Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sunday, last day at the Monterey Jazz Festival, iPad paintings of SONNY ROLLINS and others. Beautiful ending!

By the time Sunday came along I felt confident that I could paint on my iPad all over the sprawling Monterey Fairgrounds. After another indian meal, this time with a hot chai, I parked myself in the shade on the left hand side in the very front of the Garden Stage. Shade is needed for the iPad. The luminous touch screen is highly reflective. Tia Fuller was a very nice surprise. She was so happy to be there, and I was so happy to paint her pretty figure.

Steve Coleman and Five Elements followed and put me in a sweet mood as I let the music guide my strokes on the iPad.

The evening ended with a love fest, as big, red shirted Sonny Rollins, now in his mid eighties showed us that he was still the man. He took us out with his long and powerful rendition of Saint Thomas, his famous calypso influenced jazz. He pumped the air with his fist and he stood his ground. It feels damn good to have captured him on the iPad.
I am posting a detail of the Sonny Rollins image. Saving the whole piece for a special occasion!

Saturday at the 54th Monterey Jazz Festival: iPad paintings during live performances

I wandered over in the late afternoon, had a lamb curry with mango lassi and lingered with the Dumpstaphunk New Orleans sound in the warm sunshine. Having the MJF app on my phone and iPad was handy for figuring out what was happening where. One of the tough aspects of the festival is having to forgo so many potentially great acts. Can't be at more than one place at a time - more so if you want a front row seat and stay long enough to execute a painting. On Saturday I knew I wanted to see the pianist Geri Allen perform with the tap dancer Maurice Chestnut: Geri Allen & Timeline "A Jazz Tap Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr". And I did not want to miss Herbie Hancock, both events taking place at the big outdoors arena, the Jimmy Lyons Stage. I got there early and took a seat at the front, hoping no one would claim it....and went to work, cheered on by a couple of ushers. Painting in layers I started with the stage, struggled to add Geri Allen as she flicked back and forth in the giant screen above the stage, then drew in the shadowy audience in the coveted orchestra seats, and found a way to add the constantly moving marionette - like tap dancer. Such intense focus - that I nearly fell off the seat when its rightful owner showed up. Moved a couple of seats over and finished as the set finished. I loved the piano, and the tap dancing, and the visuals were compelling. And, having had such misgivings about painting in the big arena, I was happy to find out I could.

Herbie Hancock is one of my all-time favorites. On this painting he appears as a very small guy with his white portable keyboard. And tiny Herbie is multiplied on the overhead big screen. Just a fantasy! Herbie was painted from our regular seat in row G.

Monterey Jazz Festival 2011: series of new iPad paintings!

54th Monterey Jazz Festival! What a great festival it was. My best one so far. I was concerned about not being able to sit close enough to the stages to see the musicians well enough to paint on my iPad. Painting during live jazz is what I do! This was my first chance to do so at MJF.

The first night, Friday , Sept. 16, I recklessly abandoned the large outdoors arena (Jimmy Lyon's Stage) where we do have very respectable seats in row G - earned over many years steady attendance - and stood in the long line for Dizzy's Den, had my dinner in line, and got a pretty good seat. I chose Dizzy's Den because it promised a close view of Richard Bona and Raul Midon followed by Hiromi: the Trio Project. This was a totally different approach to the festival. In the past I would come and go between the various venues (there are 6 different spaces - all spread out over the Monterey Fairgrounds, with food and drink vendors, vendors of CDs, hats and crafts) depending on how much I liked the music.

I found myself supported by the audience around me at Dizzy's Den. They showed a lot of interest in what I was doing, and a couple of them gave up their seats so that I could have a better view of the performers. And at the end of each performance I was able to go backstage and get signatures. Afterwards I was so jazzed.... painting at the MJF works!!! It was a lot of fun! I am very pleased with the results. And, I was completely blown away by the forceful playing of Hiromi and her drummer Simon Phillips! Richard Bona and Raul Midon's performance was sweet and lovely. A great evening.