When I saw the colours and shapes of Calder’s Double Gong for this weeks Kick About on Red’s Kingdom, I was reminded of the seventies, and I have always been in love with mid-century architecture, so itching to do some environment art, I drew a house surrounded by Calder’s colours and shapes.”
This weeks kick about over on Red’s Kingdom is the illustration “The Night Before Christmas” by Arthur Rachham. I found the illustration by Arthur Rachham horrifying, in the best way. To me his art always veers on that polarising view of charming but in an uncanny not quite right way. Something about the blackness of the line work, particularly with the scratchy shadows and the way the sickly stained walls progressively get more bruised towards the top makes me think that old Saint Nick isn’t as jolly as it’s told and could be hiding in those shadows, ready to unhinge his bearded jaw and gobble up those kids as they run right up to him. So keeping in theme to that here’s a couple illustrations.
Another set of collaged symbols, shapes and colours inspired by Fernand Léger’s large scale oil painting entitled – La Ville (1919). What I love above Léger’s piece is the flatness of it and how all consuming it feels – nothing in particular sticks out but the whole composition is taken in as a whole and something I have tried to mimic with my own constructions. I was contemplating given a whirl of pushing things further by bringing this crop of creations into the 3D world and extruding elements out, but I think that would work against it – after trying some tests and realising that those extrusions would only be seen from angles other than straight on I wasn’t feeling it and I’ve decided to leave it be.
Fernand Léger’s mammoth oil painting entitled – La Ville (1919) is this weeks kick about prompt over on Red’s Kingdom where artists of all stripes have created something in response. After serving in World War 1 Leger came away recollecting upon how conflict forced a new world view of it’s surroundings. Those surroundings in city’s urbanisation characterised by interchanging materials and structures – like Legos that will never fit. I decided to mimic the feeling of constant change. Gritty photos taken from my current stomping ground in and around London are meshed together in a smorgasbord of shapes colours and texture, to highlight the building up and tearing down of the fast paced concrete jungle. I found it a very meditative experience to wander around London, scout out the best shapes, materials and texture and take photos of those blasé everyday things that would otherwise go amiss, afterwards chopping and splicing them up in photoshop and like a postmodern architect try to make something of them again.
A few further experiments in shape and colour for this Henri matisse inspired Kick about. I could have kept going with this prompt as I never tired of hastily drawing out those swirly shapes and moving and placing them in areas to brighten up the canvas – a very therapeutic practice indeed!
With this weeks kick about prompt being the cut outs of Henri Matisse I wanted to produce something quickly – full of shapes and colour. This felt very much like a meditative practice in which I lost myself in the process of creating such colourful squidgy shapes. In Photoshop the lasso tool in particular was the main modus operandi used to create the shapes which were then simply filled with colour using the paint bucket tool. Initially I made a bunch of shapes that resembled plant forms or algae as well as blocks of shapes that could be used behind the plant forms, then having a plethora of shapes at my disposal I could move, invent and create the grander picture of them all as one. I wanted to keep things as practical as possible and revert from any overly cerebral thoughts so a lot of these designs took a life of their own and I throughly enjoyed letting them be.
This weeks kick about over on Reds Kingdom revolves around Fundus Photography. When looking up images of fundus photography I was reminded of Olafur Eliasson and his otherworldly The Weather Project, but also the people that got to experience such an event. With all this in mind I have been yearning to do some digital painting as it has felt like yonks ago since I have held my wacom pen and got lost in some jazz music while painting away. I envisioned a blazing sun from a planet where the sun fills the air in a misty orange hue – a sprawling metropolis materialised with vivacious characters and stories between them, feeling so close but far away. It was a thoroughly enjoyable prompt to flex those digital painting muscles again.
With the recent first birthday of the fortnightly Kick About over on Reds Kingdom I noticed I have a few prompts that haven’t been uploaded here on Gentle Giant, so I will be resolving that in the coming weeks. This prompt being of Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus (1950) being one of them and one of my favourite responses thus far.
“I knew exactly what I was going to create when I seen the new prompt for this weeks kick about, It was the night before my birthday and I was sitting out in the tiny garden in my previous London apartment, I was drinking red wine and smoking a cigarette and frankly, was feeling rather shit. Not sure if it was the birthday blues or if was a amalgamation of other things but my neighbours behind my house were having a party; they recently installed some outside lighting which surrounded their roomy garden in a blazing warm hue that lit up the brick of their apartment like a beacon in the night.
In my garden there is a full length mirror that is perched against a rickety garden shed that is full of art supplies and spiders. The light from the neighbours garden was reflecting brilliantly against the mirror – it looked otherworldly placed against the black shed and darkness of my garden, like the light didn’t belong in the darkness. I thought to myself “I wish that that was a fucking portal so I could step through, leave this place and see some happy faces”. The neighbours next door continued to dance and sing into the night.”
Welcome to this first anniversary edition of The Kick-About, a fortnightly blog-based creative challenge in which artists of all stripes come together to present work in response to a given prompt. I asked contributors to choose a favourite work of their own from the previous twenty-five editions so I could celebrate them all together here.The Kick-About #26 ‘52.1429’ — Red’s Kingdom
A trip down memory lane with this weeks Kick About showing the favourite creations from artists thus far!
I have been itching to do some traditional art for a change to my usual digital Art, spurred from painting and drawing with my nieces and nephew during the Christmas break. Here is some initial paintings using gouache, The first two being concept art pieces from the Game Firewatch which I haven’t played and don’t really play games anymore, but loving the colourful art from this game I gave it a bash. The last image being a quick one of birch trees before I washed away the drying leftover paint. I choose Gouache as the medium because I like that its similar to watercolour but much more pigmented and having never used it before it is a learning curve in which I am really enjoying the process, with landscapes always being my favourite subjects to paint.
I think it is good to switch things up and try new approaches and although I find it harder with traditional art to simply let go and loosing up, I think with practice I will get to a point where things are hinted at and more gestural with blocky colours and suggestive brush strokes, The last image of the birch trees was very enjoyable because it was in the wee hours of the morning, I was tired and just wanted to get rid of the paint so it was very quick and gestural. Eventually I would like to make prints and use the many inspiring photos I took as reference while back in Ireland and here’s hoping I will make prints of those photo’s too! I think we live in a time for creatives where you might need to get thrifty and monetise your hobbies to help make ends meet, So we’ll see…