Artists Public Open-to-all Paint Out in Tombland, Norwich 16 October

Artist John Behm painting on Fye Bridge, Paint Out Norwich, photo by Katy Jon Went

Tombland Public Paint Out for Artists

Artist Richard Bond painting Norwich Cathedral Paint Out 22 Oct 2014
Artist Richard Bond, Paint Out Norwich 2015 winner painting Norwich Cathedral from Tombland during Paint Out 2014

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.

Norwich Tombland Sunday Paint Out

Paint Out Norwich Tombland public \'paint out\'
Optional, though if you are 35 or under please enter this as there are youth-specific prizes
Artists painting on Mousehold Heath at Paint Out Norwich 2015
Artists painting on Mousehold Heath at Paint Out Norwich 2015

 

Paint Out Wells 2016 Norfolk plein air Art competition returns 16-18 September

Richard Bond, 'Red, Blue and Yellow' watercolour at Paint Out Wells 2015 Photo by Mark Ivan Benfield

Paint Out Wells 2016 Painting Festival

The North Norfolk plein air painting and art competition returns in September. This year, the theme is light and time and we plan to paint from sunrise to sunset across the weekend – well, in reverse actually! Some places remain for artists still wanting to enter the Paint Out Wells 2016 art event.

Wells Submit entry   Wells Rules   Wells Schedule

Lara Cobden painting the sunrise at POW15, photo by Katy Jon Went
Lara Cobden, Wells award winner, painting during 2015’s Paint Out Wells sunrise event

Features & Itinerary

Friday 16 September
  • Wells Beach sunset paint out 4-7pm
Saturday 17 September
Sunday 18 September
  • Wells Quayside sunrise paint out 6-10am (open to public for a small fee)
  • Art Exhibition and Sale on the Buttlands 2-7pm
  • Pop-up paint out on the Buttlands 3-6pm

Call to Artists

Artist Antonella Beschorner painting Jickling Yard in Wells, Norfolk POW15, Photo by Katy Jon Went
Artist Antonella Beschorner painting Jickling Yard in Wells, Norfolk during Paint Out Wells 2015

Additional artists are still welcome to join those already signed up, until the week of the competition, itself.

Please view the rules and requirements, and apply to take part. We can assist with accommodation advice.

Wells Submit entry   Wells Rules   Wells Schedule

Artists are also welcome to register interest in or apply to take part in the prestigous juried-entry Paint Out Norwich art competition, that runs the following month, 15-19 October 2016.


[The cover photo is of Paint Out Norwich 2015 winner-   artist Richard Bond‘s watercolour painting of Wells Beach huts titled ‘Red, Blue and Yellow’, during Paint Out Wells 2015]

Paint Out Norwich 2016 plein air Art competition third year Call to Artists

Painting during PON15 from Fye Bridge Norwich

Plein Air art competition Call to Artists

Paint Out Norwich launches its third-year Plein Air art competition as part of the Norfolk Hostry Festival 2016 calendar of events this October. Entries are now open and submissions will be juried at regular intervals giving artists the earliest opportunity of planning their time in Norwich and getting accepted in one or more of the now three competition events and five prize award categories.

Main Schedule Dates

The main event dates are as follows:

Date Event Details
Saturday 15 October Workshops, Seminars & Talks
Sunday 16 October Artists welcome & induction, Location scouting, Practice session & Public 'paint out'
Monday 17 October Competition day 1
Tuesday 18 October Competition day 2
Wednesday 19 October Framing, Hanging, Gala Private View & silent Auction

Paint Out 2016 Register interest   Paint Out 2016 Entry Form   Volunteer at Paint Out

Message from James Colman

James Colman launching Paint Out Norwich 2015 photo by Matt Dartford
James Colman launching Paint Out Norwich 2015

Paint Out as the first event of the Hostry Festival will continue to innovate and surprise in 2016. Prizes will be awarded for individual categories of medium for the first time, allowing artists recognition in their chosen areas.

We are also introducing a ‘freestyle‘ untimed event to encourage larger work to be made on the streets of the city as well as an expanded Nocturne event to capitalise on the exciting results from last year.

