Pintar Rapido, the UK's biggest outdoor painting festival and supporter of The Big Draw, takes place on the streets of London, this weekend, followed by Glasgow and Amsterdam later in the summer. Open to artists of all abilities, with prizes totalling £3000 and a guaranteed exhibition, what's not to love? The Big Draw's Amy Clancy meets its Founder, Roger Beckett, to find out where the idea came from, how people can get involved and what the future has in store.
Roger, for people who do not know, please can you briefly explain what Pintar Rapido is?
Pintar Rapido is the UK's biggest outdoor painting festival, competition and exhibition. A weekend celebration of art and the cityscape. It is open to professional and non-professional artists of all skill levels and it inspires hundreds of them to create a picture from start to finish in a day. The following day the public can view and buy these unique visions of the city at the Pintar Rapido exhibition.
You launched Pintar Rapido after a trip to Catalonia. What was it there that inspired you?
Yes, in 2012 I was staying in a small village in Catalonia called Horta De Sant Juan. Horta’s claim to fame is that Picasso painted several early Cubist paintings in the village. As I walked through the village one morning on my way to buy bread I was surprised to see artists with easels painting away on the streets. I was enthralled, I had never seen an artist at work before. They painted all day and their work was hung that evening in the town hall for the mayor and his judging committee to select winners. The whole village turned out to see the day’s work and celebrate their home. The experience inspired me to come back to London and launch Pintar Rapido.
What aims did you have in mind when launching?
The aims of Pintar Rapido are to encourage a greater appreciation of our urban environment by celebrating its people, places and spaces through art; to donate to charities which encourage the use of creative skills as tools for individual and social development; and, to encourage more people to paint, draw, sketch and be more creative.
What has the response been?
The response has been fantastic, which is why Pintar Rapido now takes place in London, Glasgow and Amsterdam.
What factors do you think have led to Pintar Rapido being so well received?
Its inclusiveness. As it is open to professional and non-professional artists of all skill levels.
Have there been any stand out moments for you?
The whole buzz of the event is the stand out moment.
You mentioned that, this year, Pintar Rapido is taking place in Glasgow and Amsterdam, do you have any others plans in the pipeline?
Yes. I am looking for more locations for 2016. I like the idea of Liverpool, Bristol, Brighton, Barcelona and Berlin.
So, as well as reaching new cities, what are your hopes for Pintar Rapido moving forward?
To spread the fun.
The Big Draw is one of Pintar Rapido’s beneficiary charities, why have you chosen to support the The Big Draw’s work?
I love what you folks are doing as it all starts with making a mark on paper as a child.
What would you say to people who would like to participate but may feel daunted by the idea of painting in public?
I will give you a quote from one of the artists "...a fantastic event, exhibition, experience, with a great sense of camaraderie between all involved – from top man to humble hobby painters."
So, importantly, how can people get involved?
Each event needs artists and volunteers to help make it happen. Go to www.pintarrapido.com to find out more!
Pintar Rapido 2015
London 11/12 July
Glasgow 15/16 August
Amsterdam 5/6 September