Museum Night in Prague

On 13 June from 7.00 p.m. to 1.00 a.m. many of the galleries and cultural institutions in Prague had free entry and special events for children and adults.The photo above shows the drawing I made to announce the workshop at the Veletržní palác organised by the National Gallery Education Department. Young visitors were invited to make drawings inspired by the current special exhibition, ‘Kokoschka and Prague’. At one end of the hall there was an artist demonstrating drawing in watercolours while at the other end I had this wonderful big wall (all to myself!) for my Tagtool drawing. For the visitors there were easels, paper, watercolours and a variety of drawing materials, Dima set up our two Tagtool minis for people to try and dotted about the space there were models posing.Some of the models were sitting for portrait drawing but Hana Dokalova, who was organising the workshop, suggested that I should draw the model who was doing short poses in the centre of the room. I wasn’t quite sure how this would work as a Tagtool drawing and it took me a while to decide what to do….…so I started off fairly tentatively…… then drew into the silhouettes to make the image a bit more coherent.This was a wonderful place to draw! And despite the amount of light both from the street outside and from the galleries above, our new Epson projector gave this good bright wide angle floor to ceiling image. (But unfortunately it wasn’t easy to take photographs of such a large drawing with my little camera).As well as this great location I had such a good model to draw…
And here is the final image…I’ll end this post with a collage of Dima’s photos of children drawing at the two Tagtool mini workstations. As usual, the Tagtool proved to be very popular!

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Tagtool in Sweden – Part 3

I’ve only now found the time to make a selection of photos of the Tagtool drawings I did on 22 May at Barbacka for Kristianstad’s Kulturnatten! This was a long session, making a number of different drawings, beginning at 10.30 in the evening and ending at 1 am and, although it was quite cold, fortunately it didn’t rain (like on our last visit!) But just in case, we put up our gazebo and also had a tarpaulin handy to put over the projector (which was on the roof).My Tagtool was in the courtyard and I was drawing onto the building overlooking Barbacka – quite a long projection distance. This building presented some quite difficult drawing problems, as the brickwork was dark red and there were lots of windows. However, by prior arrangement, the lighting on the building and street lamp outside had been turned off (which helped a lot) and our big Epson projector gave good clear images, even before it was completely dark. As the photos above show, in the courtyard there was a very festive atmosphere with lots of coloured lanterns which were made by students in the Barbacka workshop.
Throughout the Kulturnatten event different groups of musicians were playing in the courtyard. The accompaniment to my first sequence of drawings was a solo improvisation by Ali Sabah, a master oud player from Malmo – his superb musicianship was a real joy for me! (hear him play on this YouTube video)
Earlier in the week, Dima and Torjus Wrangell, Director of Barbacka, had made a selection of clips of films from the archives of Kristianstad Museum for me to ‘draw over’ as part of the evening’s performance. This is something I haven’t done for some time and it was great to be able to use such interesting images from the 1930’s of people skating, processions, public meetings and and other local events.
After the archive films of skaters and city dignitaries, some figurative drawing….
…and also this landscape….…then another combination of film with a drawn image…….followed by some more ‘pure’ Tagtool drawing.I ended the evening’s drawing by using two very different pieces of film footage – below, leaving only a small piece of film visible ‘behind’ the drawing….…then Dima projected this rather strange footage (from a trade fair I think, showing contemporary furniture in a kind of ‘dolls’ house’ setting). To this, I added the little silhouettes of figures in white, ‘drawing through’ the film….
…leaving the little figures dancing over the facade to end my evening’s drawing.1 am – time for me to announce the late-night event of Barbacka’s Kulturnatten, and to relax and enjoy a performance by techno-duo J-Nilz and DJ Gazoline!

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Tagtool in Sweden – Part 2

Our visit to Sweden ended with two days of Tagtooling at Barbacka, Kristianstad Municipality’s cultural centre for children and young people. On the Thursday afternoon and evening we held Tagtool workshops in one of the centre’s buildings which was normally used as a rehearsal room. This was an ideal venue (no windows!) to hold daytime ‘drop in’ Tagtool drawing sessions. One wall had a big projection screen and in addition we covered another wall with white fabric which meant that we could set up four Tagtool workstations.As the collage of photos above shows, everyone was totally focused and absorbed in drawing – and below, here is some of the work they produced.Playing with colour….and experimenting with fading….Using both solid and transparent colour….
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as well as having fun playing with shadows and ‘drawing round’ each other.


On Friday 22 May it was ‘Kulturnatten’ in Kristianstad, with the museum and gallery open in the evening, a concert in the main square and a number of other events. In addition to their evening programme, there were a number of special daytime events at Barbacka, including this Tagtool children’s workshop.This proved to be just as popular as the adults’ workshop the day before. I took lots of photos of the children’s drawings and the parents did too!
Before the evening events began I decided to do a bit of drawing myself……a frieze using the three Tegtools and projectors we set up for the workshop and below, a landscape with lots of transparent layers using my Tagtool All-in-one.

After I faded out this drawing it was time to move my Tagtool into Barbacka’s courtyard and mount our big projector on the roof in preparation for the evening drawing performance. (My test drawing heads this post – but I will leave the rest of the photos for Part 3 of our visit to Sweden.)

