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Four Days – Painting ‘en plein air’ In Norfolk!

Four Days to paint Norfolk! What a challenge! Q) How would you like some adventure?

Early morning mist at Rollesby

A Norfolk Early Morning Mist over Rollesby Broad

Well I was up for it, so I signed up to join in the first ‘A Brush with the Broads Plein Air Festival’ –  A week long event in the Norfolk Broads National Park organised and hosted by professional artist and teacher Linda H Matthews. We arrived late afternoon on the Thursday, at Clippesby Hall where we met everyone in the welcome marquee and after some food, we were treated to a watercolour demonstration.

Friday morning brought lovely weather and all the artists went off in different directions to paint in their chosen localities, scenes varied from rural agricultural land and buildings to rivers and wider waterways, known as the broads, to boats of all shapes and sizes, old bridges, wind pumps, churches, boathouses, the variety was endless. I particularly liked the early morning mists hanging over the waterways – very atmospheric and not easy to paint such sensitivity in watercolour.

View from How Hill, Norfolk

View from How Hill, Norfolk. This is the highest hill in Norfolk.

Saturday also brought warm and dry weather and everywhere we went, fellow artists were set up under the trees, by the boathouses etc, making art each in their own way. In the evening the organisers had laid on a social function, with a live band, but I regret I was too tired to enjoy this, and took an early night, missing another excellent workshop.

Sunday dawned, again misty but beautiful and we set off to the City of Norwich, for a timed ‘Quick Draw! Charity event. We each had two hours, to complete our vision of Norwich, a city I don’t know very well, but I found a corner behind the Art School, made famous by the Norwich School of artists, lead by John Crome, JS Cotman, and Stannard. among others. Here is my dip pen Indian Ink and Wash sketch.  On the Monday we again found more subjects to paint, this time, I chose a view from the  top of How Hill – one of the few hills in norfolk, a county which is known for its flat open, low-lying landscapes and big skies.

Pen and Wash Norwich Art School

This was the home of the Norwich School of Artists

Monday evening was the exhibition of the best works, and many sales were made. I’ll be participating again in 2015 so watch this space for the write-up.