This is the kind of magical thinking that the world needs now…
It’s tempting to draw the obvious conclusion from the recent choice of prompts offered up by the kick-about artists of late. Last time it was the exoplanet Trappist 1e, with its promise of new beginnings ‘off-world’, and an escape from this one, which seems smaller by the day and rather dimmed. This week it’s fairies – or more accurately, the need to go on believing in them, a yearning for something as-yet-unspoiled and magical. In these different ways, we seem preoccupied with escapism and realms more expansive than those afforded by our current circumstances.
Julien Van Wallendael
“I saw something about the Cottingley Fairies being the theme of the month on your blog, so I put this together last night as a response… I was mainly driven by the need to figure out something that could be done in one sitting! The Cottingley Fairies case exposes all at once…
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It’s Draw a Bird day!
An escape from your too-familiar four walls to the distant galaxies of imagination…
By way of a preface to this week’s Kick-About, some info courtesy of Judy Watson: “TRAPPIST-1e is one of the most potentially habitable exoplanets discovered so far. Your descendants may be living there one day. It is similar to the size of Earth and closely orbits a dwarf star named TRAPPIST-1 which is not as hot or bright as our sun. One side of TRAPPIST-1e faces permanently towards its host star, so the other side is in perpetual darkness. But apparently the best real estate would be the sliver of space between the eternally light and the eternally dark sides – the terminator line where temperatures may even be a cosy 0 °C (32 °F).”
Our last run-around together in the company of Joseph Cornell encouraged many of us to journey inwards; this week’s creative responses are beaming back from many light-years further away!
“I’m not really sure how to explain…
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More wonders…this time inspired by Joseph Cornell.
I don’t mind admitting I’ve spent a few moments dabbing my eye as I put this latest showcase of new work together in response to Joseph Cornell’s Romantic Museum! There’s a lot of love in the mix this week, with reflections on beloved relationships, time passing, and the making and keeping of memories. If the last Kick-About was a short ride in a fast machine, the Kick-About#10 is about the long ride we’re taking together.
“My Romantic Museum; I guess my romance experience is a little ‘narrow’, having been married to the love of my life for thirty years, and perhaps it’s more of a timeline. Nice to get a theme that provokes thought/reflection.”
“Cornell! Another treat. I wanted to do something on newspaper, but I couldn’t collage (my first choice) as my glue was packed. My needles and floss were not, however, and this…
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Some musical tangents, including my Dancing Tree of Life collage. Much to ponder, as usual.
In marked contrast to our last creative prompt, which encouraged us to reflect on the slow, attenuated life-cycles of the cicada, this week’s jumping-off point invites adventures in velocity. As per, the range of responses is a delight. My advice? Slow down and have a really good look!
“A great prompt. Most of my work aims to capture movement – action, transformation, development, energy, colour, sound… This time it brought back into life an idea I have been circling around for a long time, which turns into a sketch I did on a plane back from Mexico; great places to sketch, planes and trains. Some of my best ideas happen there; the myth of Icarus. While imprisoned in a tower, his father Daedalus, famous for having built the Labyrinth, made wings for Icarus, taught him to fly and warned him not to go too high or the…
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Some really amazing cicada visions here. Enjoy!
Our last Kickabout prompt, based off Sickert’s painting ‘Ennui’, inspired a range of new work by our participating artists on themes of listless, languor and waiting. When you consider the prolonged incubation times of your average cicada, you could say we haven’t moved all that far this week! That said, we’re a long away from Sickert’s rather drab little parlour, as instead we seek to celebrate the life, times and associations of these extraordinary insects.
“Even after I’ve long since left this place I currently call home, cicadas more than anything will be the thing I associate the most about summer in Japan. Of course, the amazing sound they make is their most recognisable and iconic trait, but they have another peculiar behavior I find quite morbidly fascinating. After they do their yearly cicada thing, the final resting place of an unlucky few ends up being in…
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Nina’s internet has been out since the tropical storm, with no promises of when it will be back, so she took a photo on her phone of her bird and sent it to me to post. Another colorful tribute to Draw a Bird Day!
And hopefully her internet will be back soon so she can post more of what she’s been doing.
The latest Kick-About, with much to say about Sickert’s painting “Ennui”.
ennui: a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
“A most welcome challenge to enjoy the mood and establish a balance between location and figure. As always significant changes up to the eleventh hour, perhaps a blessing with oil as this chap had a companion all the way through, yet his removal as well the monochrome against a sliver of colour has pushed this to a more ambiguous resolve.” Oil on canvas board. 40 x 50 cm.
“I wanted the process of the drawing to be as tedious as possible (and it was!) creating a sense of time stopping/ dragging… the only indication of its passing being the alteration of pencil type and pressure… repetitive pattern making tying me to the work table. A sense of entrapment. Clouds are mercurial by nature, constantly metamorphosing, so, by freezing the…
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I messed around this weekend with something I saw on TikTok. You dab paint down (several different colors) and then swoop it with a big brush. I did these in a sketchbook and they’re not that good. But it does give me some ideas. Here are a couple more:
I took a big canvas from work. It was just sitting around and I asked for it. I’m going to sand it down and maybe start painting bigger. Sometimes I look back on work I’ve done and it seems like another person did it.
But I guess I always like to paint symmetrically.
Batch of rocks started. I started sanding the rocks as per another hack I heard about. I think it’s going to make a difference.
Have a great week and stay safe. Nina
I spent an hour and a half in the pool yesterday. Swam laps for a while, then a friend of mine came and I kept swimming and chatting with her. It’s been very hot and I’m grateful to have a place to be in the water.
Tried to do something different with unpainted rocks. I may have to mess with these more. I swooshed the paint to make a design, kind of fun.
I still like painting them matte black first. I’ll spray the finish on but it’s too hot to do it outside. I’ve been keeping a few in my drawer at work to give to people (if they’re not afraid to take them. I am not shedding the virus as far as I know).
Random picture of the poet who wrote “Paterson”, my home town. I’m going to attempt to do a drawing.
Have a good week! Nina