I’m really pleased to announce that we will be partnering with Norwich Framing Centre, Anteros Art Centre and North Café/Bar to provide artists with improved pre-exhibition facilities, workshops, as well as seminars on marketing and social media skills.

Paint Out is the only juried en plein air art competition in the UK. Our ambition is to provide a platform for Plein Air Art in Norwich with a global reach. We look forward to seeing you in October.” – James Colman, Paint Out

New & More Prize Categories

Paint Out Norwich 2015 Prizewinning Artists and Paintings ©Matt Dartford
Winners of Paint Out Norwich 2015 with their paintings

The enhanced range of new prize categories means that there are more opportunities to win and/or push yourself in new areas. There will be separate and distinct winner and runner-up prizes in the following categories or media:

  • Oil Painting
  • Watercolour & Gouache
  • Other including Mixed Media, Acrylic, Pastel, Pen & Ink etc
  • Freestyle over 2 days
  • Nocturne

In addition, there will be Judge’s commendations, a People’s Choice Award, and Spirit of Plein Air team prize. Additional prizes or awards may be announced later but we continue to ensure that there’s plenty of chances of winning and receiving recognition for your art.

Three Art Competition Event Streams

Winning Artist Michael Richardson painting a nocturne on Pottergate at Paint Out Norwich 2015
Winning Artist Michael Richardson painting a nocturne on Pottergate at Paint Out Norwich 2015

After its successful introduction last year Paint Out continues to encourage experienced and adventurous artists to try their hand at Nocturne painting.

There are now three competition event streams, and artists can enter either the classic Core event or the new ‘Freestyle‘ event, and/or the Nocturne event.

  • Core event (judged in three separate media categories)
  • Freestyle event over 2 days
  • Nocturne event

New ‘Freestyle’ for Larger Longer Artworks

Artist Tom Lamprell painting from the Sir Garnet by Norwich Market at Paint Out Norwich 2015
Artist Tom Lamprell painting from the Sir Garnet by Norwich Market at Paint Out Norwich 2015

The new ‘freestyle’ event is for larger work of up to 3m2 to be completed without the Core event time limit of three hours per work, instead allowing a full 2 days for its creation. The artwork still has to be wholly completed out of doors, without the aid of photography and signed back in and the end of the day.

“We are looking to push the boundaries of plein air painting and see what it draws out.”

Freestyle art will be judged within its own category, irrespective of media type, and is not in competition with the three Core event media areas. Nocturnes will be judged according to Core event rules.

Expanded Workshops & Seminars

An expanded range of workshops, talks and seminars will seek to make Paint Out Norwich an educational and inspirational, as well as practical, opportunity to explore and improve your art practice.

New Artists Hub

Anteros Arts Foundation logoWe will be based at Anteros Arts and North Café/Bar, Fye Bridge Street, NR3 1LJ, 500yds from Norwich Cathedral and Hostry. North is a newly opened venture by the team behind Frank’s Bar, described as a:

“brand new creative meeting point in the city, full of tasty food, friendly service and all round general goodness…making North as beautiful, interesting and welcoming a space as possible. We are keen to involve as many local artists and creative makers as we can in the making of North…”

Enter the 2016 Competition here

To enter review the rules and submit your application here. You will need a potted biography/CV, up to 5 photos of your art, and additional contact details etc.

Paint Out 2016 Register interest   Paint Out 2016 Entry Form   Volunteer at Paint Out

100 Artists Paint Norwich from Mousehold Heath mass Art Event

Artists on Mousehold Heath at Paint Out Norwich 2015

Mousehold Heath filled with 100 Artists

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.

Artists painting on Mousehold Heath at Paint Out Norwich 2015
Artists painting on Mousehold Heath at Paint Out Norwich 2015
DSC_0076 Artist Andrew Horrod painting on Mousehold Heath at Paint Out Norwich 2015
DSC_0076 Artist Andrew Horrod painting on Mousehold Heath at Paint Out Norwich 2015

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

Artist Jack Godfrey draws the skyline from Mousehold Heath at Paint Out Norwich 2015
Artist Jack Godfrey draws the skyline from Mousehold Heath at Paint Out Norwich 2015

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

Artist Susannah Sendall creating art on Mousehold Heath at Paint Out Norwich 2015
Artist Susannah Sendall creating art on Mousehold Heath at Paint Out Norwich 2015

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.

