Paint Out Norwich Plein Air Winter Nocturne Art Event

Artist Richard Bond painting from the Market at Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne
Artist Stephen Johnston, Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne, Winner, Oil, 16x20in
Stephen Johnston, Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne, Winner. Oil, 16x20in, FOR SALE, £225

Just before Christmas, Paint Out Norwich ran a Plein Air winter nocturne event to close out the year. Fifteen plein air artists braved the cold and Stephen Johnston came first winning a bottle of seasonal cheer in the form a nice Champagne for his 16 x 20-inch oil painting of Jarrolds at night. Quite a large canvas and completed in around 2 hours. Impressive.

Its bold brush strokes and dark bluish hue created a strong impression as Christmas shoppers went in and out of his chosen subject. Definitely some Monet and van Gogh by night influences.

Artist Emily Faludy, Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne, 'Starry night', Oil, 10x12in, £350
Emily Faludy, Paint Out Winter Nocturne, ‘Starry night, Norwich’, Oil, 10x12in, FOR SALE, £350

One artist, Emily Faludy – a veteran of the last two Paint Out Norwich plein air art competitions and winner of one in the oil category, came up all the way from Hampshire for the evening painting event.

She appropriately titled her Red Lion St (from Orford Hill) painting ‘Starry Night, Norwich’ – reminiscent of both the Don McLean song and of the title of Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 painting, ‘The Starry Night’, which it references.

First Nocturne

It was an evening of firsts as it was Stephen Johnston’s first nocturne, along with other artists like Eleanor Alison and Patricia Harper who were painting nearby and also attempting their first nocturnes. Paint Out had also joined forces with the Norwich Outdoor Painting Group, about half of whom had done Paint Out events before. Among them was a previous Paint Out winner, Richard Bond who was also painting his first nocturne in oils, previously he had tried watercolour at night. He chose to paint from under a streetlamp, minus the minor lamp headgear that some artists sported but which can get in the way of natural colour and lighting. Whatever the artists’ choices of lighting assistance or none, nocturnes are an interesting challenge and sometimes a surprise seeing how they turn out the next day in daylight.

Stephen had an unforeseen problem painting Jarrolds from outside of the Halifax because their neon-lit sign kept rotating in different colours casting inconsistent lighting across his canvas and palette to add to the difficulties of painting at night. Whilst storefront lighting was a distraction for Stephen, for another artist, Eloise O’Hare, the Jarrolds’ window display with a busker playing outside was the attraction. Her painting won an honourable mention for showing a different side to the city at night and in a different painting medium.

Plein Air Nocturne Locations

Artist Sarah Allbrook painting the Market at Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne
Artist Sarah Allbrook painting the Market at the Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne

The city of Norwich looks beautiful at night but even more so during the season of Christmas lighting which is mostly tasteful not tacky – although, like art, which is which is always a personal view. Locations painted at included Jarrolds, the top of the Market looking across to the Castle or St Peter Mancroft, Timberhill, the Forum and Christmas Market, and St Andrew’s Halls.

Nocturnes were first introduced to our plein air painting competition events in 2015 and have been a fond feature of many artists since, pushing their practice under different and difficult conditions. Using a more limited palette, often finishing in just 2 hours, but having one hidden benefit – the light barely changes because it’s gone!

Many of the nocturne paintings, including the winner by Stephen Johnston, are available for sale, contact us to check on availability and price, if interested.

Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne plein air paintings
Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne plein air paintings

Paint Out Norwich 2017 Prize Awards & Winning Paintings

Paint Out Norwich 2017 Winners, Photo by Simon Finlay
Paint Out Norwich PON2017 Exhibition. Photo © Katy Jon Went
Paint Out Norwich PON2017 Exhibition. Photo © Katy Jon Went

Paint Out Norwich 2017 saw over 200 works of art created by 37 artists, each in under 3 hours, across 3 days of Indian summer weather around the city. Wednesday night saw the Private View and Awards event packed out with a buzz around the unconventional yet contemporary, white-walled shelving, curated display of mostly unframed artworks.

The ‘raw’, fresh off the easel, look embraces the fact that many of the paintings are literally still ‘wet’ and are sold to art lovers, in a giant white pizza-style box, as if freshly baked. Unlike other competitive reality shows and events, Paint Out is uncontrived, unpredictable, spontaneous public theatre, where you can truly ‘experience art, live!’

