My New Love Affair with Norfolk…

Really Mum?? ©L.Cirenza

My family went to the Norfolk Coast in 1999 to celebrate American Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why or how we ever chose this in November, but we did. If you’re looking for bucolic beach strolls don’t go to Norfolk at the end of November. I have memories of my kids in ski pants, wellies, and snow jackets, jumping the waves, with horizontal rain drenching us inside and out. Fun? Yes. Sustainable activities for us comfort seeking types? No.​

Novermber in Norfolk- 12" x 10" oil on board. ©L.Cirenza

November in Norfolk- 12"x10" Oil on Board​ ©L.Cirenza

​​I discovered The Norfolk School of Painting (NSP) about ten years later, while looking for a tutor that could teach me traditional Old Master’s painting techniques. Martin Kinnear is a whiz! He’s devoted himself to understanding these techniques and translated them into a fantastic series of courses that have his school sold out a year in advance.

iPad Rembrandt study to prepare for NSP Masterclass. ©L.Cirenza

Rembrandt Oil Study for NSP course-- 20"x24" Oil on board. ©L.Cirenza

I've been going back ever since, so I can learn the rules I love to break in my contemporary works. I've learned secrets on mediums, glazing, maximising light, and composition that all uniquely inform my more contemporary work.

It is here that I have also fallen in love with the Norfolk Coastal Path, the gorgeous flat beaches (NOT in November, but maybe even then), the hardy sincerity of the locals, the food, and the incredible skies.

Great Norfolk food, beaches, pathways, and skies!

Great Norfolk food, beaches, pathways, and skies!

If you go, I’ve had great experiences letting through Norfolk Hideaways. To stay, my favourite sea town is Burnham Overy Staithe, but I also love staying at the Quay in Wells Next the Sea. Burnham Market is a charming market town with easy access to the coast. Make sure to get some Lobster Thermidor at the Wells Crab House Cafe, and save room for their pavlova, it’s to die for. Then plan to walk it all off on the Norfolk Coastal Path. While you’re there be sure to check out my work in the Quayside Gallery and say hi to Jim the owner for me, he’s put together a really fun collection of works.