Saturday, September 29, 2007

Larger-than-Life St. Francis and AlbGlinka

The painting came out way better than expected. I poured my heart and soul into it, partly to please the client and partly to please myself. They were really happy with the finished artwork. Sister Bernie, the head of the organization Religious Witness with Homeless People (click on the link to read about their work) said it was the nicest artwork they've ever had done for them!

I guess there are other ways to express my creativity besides endless Psycho Abstract Expressionist Clownz.

I still have to finish cutting the figure out on Monday; they want it to be free-standing for their display. I was too exhausted to finish yesterday, plus I had a final performance of Samson et Dalila last night. The press conference where St. Francis will be displayed is next Thursday and I'm planning to go to it and maybe have my own digital camera by then so I can snap more pix.

My good friend Tim came over at 8am yesterday and took this great photo to document the artwork in my atelier....

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Just fill it in-- it doesn't have to be perfect, Grove/Albert!

How it's turning out...

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Help me, St. Francis!

I got this commission to create a 7'-tall version of St. Francis for this religious non-profit organization that advocates for the Homeless...

It's not paying much, but it's a great learning experience and maybe some good exposure. Unfortunately, the job is a bitch technically-- I'm not used to painting this big, and I'm using acrylic on paper. I'm much more used to oils, which are easier to mix and blend. I'm being a hopeless perfectionist and so far I'm less than satisfied with how it's turning out. :-(

I have today to finish the painting part of it. While attempting to let go of the results and of my perfectionism. Just smush paint on paper. (A successful painting class mantra) A friend is lending me his digital camera to document it, and folks: I am buying my own digital camera before the month is over!!!!!

Accompanying Camera-phone pic: Floor-to-ceiling work-in-progress.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Honing My Skillz

I now take my sketchpad everywhere I go. I've been sketching backstage at the Opera House-- which is new and challenging-- it feels quite exposed. There are lot of very creative people milling around down there. Some people walk by disinterested and some stop and look and are complimentary. I guess all art is experienced this way. For me, it's a challenge to accept all reactions/ non-reactions.

I like this self-portrait in my Samson et Dalila Acolyte drag. I've been told I look like Jesus, which is... interesting.

Maybe Jesus if he had lived to the age of 49?

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Friday, September 21, 2007

One of my stranger opera costumes...

San Francisco Opera's new production of Wagner's Tannhäuser opened on Tuesday night. The reviews for the music, principal singing, orchestra, conducting and chorus were all superlative; the reviews for the directing and the production itself were mixed to bad.

My part consists of one scene during which I crawl across the stage on my knees as a repentant religious pilgrim/sinner-- to this gorgeously sublime Pilgrims' Chorus music. All of the chorus and super men have different sins scrawled on various parts of our exposed torsos. A partial list: Thief, Rapist, Addict, Sorcery, Waste, Spite, Doubt, Envy, Lust, Lazy... these are the ones I'm remembering; there are many, many more.

I've never shown this much flesh onstage before. I've been running on the beach and doing crunches so that I'll be a slim and attractive Sinner. Being middle-aged is not for sissies!

The accompanying photo was snagged from SFMike's blog-- he gets to play a Hunter in the opera, with a snazzy knight's costume and a (real) taxidermied wolf hung around his neck when he makes his grand entrance in his scene. Mike refuses to be a diva on his own blog and show off his look (He's so humble!), but I can tell you that he gets some beautiful Tyra Banks extensions that I am coveting!

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Friday, September 14, 2007

I Love This Biblical Look...

I love my bling.

I love Samson et Dalila!!!

I'm unsure about the hat though...

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The first of thousands of new Opera pics...

My life is All Opera All the Time these days, interspersed with some rushed art-making, a rushed personal life and the occasional rushed power nap. I must state here that I am grateful to be so busy, with less time to wallow in negativity...

Samson et Dalila is going well, and we're all enjoying running around Gaza in Palestine circa 1150 B.C., wearing our luridly colorful costumes-- which were designed circa 1980 A.D. by a costume designer named Carrie Robbins (I think she might have taken some '80s party drugs before she was set loose in the fabric store).

Pictured here is MOI and a fellow super, Carlos S. who is playing, if you can believe it from his get-up, a Philistine soldier. Ya gotta click on the photo to see details; it's worth it!

ps: changed my Profile Pic also, thanks Mike H.!!!

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Latest Drawing, plus Opera Newz

Here it is, finished yesterday. A bit illustration-y. :-/ I was trying to do something with more of an actual pictorial landscape. This lounging clown sniffing a flower was inspired by one of my favorite scenes in Samson et Dalila, where the Philistine Princesses come out and lounge lasciviously on some stairs, thanking the Hebrews for coming along and conquering them--thereby setting up Delila's subsequent betrayal of Samson and his ultimate downfall.

The opera opened last night as the season's Opening Night Gala performance: it was great fun and all went well. Society ladies in their couture ballgowns with their tight shiny faces and their fancy coiffures promenaded in the lobby. The actual performance is a low priority for them compared to seeing and being seen (and photographed!). Little Albie from Queens, NY didn't know where to look first!

An unexpected perk: we got some tasty catered food and dessert in the basement canteen. Yay, we like free food!

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

More Moi

My pal Mike H. who is a talented photographer and fellow super took a bunch of photos of MOI for a *personal project* of mine. The files are thousands of pixels large. He's got a fancy-schmancy digital camera. I'm still trying to figure out how to use them-- there are technical issues I haven't figured out yet.

I'm so blonde sometimes when it comes to the Internets! (Yep, sure enough, image comes out fuzzy, goshdarnit!)

Be that as it may, here's MOI lounging on a red velvet setee in the Opera House lobby. Note the new Village People Gay-cial Hair, which I'm praying I can keep while performing in both Samson et Dalila and Tannhauser.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

More Abundance

Opera and Art are my twin passions in Life. I've finally figured that out! However, I fear that being an opera supernumerary is distracting me from my progress as an artist. This is a limiting train of thought, Grove/Albert!! I have to remind myself that there are artists who end up designing opera sets and costumes. Opera is an extremely visual art form-- which is one reason I love being in the productions.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon in an Orchestra rehearsal of Samson et Dalila, listening to the wonderful Olga Borodina singing the role of Dalila... I wanted to be there but felt guilty for not being at home painting. (I stuck around for all three acts, even though I'm only in Act I.) I'm planning on putting in some hours painting today. I hope that my Muse is satisfied with that compromise.

ANYWAY, here's a first camera-phone pic of me as Unoffical Head Acolyte in the opera. Without the mushroom/flying saucer hat I look a bit like Jesus Christ Superstar. Um, btw, the beard is fake in case anyone was wondering, but that's my actual 'stache, grown in since Der Rosenkavalier.

Also, note the bling! The costume shop calls that necklace a "jewel box." I'm a Phillistine Acolyte and the Phillistines are all extra-glitzy and colorful and Pagan-y. The Hebrews are much more understated.

Happy Labor Day, all y'all... Grill a weiner for me!

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