tar (تار) and 21 Guitars, A Benefit Auction for the Merced Symphony

tār (تار)
The tār is a traditional Persian stringed instrument. As a matter of fact, the word tār means “string” in Persian and is also related to dotar, sitar, setar, and guitar. It was my dear friend, Sirous, who introduced me to the tār and other traditional Persian instruments, when we were both graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh in 1982. Sirous beautifully plays the tār, setar, daf, kamanche, tonbak, and probably others. Over the years, I’ve met a few of Sirous’ musician friends and had the pleasure of seeing them perform in both informal and formal settings. Many of these performances included the rendering aloud in Persian of the poetry of Hafiz, Rumi, and others. One of Sirous’ musician friends, who stood out not only because of his natural height, but also because of his prominent role in the revitalization of traditional Persian music, was Mohammad-Rezā Lotfi, about whom I’ve already illustroblogged. Take a look at this short, homemade video of Lotfi sitting on the floor playing tar among friends in a cozy setting. I just love the structure and shape of the Persian Tār, especially the tuning pegs!
Mohammad-Rezā Lotfi

21 Guitars, A Benefit Auction for the Merced Symphony
I’m one of 21 contributing visual and performing artists in one of this year’s fundraisers for the Merced Symphony, and my entry is the above image, which I did on an iPad Pro using an
Apple Pencil and the Sketch Club and iColorama apps. I had it printed on 24″ X 24″ canvas, 1.5″ bordered, solid color wrap through Bay Photo.

Here’s another one that I just had to get out of my system

The tipping point was this Washington Post article; however, I can’t tell you how long I’ve been bothered by those who think they can hide their hypocracies behind their “pro-life” signs, especially when it comes to this idiotic wall! See also: https://portfoliolongo.com/2016/04/02/big-wall/

Princess Pencil Passion

I belong to the Contemporary Humanitarian Artists Association (CHAA), and we’ll be exhibiting Passion at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center from Jan. 8 to Feb. 16, 2019, so to speak.

From my Artist Statement:
The Princess No. 2 School Pencil by Eberhard Faber has enchanted me for several decades; and I’ve tried to express this enchantment over time in traditional and digital ways. I love the shape, colors, and feel of this simple and elegant artifact, which has been instrumental in the expression of so many ideas, simple and complex. I’m moved by the unmistakable ways in which pencils sacrifice themselves physically in fulfillment of their instrumental, expressive mission; their erasers are often the first to go! Pencilitis and Milonga No. 2, both rendered freehand on an iPad, highlight in different ways the ordinary and extraordinary nature of this useful artifact.

Visit the show, and join us on January 19, 2019 5-7:30 pm at the Artists’ Reception (also ArtHop Merced night)! See short video on my “Pencil Passion” by clicking here.

See other pencils on this illustroblog by clicking here or browsing round; they’re all over the place!

David Crosby and the Lighthouse Band

Croz has been collaborating and harmonizing with some beautiful voices lately; namely, Becca Stevens, Michelle Willis, and Michael League, the Lighthouse Band. Listen to all four do Woodstock (live) here.

I started with Croz and Becca on my iPad Pro in Sketch Club (Google images reference photo).

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Then I moved on to Becca, Croz, and Michelle in the same way (reference photo by new friend Valerie with permission).

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One of these days I’m gonna get Michael League in there!

Rigoberta Menchú Tum

On Monday, November 5, 2018 Rigoberta Menchú Tum was awarded the Alice and Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy and Tolerance at the Art Kamangar Center at Merced Theater in downtown Merced. The 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner was the 12th recipient of this UC Merced Prize.

Rigoberta’s presentation was informal, touching, and profound.

 

She sat for a book signing, and I photographed her with the intention of drawing her freehand in my iPad Pro in the Sketch Club app.

Rigoberta Menchú (click on image to enlarge)

Sketch Club has a cool technical feature that summarizes the drawing/painting statistics:

Karl Malden’s Nose

About a week ago, a mobile/digital art friend of mine, click here to meet her, posted an evocative photo of a succulent, bulbous tomato on Instagram:

The image reminded me of Karl Malden’s nose; and so for several days I walked around, semi-entranced, with that image on my cognitive back burner…until last night:

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Reference photo (stock, Google images)

Technical: I drew this freehand in Sketch Club on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil. Mas o menos, eh? Sketch Club produces a cool statistical summary of the images you create. You can see in this summary that I played around for about an hour. The summary doesn’t show how I used iColorama to slightly darken and sharpen the image, which only took a couple of minutes.