Media Frenzy

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.

Mustard TV report: Masterpieces on Mousehold: 100 budding artists gather to ‘Paint Out Norwich’

Cass Art Sponsorship

Artist Susannah Sendall's Heath Noir at Paint Out Norwich and Cass Art Mousehold Heath plein air art event
Artist Susannah Sendall’s “Heath Noir” at Paint Out Norwich and Cass Art’s Mousehold Heath plein air art event

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 public Mousehold works were displayed at OPEN and the main competition artists paintings are on display at various venues across Norwich throughout October and November.

Public Mousehold Heath artworks on diplay at OPEN for Cass Art/Paint Out Norwich 2015 photo by Katy Jon Went
Public Mousehold Heath artworks on diplay at OPEN for Cass Art/Paint Out Norwich 2015

Café Britannia

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.

Paint Out and Cass Art mass painting event at Mousehold Heath outside Cafe Britannia
Paint Out and Cass Art mass painting event at Mousehold Heath outside Cafe Britannia

“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).

Autumn Sunset over Norwich Cathedrals from Mousehold Heath
Autumnal sunset over Norwich Cathedrals from Mousehold Heath as Paint Out artists departed

 

Pop Artist Colin Self joins Paint Out Norwich events

Colin Self, Waiting Women and 2 Nuclear Bombers (Handley Page Victors), 1962, Oil on board

Pop Artist Colin Self joins Paint Out Norwich events

Colin Self, Large Harvest Field with two Hay Bales at Happisburgh, Norfolk, 1984 Oil (with some straw in paint)
Colin Self, Large Harvest Field with two Hay Bales at Happisburgh, Norfolk, 1984 Oil (with some straw in paint)

It is with great pleasure that Paint Out Norwich welcomes the involvement of the well known Norfolk and internationally acclaimed artist Colin Self. Colin was a judge at Paint Out Norwich 2014 and this year he has graciously agreed to be a guest artist at both the Tuesday and Wednesday evening nocturne competition sessions and at the public mass Mousehold Heath ‘paint out’ which is already expecting some 70-80+ artists of all ages and abilities to paint Norwich from the Heath on the Friday afternoon (22 October). Colin envisages basing himself around Norwich Castle for the two nocturne evenings 6.30-9.30pm on 20-21 October.

In 2009, Colin was invited to create a new graduation mace for the Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA, now NUA). Its handle was made to resemble Norfolk reeds to be “reminiscent of this beautiful place,” said Colin.

“We chose Colin to design the mace because he has an international reputation as a fine artist and is an ex-student from the old Norwich School of Art and Design.” – David Girling from NUA

About Colin Self the Artist

Colin Self artist
Colin Self

Colin Self is a draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor and painter. He is best known as a ‘Pop Artist’, whose work addressed the theme of Cold War politics. He studied first at Norwich Art School and in 1961 he entered the Slade School of Fine Arts in London. Artist Richard Hamilton called him:

“the best draughtsman in England since William Blake.”

Whilst at the Slade, he met artists, David Hockney and Peter Blake, who greatly admired Self’s paintings. He went on to become one of the forerunners, along with the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, of the ‘Pop Art’ movement.

In 1962 and 1965 he travelled to the Canada and the USA with David Hockney which heightened his consciousness of Cold War politics. Events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and CND marches led him to create highly-innovative works including a series of drawings that had imminent nuclear destruction as a theme whilst others contained Art Deco cinema interiors or hot dogs.

He also produced works “featuring apparently harmless motifs from contemporary life and consumer society which at times convey an unexpected atmosphere of violence and sexual threat. His intention was to produce a detailed record of his society which, in the event of its destruction, would convey its essential qualities to anyone coming across his work in the future.”

Return to Norwich, Norfolk

Colin Self, Norfolk Landscape with Cow, 1984 Mixed Media, Oil and model cow
Colin Self, Norfolk Landscape with Cow, 1984 Mixed Media, Oil and model cow

In 1965, disillusioned and suspicious of the commercial art world, Self returned permanently to Norwich and spent most of the 1970s in artistic solitiude where Norfolk has been his “spiritual and visual inspiration” which he has portrayed in watercolours, charcoal, and mixed media including a toy cow!

