A Brush with the Broads the Uk’s 1st 4 day Plein Air Painting Festival

Two years ago following comments on the UK Plein Air Society page on Facebook I had the mad idea of organising a Plein Air Painting Festival in Edward Seago’s backyard The Norfolk Broads. Living and working in this beautiful part of the English countryside I have always painted outside in all weathers, being on the executive committee of Broads Tourism has given me contacts I could use to arrange the event.

The whole thing being a new concept was a big headache, not being a big company and having no track record of event organising was also a problem getting sponsors on board. Having planned operations in my previous career where my actions or orders could have resulted in loss of life, I had to keep telling myself “Get on with it, no one is going to die”

All was set at Clippesby Hall on Thursday 25 September for the artists to arrive and register a mix of amateurs and professionals from all over the U.K, Australia and Gran Canaria.

The first evening included a brush making demonstration by Symi Jackson of Rosemary & Co Brushes and a watercolour  demonstration by Louise Bougourd from Devon

The following day Friday  Hannah Edge of Calder colours was making bespoke watercolours for artists, the artists split and visited various locations within the Broads National Park to paint suggested places were How Hill, Hickling Broad, Thrigby Wildlife Park.

In the evening we were treated to a demonstration by Haidee- Jo Summers from Lincolnshire

On Saturday the artists were again to be found out and about in the glorious sunshine, painting views around the Broads,  most chose to go to Horsey, Winterton and Great Yarmouth Port, the evening was very social, and censored!!!!!

The Sunday was a time limited Quick Draw in the fine city of Norwich that is quick on the draw not just using pencils. All painting media welcome.

But the masterpiece had to be created in 2 hours, artists registered in front of city hall and returned within 2½ hours, giving time to set up and return.

Two artists were very lucky, Caroline Jarrold the Commodore of Norfolk Punt Club, who have their club house on a pontoon in the middle of Barton Broad, took them by boat to the clubhouse for the day to paint the sailing boats from a unique perspective.

On sunday Evening we watched Melanie Cambridge as she demonstrated her own oil painting range.

So far the festival had been carried by the artists taking part, I had watched in disbelief as friendships were made and consolidated. Many of those taking part had only conversed online and had never visted Norfolk before, the work being produced was of an amazingly high standard. Each artist could choose three pieces plus their Quick Draw piece to go into the final exhibition at The Boathouse on Ormesby Broad on the Monday evening but they had to be in by noon.

Running on adrenalin all weekend, I was so excited about the exhibition and thanks to one of the artists Jenny Shaw-Browne from Cornwall I did the running around and she hung the paintings, the result was amazing.

27 of 76 paintings were sold the minimum price was £50 the most expensive £1250.

£430 was raised for Nelson’s Journey Norfolk Childrens Charity

The participating artists in 2014 have given me no choice but to run A Brush with the Broads in 2015 as they had rebooked their accommodation at Clippesby Hall before they left.

A Brush with the Broads 2015

  24-28 September

Clippesby Hall  Base for  accommodation and workshops

The Boathouse on Ormesby Broad  finale Exhibition Monday 28 September from 6.30pm

Quick Draw:

Marine Parade Great Yarmouth Sunday 27 September 12-2pm with an exhibition of work in a marquee at Sea Life Centre Gardens from 2.30- 4pm


2014 participating artists can register up to 31 December 2014 at 2014 price + a friend

New Artists can register from 1 January 2015 via http://www.abrushwiththebroads.co.uk

Day Tickets and Workshop Only tickets will be available from April 2015

Sponsors wanted for artists workshops, marquee and exhibition panels please email linda(at)broadskiesgallery.co.uk


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