Champion: An Opera in Jazz

SCN_0002-Edit-2

Terence Blanchard’s ‘Champion: An Opera in Jazz’

A groundbreaking work combining the disciplines of opera and jazz,Terence Blanchard’s Champion: An Opera in Jazz tells the real-life story of world champion boxer Emile Griffith, a man haunted by memories of his past who struggled to reconcile his sexuality in a hyper-macho world. Produced by SFJAZZ in conjunction with San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle,Champion is a visually stunning production features elaborate staging and video elements with a jazz trio, orchestra and chorus, bringing out the full glory of Blanchard’s soulful score as it illuminates a tragic story that remains acutely relevant today. Tormented by the death of opponent Benny Paret following their 1962 bout for the welterweight title, Griffith spent his life questioning himself and a society that would accept his accidental killing of a fellow athlete, but not his sexuality. The opera features a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michael Cristofer and features renowned bass Arthur Woodley reprising his role as the title character. Far more than one of jazz’s most prodigious trumpeters,  Blanchard has carved out a brilliant career as an A-list composer. He premiered Champion at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2013, and has substantially re-worked the piece for this exclusive string of performances on the Miner Auditorium stage, the first since the premiere. (Excerpt taken from a piece written for the SFJSZZ Center.)

Champion

The Press takes notes,  while the fight goes on.

 

I kill a man and most people understand and forgive me. However, I love a man, and to so many people this is an unforgivable sin”. —Emile Griffith

Drawing with a Stick

FullSizeRender

Hunting for the right drawing tool I pick up a stick. Will one end of the stick draw a fine line? Will the other end make a softer line and shape? Dipping the stick into a container of India ink I look and start to draw. Eye, to hand, to paper, I make marks. I draw the shape of my face, feeling tone of my head, the texture of my hair, gesture of my turned head. I draw  space, my hair touching the edge of the paper  or the two dimensional picture plane. My head is turned;  my hair  goes back into three dimensional space. I draw until my sketch is done. Awareness of my surroundings clicks back into place. I return to everybody’s world.

Painting and Drawing in Italy

cathedral    Serravalle                                                                                      acrylic on canvas 12″ x 16″ 2015

Our group was made up of five students and one teacher, Eva Bovenzi. John, Eva’s husband came too. We met 40 miles outside of Venice, in Vittorio Veneto, Treviso. We stayed at Palazzo Galletti. Built in the 14th century, the little palazzo was on a quiet cobblestone street in Serravalle, the ancient part of town. We worked for 8 days in Alma Ortolan’s downstairs studio. Besides restoring frescoes, she gives her own workshops in fresco technique. After breakfast, our group would meet for an image presentation. Then, we went off in different directions to sketch. After lunch we worked in the studio, which was followed by a critique and dinner. My small suitcase on rollers, was filled with art supplies. I packed two 12” x 16” boards which were used as support for presized canvas that  wrapped around the board and was tacked with artist’s tape. I took sketchpads, drawing materials, tubes of acrylic paint, brushes, a palette, rags, water container and a backpack to carry my art supplies when I went out sketching. Completed rolled paintings fit diagonally into my suitcase when it was time to pack and go home.

Del Carmine Madonna

Taking watersoluble crayons and sketchpads, Arina and I walked through the quiet old town to sit in Chiesa di S. Giovanni Battista. Choosing the statue of Madonna del Carmine I sketched for more than an hour while listening to my friend happily humming as she sketched sunlight touching a column.

Woods Serravalle

 

dog ItalyThe next morning, I walked up behind the houses into the trees. While I was sitting on the ground sketching, one of the locals walked into my view. Stooping down he filled his straw basket with raw walnuts. His black and white dog kept running up to me bringing me a stick to throw. Thinking of Cezanne and loving the background color coming from behind the tree I walked back to the studio.

cathedral

After a few well-intentioned strokes my new painting took on a mind of it’s own.

Puppies And Poems

Cody With CowCody is an English Cream Golden Retriever who lives in England with my daughter and her family. For three weeks I stayed at their home and babysat this cute puppy. Wondering what I was going to do with myself while I took care of him, I gave myself an assignment: Learn how to draw a dog. Besides sketching, I wrote some prose and a few poems. Maybe there is an Artists’ book in the making. I have the images and the words. The next step is figuring out a structural form for a book. Then, do it!

IMG_3327

Happy Easter !

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

IMG_1518

Baby steps to a better digital interpretation of a sketch on white paper using an iphone camera.

After years of being away I went back to Photoshop Elements 6 and tried to remember  what to do.

To all of you  who came to my rescue last time. Thank you. I’ve just started trying out your suggestions.

Here is a first jab at it. The image above this text shows how the phone adjusted the image. The other two were edited in Photoshop.

Happy Easter!

Carla

 

 

 

The Dog Show

FullSizeRenderOK here is my question. The pen and ink sketch was drawn on white paper. I took a photograph of it with my cell phone, cropped the picture so it had clean straight edges then, moved it over to my blog. Now, the white paper looks grey. Because I post photographs of paintings with color, I don’t want to have a colored background on my main blog page. I don’t want black either. How do I get a black or colored mat or background for the drawing so the drawing shows black ink on white paper?