“The landscape in some ways is my visual script. Hidden in there behind the lie of the land is not only my past but the past of everyone, my future and my energy.” – Colin Self, BBC interview

During this time both “his subject matter and his repertoire of techniques continued to expand, taking in atmospheric Norfolk landscapes, still-lifes and quirky observations of human behaviour.”

In the politically charged 1980s he visited the Soviet Union for inspiration returning to produce some surrealist collage works which seem “remarkably prescient in the light of events” such as 9/11, and yet he also created works with humour and a lighter touch.

Since 2000, he has worked on his ‘Odyssey/Iliad’ multiple-plate etchings series aiming to re-tell Homer’s classical story using contemporary images.

He has been exhibited at the Tate Gallery (1995) where several of his works reside in their collections, and Pallant House Gallery (2008).

Artists Mass Paint Out on Mousehold Heath, Norwich

Artists Brian Korteling and James Colman on Mousehold Heath for Paint Out Norwich ©Mark Ivan Benfield

Paint Out Norwich Mass Art Event on Mousehold Heath

Karen Adams and Will Topley at Paint Out Wells Public Sunrise Art Event
Karen Adams and Will Topley at Paint Out Wells Public Sunrise Art Event

Following up on the successful mass Sunrise ‘paint out’ at Norfolk’s Wells-next-the-Sea as part of Paint Out Wells 2015, Paint Out are holding a similar event for artists of all ages and abilities at Paint Out Norwich, October 22, 1:30-4:30pm. Register to take part for free.

Over 40 Paint Out Norwich competition artists will join members of the public – amateur and keen artists alike, in a mass painting session on historic Mousehold Heath with its expansive skyline views overlooking the city of Norwich taking in the towering spire of Norwich Cathedral.

Cass Art Prize Sponsorship

Cass Art logoOnce again, as Cass Art did at the Wells sunrise event, Cass Art have announced that they will supply substantial art voucher prizes to reward a range of public artists, young and adult alike, with art supplies to keep their talent growing. Cass Art are also sponsoring an art bursary prize for the best young artist 30 or under at the Paint Out Norwich competition.

Mass ‘Paint Out’ Sparks Media Interest

Painters of all ages invited to take part in open-air art event in Norwich, EDP, 13 October 2015
Painters of all ages invited to take part in open-air art event in Norwich, EDP, 13 October 2015

Already the mass ‘paint out’ is attracting press attention having been discussed on BBC Radio Norfolk and made the front and inside pages of the Norwich Evening News & Eastern Daily Press this week.

Over 55 public artists have already registered and people can still register until the day itself. One entire family from age 5 upwards have registered to truly make this an all-age event with others as old as 85 taking part.  Another family is represented by three generations of grandmother, mother and daughters, of whom, two are also entering the core competition!

The Heath will therefore could be filled with over 90 combined artists painting the landscape in pastels, oils, watercolour, acrylic, pen and ink, mixed media, drawing or anything else that can be applied to canvas/board/paper. October is also the month of the world’s biggest drawing festival the Big Draw art event whose theme this year is “every drawing tells a story”. Last year’s Norwich competition even saw plein air screen-printing! You can bring canvas, board, paper, sketchpad, or anything else on which to make art, that can be hung on a wall at the OPEN venue in Norwich, Tuesday 27 – Saturday 31 October.

View the event on Facebook and sign up to take part for free.

Historic Mousehold Heath

Mousehold Heath has featured in significant Norwich history in several centuries stretching back nearly 900 years.  From William of Norwich in 1144 to the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381 and in 1549 it served as a launchpad for the Kett’s Rebellion. If this Paint Out event continues to gather pace it will be a significant mass gathering and historic open air art event itself.

Norwich School of Artists

Mousehold Heath from Silver Road, painted by John Sell Cotman, 1810
Mousehold Heath from Silver Road, painted by John Sell Cotman, 1810

Both Mousehold Heath itself and the view of Norwich from it have featured in 19th century paintings by several members of the Norwich School of Artists including John Crome and John Sell Cotman. Paint Out‘s mission is to reinvigorate and redefine en plein air art for the 21st century and its growing Plein Air competitions and public art event inclusivity mean that it is well on its way to bringing art to the masses, just as the Norwich School of Artists in 1803 was Britain’s first provincial art movement founded by and for working-class artists. They even held their first art meeting in the The Hole in the Wall tavern.