“2017 has been our most exciting year yet, not only in terms of the quality produced, but its diversity, and I have been blown away by the enthusiasm of the artists taking part. The event is as much about the art as the artists connecting with each other and the local community – they get three days of intensive art experience in a competitive environment, leaving as better artists, and with friends for life, and Norwich gains a living record of three days in October.” – James Colman

Paint Out Norwich 2017 Judges

Paint Out Norwich 2017 Winner Eloise O'Hare with Katy Jon Went and Marcus Dickey Horley, Photo by Simon Finlay
Paint Out Norwich 2017 Winner Eloise O’Hare with Katy Jon Went and Marcus Dickey Horley, Photo by Simon Finlay

The judges on the night, all of whom have links to Norwich or Norfolk, were Marcus Dickey-Horley (Curator of Access and Public Programmes who has worked at a number of major London galleries), Hugh Pilkington (Cley16 curator), and artist John Wonnacott, who also delivered a fascinating art talk “Confronting Appearances” during the week long celebration of art and plein air competition.

The judging is a critical part of the event bringing an edgy critique, educative commentary, and varied views of the paintings by art world specialists. The independent judges had to agree on the overall winner and individual media category winners. They were also able to nominate a commendation in their own right for a Judge’s Award prize from Cass Art:

  • Marcus Dickey Horley, judge’s choice – Paul Alcock from Southend-On-Sea, “Looking Back”, at Mousehold Heath
  • Hugh Pilkington, judge’s choice – Richard Bond of Norwich, “Indian Summer”, also at Mousehold Heath
  • John Wonnacott, judge’s choice – Susan Field, also of Norwich, “Communication”, at Norwich Market

Overall Winner, Eloise O’Hare

Paint Out Norwich 2017 Winner Eloise O'Hare, Photo by Simon Finlay
Paint Out Norwich 2017 Winner Eloise O’Hare, Photo by Simon Finlay

First Prize of £500, donated by Leathes Prior, went to Norwich resident Eloise O’Hare for her watercolour and ink large painting of Norwich Station’s railway tracks, “Keeping Track of Time”. Eloise previously won Third Prize in 2015. Last Saturday, she also painted the spectators walking past and arriving at the VIP Directors entrance of the Norwich City v Hull City football match, at which some fans were wearing vintage Colman’s shirts. Ed Balls and Delia Smith, among others, feature in the painting and Delia came over to see herself in the large format painting. It was also on show in the Cathedral Hostry 19-28 October, alongside the competition paintings.

Media Category Winners

Further prizes, sponsored by Strutt & Parker, were awarded in each of 5 categories:

OilsEmily Faludy of Peckham, London, “Morning Illumination” on Riverside. Emily only went full-time as an artist 4 months ago and was “shocked but said that “life should be one long painting trip”.

WatercolourAndrew Horrod, of Sutton in Surrey, “Five Past Four, Gunton Building”, painted outside NUA.

Mixed & Other Media (Acrylic, Pastel etc)Ginny Bain, of Norwich, “Safety Railings onto the Wensum”, from Riverside

Illustration & PrintingBeverley Coraldean, who studied at Norwich School of Art and Design, “Café Britannia ~ A Sunny October Afternoon”, from Mousehold Heath. Beverley uses “a combination of architectural perspective drawings, detailed cityscapes and hand-drawn type to explore [her] love for cities”.

NocturnesRobert Nelmes, who also won the Royal Norfolk Show 2017 Paint Out, of Roydon near Diss, “Sasha Eating His Chips”, outside Grosvenor Fish Bar.

Additional Prizes

Paint Out Norwich PON2017 Exhibition. Photo © Katy Jon Went
Paint Out Norwich PON2017 Exhibition of 150 plein air paintings. Photo © Katy Jon Went

Further art material prizes were sponsored by Cass Art and Norwich Art Supplies including the judge’s commendations, above. 

The Spirit of Plein Air award once again went to Norfolk-based American artist John Behm for his watery endeavour, positioning himself in kilt and bare feet in the River Wensum to get the best angle of view to paint Bishop’s Bridge.

A further prize, the Spirit of Norwich, was awarded to Alex Atkinson for his “Under the Elm” on Elm Hill. The artist, who lives in Norwich, clearly knows his city well.

Paul Gadenne, who travelled up from Kent, as in past years, just to join in the public paint out, won the public entry prize for the Ketts Heights and Mousehold Heath event on Sunday, for his painting “Norwich Cathedral”.

Paint Out is an art event aiming to redefine 21st century en plein air art practice, evolving the genre to reflect our contemporary world. We are ambitious in our aim to deliver the most innovative plein air art event in the UK, where artists, collectors and public observers are all treated to a dynamic live art experience.” – James Colman

The paintings remained on view at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry as part of the Hostry Festival and Paint Out exhibition until 28 October. Over 8,000 people saw the 150+ paintings, with some 30 artworks selling. Exhibition visitors chose the pastel work of art “Red Beret” by artist John Patchett as their Public Vote Choice

Artist John Patchett, 'The Red Beret', Norwich Market, Pastel, 50x32cm, £425 SOLD. Photo © Katy Jon Went

Artist John Patchett, ‘The Red Beret’, Norwich Market, Pastel, 50x32cm, £425 SOLDSee more of the paintings and artworks from the competition week in our online art gallery.

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