On Friday 9 September the museum held a day long outdoor event, ‘Malá slavnost lesa a dřeva‘, to accompany their current special exhibition about forests. This was a family-oriented event held in the garden behind the museum with daytime activities for children, a puppet show and in the evening an open air concert by Czech musicians Konvrzek & Kalivoda.Above – it was a beautiful cloudless evening and the concert began before it was properly dark. The combination of the dark brick of the museum wall, bright outdoor lighting of the path leading to the cafe bar and the illumination of the stage made for extremely difficult conditions for Tagtool drawing! None the less, people seemed to enjoy the ghostly images accompanying the music and I did several drawings both during and after the concert.I did the demonstration drawing below during the interval to show how the Tagtool worked, for some people who were interested in it and had not seen it before.Because of the ambient light it was not possible to use any transparency in my drawings and make only big bold images. Drawing in black and white was really the best option, and although I did try to use some colour, the dark brick made everything look very dull.I had not been able to draw the kind of landscape and forest backgrounds that I had hoped to for this event, but I did enjoy the music – and the audience seemed happy with the performance too!
On 21 August we drove from Šumava to Plzeň where Vložte kočku were playing at the street music festival. The stage had a white tarpaulin roof and a light grey fine mesh rear ‘wall’ through which the contours of the building behind were dimly visible. I was able to draw over the whole stage and the roof – two different surfaces which produced some interesting effects, a lot of distortion in the drawing on the roof and slightly out of focus double images behind the band. I began by using black and white with quite a lot of transparency as opaque colours looked quite different on the two surfaces, the roof being much brighter.Dima took some photos from the side of the stage where the effect of the mesh background on the Tagtool drawing can be seen clearly….…and in this ‘behind the scenes shot’ the shadows of the musicians and their instruments produced a ghostly, almost surreal effect. Dima took a lot of photos at the concert – what follows is just a small selection.Here is a close-up shot to end this post. I have many more photos and also some pieces of video which I’ll try to post later – when I have some ‘free’ time!
On Saturday 20 August I was drawing to accompany Vložte kočku at the ‘koncert pro šumavskou divočinu‘, a festival to promote awareness and conservation of the forests in the Šumava region. The event was held at the pension, U Parádů, in a beautiful valley near the town of Prachatice. The performance took place in the barn outside the main house and although the wall behind the band was dark wood and not very large, there was plenty of space for me to do improvised drawings above the heads of the musicians.The barn was so packed with people that part of the audience had to stand outside as well inside and at times it was difficult for me to see what I was drawing over the heads of the crowd. Dima managed to take a few photos for me with his mobile phone – here’s a selection.It’s some time since I did Tagtool drawing for Vložte kočku and I really enjoyed this concert. The music was great and the audience very enthusiastic, so when you add to this the beautiful location – it was the recipe for a perfect evening!
The two images above are from the little test session that I did (using our projector mounted sideways) from the balcony of the Lumitrix office in Prague and as these photos show there is a lot of ambient light both fixed and from passing cars and trams. The balcony was very small and one overhead tram light was directly in my line of sight so there was a part of the wall where I couldn’t see what I was drawing. But despite these limitations, this was a great location for drawing and I enjoyed just playing and trying out different out different images.
The Lumitrix company produce high quality plug’n’play all weather projectors designed for permanent outdoor projections and the idea was to use this wall opposite their offices as an outdoor ‘on the street’ gallery to showcase the work of different artists. Having done this test session with our projector (on a nice dry evening of course!) I prepared a session in our studio which Dima then rendered so that it could be projected as a continuous loop to play all evening using the all weather Lumitrix projection equipment.It was very interesting for me to stand on the street and ‘watch myself drawing’. Below are a few of Dima’s photos.For this continuous projection Dima speeded up my drawing, which worked quite well, but having seen the result I think I would like to do another session and get Dima to make my drawing develop a little more slowly and have a pause between each ‘completed’ drawing in the sequence…but as this photo below shows, Kuba (our boss at Lunchmeat) thought the session was OK!
