I felt at home in Wells…I think it was a combination of things. It is a lot like where I come from in Holland. There was a lot of reclaimed marshland there and there is around Wells as well. The people were very open and very friendly to us. I think it is because they have always been open to visitors from the sea.”
Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea 2015
This September, 9-11, the Albatros sees yet another temporary shift in purpose as it becomes the daily hub for up to 30 artists across the 3 production days of the Plein Air arts competition that comes to Wells for the first time this year. Paint Out began with Paint Out Norwich in 2014 during the October Hostry Festival and this year has chosen Wells-next-the-Sea as an exciting satellite event opportunity.
The Paint Out team hope that the Albatros will serve as an original and spectacular hub location and celebrate the Norfolk-Netherlands connection and shared traditions of both the ship and en plein air painting.
Congratulations to Chris Riddell, the UK’s new Children’s Laureate! Chris is the author of the prizewinning Goth Girl series, and a collaborator with Quentin Blake, Michael Rosen, Neil Gaiman and Russell Brand on works such as Barnaby Grimes, Gulliver, Muddle Earth, Ottoline and the Yellow Cat, Pirate Diary, The Edge Chronicles, and The Sleeper and the Spindle.
He is devoting the 2-year post to promoting creativity and visual literacy, the joy of artistic drawing and doodling. He spoke to the Guardian, saying:
“I want to show how much fun you can have drawing … I want to bring drawing back to the basics, make it about the pleasure that it can afford and remove the notion that it’s some kind of precious or difficult activity. It’s another way of telling a story.”
He plans to post a daily drawing and encourage others to do the same. His YouTube channel offers insights into how his illustrations come together.
“Do you have hands? Excellent. That’s a good start. Can you hold a pencil? Great. If you have a sketchbook, open it and start by making a line, a mark, wherever. Doodle. Take a line for a walk, as Paul Klee said. Lose your inhibitions about drawing and just do it.”
Inspiration in a Norfolk Studio
The Observer‘s political cartoonist, adult and children’s book illustrator and author Chris Riddell writes from studios in Brighton and Norfolk. He has described the pleasure of writing in his converted outbuildingNorfolk studio, where he can take himself off to –
“sit in quiet contemplation in my flower meadow. It is one of my favourite places in the world. White and blue campion, ox-eye daisies, and skylarks flying overhead. It also has the most spectacular sunsets.”
“I am currently in my studio in Norfolk, looking out onto the woods as I sit at my desk. I’ve just spotted a Muntjac deer and its impossibly tiny fawn!”
Norfolk Artist – Jo Riddell
Chris is married to Norfolk raised and educated, artist in-her-own-right, Jo Riddell. As well as studying at Great Yarmouth Art School, Jo has a Brighton University B.A. in Illustration. She also worked in children’s books, publishing some twelve books over the course of a decade. She has since returned to printmaking and painting where she has found:
“a welcome freedom to express herself, inspiration coming from family, found objects, and the landscapes of Sussex and Norfolk.”
TV & Press cover Paint Out Norwich 2015 Competition details
Regional press and television – the EDP, Norwich Evening News, and Mustard TV – covered the announcement of further details about this year’s Paint Out Norwichen plein air painting competition.
Mousehold Heath, Norwich
Mousehold Heath, overlooking Norwich’s historic views, will be among new and additional locations taken on by up to 50 jury-selected artists.
“Mousehold Heath set to feature in return of art competition celebrating Norwich … including a mass painting event which will see all the artists gather together at Mousehold Heath to paint the city’s skyline on October 22″,Norwich Evening News
In Tudor times, Mousehold Heath once stretched as far north as South Walsham and was then 22 miles round in size. It is a historic site that has been a part of a battle, Peasants’ revolt and was the location of the 16,000 men of Kett’s rebellion before they stormed Norwich.
Mousehold Heath has featured in famous paintings by several of the Norwich School of Artists, including John Crome and John Sell Cotman, as well as the Norwich born novelist and artist, and former Lord Mayor, RH Mottram.
Up until the early 1900s, Mousehold Heath was open countryside with few trees –
“a classic heathland landscape. The area was kept open by grazing animals and by local people collecting bedding and feed for livestock and fuel for the winter. As the way people lived changed, these traditions disappeared. This resulted in a gradual loss of open heath to scrub and woodland.” Read more about Mousehold Heath’s history and conservation.
