Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Happy Wednesday! If you haven't had the chance to see my Instagram Reel, head on over and take a look. It was fun and easy to make. If you're blogging and on Instagram, you might want to try this too. At some point, I'd like to see if I can get a direct Reel to show up here, rather than only the link. Hmmm. It's been fun working with all of the social media options and a bit overwhelming. On my easel this week/month is the following. Miz Mia is my studio assistant!

Maricopa Point ©2021 Melinda Esparza

Sunday, August 29, 2021

 Hello! Hello! Where did the time go? Well, we all know, now don't we? I'm stopping by to let you all know that I am over on Facebook and Instagram. I also have a brand spankin' new website that has all the bells and whistles for purchasing my artwork in many different mediums (gallery wrap, acrylic print ---which looks like my oil painting is in glass, metal print, and paper.) There are options for merchandise, too! Can you imagine? I thought, Hmm, if you can buy a mug of Frida Khalo's and Georgia O'Keeffe's art, why not mine, right? So, there you are. I hope everyone who visits is doing well, staying safe, and doing good in the world. Love to all--Melinda

Flamingoes expanded in virtual room © 2021 Melinda Esparza

            Abiquiu Ancestors in virtual room © 2021 Melinda Esparza

Santa Catalina Saguaros © 2021 Melinda Esparza (Acrylic print)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Grand Canyon Last Year and June 16th 2013

Sunrise Grand Canyon (oil on canvas) 48" x 72" © Melinda Esparza
All weekend I've been remembering and reliving the gift of being an artist-in-residence at the Grand Canyon last year. I was there from June 21st through July 15th, 2012.

Twenty-five days. Twenty-five thousand changes, epiphanies, and a renewal of insight followed. I was able after that experience to finish (finally!) the painting of the Grand Canyon that I'd started in 2003-04.

On June 16th, I delivered the painting to its new home. Yes...SOLD!

I knew in January that this year might be like another one similar to the one ten years ago--full of challenges, embellished by tragedy and a few great blessings. I was not wrong.

Having the Grand Canyon sold is to me miraculous. The couple who bought it have waited for its completion for about two years. When the painting hung on their wall for the first time last week, we all gasped at the rightness of it on their wall. It was as though I'd been commissioned to paint it just for them, and just for that space. Maybe that is so.

The real world always bests the virtual, so I am not online as much. Yet, I think of all my old artist friends and wish every success to you all.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Happy Farewell for Now

Life is for learning and changing. Seeing opportunities, reading the wind, searching one's own soul for the rightness of a thing. This is the process for growing in wisdom, discretion, renewed hope. I've been doing this for some time now (the recent use of my painting, and the acknowledgement that my images are used as screen savers without compensation or any shame by some, has been the nudge I needed), and am now ready for a change.

Blogging has been incredibly instructive to me, but meeting so many kind souls in the last four years has been more than affirming. It has been a deep pleasure. It has saved my art life in so many ways.

May I offer the same love and admiration to those who honorably work through their own processes.

I'll be around to visit and comment at your blogs. This is not the end, but the beginning of a new path.

And, of course, I'm wishing each of my online buddies every success!

Smiling at the trailhead...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tucson Artist Melinda: Website, Power Circles, Rant

Power Circles (oil on cradled panel © Melinda Esparza)

I've been fortunate to have my website updated recently, and I'd love for you all to have a look. I hope you'll like the front page: Artist Melinda Esparza. Thanks,  Mr. Arty Fice, for making the slide show of the three images. I hope to have more moving through in the future.  I like the whole page much better! Makes me smile...

I painted this painting today in a fit of pique. Some of you will 'get' how I feel, others may not. What is it about people who copy the work of others' and why me, three times? Oh, I know, I'm being complimented, but it doesn't feel good, I can tell you that without any hint of feeling flattered. This painting, Ah-Ree-Zoe-Nah Ski, was pretty much lifted and copied by this person. I don't know if she just doesn't know any better or not. I do know that it would only take a moment to think about it--and to include an attribution. 

Years ago when I was at the University of Arizona, we were required to copy a painting of any artist no longer living (Verboten to copy a living artist!), just so we could learn some technique. I completely agree with this and don't even mind if a person paints something from online to learn. However, that painting should never be passed off as one's own, nor should it be for sale.

That's my rant. Mr. Arty Fice sent me this from someecards and it made my day, especially after he corrected the punctuation! (Yeah, I'm in that kind of mood)

Hope you're all having a great week. I'm hoping to see rain and a bit of snow on Mt. Lemmon later this week. I think that influenced the painting...

Back to smiling.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tucson Artist Melinda: Out of the Darkness

Abiquiu Ancestor (30" x 30," oil on canvas © Melinda Esparza)

There are some things we cannot rush. We must wait, and, sometimes, walk several paths until we find the best road. I felt that last year when I stood on Forest Road 151, north of Abiquiu, NM. And, I felt that a couple of weekends ago when we drove up to Phoenix to adopt our new dog, Zorro.

El Zorro and Diego November 2012

Going deeper: I just read James Shepard's recent article in the Williams College Magazine, and think you might find it as eloquent and deeply reassuring as I did.

"Imagine you come across a little girl in a sandbox, and you ask her what she's building. If she says she doesn't know, you don't answer, "Well, then, get out of the sandbox." If she says she's building a castle, you don't answer, "Oh, there's an original idea. Nobody ever built a castle before. Think your castle's going to be any different than anybody else's?

If that little girl has poise, she might respond, "I don't know. I haven't built it yet."

