Paint Out‘s first public en plein air art event of 2017 saw a dozen or so artists find fresh views and a new perspective of Norwich seen across the Market to the Castle, the Guildhall, and St Peter Mancroft, on a sunny bank holiday weekend Sunday.
Last weekend was the turn of an open-top double-decker bus, supplied by Dolphin Travel with amiable driver, Andrew – who also supplied the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack that kept the artists painting in the hot sun during the afternoon session.
As well as members of the public including an artist’s teenage son joining in, there were Paint Out regulars including the artists: John Behm, Mary Brady, Karen Adams, Jack Godfrey, Mary Kallagher, and James Colman himself.
Some artists like Jan Halliwell travelled down from Lincolnshire to join the Norfolk paint out on the streets of the city, alongside the bus.
Paint Out welcomes experienced artists to its juried-entry art competitions but also runs public entry paint-outs for artist of all ages and abilities to encourage people into discovering and furthering their artistic creativity.
“The Paint Out bus this weekend provided us with a fantastic hub from which to tell the world about our forthcoming 2017-18 programme plans. Our artists found their elevated experience inspirational.
For contestants at Paint Out Norwich and Wells, it provides a great add-on for our Nocturne and main events and provides a forum with which to engage with the public. Chameleon-like, expect the bus to take on many guises in its quest to take plein air painting across the UK.” – James Colman
Public Paint Out “on the bus” for Artists of all ages & abilities
This Sunday 28 May we’re calling amateur and professional artists to draw and paint with us around the Chapelfield, Forum and Norwich City Hall area. For extra height and a fresh view of the city you can opt to paint from a static double decker open top bus.
The 28 May paint out is available all-day 9-5pm but do come along, morning or afternoon or both.
Bus stop times are 9-9:30am & 1-1:30pm for pick ups from Guildhall/City Hall parking bays from which we may drive to painting spots. If you miss the bus, or can’t find us, call 07808 970429 or 07432 608015 to find out where we are.
We’ve also art workshops to brush up your skills on Saturday 27 May, the day before.
The weekend of 27-28 May sees Paint Out provide an excellent opportunity for aspiring and seasoned artists to acquire and refresh core skills in Tonal Oil Painting, Perspective and View, and Social Media Promotion tips at Saturday workshops. These are followed up with a Sunday public paint out to practice what is learned and enjoy the sights of Norwich from the height of a static open-top double-decker bus or nearby on foot.
All Norwich workshops begin at Anteros Arts, 11 – 15 Fye Bridge Street, Norwich NR3 1LJ and may include indoor and outdoor work.
Tonal Painting With Oils – Nial Adams
Nial Adams is a landscape artist painting oils in the classical style of tonal realism. His work features well-known locations, as well as abstracted artworks. He works from his studio in Hevingham under the title of Big Norfolk Skies.
In this session, Nial will share some of his knowledge on the aspects of creating tonal value in your artwork. You’ll be working in oils on canvas, with a restricted palette. This fundamental aspect of art will help you to create greater depth and contrast, whether you’re painting or drawing, from landscapes to portraits. Suitable for aspiring and seasoned artists.
Perspective drawing for the award winning view. Norfolk artist Eloise O’Hare, famous for her lively paintings of landscapes will lead this fun and hands-on workshop. After a brief discussion and looking at some example work, you will be taken outdoors to draw by the river. Eloise will help you to find the perfect view for your drawing, plan the composition and will teach you some simple tricks to get your perspective just right.
Social Media guru with 15,000 followers, and 100,000 views a month, Web promotion specialist (“how to get to no#1 on google”) Katy Went will help you learn how to maximise your social media reach for your artworks with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc – and how to find the best platform for your style and expertise. How and when to write your posts, how and where to share them for 7,000+ reach and 20% interaction.
A local art student is completing a project onen plein air in Art History and has requested responses from other artists on their experience of painting en plein air for comparative study.
“I am incredibly interested by painting outdoors, and was wondering if it were possible for you to answer some questions I have on the topic?”
Their particular area of study has included Scandinavian artists such as Peder Severin Krøyer (1851-1909) working en plein air in the town of Skagen, Denmark. They are looking at the Skagen artists’ relationship with light in Skagen, and especially, Krøyer’s en plein air works created during his ‘blue period’.
If you are able to answer any of the questions below to aid their understanding of painting en plein air (particularly before Friday 6 May) that would be fantastic and we will pass on responses to them.
