Have you looked out from a Manchester tram to see a figure before an easel, stooped under an umbrella, painting furiously in the driving rain? Chances are you’ve seen one of The Northern Boys — the outdoor painting group — nine of the North’s finest plein air painters, dedicated professionals and friends.

For two weeks from April 6, the inaugural group exhibition of The Northern Boys will be on display at Contemporary Six, a leading independent art gallery in Manchester city centre. Each of the nine artists will contribute a number of plein air paintings to the collection, from Manchester, Venice, London and more. 

Though each member has his own style, the group are united in their love for painting outdoors, ‘en plein air’. This process, requiring fortitude against the Great British weather and an inquisitive public, lends an unmistakable freshness and energy to the paintings. Membership of this group incorporates four gallery artists: Rob Pointon, Adam Ralston, Norman Long, and Michael Ashcroft, along with Ian Layton, Chris Slater, Steven Smith, Andrew Farmer, and David Allen.