I found out about Pintar Rapido from a dance friend, who in turn had heard it on Radio 4. Its an open painting competition, held annually and based in Chelsea. Last year was the first time it was held in London and it attracted over 380 artists. This year I entered.
The idea is to pre-book a place, register in the morning and produce a painting, in whatever medium you choose, before 8pm. The next day the paintings are hung at the exhibition hall, in Chelsea Town Hall and sold.
I spent a lot of time thinking what I could paint and even went on a days scouting in Chelsea, on a very hot day. My choices boiled down to a scene in the backstreets or Chelsea Embankment. In the end I went for Chelsea Embankment as it had lovely views of the Thames and the bridges plus I could use the wall as a work surface.
I was not alone. It proved to be a very popular place to be. I’m not sure how many artists entered this year but it looked just as busy, with a lot of them painting scenes of bridges, water, boats and skies. I started with a good sketch of Albert Bridge and boats moored up. I then found out I had forgotten my masking fluid! So I had to paint very carefully.
After about 4 hours and chats with friendly artists I felt I needed a break and went back to the Town Hall. At the registration your paper or painting surface receives a stamp so that they know your are starting with a blank surface. I had two sheets stamped so I went of to a local park and bashed out a back up.
The second painting was not a success and I felt mentally exhausted so returned to the Town Hall to mount the painting of the Thames. A photo was taken of the proud artist and the painting went to the hall for display the next morning.
The next day we all went up to view the paintings and see who won. The variety of work was extraordinary and range of materials used wide. I really liked the winning painting but my family were not impressed.
We found my piece and wondered if it would be sold. Overall there weren’t many red dots but in my section there was a little rash of them. All much better than mine and more expensive. I had priced my work low as it was not the best I could do but it did cover the cost of the frame.
After walking round a very humid room for just under an hour we were just leaving when we noticed red dot on my work! I had sold my first painting. How exciting.
The painting with a red dot.
Additional information about the Pintar Rapido London 2014 event:
501 passes were sold, 400 artists turned up on the day, of which 380 paintings were hung and 90 sold.