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)
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)
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)
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)
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
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.
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
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.