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River of Dreams – Prague

This charity fundraising event held by Letní dům on Thursday 23 November took place at the same riverside location as last year.1-IMG-0310 I began with a drawing including the charity logo to advertise the event and guide people to the location where they could buy lanterns to float on the river – the money raised from this being used to help make the children’s dreams at Christmastime come true. 2-IMG-0314After a speech by the mayor, people floated their lanterns on the river. The programme for the event followed the same pattern as last year with a puppet show for the children followed by a jazz band and a spectacular fireshow to end the evening. This year there were outdoor heaters beside the refreshment stall and the event started earlier in the evening – but fortunately the weather was not so cold. A big audience had gathered and all the lanterns were sold very quickly – which was great! Then I began to draw a romantic landscape with a castle but before I could get it finished the generator supplied by the organisers stopped working and we were all plunged into darkness. I think it must have been a power overload as the lights started working again in a couple of minutes – but of course my drawing was gone! So I decided to wait until the jazz band started to play to begin the drawing below….3-IMG-0322…and fortunately this time I managed to take a photo before the power failed again (not very good for the projector bulb!). Once power was restored I made the two quick drawings below, then AV Media, who supplied the beautiful big projector for the event, switched it off and it was the fireshow that illuminated the grand finale of the evening.4-IMG-0327(1)5-IMG-0341

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Tagtool drawing at Korzo Národní 2017

prague-topic-house-resize~topic-house-prague-art-nouveauI was invited to do a live Tagtool performance, drawing on the facade of this beautiful art nouveau building on Národní třída in Prague as part of the 17 November celebration, ‘Díky, že můžem!’, the big festival and march to remember the events of  that day in Prague in 1989. The subject matter for my drawing, which was to be completed in 40 minutes, was to show the students demonstrating with a background in the colours of the Czech flag.  With its many windows and ornate decoration this drawing presented a real challenge for me.1-P1000576The projector supplied by the organisers of the festival was a Titan Super Quad 20000 lumen –  it was a Titan indeed, and super bright – really great! The projection area covered the central part of the facade from the second floor to the roof.  I began my drawing with some small background figures above the second floor balcony while the group Plusminusnula played on the stage which had been erected on the street below.2-P1000580I continued to add more figures during the short commemorative address to the huge audience that completely filled the whole roadway….  4-P1000584 …and finally when the guitarist  Tomas J Holy appeared at the first floor window and began to play I started to add some larger figures in the foreground.5-P1000591Because it was not possible to make a drawing that avoided all the windows and ornate decoration on the building, arranging the composition so that the figures would stand out from the background presented a real challenge. I tried to keep the faces and raised hands of the demonstrators clear of the decoration and kept to a fairly simple illustrative approach in order to produce a complete picture within the very short time limit of 40 minutes before Tomas J Holy finished playing and the march moved on.7-P1000619I must end this post with a very big ‘thank you’ to both the organisers and the crew who provided our technical support – everything was prepared for us exactly according to plan, which for such a big public event is no mean feat!

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BYOB Prague 2017

Here is the video that Dima made featuring the work we presented at the Chemistry Gallery on 13 October.


We had a great time at this event and in the video you will see that The New Tagtool app, as well as producing really smooth animation, enables the capture of drawings and photos, then storing them to use later – which is a great new feature for all Tagtool users! For the BYOB event, the images of bugs and flowers Dima prepared at home.  During the evening he took some video of the gallery and my ‘old-school’ drawing, and to make his  animated collage he took some photos of my work and our friend Ade, adding them to his deck of images, then drawing over and animating them. Result – this stunning kaleidoscope!

The music Dima chose for this video is Öngyilkos Vasárnap by Venetian Snares.

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Tagtools old and new!

Inspired by the recent visit of Fernando Sica and Joseph Dorninger and their demonstrations of the great new features of the New Tagtool iPad app, we decided to take two projectors and our new iPad as well as my ‘old-school’ Tagtool to the BYOB event that was held at the Chemistry Gallery in Prague on Friday 13 October.

