Artist Liam Wales wins People’s Choice Award at Paint Out Norwich 2014

Paint Out Norwich People's Choice Award EDP 4 Nov 2014

People’s Choice Award Winner – Liam Wales

Artist Liam Wales
Artist, Liam Wales

The People’s Choice Award, £250 of arts materials sponsored by Norwich Art Supplies of St Benedict’s Street, has been won by artist Liam Wales.

Liam received an overwhelming share of the combined Exhibition and online vote for his works of art created at Elm Hill, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich Castle, and Norwich Market.

The last one he completed in about half the 3 hours allotted! When members of the public realised that these were Plein Air works being done under almost exam conditions, yet amidst the challenges of the elements, public engagement, changing scenes, etc., many were amazed at the quality and range of the work. Indeed one went so far as to comment:

“it is the best art event in Norfolk this year”

Liam Wales with his final finished work in half the time
Liam Wales with his final finished work in half the time

Yorkshire-born Liam, now residing in Highgate, London, says that, for him:

 “…the most useful lesson in learning how to draw was watching my father draw. He taught me how to look at things carefully. As an architect he had a quick fluid line which I have gratefully adopted and adapted… As well as drawing for my own pleasure, I enjoy a diversity of commissions from country house portraits to illustrating fashion collections. I often use watercolour, but prefer my simpler line work. I try to draw with a loose line that roams over the page, editing and describing as I go, with a keen eye for any quirky details. I like to work on the spot and spontaneity is important. I live in London next to Hampstead Heath. Its swimming ponds, woods and open countryside, are an oasis of calm surrounded by a jostling metropolis. It is this mix that I relish in my drawings – nature juxtaposed with the man made.”

Liam Wales – Paint Out Art

Liam produced two works of art as pen, ink and charcoal, another as mixed media, and one as pen only.

PON14 Painting #27 Liam Wales, Elm Hill, pen, ink & charcoal
Elm Hill by Liam Wales, pen, ink & charcoal #PON14

He began on Wednesday 22 October, in the morning, at Elm Hill, continuing in the afternoon on to Norwich Cathedral, where he chose a viewpoint within and of the cloisters.

PON14 Painting #55 Liam Wales
Cloisters, Norwich Cathedral, by Liam Wales, pen, ink & charcoal #PON14
PON14 Painting #83 Liam Wales, Norwich from the Castle, mixed media
Norwich from the Castle by Liam Wales, mixed media #PON14

On Thursday 23 October he had Norwich Castle and the Market as locations, at the former electing to use mixed media for his only coloured art work portraying a view of Norwich from the Castle’s perspective.

As many as 5,000 visitors flocked to the Exhibition of 110 works of art at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry between 23 October and 2 November to witness the finished pieces by the 28 selected participating artists across 7 local iconic and/or historic locations at Paint Out Norwich 2014. Hundreds of them also participated in the People’s Choice Award vote, which Liam has deservedly won.

EDP Coverage

Paint Out Norwich People's Choice Award EDP 4 Nov 2014
Paint Out Norwich People’s Choice Award, EDP, 4 Nov 2014

Liam made the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) paper on the morning of 4 November and fuller coverage in their online EDP24 edition.

One comment said:

“I am deeply envious of people who have this talent to draw or paint good pictures. Perhaps we could take the whole GoGo Gorillas initiative a stage further next year. Instead of putting gorillas around the city, for one year put up large-scale weatherproof prints of local city scenes by local people. “

Norwich Art Supplies

Norwich Art Supplies
Norwich Art Supplies

We are grateful to Norwich Art Supplies for sponsoring the People’s Choice Award at Paint Out Norwich 2014. Norwich Art Supplies were established in 1996 in the heart of Norwich, and pride themselves on offering a wide range of artistic supplies including several makes of oils, acrylics, watercolours, pastels, papers, print making supplies as well as drawing materials, sketch books, watercolour blocks Indian inks, gilding materials, brushes, solvents and many more. Check out their website.

Pauline Goldsworthy, co-owner of Norwich Art Supplies, said:

“We were flattered to be part of the first Paint Out Norwich
event, it is such an exciting idea for Norwich. We have had such a lot of great feedback in the shop, to say how engaging it has been and how lovely it was to see the artists at work, it has really grabbed the public’s interest and we would be very pleased to support it again in the future”.

