Paint Out Norwich 2018 saw over 275 works of art created by 35 artists, each in 2-4 hours, around 7 iconic locations, and across 4 days of extreme weather, first an Indian summer then freezing downpours for two days, then a return to sun and dry. The 14 prizewinners were sponsored by Leathes Prior Solicitors as well as a local interest prize from Norwich Art Supplies.
Wednesday night saw the Private View and Awards event decked out with Paint Out‘s distinctive contemporary, white-walled shelving, that allows the some-still-wet artworks to be displayed fresh, raw and unframed. Well over a dozen paintings were sold in a short buying spree before the award announcements.
Paint Out Norwich 2018 Judges
The judges on the night, from the fields of art practice, art history, and fine art sales, were Dr Giorgia Bottinelli, curator of historic art at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Sarah Flynn from Cheffins Art Auctioneers, and artist Tony Robinson of Art in the Open, Ireland.
The judging is a critical part of the jury-entry art event bringing a professional critique, educative commentary, and diverse determinations on the paintings by art world specialists. The independent judges had to agree on the overall winner and individual media category winners. They were also, however, able to nominate a commendation in their own right for a Judge’s Award prize:
- Sarah Flynn, judge’s choice – Rob Pointon from Crewe for “Diagonal Light on the Seafood Stalls”, at Norwich Market
Sarah Flynn said of the process:
“I thoroughly enjoyed seeing such an interesting and diverse collection of mixed media artworks. I loved the Nocturnes – quite a hard thing to do. It made judging a delightful experience and good to do it with Georgia and Tony. What really came across was the fun all the artists had had and the camaraderie which had built up between them.”
- Tony Robinson, judge’s choice – Andrew Farmer, of Doncaster for “The Meeting Place”, painted on Elm Hill at night
Tony Robinson, an experienced artist himself, said:
“Thanks for the invitation to a marvellous event initiated by you and laid on with a selfless team. It will remain long in the memory and I urge any artist to put Paint Out Norwich in their timetable in their anorak and don’t miss it next year. It is a great platform for plein air painting…I was greatly impressed by the dedication, quality and inventiveness shown by the artists who took part. The organisers had set an artistic assault-course for them to try to portray and interpret the city of Norwich from her bustling market scenes to the academic quarter, and from the medieval streets around Tombland to 1960s slide-rule architecture in concrete, glass and steel. The result was a fascinating exhibition depicting the many facets of the city and several outstanding works of art. I commend the artists and organisers of Paint Out Norwich on a marvellous festival and the foremost plein air painting event in the UK.”
- Giorgia Bottinelli, judge’s choice – Frances Martin, of Norwich, for “Peregrine Falcon Circling Wellington – with His Beak”, at Upper Close, Norwich Cathedral
Overall Winner, Rob Pointon
First Prize, being a combined category and first prize cheque for £500 donated by Leathes Prior, went to Cheshire artist Rob Pointon for his oil painting of Westlegate, “Changing Skyline”. Whilst being a seasoned artist, this was Rob’s first Paint Out. The 36-year-old painter said this of the event:
“PaintOut has been a thoroughly life enriching experience for me, it’s the first time I have entered the competition and despite having competed in other one day painting events was surprised at the intensity of the 5 day competition with back to back days of nearly 12 hours of competitive painting. I don’t normally work alla prima so to push through so many works in a short space of time was a tough but a healthy challenge. Having the competition over a number of days meant I had time to settle in to the beautiful city of Norwich and get past the obvious subjects, but more importantly was to gradually settle into a community of like-minded passionate artists, all giving their all for their craft, but at the same time helping and supporting one another. I have made a number of good friends and look forward to seeing them again at future events. Crammed in-between the intense periods of painting were high-level artist demonstrations and a number of superb lectures by excellent knowledgeable speakers. Before you have chance to catch a breath the work is displayed in the spectacular setting of Norwich Cathedral with wet paint warning signs and a busy Private View. To walk off with a number of prizes including Overall Winner was the icing on the cake! I look forward to future PaintOut events”
Media Category Winners
Further prizes, sponsored by Leathes Prior, were awarded in each of 4 categories:
First Prize: Rob Pointon, “Changing Skyline”.
Second Prize: Roger Dellar, “Light Coming Through the Market”. Roger last painted at Paint Out in 2016 when he also won a prize.
Third Prize: Sarah Allbrook. 31-year-old Paint Out first-timer Sarah is based in Cambridge but trained at NUA in Norwich.
Watercolour & Acrylic
First Prize: Shaun Carey, “Norwich Market 1”, painted on the first morning of the 2018 event in his stand-out trademark dark blue acrylic style.
Second Prize: Wendy Kimberley,”Wonky Bridges of Norfolk County”. Fresh from winning En Plein Air Windsor & Eton, Wendy picked up a deserved second place with a dark-styled acrylic daytime painting of St George’s Bridge by NUA.
Mixed & Other Media
First Prize: Alfie Carpenter, “He Shall Not Be Moved”. Marking a successful return to the competition despite a little opposition, on health and safety ground, to so many artists painting Anglia Square – hence the painting title! On the Awards night, he sold four paintings within minutes!
Second Prize: Tom Cringle, “The Memorial”, on St Peter’s Street at the top of the Market. Tom is now a regular Paint Out winner and continues to push his work in new directions at the event.
2018 saw the return for the fourth-time of the popular and innovative nocturne – evening/nighttime painting category that sets Paint Out apart from other competitions.
First Prize: Susan Isaac, “Up The Steps”, painted from the rear of St Peter Mancroft with its eerie gothic feel late at night lit by a single street lamp.
Second Prize: Paul Alcock, “Thorns by Night”, on Pottergate, a now classic local nocturne view with the warm orange glow of its nighttime lighting.
The Unilever Prize
Marking the winding down of Colman’s production operations at the historic site and brand with a heritage stretching back over 200 years, Paint Out was granted access to the early 16th-century Grade I listed Benedictine Priory, Carrow Abbey and its 12th-century ruins on site. Carrow Abbey has been the subject of a number of notable paintings including “the Carrow Abbey hunt”, by the artist Philip Reinagle in 1780.
We are grateful to Unilever for two engraved silver Colman’s mustard pots that were presented to the winners.
First Prize: Alex Atkinson, “Rising from the Ruins”. In 2017, Alex won the Spirit of Norwich Prize at Paint Out.
Second Prize: Kate Gabriel, “Autumn at Carrow Abbey”
The Spirit of Plein Air award once again went to Taverham-based American artist John Behm for his braving a plunge into the River Wensum by scaling Fye Bridge, in order to rescue another artist’s work and easel!
The People’s Choice Exhibition vote went to Sarah Allbrook, who also won the Third Prize in Oils and sold very well at the Exhibition.
The paintings remain on view at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry as part of the Hostry Festival and Paint Out exhibition until 28 October. Last year some 8,000 people saw the 150+ paintings of 2017, with dozens of artworks selling.