The photo above shows Dima sitting behind me using the iPad to make an animation on one wall of the gallery while I am standing at my ‘old-school’ Tagtool drawing on the upper part of the wall opposite. Using the new app, Dima had imported lots of photos of colourful bugs and beetles so I started to draw an exotic flower garden and hide some drawn creepy-crawlies among the foliage to complement his animation. Below – a still of Dima’s work. 1-22520192_396798610734528_2317502927396146320_o…and here are a couple of photos of my ‘flowers and bugs’ drawing.1-22553386_396667930747596_6312875908043214258_o2-22496394_396799154067807_1874445926456963025_oThe event began at 8 pm and finished at 2 am – so this was a very long night of drawing for me. I did five different drawings during the course of the evening and in between I had an opportunity to go round, socialise and view other people’s work, which was nice. There were a lot of different installations and videos to watch as well as DJs and VJs playing all night – providing a lively accompaniment for my drawing as well as a great party atmosphere for the visitors! Below is my next drawing. 5-AB1F2FE8-6974-4C99-BF08-3848AFFECD83 Although a lot of people who came to the event were familiar with Tagtool, for some visitors it was the first time they had seen the ‘old-school’ machine. I made the image below to show a range of different drawing techniques – using the transparency and fading sliders, as well as opaque colour.7-1E1499C9-CCF8-4428-8AFD-BEE50A64A7FF6-22528793_396799117401144_657733182469835560_o But Dima judged these big heads as being a bit too depressing for this BYOB celebration party so I decided to start a new drawing and return to his flowers and bugs theme…3-22538573_484875638549971_8970154573525046828_o…but this time I hid a black rat in the leaves as well, just for fun!4-79EA497F-C9A1-4901-9EFA-B10BDD139B64 I ended the evening by drawing an urban landscape – which gave another opportunity to demonstrate the range of mark-making that is possible with the ‘old-school’ Tagtool…8-A7872396-5D0A-4886-88CF-2D1A56050144…while Dima showed some of the animation moves with the Tagtool iPad app to visitors.1-22555417_396798700734519_4739942496618792374_oWe had a lot of fun at this most enjoyable event – and it was a great location for drawing too! Dima took lots of video of our work during the course of the evening and I will put this in a separate posting tomorrow.

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Jam session at Stanice Bubny

On 3 October after we attended the opening of the sculpture exhibition at Bubny train station in Prague, Dima set up the projector and two iPads in the ticket hall.22254849_1605541046177986_7509642233885229729_o(1)This photo by Fernando Sica shows the final image from our  muptiplayer session. It was great to have this opportunity to jam with Tagtool maestro Fernando Sica and Tagtool co-author Joseph Dorninger and I learned a lot from them about how to use the new features of this latest version of the iPad Tagtool.  In addition to all the nice animation moves, it’s great to be able to save photographic and drawn content, then import it during a session –  and this is something I will definitely think of using in the future!

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At Hluboká na Vltavou

On Friday 15 September at the Baroque Zamek Ohrada (below)  we did a Tagtool drawing performance as part of the events marking the 150 year anniversary of the establishment of the hunting museum in the castle.1-IMG_0154-1Because the current special exhibition at the museum is about forest management and shows the traditional methods of transportation of timber along the Vltava river I decided to  represent this theme in my drawing. The many windows, dark paintwork and arched portico presented quite a challenge for drawing, so we did some tests the week before using our own projector. As the photo below shows, it was clear immediately that 6000 lumens would not be powerful enough…1-IMG_20170910_213907… but for the event itself we were able to hire an 11000 lumens projector from Lunchmeat, which made all the difference. I began with this shadowy landscape…1-P1080689…being careful to position the river so that it covered the balcony over the entrance to the building. Then I added the trees and drew the log raft over the entrance portico. 3-P1080705Then when I started to add the three figures (below) I was able to draw them on the sections of flat wall between the windows above the balcony, so that the spectators who did not have a direct view of my drawing would see them without a lot of distortion.4-P10807116-P1080747I will end this post with a big thank you to Lunchmeat for the use of their lovely, but enormous and heavy, Epson projector – which was so big that we had to position it on the roof of our van behind my Tagtool workstation! Even when I started to fade my drawing to end the projection, instead of becoming ghostly shadows, the figures remained brilliant to the very last minute of the performance.7-P1080750

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Festival in Písek

On Saturday 9 September we were at the festival Cool v Plote which features solo performers both from the Czech Republic and abroad. I was drawing to accompany German drummer and percussionist, Christian Prommer who was performing in the courtyard of the Sladovna, the former town brewery which has now been beautifully converted into an exhibition and events venue. 20170910_102702As can be seen in the photo above, this was a great venue for an outdoor drawing performance but unfortunately the day was dull and cloudy and the weather forecast was not good. For the evening performances there was a covered stage adjacent to the sladovna building, the fountain was turned off and the organisers had erected a covered housing for the projector (in the photo below) – but there was not enough space under the gazebo to completely cover both the sound equipment and my Tagtool. 2-IMG_20170909_222342_HDRThese photos are from Dima’s phone (hence the rather grainy images). Because of the bad weather forecast he didn’t set up the camera – which proved to be a wise decision, as  half way through the performance it began to rain quite hard. This was really sad as the music was great and people were dancing in front of the stage.3-IMG_20170909_222416 When the rain started most of the audience took cover under the big umbrellas outside the bar but some brave souls did remain standing in the rain or sitting on the benches in front of the stage. I began by drawing this urban scene incorporating some of the real windows of the sladovna building into the drawing of the houses.1-IMG_20170909_222347 I continued to draw but my Wacom tablet began to get quite wet and I was concerned that the rain would get inside and damage the computer so I had to put the top on the box and leave the unfinished image before the end of the performance.4-IMG_20170909_223923.jpg The photo below shows the final drawing before the rain put paid to my work!5-IMG_20170909_230321Fortunately when it was time to pack up all the equipment the rain had nearly stopped. However, all our cables were soaking wet so the organisers helpfully arranged for us to layout everything in a room of the sladovna and I’m glad to say that when we collected our equipment the next morning everything was dry and OK.

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