Paint Out Norwich 2014 Winners and Prizes

Prize winners and their cheques - Chris Daynes (2nd), Haidee-Jo Summers (1st), Roy Connelly (3rd) [L to R]

Challenges of the Competition

The inaugural Paint Out Norwich competition saw a high standard of work among the over 100 entries by 28 artists at 7 locations spread across the 2 days of 22-23 October. A maximum allowed painting time of 3 hours for each canvas, very often ended up as less, with setting up, selecting a viewpoint and possibly changing their minds. Some artists managed more than one painting in a single session, another was able to knock off early!

“I have never seen people paint as a competitive sport before … it was astonishing to witness in the city … what really amazed us was that this brought together … pressure of time limit, pressure of light, pressure of constantly interacting with a public … to a deadline.” – Amanda Geitner, Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts (SCVA)

Judges’ Comments

The judges – Trevor Chamberlain, Colin Self, and Amanda Geitner, were “knocked sideways by the extraordinarily consistent, commanding quality of the works” and were absolutely in accord in their choices of winners. The competition brought an opportunity “to celebrate the tenacity of figurative painting, the skill and discipline of painting … experienced in the real.” – Amanda Geitner, SCVA

The Prizes and Winners

Haidee-Jo Summers“Work to be Done” (#53)
Haidee-Jo Summers (1st Prize) with her winning painting - Work to be Done
Haidee-Jo Summers (1st Prize) with her winning painting – Work to be Done

First Prize, sponsored by Savills, went to Haidee-Jo Summers for her piece, “Work to be Done”, created outside the corner craft shop looking down Elm Hill, past the suddenly erected scaffolding and “road closed” signs that had appeared overnight and remained for just 24 hours. She wins £1000. Haidee is a veteran winner of Plein Air painting competitions across the country and has a track record of half a dozen prizes under her belt recently.

Chris Daynes, “The Watergate” (#8)
Chris Daynes (2nd Prize) with his painting - The Watergate
Chris Daynes (2nd Prize) with his painting – The Watergate

The Second Prize of £500, courtesy of The EDP, went to Chris Daynes for his oil painting at Pull’s Ferry called “The Watergate”.

Roy Connelly, “The Dark Entry” (#63)
Roy Connelly (3rd Prize) with his painting - The Dark Entry
Roy Connelly (3rd Prize) with his painting – The Dark Entry

Third Prize of £250, also courtesy of The EDP, went to Roy Connelly for his Norwich Cathedral doorway painting called “The Dark Entry”).

People’s Choice Award

The People’s Choice Award was determined on 2 November when voting closed. This was an art hamper worth £250 donated by Norwich Art Supplies. It was won by Liam Wales.

Thanks to our Sponsors and Volunteers

None of this would have happened without the generous overall sponsorship of Broadland Wines, printing courtesy of Ten Group‘s City College Norwich print room, and the tireless commitment of time and energy of our team and volunteers. A beautiful gesture was made by one of the artists, Wil Harvey, in order to appreciate the work of the volunteers, and he donated another one of his Norwich ink drawings to a draw-selected volunteer. Jeanette McCracken was the lucky winner and recipient.

Prize winners and their paintings - Chris Daynes (2nd), Haidee-Jo Summers (1st), Roy Connelly (3rd) [L to R]
Prize winners and their paintings – Chris Daynes (2nd), Haidee-Jo Summers (1st), Roy Connelly (3rd) [L to R]

Honourable Mentions

Francesca Heathorn’s red “Phone boxes” (#72)

One of the judges, the artist Colin Self, said that he “couldn’t believe that somebody sitting their engaging with the real had made a work that to him transported him into a really hallucinogenic dream state”, there was something other worldly about it, he was struck powerfully by it, whatever the artist’s intention.

Simon Page’s “Marzanos – the Forum” (#106)

“With so many arresting, charming, extraordinary, transporting, views outside the city environment it was great that one of the artists pulled us up right short into a really direct encounter with bodies, with people, in the crush of an urban environment.” – Amanda Geitner

Cornelia Fitzroy’s “Crome Gallery” (#11) at Elm Hill

“Yours was the cool glass of water,… calm, clarity of … work” – Amanda Geitner

Auction and Exhibition

Exhibition conversation with Haidee-Jo Summers First Prize Winner
Exhibition conversation with Haidee-Jo Summers First Prize Winner

Some of the paintings sold at the Auction event, attended by nearly 200 people, within hours of the paintings being completed – indeed, many were not yet dry, and some may not be for days and weeks to come! Many have subsequently sold at the Exhibition which ran until 2 November at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry, however they all remained on display for the duration for viewing the winners, honourable mentions, and those still available for purchase. An online version of the exhibition will follow in due course.

Numbers, e.g., (#53), mentioned above relate to the painting numbers in the Exhibition gallery at the Hostry.

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