Vikki North is an amazing artist who’s artwork can be seen in the Red Chair Gallery, and often deals with the ‘human condition’. In June 2008, she visited my art blog, and enthusiastically offered a challenge entitled “Jealousy, The Green Eyed Monster“. The experience was fantastic spontaneous FUN.

A few months later a new challenge was proposed… “The Red Balloon”. The Red Balloon was one of my favorite childhood movies. Minimal dialogue, as it transcends language, and contains visuals that both children and adults can enjoy. And it stars a boy and his big shiny red balloon!

From Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic Steven Rea:

“”The Red Balloon” is a beautiful little meditation on childhood, on imagination literally taking flight. The story of Pascal and his balloon represents the longings of the young – and the not so young – to escape the mundane business of daily life, and find a way to transcend, transcend.”

My response to the movie and this challenge is a reflection on sharing creativity.

There is a scene in the movie where the little boy, Pascal, and his red balloon stroll by a little girl, who also has a balloon. A bright blue one. The balloons play together briefly, a passing moment, but one that struck me, and seemed to fit this challenge.

It reminded me that when I see someone else with their own ‘balloon’ of imagination, it’s beautiful and wonderful and a joy to share. And in that regard the final scene in the movie becomes particularly overwhelming and memorable.

I think we all have unique creativity. And sharing it and working with others often takes me to new heights. I’m particularly intrigued by the online presentation of this challenge, and the exchange of viewers that are a part of the experience. Vikki and I are posting our finished artworks on the same day, without having seen each others’ work, and I encourage you to visit her Art Blog to see what she has created!

So without further ado, “Blue’n Red” is a 9″x12″ paint/drawing created with colored pencils, pen, marker, paint pen, and watercolor mediums. The artwork is comprised of two children’s faces in a sea of creativity, surrounded by the balloons of all the people in their world, swirling around, and enjoying the fun. A multitude of colors and affect, coming together to form something bigger than one can do alone.

Thank you Vikki!

Abstract Impressionistic Drawing of Two Childrens Faces in Red and Blue Balloons

Blue’n Red | Vikki’s Challenge – The Red Balloon

14 thoughts on “Blue’n Red | Vikki’s Challenge – The Red Balloon

  • September 9, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Thank you Michael!!!!!! This is wonderful!
    Absolutely beautiful ! I truly love your work and style. You’re the winner of this challenge hands down and red and blue up.

    This has been so much fun.

  • September 9, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Yay! 😉 Thanks for initiating, I enjoyed the anticipation and am looking forward to seeing your artwork!

    It’s Fantastic! You Win!

  • September 9, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    I love it, you portrayed both the vagueness and clarity of a child’s imagination. I love how you have the stray fragments, almost like ribbons of reality swirling around the the faces, “balloons of imagination”.

    Your competitions with Vikki are so enjoyable, and visually inspiring.

  • September 10, 2008 at 9:09 am

    This is stunning. I can feel “like a child” looking into it. Great work!

  • September 10, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    In abstract art form, it must be hard to see what your piece is going to look like in the end. There’ s really no defined features or lines to guide you. Even though I’m not much into abstract art because of my nature that likes clear definitions in everything I see, I still greatly admire your Blue and Red Balloon piece. It is beautiful and unique.

    To be an abstractionist, I would imagine you have to think and see things in abstract ways also. That alone is a great talent to have.

  • September 10, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Eric,
    Thanks for your comments. It’s neat that you mentioned the ribbons of reality. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately since watching some TED talks on string theory. Fascinating stuff!

  • September 10, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks Heather! My inner child is smiling back! 😉

  • September 10, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Hi tashabud,
    You’re right! I had a very different idea of what I wanted the drawing to look like at the outset, but enjoy the spontaneity of following unplanned routes through art… learning to be flexible with expectations.

    The parallels to the way my brain works abstractly outside of art is also true… however it was an unappreciated nuisance to most people (and myself) before I ‘grew up’. In particular with school and business sense. It’s helpful for me to hear your reminder that it’s a gift to be appreciated. Thanks for your encouragement! 🙂

  • September 10, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks Michael for your kind comments. Our view is that acrimony and partisanship do not serve to advance the interests of the citizenry. Plain and simple. We need to start coming up with some solutions, and implement them.

  • September 10, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    I agree with that… it’s refreshing to hear, and as a start, am devoting more thought and patient discussion to it in my life. The back burner’s at least been lit in me today.

  • September 11, 2008 at 4:24 am

    Hi Michael,
    I’ve been enjoying Vikki’s blog for some time now, her work is really wonderful. When she pointed readers to your blog to look at the red balloon challenge, it was another great suprise. Your work is so original and I thought the balloon depiction was a clever solution. Very nice. I’ll be back.

  • September 12, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Thanks Peggi,
    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the challenge. 🙂 I love the colors in your watercolor portraits. The boldness and subtle reds and blues add a quality of shimmering life to the portraits that I haven’t seen before. 🙂

  • October 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Michael!!!
    This artwork is reminding me of my childhood days…when i used to let go of the gas balloons in this huge park…The green playground was the base to fly and I,would keep looking at the balloons for as long as they would vanish away from my sight. wish i had feathers n i cud fly….
    Would keep imagining that they have(the balloons) gone in a different world where we are free to do lot of playing n moving around with our will….n nobody stopping us!!!! Wow!!!!
    Great visual!!!.with lot of sweet memories stored!!!!!..God Bless You!!!

  • October 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Hi umesh!
    Thank you for sharing that wonderful moment! Your thoughts are vivid and help me appreciate more about this world. I can imagine being right there on that playground soaring along, so many feelings of freedom! 🙂

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