North Norfolk Plein Air Painting Competition & Art Exhibition

Paint Out™ is an art event aiming to redefine 21st century en plein air art practice. Founded in 2014, we are the UK’s premier and only fully juried en plein air art competition, celebrating the talents of national and international artists before a wide and growing audience in the heart of medieval and iconic Norwich, as well as on the beautiful North Norfolk coast at Wells-next-the-Sea. We are expanding our events across Norfolk, the UK and further afield.

ExperienceArt, Live! Many of our events are about extreme painting, in any weather, up against the clock and the gaze of the art-loving public.

Paint Out Norfolk 2019 featuring Wells-next-the-Sea

Our four-day juried painting competition in July will feature Wells-next-the-Sea on 2 July as a one-day event or part of the full programme taking in the Norfolk Broads at How Hill, Ludham, Houghton Hall near Kings Lynn, and the campus of UEA and the Sainsbury Centre taking in 1960s-70s architecture, 1640s Earlham Hall, statuary and sculptures, lake and grounds.

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Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea 2018

For a fourth year running, and following our successful trial of a one-day format in Suffolk, Paint Out Wells 2018 will return for a one-day Paint Out event on 8 September 2018.

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What is Plein Air?

Artist Jack Godfrey painting Brancaster Staithe at POW16. Photo by Katy Jon Went
Artist Jack Godfrey painting Brancaster Staithe

Plein Air means leaving the studio behind and embedding one’s easel in the environment, drawing inspiration from the artist’s immediate surroundings and putting brush to canvas amidst the changing light, moving people, and variable skies.

Plein Air – Art works carried out in the open air – chiefly with reference to painting.

The Paint Out competitions, however, accept any 2-dimensional media or mixed-media applied to a canvas/board/paper embracing drawing, pastels, oils, watercolour, gouache, acrylic, pen and ink, and even screen-printing and textiles. Innovation and originality are encouraged alongside traditional art forms.

Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea 2017

Artist Tom Cringle Wells Beach POW15
Artist Tom Cringle Wells Beach

Following the huge success and beautiful beach sunrise at Paint Out Wells in 2015 and the weather-challenged multi-location 2016 – great for bold plein air artists, Paint Out returned to Wells-next-the-Sea for a third-year art competition on North Norfolk‘s colourful coastline during a painting-packed weekend from September 15th-17th and public sunrise paint out.

The exhibited works were shown in our pop-up gallery on The Buttlands across the weekend and our judges awarded prizes at the Private View to Jack Godfrey (1st), Sam Robbins (2nd), commendations to Robert Nelmes, Sarah Muir Poland, and Shaun Carey; Karen Adams was awarded the Spirit of Plein Air Prize. All prizes sponsored by Hopkins Homes.

The itinerary included painting at all times of day from sunrise to sunset and around the beach, quay, town and Buttlands of Wells-next-the-Sea as well as a half-day in Blakeney, up the coast. Register interest in the next Paint Out Wells below.

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Tony Robinson Wells Quayside Norfolk POW15 by Katy Jon Went
Tony Robinson painting Wells-next-the-Sea quayside #POW2015 Photo by Katy Jon Went

Sponsors & Supporters

Hopkins Homes

Paint Out Wells appreciates the support of its third-year-running returning principal sponsor – Hopkins Homes who have supported the event and the prizes in 2017. They “truly have East Anglian roots” with their building projects in four local counties: Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.

Find out how you can partner with Paint Out.

Paint Out Wells 2016

Artist Katie Falcon pastels at Paint Out Wells 2015
Artist Katie Falcon pastels at Paint Out Wells 2015

The Wells-next-the-Sea coastal competition was more of a pop-up guerrilla art event over a painting-packed weekend, 16-18 September. It featured a pre-dawn/sunrise plein air opportunity to capture the quayside docks and boats as the early morning light shifts from blacks, through purples and oranges – a Nocturne, in reverse, if you like! We also added a Wells Beach sunset paintout on Friday 16th (minus the sun, due to the weather!) and a morning paint out trip at Brancaster and Burnham Overy Staithes, and Burnham Market. The amazing Albatros afloat featured as part of the event as well as the Congregational Hall as a secure hub.

Wells 2018 Register interest Wells 2016 Prizes & Awards Wells 2016 Art Gallery

Non-competition artists were also welcome to participate in a painting under pressure of time and light workshop with Michael Richardson, UA on the afternoon of Saturday 17th. Sunday morning saw the public invited to join competition artists at the Wells Quayside sunrise paint out.

Michael Richardson Art Workshop at Paint Out Wells 2015 Photo by Katy Jon Went
Michael Richardson Art Workshop at Paint Out Wells 2015

Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea 2015

Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea 2015 Competition
Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea 2015 Competition

21 artists descended on North Norfolk’s bustling coastal port of Wells-next-the-Sea during this new for 2015 satellite event. Paint Out Wells featured 2 days of competition sessions, a public beach sunrise ‘paint out’, evening gala, awards and auction, and an exhibition during the week of 9-13 September. The artists’ hub was the historic Dutch ship the Albatros, moored on the quay and the Wells Maltings Sackhouse.

The Prize Winners were Lara Cobden (1st), Alfie Carpenter (2nd), Jack Godfrey (3rd) with judges commendations to Susan Mann, Jennifer Sendall, Candide Turner-Bridger, additional prizes went to John Behm, Roy Connelly, and Will Topley. Follow Paint Out Wells on Facebook to see what happened and be first to hear about future events.

 Paint Out Wells 2018 Register interest