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Competition gives artists a chance to follow in the footsteps of Munnings and Constable around North Essex

07 Aug Competition gives artists a chance to follow in the footsteps of Munnings and Constable around North Essex

Whether you’re a professional watercolourist or an enthusiastic dabbler in oils, The Munnings Art Museum is inviting artists of all persuasions to enter its second Plein Air Painting Competition, this September (21st and 22nd).

The inaugural competition took place in 2017 and was a huge success, attracting over forty participants. Painters of all ages and abilities retraced the footsteps of Sir Alfred Munnings PRA and John Constable RA to explore and capture the bucolic countryside around Dedham and the iconic views across the river Stour.

The 2018 Painting Competition is again inspired by Sir Alfred’s celebrated riverscape paintings – as can still be seen in the ongoing exhibition, Munnings and the River (until 31st October 2018) – and invites the contestants to capture the ‘Spirit of the Stour.’

The Munnings Art Museum’s Director, Jenny Hand, explains: “Taking Munnings’s own passion for capturing the beauty of English rivers and their surrounding countryside, the competition is open to painters of all disciplines. Rivers literally flowed through his life. Sir Alfred was born in a water mill at Mendham, Suffolk on the banks of the river Waveney. He bought Castle House because of its proximity the Stour and when painting commissions took him away from Dedham, he would seek out the nearby rivers and streams, j ust so he could enjoy their quiet, calm majesty at the end of a day’s work.”

She adds: “The second ‘Plein Air’ painting competition is intended to be both a tribute to Sir Alfred’s legacy as a great British artist and pay homage to the same landscape that so inspired him. The works entered will also be available to buy once the competition has finished, allowing visitors to take home a unique piece of art and a unique memento of the Dedham Vale.”

A prize of £250 awaits the overall winner, with a further £100 available for the best submission in the Amateur category.

The competition gets underway on Friday 21st September, with entrants given a total of five hours to create their work, with the same timetable running the following day (Saturday 22nd).

Sunday 23rd sees each and every painting hung in a specially-created marquee exhibition space at Castle House from 9:30am, when judging also commences – with specialist plein air painter James Colman making the final decisions. The exhibition opens to the public at 1pm, before the prize winners are announced an hour later.

A selection of the pictures from the competition will exhibited for sale in the museum’s garden café until Sunday 28th October.

For more information about the 2018 Plein Air Painting Competition and to enter, click on