A new Royal Academy exhibition displays paintings by artists of inspiration found in gardens, Claude Monet being preeminent among them and representing a quarter of the gallery space. Monet was not only a masterful painter but also a horticulturalist who regarded his “garden [as his] most beautiful masterpiece” and nature as “the source of [his] inspiration”. He once said: “I am good at only two things, and those are gardening and painting” and that he owed “having become a painter to flowers”.
“Using the work of Monet as a starting point, this landmark exhibition examines the role gardens played in the evolution of art from the early 1860s through to the 1920s.” – Royal Academy
Monet was riddled with artist’s anxieties, and a lack of self-belief and sales, at times, but this was compensated for by his overwhelming desire and obsessive drive to paint what he saw and experienced.
“Every day I discover even more beautiful things. It is intoxicating me, and I want to paint it all – my head is bursting…” – Monet
Apart from Claude Monet, the exhibition features works by Frédéric Bazille, Pierre Bonnard, Gustave Caillebotte, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cézanne, Childe Hassam, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Gustav Klimt, Max Liebermann, Edouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Berthe Morisot, Emil Nolde, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Santiago Rusiňol, John Singer Sargent, Joaquín Sorolla, James-Jacques Tissot, Vincent van Gogh and Edouard Vuillard. Two women and just one Englishman, aren’t we a nation of gardeners?
Gardeners among the Artists
Among the artists, and in addition to Monet himself, Bonnard, Caillebotte, Cézanne, Pissarro, and Renoir, stand out as gardeners in addition to being painters. Pissarro was critiqued by contemporaries as an “Impressionist market gardener specialising in cabbages” whilst Monet has been described as “the artist-gardener par excellence” by Ann Dumas, co-curator of the RA’s show.
Monet Painting in His Garden
Over 120 paintings feature from across Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Avant-Garde periods including Monet’s monumental Agapanthus Triptych, and Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil from 1873, painted by Monet’s friend and colleague since art school, Renoir, on a visit.
In a reminiscence Monet said that Manet whilst painting Monet’s family was joined by Renoir doing likewise. After a while, Manet took Monet aside and whispered to him:
“You’re on very good terms with Renoir and take an interest in his future – do advise him to give up painting! You can see for yourself that it’s not his metier at all.” – Manet to Monet about Renoir!
Monet Painting in His Garden shows it was not unknown for artists to paint artists painting. This is something Paint Out‘s events have borne witness to with well over a dozen paintings featuring artists in the frame.
Plein Air Paint Out
Paint Out‘s previous plein air competitions in Norwich and Wells-next-the-Sea have focused on urban and seafront landscapes but it didn’t stop some artists seeking out gardens as inspirations.
The mass ‘paint out’ on Norfolk’s historic Mousehold Heath also gave artists the opportunity to paint the cityscape of Norwich or the heath itself- filled with trees, bushes, dogs, children playing, and 100 artists painting.
“the middle class garden in the 19th century did not just change the well-being of the population of Europe, but also the history of art as we know it. [the] exhibition at the Royal Academy [reveals] how the creation of the ordinary back gardens so prevalent today inspired a new generation of artists from Monet to Matisse.”
“Monet’s visions of the gardens he created at Argenteuil, Vétheuil and Giverny…are planted at intervals all the way through the show until they build to a grand finale at the end – a spectacular vision of water lilies, and of modern art.”
For those who’ve seen enough Monet, The Times says don’t be deterred:
“It’s the giddying profusion of colour that will first strike you. The visitor is led along light-dappled pathways into an all but fantastical chromatic world. Here are explosions of dahlias, there cascades of roses; here are banks of chrysanthemums, there the blaze of sunflowers. This show offers a sensory experience as much as an intellectual thesis.” – Rachel Campbell-Johnston
It is interesting to see how art is more appreciated, often many years after its initial creation, as the Independent review points out:
“Indeed, even the term impressionism was coined as a negative phrase by the then contemporary critic Louis Leroy, who declared that Monet’s painting was, at most, a sketch, and could hardly be termed a finished work.”
Not all the paintings concentrate on flowers, some emphasise the people in them, or even a pair of old boots:
“‘Miss Jekyll’s Gardening Boots’ is a painting by Sir William Nicholson. It was a gift for the architect Edwin Lutyens who worked closely with Gertrude Jekyll, the gardener. It’s a simple yet evocative painting of her boots and the only painting in the exhibition that proves keeping a garden takes hard work and dedication [just like painting!]. The boots are tired and made of leather, the left boot is losing a sole, and the right has a gaping hole where the sole has lost its grip on the leather completely.”