…a return visit for us to this festival at Valeč, near Karlovy Vary. This year Mutanti were playing in the tent at C Stage and there was a very large and enthusiastic audience for their concert. The stage lighting was turned off for Mutanti’s performance and our projector was able to cover the whole width of the roof of the tent above the stage – but although I was standing on a box I could only just see the heads of the musicians above the audience who were standing in front of me, packed tightly inside the tent.Most of Mutanti’s music now is very familiar to me which made it not quite so difficult to make quick changes of mood between their songs, many of which are quite short. Below is my accompaniment to the song ‘Chernobyl’ – which was helped along by the enthusiastic hand waving of the audience making shadows as I was drawing to ‘catch’ the mutant animals…great fun!But as well as old favourites, they also played some new material – and below is my drawing for the two songs, ‘Julie’ and ‘Si tu navic’After this there was a complete change of scene for another audience favourite, the song, ‘Discotheque’……which was followed by ‘Uncle Honza’ with the little girl on the swing.The last photo for this post shows the beginnings of my drawing for the song about a housing estate……but at this point the battery in Dima’s camera gave out -so I have no more photos! This was really sad because I did quite a bit more drawing and at the ‘official’ end of the concert the audience invaded the stage, dancing and clapping and demanding encores. Dima put away his camera and took up the gamepad and we did some quick fire animations. There was a great party atmosphere and Mutanti were in top form – so it was very, very late before we were able to pack up the Tagtool and head for home!
Mutanti‘s concert on Monday night was held in the (confusingly named!) venue, PRAHA / Fórum pro architekturu a média, which was small but very well designed and had a nice intimate atmosphere. There was no raised stage but with the ceiling spotlights turned off I was able to use my Tagtool drawing to provide lighting for Jirka and Honza as well as covering the whole of the wall behind them.Their programme contained most of the songs that they performed in June at at the Music Club Střelnice in Klatovy, but in a different order – on this occasion the song, ‘Chernobyl’ (above) was followed by ‘Uncle Honza’, the song about a girl on a swing.
As most of Mutanti’s songs are both fast paced and quite short (about 3 minutes), managing the transitions between them is quite challenging. Where it was possible I tried to use some of the drawing for one song as a background for the next, either by partial fading out or drawing over it, to avoid having too many abrupt ‘pauses’ in the visuals.After this urban landscape I had to begin a completely new drawing for Mutanti’s next (hip hop) song, ‘Primitive Instincts’… …but this provided a suitable background (and gave me a full 10 minutes) to develop this drawing of the ‘big black guy’, who was the subject of the longer song, ‘Discotheque’ which followed.
After another fade to black, a complete change of atmosphere and some more abstract drawing to accompany the next two songs…
…’Andele’ (above) and then something dark and slightly mysterious for ‘Winnie the Pooh’.Mutanti ended their concert with a song about a ‘Lonely Bambi’ – cue another change of mood……and then it was time for a well deserved beer before packing up the equipment and heading for home!
On Saturday night we were at the beautiful lakeside at Svitavy, drawing to accompany the performance by the Czech group, Prago Union. They were playing on the main stage at the festival which meant that I was able to use the 10000 lumen Panasonic projector mounted in the sound tent – which was very, very nice! Dima set up his tripod and camera alongside the projector to shoot photos at 5 second intervals in order to make a stop frame video of the performance so I have had a huge number of photos to sort through. I made an album which I have posted on Facebook, but I’ve chosen a few for this post.
There was a big and very enthusiastic audience – lots of people waving their hands in front of the projector beam, even having a ‘piggy-back’ to get a better view, which produced some interesting shadows on my drawing. But even though I was standing on a box it wasn’t always easy for me to see the whole of the stage so sometimes I had to rely on my little monitor to know where to continue to draw.For the music of this Czech hip-hop band I chose to draw mostly shadowy figures in vaguely urban environments – which is one of my favourite subjects for drawing….
…and then I used this as a background for some large portrait heads.
Prago Union’s set was 90 minutes long, which is quite a long time to do continuous performance drawing so I made several different drawings during the set, each of which I developed over more than one song before fading out and starting again.
The 1000 lumen projector easily cut through the stage lighting and the different coloured beams produced some dramatic effects which gave added interest to the drawing…
…as well as illuminating the musicians and the audience.
I hope to post some video later but to end this post here are three photos from my last drawing sequence.