Monday 15 July 2013

Pintar Rapido! How to be creative in one day

Exhibition Road
Early Saturday afternoon I was walking down High Street Kensington towards Royal Albert Hall when I saw a man standing at the canvas and painting the crossroads of Kensington High Street and Kensington Church Street. While other people were in the middle of Saturday shopping spree and relaxing in sunshine, he was standing near shop window and capturing the still moment of the day. Some people stopped to see what was he painting but most of them just passed leaving him sank in the art.
I thought “Here is he! I’ve got first of them” as I knew that artist was there taking part in “Pintar Rapido” (Spanish: Paint Quickly), an artistic event during which artists have one day (exactly around 9 hours) to paint a picture which would capture the spirit of a town in which they are. In case of London painters were trying to get the spirit on the streets of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the day after showing their works and putting them on sale in Old Chelsea Town Hall at King’s Road.
As I walked through the streets of the borough I met more artists along busy Exhibition Road, in the hidden Draycott Place, in the heat of sunshine and the sounds of a market at the Duke of York Square and in the cul de sacs of King’s Road. Altogether I met about a dozen of them but in total they were around 300 scattered on the area of approx. 12 km2 trying to see London from different perspectives.
Jill Voysey I met at the Exhibition Road. She was there assisted by her sister and painting west side of Victoria & Albert Museum together with neighbouring buildings as well as the exit from South Kensington Tube station. She chose that place, because she wanted to capture buildings as well as blue, red and white sign of tube station and a red bus which would be passing from time to time. She took part in Pintar Rapido before in another city and gave a chance to London one, because this is where her sister lives. She found it challenging to paint within a day. “Usually I would paint for 4-5 hours and leave work for awhile to spot mistakes and then come back to make it better. With limited time I cannot do it” – said the painter. This is why she prepared beforehand. Next to her painting stand I noticed a photo of a place she was painting with lines to help her capture the right perspective and size of buildings.  
Elaine Moore at work...

For ElaineMoore whom I came across at the Duke of York Square, painting within a day wasn’t easy either. “The light is changing all day, market is a very busy place and I don’t even know what time they are closing, so I hope I have enough time to finish” – said Elaine. It was her first time in Pintar Rapido but she seemed very enthusiastic and enjoyed being part of the event. She engaged me in to a quick chat as she felt my breath on her back while I was observing her work.  
... and part of the view she was capturing

Both ladies chose spots showing different views of London – one in architectural and symbolic way and the other through people, business and market atmosphere. Thinking that there were around 300 people in different spots Sunday exhibition must have been really diverse view of the town. It was wonderful to see all of the artists at work – some more concentrated, some happy to talk to the public and glad to have a short break in their painting marathon. For people seeing artists on the streets it was probably unusual chance to encounter painters and art from such a close distance. Such events as Pintar Rapido brings art to the streets, painters to their public, creativity to the middle of the city and wakes inspiration and motivation in people. I am wondering how it would be if I was given a chance to write reportage about the city within a day or maybe prepare a comic book or something else. Maybe this is an idea.


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