Just before Christmas, Paint Out Norwich ran a Plein Airwinter 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.
One artist, Emily Faludy – a veteran of the last two Paint Out Norwichplein 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.
It was an evening of firsts as it was Stephen Johnston’s first nocturne, along with other artists like Eleanor Alisonand 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.
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!
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.
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, 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:
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.
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!
A further prize, the Spirit of Norwich, sponsored by Norwich Art Supplies was awarded to Hannah Bruce for her diverse collection of artworks of Norwich in various media and styles.
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.
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
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
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:
Oils – Emily 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”.
Watercolour – Andrew 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 & Printing – Beverley 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”.
Nocturnes – Robert Nelmes, who also won the Royal Norfolk Show 2017 Paint Out, of Roydon near Diss, “Sasha Eating His Chips”, outside Grosvenor Fish Bar.
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 SOLDSee more of the paintings and artworks from the competition week in our online art gallery.
The 2016 plein air art competition saw 33 artists create over 150 works painted outside in changeable weather across 3 days including the public Tombland paint out.
16 prizes were awarded, the first of which went to Sue Mann, renowned for painting from a bicycle, who 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.
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, for “Guildhall Aglow”, 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 painting of Norwich School playing fields, “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 “The Yellow 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.
In addition, the three judges – David Curtis, Sue Grayson Ford, and Nick Holmes, also commended oil paintings by Jerome Hunt “Cathedral Facade Shadows”, Tanya Pawsey, “Swans from Bishop Bridge”, and the mixed media piece by Claire Stevens, “Oldest Iron Bridge”.
The Paint Out Norwich 2016 competition, with multiple categories, saw 16 awarded 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.
The art exhibition runs from 19-29 October at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry, access is also open during other arts, literature, music, and theatre events of the Hostry Festival. Over 140 artworks are on display from the 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.
Paint Out Wells offers the following art workshop on Saturday 17 September in Wells-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk – Painting En Plein Air Under Changing Light Art Workshop with award-winning experienced artist and tutor, Michael Richardson.
Offered to local and visiting amateur, aspiring and experienced artists, as well as members of the Paint Out competition – all are welcome to take part.
The workshop will take place from 3pm and includes teaching and then tuition under the fading late-afternoon/early-evening light. The price is £45 with the option to participate in an early-morning paint out the following day and then brunch with the competition artists on the Albatros ship. You will need to bring your own art materials. Please book here.
Michael is competing in Paint Out this year and is a veteran of Paint Out Norwich & Wells 2014-15 and plenty of other competitions and exhibitions. He won the inaugural Nocturne Prize in 2015.
About Artist Michael Richardson, UA
Michael lives in East Kent and paints almost every day, whatever the weather en plein air. As a modern Impressionist he believes that painting sur le motif is the most fulfilling challenge for a painter’s technique. His atmospheric work in both oils and watercolour has found collectors worldwide, especially in America.
Michael was brought up in post-war Suffolk, “Constable Country”, and educated at Ipswich School and Ipswich College of Art and later in Paris.
In the 1960s his interest in sailing led him into a career in the marine industry where he specialised in sail design and manufacture. Whilst maintaining an interest in art he returned to full-time painting in 1992, yet drew on his marine experience in his specialism around painting boats.
He is also a member of the Chelsea Art Society, Council Member of the United Society of Artists and is a founder member of the Brass Monkeys Art Society, a “hard core” group of winter outdoor painters.
He has exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Royal Society of Marine Artists, The Royal Institute of Oil Painters and The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour at the Mall Galleries in London.
Workshop Booking details
En Plein Air Oil Paintingin Changing Light with Michael Richardson
September 17, 2016
10-12 spaces available
Bring your own materials. Meet at the Albatros Ship.
The Paint Out Norwich 2015 competition commences its first Nocturne evening painting session at 6:30pm for a 3 hour en plein air art “paint out” at night at several historical and iconic locations around the fine city of Norwich.
Members of the public are encouraged to come and view over 12 jury-selected artists creating their artworks in full view of spectators, general passers by, diners, and tourists, as well as being subject to the contrary elements of the weather, and the pressure of the clock.
The prize will include free art materials for a year worth £500 to spend online and further opportunities. Cass Artwere a sponsor of prizes to young and public entrants at the successful Paint Out Wells Sunrise mass ‘paint out’ in September and the forthcoming public ‘paint out’ at Mousehold Heath, Norwich. The prize is in addition to the chance to win other awards from the £5000 prize pool and the opportunity to have your works displayed and sold at an auction and exhibition over 5 weeks.
Cass Art Mission
Cass Art‘s mission to “fill this town with artists” fits well with Paint Out‘s own mission to get more plein air art out on to the streets:
“For nearly 30 years we have been on a mission to fill this country (its cities, towns and villages) with artists.”
Paint Out Norwich Young Artist Entry
Students and artists under 30 are invited to submit toPaint Out Norwich (20-22 October) 3 pictures of previous art and are exempt the £30 participation fee. If you are busy in college you can even just enter our new Nocturne – evening painting competition.
All media including oils, acrylic, watercolour, pastels, pen & ink, etc that can be applied to board or canvas are eligible for use during the competition sessions. Last year, Bryony Birkbeck even tried screen printing en plein air!