Norwich Nocturne Painting Challenge
James Colman, who organises Paint Out Norwich with Will Buckley, said:
“We are very excited about doing Paint Out Norwich again and that we are expanding it to include more artists. We are also going to diversify the programme so that we keep our core event from last year but on top of that we are going to have a select number of artists doing a nocturnal event that will run parallel to the day event.”,Norwich Evening News
“On two nights there are going to be a limited number of artists out on the streets painting illuminated Norwich“, Mustard TV
Confirmed Paint Out Competition Details
It is confirmed therefore, that the 2015 Paint Out Norwich competition will have 3 painting days and 2 nights 20-22 October, with an auction and exhibition in the 2 weeks following.
“Just by the sheer enthusiasm of people in Norwich responding well to all the artists’ work we feel this is an exciting prospect and I think it will grow and grow” – James Colman,Mustard TV
After the success of Paint Out Norwichlast year, Norfolk’s premier “Plein Air” art (painting and other media) competition returns 19-23 October 2015.
This year’s competition will run during the week of 19 October and will see more artists, additional locations, and new features to be confirmed over the course of this month. The event will again culminate in a gala, auction, and an exhibition of the artists’ work to continue two weeks after the event.
The en plein air Norfolk-based art competition aims to attract national and international talent with this growing annual event that focuses on the challenges imposed by creating work “on the spot” in the urban environment, fast-changing light, and prevailing weather conditions.
As well as the competition itself, Paint Out Norwich aims to promote the local Norwich and Norfolk arts scene, and provide a dynamic interactive educational experience for onlookers.
Read the full press release announcing Paint Out Norwich 2015 competition dates and taster details.
Liam received an overwhelming share of the combined Exhibition and online vote for his works of art created at Elm Hill, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich Castle, and Norwich Market.
The last one he completed in about half the 3 hours allotted! When members of the public realised that these were Plein Air works being done under almost exam conditions, yet amidst the challenges of the elements, public engagement, changing scenes, etc., many were amazed at the quality and range of the work. Indeed one went so far as to comment:
“it is the best art event in Norfolk this year”
Yorkshire-born Liam, now residing in Highgate, London, says that, for him:
“…the most useful lesson in learning how to draw was watching my father draw. He taught me how to look at things carefully. As an architect he had a quick fluid line which I have gratefully adopted and adapted… As well as drawing for my own pleasure, I enjoy a diversity of commissions from country house portraits to illustrating fashion collections. I often use watercolour, but prefer my simpler line work. I try to draw with a loose line that roams over the page, editing and describing as I go, with a keen eye for any quirky details. I like to work on the spot and spontaneity is important. I live in London next to Hampstead Heath. Its swimming ponds, woods and open countryside, are an oasis of calm surrounded by a jostling metropolis. It is this mix that I relish in my drawings – nature juxtaposed with the man made.”
Liam Wales – Paint Out Art
Liam produced two works of art as pen, ink and charcoal, another as mixed media, and one as pen only.
He began on Wednesday 22 October, in the morning, at Elm Hill, continuing in the afternoon on to Norwich Cathedral, where he chose a viewpoint within and of the cloisters.
On Thursday 23 October he had Norwich Castle and the Market as locations, at the former electing to use mixed media for his only coloured art work portraying a view of Norwich from the Castle’s perspective.
As many as 5,000 visitors flocked to the Exhibition of 110 works of art at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry between 23 October and 2 November to witness the finished pieces by the 28 selected participating artists across 7 local iconic and/or historic locations at Paint Out Norwich 2014. Hundreds of them also participated in the People’s Choice Award vote, which Liam has deservedly won.
Liam made the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) paper on the morning of 4 November and fuller coverage in their online EDP24edition.