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Tagtool in Sweden – Part 1

Last week in Kristianstad our first drawing session was on the facade of the theatre in the Tivoli gardens. Although painted white, this beautiful art nouveau building, designed by Swedish architect Axel Anderberg in 1908, presented quite a drawing challenge because of all the big windows. Also, because of the latitude, it took quite a long time for the sky to get properly dark, but at least this meant that Dima had plenty of time to find the best position to set up the generator and our beautiful new Epson projector.Two more shots of the first drawing sequence, made while it was still quite light…
…but as it got darker the colours looked much brighter and more dramatic.


There was quite a lot of ambient light from the lamps in front of the building……covering them with black bin bags proved to be a quick and effective solution!
Once it got really dark, when seen from a distance with the illuminated fountain playing in the formal garden in front of the theatre, the facade really glowed…

This session was arranged in order to make publicity photos for the Tagtool workshops we were holding on Thursday and performance on Friday night at Barbacka cultural centre in Kristianstad as part of their museum night programme. I was very happy to have this nice opportunity to draw on such an interesting building.
Before packing up the Tagtool we turned the projector on to these trees and I drew some scary faces in the leaves – just for fun!

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At ANIFILM 06, Třeboň

Another gig with Vložte kočku, this time at Music Club Beseda in Třeboň, as part of the programme of events accompanying the International Festival of Animated Films. I took the photos below after the sound check to show the stage set up.Because of the shape of the ballroom where the concert was held, the Tagtool and projector had to be set up quite near to the stage. We used the wide angle lens on our new Epson projector so that I was able to draw over the whole stage as well as the white panels behind it – which meant that when the ceiling lights were turned off during the performance, in addition to Dima’s stage lighting of LEDs, strobe and bulbs, I could also use the Tagtool to illuminate the band. This proved to be a really good set up for drawing and, as usual, Dima took lots of photos for me.Below – two more photos from this drawing sequence…
Krystof’s electronics console really glowed in the darkness at the beginning of the next figurative drawing sequence……with the mood gradually lightening as I added these heads to the drawing.

Then I ended with a short fade to ‘remove’ the original landscape background.
Here is a much more colourful drawing sequence from later in the concert…
The wide angle lens projected my drawing over people dancing at the front of the stage so I decided to have some fun including them in the drawing too!There was a great atmosphere at the concert and even after an encore the large and enthusiastic audience were shouting for more….

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At JATKA78 in Prague

P1030533This newly opened multifunctional theatre, music club, gallery, training halls, rehearsal room and gym is the new venue for performances by the Prague-based contemporary circus company Cirk La Putyka, who are bringing back to vibrant life these former market halls. The photo below shows the hall adjacent to the theatre, which houses the bar, exhibition area and stage for music performances where we were providing the visuals to accompany Vložte kočku’s concert, which took place on Friday night after the circus performance in the theatre.P1030532Our beautiful new Epson 6000 full HD projector (which can be seen mounted on the tripod on the right in this photo) was ideal for the venue, giving bright, clear images and lovely luminous colour – and that was even before the house lights were dimmed for the performance!Although Dima was busy programming the stage lights during the performance he also found time to take some photos for the blog…

This programme was slightly different from the recent tour, featuring old material as well as music from the new VK album. I got a short break from drawing when Dima showed the video to accompany the song, ‘Kone’ but to accompany the rest of the concert I produced a changing sequence of drawings.

Before it was time for me to draw at Vložte kočku’s concert in the bar, instead of having to wait backstage for the circus performance to end, the director very kindly invited me to come and see the show – and I had a front seat view as well, which was really great! Do check out La Putyka’s website to see a list of their forthcoming performances – and try to see them if you can!
To end this post – one of the circus performers arrives for the after-party at the end of the concert…

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More Vložte Kočku tour photos

All the photos in this post are from the concert at Anděl in Plzeň on Thursday night. (I had drawn there for Vložte Kočku’s gig in January and it was nice to make this return visit. The club has a very good atmosphere and there is a little balcony giving an unobstructed view of the stage – ideal for Tagtooling!) The programme featured the same music as at the launch of VK’s Hedvika LP at Akropolis but this time Dima took lots of photos of my drawings.
Below – drawing to accompany the song, ‘Život’.

Above – the strobe bleaches the drawing and illuminates the band.
Below – two photos of the drawing showing the beginning of a slow fade to black.
And then for the song, ‘2 nebo 3′ another monochrome drawing…Because the projector beam covered a larger area than the screen, it was possible (as above) to use Tagtool drawing to selectively ‘light up’ the musicians.
Below – three photos of my next drawing – to accompany ‘Kroky II’…

….and three for ‘Ryby II’ – about fish swimming underneath the ice.


For the last group of songs in the programme I used full colour – first building an abstract background for the heads I would draw for, ‘Kostra’..
The transparency effect in the image below was made by starting with layers of opaque colour and then releasing and doing a partial fade of the drawing.Of course it is very easy to ‘lose’ more of the drawing than you want using this technique! (And it took me some practice to learn to control this effect.) But then it’s also possible to draw into the faded image – as in the detail below.3-P1080369The concert ended with ‘Hradec’ – a song that was obviously a favourite, so I ended with this piece of fun abstraction to match the mood of the audience.

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