John Crome began life as the son of a weaver and went from being an apprentice sign-painter to being collected and exhibited in The Tate Gallery, Royal Academy and by the philanthropist and politician Jeremiah James Colman, a scion of the famous Colman’s Mustard family. The works he amassed were eventually donated to the Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery.

View the event on Facebook and sign up to take part for free.

Norwich from Mousehold Heath, Norfolk, painted by Ernest Haslehust, 1920
Norwich from Mousehold Heath, Norfolk, painted by Ernest Haslehust, 1920

 

 

Stephen Fry selects paints & art materials as Desert Island Discs castaway luxury

Stephen Fry and Vincent van Gogh

Stephen Fry chooses canvases & paints for Desert Island castaway luxury

Stephen Fry book signing by vpjayant via flickr
Stephen Fry book signing by vpjayant via flickr

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 Out Wells-next-the-Sea secures Albatros Ship as Artists’ Hub

The Albatros at Well-next-the-Sea Quay, Norfolk

All Aboard the Albatros!

The Albatros moored at Wells-next-the-Sea, Photo © Katy Jon Went
The Albatros moored at Wells-next-the-Sea

Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea is to board the Albatros 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 Out Wells

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 Ship, Dutch speciality menu, Wells, Norfolk
The Albatros Ship, Dutch speciality menu, Wells, Norfolk ©KatyJon

The Albatros: web | facebook | twitter

Ship’s Log – Dates in Albatros History

The Albatros was first built as a cargo clipper for Captain Johannes Muller of Middelharnis, near Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The Albatros, rigging detail, Wells, Norfolk © Katy Jon Went
The Albatros, rigging detail, Wells, Norfolk ©KatyJon

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”.

The Albatros Ship below decks, Well-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
The Albatros Ship below decks, Well-next-the-Sea, Norfolk © Albatros

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 Greenpeace for 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 Albatros Ship-Restaurant, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
The Albatros Ship-Restaurant, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk ©KatyJon

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.

UK’s new Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell advocates a sketch a day

New Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell

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, GulliverMuddle Earth, Ottoline and the Yellow Cat, Pirate DiaryThe Edge Chronicles, and The Sleeper and the Spindle.

Chris Riddell Children's Laureate illustrator workng in his studio
Chris Riddell 2015 Children’s Laureate

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

Chris Riddell Children's Laureate illustrator at work in studio
Chris Riddell at work in his 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 outbuilding Norfolk 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.”

Similarly, in an Independent interview in March, 2015:

“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.”

Announcing Paint Out Norwich 2014

Paint Out Norwich 2014 is a 2-day plein air painting competition at prominent Norwich city venues during the October Hostry Festival, now in its fourth year.

Experienced artists are invited to submit applications by 1st September in order to participate in the open air event which will  feature the following painting locations and their immediate surroundings:

Paint Out Norwich in EDP news story
Photo ©EDP (used by permission)

The days set aside for painting are Wednesday and Thursday 22-23 October 2014 and the public are invited to watch the works in progress.

Prizes to be won:

  • First prize – £1000
  • Second prize – £500
  • Third prize – £250
  • People’s Choice Award – art materials hamper (provided by Norwich Art Supplies)

Judges for the competition include:

  • Trevor Chamberlain, independent leading Plein Air artist
  • Colin Self, internationally acclaimed Norwich-based artist
  • Amanda Geitner, Head of Exhibitions at The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA.

In an interview with the EDP James Colman, part of the Paint Out Norwich Selection Team, said:

“This year we thought it would be a good move to take the visual arts into the streets of Norwich. It’s all about getting people excited about visual arts and the festival because there are lots of great things going on. For the first year we thought it would be a popular move to create paintings inspired by the great landmarks of Norwich and see what people come up with, there will be different interpretations and we are interested in new and novel ways of looking at our great landmarks.”

See more from the EDP story of the competition announcement.

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