Paint Out Wells 2017 Prize Awards & Winning Paintings

Artists Wendy Kimberley and Sally Usher, Andrew Horrod in the background, painting at Paint Out Wells beach sunrise. Photo by Katy Jon Went

It’s September in Wells-next-the-Sea, whilst the beaches are noticeably less populated, the queues at the fish and chips marginally shorter, the small seaside town was buzzing with pirates and over 20 Paint Out artists, the weekend of 15-17 September 2017.

These weather-hardened outdoor painters, unique among artists to leave the warmth and walls of the studio, visited Wells in the third year of this festival of plein air art competition event. The now annual event has established a visible pop-up presence for art in the form of an artists’ hub in the Congregational Hall and marquee gallery on the Buttlands. Many hundreds visited the exhibition of 120 artworks painted during the weekend, from sunrise to sunset, from North Norfolk’s Wells’ beach to Blakeney’s boats.

Wells-next-the-Sea Beach Paint Out at Dawn & Sunrise

Artist Sarah Muir Poland painting at Paint Out Wells beach sunrise. Photo by Katy Jon Went
Commended artist Sarah Muir Poland painting at Paint Out Wells beach sunrise. Photo by Katy Jon Went

Fast becoming a must-do event in the art and festival calendar, more people than ever encountered the artists painting the North Norfolk coast, returning to the tent to see the works come in, get their tickets, and go on display. The largest painting of over 1m square, titled “East Hills Dawn” by local artist Tom Cringle, was painted at dawn on the beach, and sold within minutes of going on display. Tom was among 21 brave artists who rose before 5am to watch and paint the superb sunrise on both the beach and pre-dawn purples and oranges appearing as beautiful backdrop to the silhouetted Albatros on the quay, where several artists stayed during the weekend.

Judges’ First Prize Winner

Artist Jack Godfrey's first prize painting in progress at Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk Paint Out Wells 2017. Photo by Katy Jon Went
Norwich artist Jack Godfrey’s first prize painting in progress at Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk. Photo by Katy Jon Went

The painting competition judges – art dealers and valuers, James Glennie and Nick Holmes, along with experienced plein air artist Michael Richardson – considered long and hard over the artworks but were nigh on unanimous in their choice of Jack Godfrey’s bold widescape, “The width of Wells”, as first prize winner.

Jack, 40, from Norwich, won third prize at the first Paint Out Wells and was highly commended last year for his paintings of Brancaster Staithe. 

Second Prize Art Award

James Colman presents Second prize at Paint Out Wells 2017 to Artist Sam Robbins. Photo by Katy Jon Went
James Colman presents Second prize at Paint Out Wells 2017 to Norwich artist Sam Robbins. Photo by Katy Jon Went

Hopkins Homes have graciously sponsored the prizes all three years and the second prize this year was awarded to newcomer Sam Robbins, a former EDP staff photographer, and who currently teaches GCSE photography at North Walsham High School.

In 2014, he gained a Masters Degree in Fine Art from Norwich University of the Arts and has a piece of his work in the University Permanent Collection. So does one of the judges, now, as his prize piece “Blakeney Hard”, a sgraffito oil on cardboard work with scraped back paint effects of the sign and mooring posts at Blakeney Quay was sold along with another of Wells Ebb Tide.

Competition Judges’ Commendations

Esther Lemmens presents a judge's commendation at Paint Out Wells 2017 to Artist Shaun Carey. Photo by Katy Jon Went
Esther Lemmens presents a judge’s commendation at Paint Out Wells 2017 to artist Shaun Carey. Photo by Katy Jon Went

Judges’ individual commendations also went to Norfolk-based artists Sarah Muir Poland, Shaun Carey, and to Robert Nelmes – a winner at Paint Out Norwich 2016 and Royal Norfolk Show 2017 events.

The occasional ‘Spirit of Plein Air’ award for artistic endeavour went to local North Norfolk artist Karen Adams, who interrupted a holiday in Spain to fly back and take part and who two-years running was first up to paint the sunrise between 5-6am. That’s commitment!

Paint Out’s Unique Experience

Paint Out seeks to put raw, wet, unframed art, straight off the easel into the hands of new and seasoned art buyers alike. It challenges the assumption that gilt frames and established galleries are the only places to find Fine Art. Instead, we encourage art lovers to discover it ‘in-process’, watch it being created, and then own it, packaged in a posh ‘paint out’ pizza box to keep it pristine on its journey to a new home and frame of the purchaser’s choice.

The organisers are grateful to the welcoming community of Wells-next-the-Sea and their support of our unique event. Wells residents are already wise to the fact that they live in a place that is a veritable paradise for artists with some of the best vantage points from which to paint the serene sights of the north Norfolk coast. Paint Out is confident that the event will grow and grow, returning next year.

James Colman packages a sold artwork in the posh paintout takeaway pizza box. Photo by Katy Jon Went
James Colman packages a sold artwork in the ‘posh’ paintout takeaway pizza-style box,. Photo by Katy Jon Went

Paint Out Wells-next-the-Sea, the North Norfolk coastal plein air art competition

Tony Robinson Wells Quayside Norfolk POW15 by Katy Jon Went

Paint Out Wells Plein Air Art Competition 2017

Artist Jane Hodgson, Paint Out Wells Beach, Norfolk, 2015. Photo by Katy Jon Went
Artist Jane Hodgson, Paint Out Wells Beach, Norfolk, 2015

Paint Out™ is an art event aiming to redefine 21st century en plein air art practice. Our core event, now in its fourth year, is 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, now in its third year.

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. Innovation and originality are encouraged alongside traditional art forms.

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Paint Out Wells 2017 dates

The Paint Out Wells 2017 competition on the North Norfolk coast offers a weekend-only pop-up event making it more accessible for those with jobs and other commitments. The event runs 15th-17th September with a public and entered artists optional mass paint out on the Sunday. Following that will be paint out artist demonstrations on The Buttlands outside the Crown and the Globe, during the Art Exhibition and Festival including food on the Sunday afternoon.

Register interest   Enter POW17

Artist Will Topley at Paint Out Wells 2016 by Giacomo Gex on Vimeo.

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 2017 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

Volunteering Opportunities

Paint Out is thankful for the hard work of its volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering for our current ‘paint outs’, assisting artists, helping manage the registration desks and paintings, and being part of our arts events can register online or join our volunteers facebook group. It looks great on a CV!

Volunteer at Paint Out

Paint Out History

Paint Out Norwich launched in 2014 and since then well over 100 different artists have taken part in our professional competitions and over 120 in our public paint outs. Our first satellite painting event was Wells-next-the Sea 2015 on the North Norfolk coast. That year also saw first-of-its-kind mass public ‘paint outs’ firstly on Wells Beach at sunrise and then, the following month, of some 100 artists, of all ages,  painting the expansive Norwich skyline, from historic Mousehold Heath.

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 2017 Register interest

Mission statement

Paint Out logo 2015

Paint Out is a multifaceted arts event that aims to attract national and international talent by its annual events that focus on the challenges imposed by creating work ‘on the spot’ in the urban environment. Paint Out is keen to see a competition that tests artists’ skill and craft to the maximum, promoting the burgeoning UK arts scene, and providing an interactive educational experience. Our expanding events have included schools, public, and professional art competitions, artwork exhibitions and auctions, talks, “Artist’s Question Time”, and open air art workshops.

Paint Out News, Updates & Social Media

You can read our latest blog posts, news and updates here. You can also contact us by Email and follow us on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube to keep up to date with local art exhibitions, progress of the latest competitions and events, and news about our artists.

Paint Out  © 2017 is a James Colman Project