The exhibition runs 30 January – 20 April 2016 and is open Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm and late night Fridays till 10pm. Tickets are £16 plus optional donation and the Royal Academy address is: Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BDs’
Following up on our successful mass Sunrise ‘paint out’ as part of Paint OutWells 2015 we are holding a similar event at Paint Out Norwich, October 22, 1:30-4:30pm. Members of the public of any age or artistic ability are welcome to join dozens of Paint Out competition artists in a mass painting session on Mousehold Heath with its expansive views overlooking the city of Norwich. Already, we are expecting over 80 artists aged 5-85, including 3 generations of one family. Read more about the event here.
You will need to bring your own equipment and meet outside the Cafe Britannia, 3 Britannia Rd, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 4LU.
Several of the famous Norwich School of Artists including John Crome and John Sell Cotman painted Mousehold Heath in the 19th century. Norwich-born novelist, and one time Lord Mayor, RH Mottram was another artist who loved the open space of Mousehold Heath. He once described it as “the property of those who have the privilege of Norwich birth”. Since 1880 it has been public property and a perfect location to paint the wide cityscape of Norwich from.
Paint Out competition participants will have their work exhibited automatically. Other public ‘paint out’ artists should get a Paint Out stamp upon registration at Mousehold and be responsible for returning their work to Norwich. Paint Out is hoping to exhibit for up to a week all of the public art works or as many as space allows at the OPEN venue in Norwich, Oct 25 – Nov 1.
Public artists should affix sufficient secure fixings either on the back of frames or (if unframed on the back of the surfaces) to facilitate hanging. Paint Out has the right to exclude any work that is insufficiently prepared for hanging. We accept that with artists aged from 5-85 these instructions may not apply rigidly to all art works and we will do our best to display everything including younger artworks.
Australian artist, Denis Clarke, is in Norwich for Paint Out‘s art competition and events the week of 19-23 October. Before hitting the streets of Norwich with over 40 other artists and some 80 artists on Thursday at the mass Mousehold Heath ‘paint out’ he will be delivering an art workshop on Monday 19 October. Open to artists of all abilities, why not get enthused and inspired by this rare opportunity to be taught by a visiting experienced artist and art teacher.
Bold and Expressive: Mixed Media From Life
The workshop is titled “Bold and Expressive: Mixed Media From Life” and is an introduction to some diversions from habitual ways we look and draw from a subject. Methods might be challenging to get your thinking more attuned to a practice of learning to see form and space using drawing media as well as paint. Expressive use of mark and gesture will be encouraged.
Matisse proclaimed that to see things fresh and as if for the first time, “as if with the eye of a child” was a constant effort. Drawing is an ongoing dialogue in which you are being encouraged to suspend disbelief so as to encourage all the senses to respond. The sense of touch or imagined sense of touch seems to be as present in all good drawing as the sense of sight. Clumsiness and refinement, accident and control, may interchange in the process.
The otherness or impact of nature seems to be our ongoing goal to a realization of a meaningful statement in a mix of drawing media as well as paint.
Denis is renowned for devising and delivering innovative master class courses linking observational drawing to creative and experimental methods with drawing and mixed media. This is a rare opportunity to learn from an international artist and art teacher.
Denis Clarke is a well established artist who exhibits and teaches in Australia and the UK. He studied at the National Art School Sydney, St Martins School of Art, London and Byam Shaw School of Art, London. He also taught in Switzerland and was awarded a studio scholarship at at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. He has been both the recipient of major awards as well as judged several prestigious art prizes.
From 1975 to 1998, Denis lived, exhibited and taught in London and Switzerland, teaching at the Camden School of Art, London and exhibiting most notably in London at Gillian Jason Gallery, Boundary Gallery and three one-man shows at James Colman Gallery at Montpelier Sandelson, Knightsbridge.
In 1998 Denis returned to live and paint in Sydney, where he exhibited with the Harris Courtin Gallery in Sydney. In 2003 he was awarded the Blackfriars Drawing Acquisitive. He has collaborated with several premier arts organizations such as Opera Factory in London and Switzerland, Warwickshire Arts Festival in the UK, and most recently as the artist in residence at Wollombi Valley Arts Council.
Denis has lectured at the National Art School, Sydney Australia, for ten years, and runs master classes and summer schools at numerous art institutions, universities and colleges.
Art Workshop Booking
Denis will offer the following art workshop on Monday 19 October in Norwich:
Bold and Expressive: Mixed Media From Lifewith Denis Clarke
Offered, as part of Paint Out Norwich 2014 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 10am and includes lunch in the £50 package price. You will need to bring your own art materials.
There is also an oil painting workshop with Paint Out veteran Michael Richardson if you prefer to work with traditional oils instead of mixed media.
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’.
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 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:
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.