This charity fundraising event held by Letní dům on Thursday 23 November took place at the same riverside location as last year. 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. After 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….…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.
I 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.The 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.I continued to add more figures during the short commemorative address to the huge audience that completely filled the whole roadway…. …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.Because 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.I 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!