One comment said:
“I am deeply envious of people who have this talent to draw or paint good pictures. Perhaps we could take the whole GoGo Gorillas initiative a stage further next year. Instead of putting gorillas around the city, for one year put up large-scale weatherproof prints of local city scenes by local people. “
Norwich Art Supplies
We are grateful to Norwich Art Supplies for sponsoring the People’s Choice Award at Paint Out Norwich 2014. Norwich Art Supplies were established in 1996 in the heart of Norwich, and pride themselves on offering a wide range of artistic supplies including several makes of oils, acrylics, watercolours, pastels, papers, print making supplies as well as drawing materials, sketch books, watercolour blocks Indian inks, gilding materials, brushes, solvents and many more. Check out their website.
Pauline Goldsworthy, co-owner of Norwich Art Supplies, said:
“We were flattered to be part of the first Paint Out Norwich
event, it is such an exciting idea for Norwich. We have had such a lot of great feedback in the shop, to say how engaging it has been and how lovely it was to see the artists at work, it has really grabbed the public’s interest and we would be very pleased to support it again in the future”.
The inaugural Paint Out Norwich competition saw a high standard of work among the over 100 entries by 28 artists at 7 locations spread across the 2 days of 22-23 October. A maximum allowed painting time of 3 hours for each canvas, very often ended up as less, with setting up, selecting a viewpoint and possibly changing their minds. Some artists managed more than one painting in a single session, another was able to knock off early!
“I have never seen people paint as a competitive sport before … it was astonishing to witness in the city … what really amazed us was that this brought together … pressure of time limit, pressure of light, pressure of constantly interacting with a public … to a deadline.” – Amanda Geitner, Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts (SCVA)
The judges – Trevor Chamberlain, Colin Self, and Amanda Geitner, were “knocked sideways by the extraordinarily consistent, commanding quality of the works” and were absolutely in accord in their choices of winners. The competition brought an opportunity “to celebrate the tenacity of figurative painting, the skill and discipline of painting … experienced in the real.” – Amanda Geitner, SCVA
The Prizes and Winners
Haidee-Jo Summers, “Work to be Done” (#53)
First Prize, sponsored by Savills, went to Haidee-Jo Summers for her piece, “Work to be Done”, created outside the corner craft shop looking down Elm Hill, past the suddenly erected scaffolding and “road closed” signs that had appeared overnight and remained for just 24 hours. She wins £1000. Haidee is a veteran winner of Plein Air painting competitions across the country and has a track record of half a dozen prizes under her belt recently.
Chris Daynes, “The Watergate” (#8)
The Second Prize of £500, courtesy of The EDP, went to Chris Daynes for his oil painting at Pull’s Ferry called “The Watergate”.
Roy Connelly, “The Dark Entry” (#63)
Third Prize of £250, also courtesy of The EDP, went to Roy Connelly for his Norwich Cathedral doorway painting called “The Dark Entry”).
None of this would have happened without the generous overall sponsorship of Broadland Wines, printing courtesy of Ten Group‘s City College Norwich print room, and the tireless commitment of time and energy of our team and volunteers. A beautiful gesture was made by one of the artists, Wil Harvey, in order to appreciate the work of the volunteers, and he donated another one of his Norwich ink drawings to a draw-selected volunteer. Jeanette McCracken was the lucky winner and recipient.
Francesca Heathorn’s red “Phone boxes” (#72)
One of the judges, the artist Colin Self, said that he “couldn’t believe that somebody sitting their engaging with the real had made a work that to him transported him into a really hallucinogenic dream state”, there was something other worldly about it, he was struck powerfully by it, whatever the artist’s intention.
Simon Page’s “Marzanos – the Forum” (#106)
“With so many arresting, charming, extraordinary, transporting, views outside the city environment it was great that one of the artists pulled us up right short into a really direct encounter with bodies, with people, in the crush of an urban environment.” – Amanda Geitner
Cornelia Fitzroy’s “Crome Gallery” (#11) at Elm Hill
“Yours was the cool glass of water,… calm, clarity of … work” – Amanda Geitner
Auction and Exhibition
Some of the paintings sold at the Auction event, attended by nearly 200 people, within hours of the paintings being completed – indeed, many were not yet dry, and some may not be for days and weeks to come! Many have subsequently sold at the Exhibition which ran until 2 November at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry, however they all remained on display for the duration for viewing the winners, honourable mentions, and those still available for purchase. An online version of the exhibition will follow in due course.
Numbers, e.g., (#53), mentioned above relate to the painting numbers in the Exhibition gallery at the Hostry.