Isn't this what many artists hear (especially women artists)? Isn't this something we say to ourselves in many different ways, including in secret? May you add poise to the conversation!

I encourage you to go read the rest of his article, and check out the link to his name.

This painting and I have wrestled for a few months (no deep cuts, just a small scratch or two for me), and I might have finished it today, and won.

Where are you on your path? A good dog or two can help you walk it...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tucson Artist, Melinda, Thanks Everyone Who Stopped By!

Here it is Friday, and I'm just now feeling like I've recovered from last weekend's open studio tour. It was a blast.

We had a music jam, lots of laughter and chatting, and some treats. But most of all, we had intelligent, witty, kindhearted visitors. It was so very wonderful to see everyone. Oh, yeah, and I did this quick painting on Saturday. It's not done, but Mr. Arty Fice made a time lapse of the process:

Thank you!

I did sell four paintings!

Winter Dark

Winter Dark © Melinda Esparza

New Mexico Hill and Junipers

New Mexico Hill and Junipers © Melinda Esparza

 Sun Fell, Sky Followed

Sky Fell, Sun Followed © Melinda Esparza
 Redwall Canyon

Redwall Canyon © Melinda Esparza

Thank you, dear artist bloggers who keep me committed to the work. Wish you all could stop in sometime! More soon...

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 Fall Open Studio Tour: Artist Melinda Dreams

Ghost Ranch Mesa (oil on canvas 30" x 30" © Melinda Esparza)
The 2012 Fall Open Studio Tour is only a few days away. And, the preview exhibit of artists' works is currently up at the Jewish Community Center until this Thursday evening's reception from 5:30 pm 'til 7:30 pm.

I noticed that there is an article in the Zocalo magazine on the open studio tour. It's nicely written and I even got a blurb in it. I thought C. J. Shane did a good job writing about the event.

We Tucsonans get so excited when the weather cools to a balmy 90 degrees. We just want to dance! Here are The Missing Parts playing at a farmers market while a cutie-pie leads them.
Some of my favorite paintings are available for this open studio event. Some are no longer up--sold, or gone to the woodshed.

Here are a few that haven't been seen for awhile:
Little Mighty Vole Hunts Prickly Pear (oil on panel © Melinda Esparza)
Windy Point, And I Do Have One (oil on artists' board © Melinda Esparza)

Winter Dark (oil on artists' board © Melinda Esparza)
I do hope you'll stop by and share the day with me. I might even pull out some paints and smear them on something. How 'bout that?

Wishing you all a very safe week ahead. My thoughts, along with yours, toward a speedy recovery for all those struggling with weather back East. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012 Fall Open Studio Tour: Artist Melinda Esparza

Yes. Getting ready for the 2012 fall open studio tour here in Tucson, AZ.

Painting First Wall Oct. 2012

Can you tell that this is the scale on which I'd prefer to paint? We're starting to paint the house and this image was the first thing that caught my eye as I began. Wish I had canvas and space for it.

A week ago, I started the following painting and turned it around for a day to let it 'breathe.' When I turned it back to work on it (and each time I did after that), my dog, Diego (yeah, after THAT Diego), studied it carefully and then hurriedly left the room. Whaa?! Each time I turned it so he could see it, he would get up and walk away. Now howz that for silent criticism? Diego, the art critic. He also doesn't approve if I turn up my music...but I do it anyway.

So, today I went back into the painting and he didn't seem upset at all. Maybe it's done.

Light Descendant--Maricopa Point (30" x 30," oil on canvas © Melinda Esparza)

Circular thinking ahead:

Our library offers e-books now. I've gone nuts for checking out books to read on my tablet and reserving them online. One that I've started reading recently is The Seven Daughters of Eve, by Bryan Sykes (Genes are not watered down, but expressed for millenia.)

This, of course, got me to thinking about genealogy. Taking a break from painting, I watched a PBS special on the Modoc War. A brave Modoc woman, an interpreter/mediator, saved the life of Alfred Meacham (Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon, 1869) and tried to keep peace during negotiations with the Government in the 1870s to no avail. She was later sent to Oklahoma, and while there, Meacham gave her the name, Winemah, The Woman Chief.

This reminded me of my grandmother (born in Sasakwa, OK in 1904) who also shared the name, but spelled, Wynema. I've always wondered the meaning of my grandmother's name. In my research, she was named after a young cousin who had died as an infant in the late 1800s. I believe it is a Creek name. My family on her side descended from the Eastern Cherokee and possibly the Catawba, so the name may have been one that became popular as a result of all of the settling in Oklahoma.

Remembering my brave Wynema (c. 1912)
In the land, our ancestors dwell with us always, and we hold them in our hands as we honor their walk. I like the circle.

P. S. I probably should not ever consider becoming a house painter. Just saying. But, it would be nice to see you at the 2012 Fall Open Studio Tour here in Tucson, AZ.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

2012 Fall Open Studio Tour: Melinda Esparza

It's almost time again to have an Open Studio at Fuerte y Claro--my studio in the Old Pueblo. The dates to watch for are: November 10 & 11--only one month away! I hope you'll consider stopping by.

Almost Party Time.

Here's an 8" x 8," oil on artists' board, that I painted yesterday.

Icing on the Cake (8" x 8," oil on artists' board © Melinda Esparza)

I'm still reading bits of The War of Art (Steven Pressfield) and it can be brutal. I hope if you decide to check it out, you don't blame me if you need an aspirin after a day's reading. But, I can't look away. It challenges this artist to be disciplined, to show up, do the work--just like everyone else must do.

And, my arms are nearly recovered from the strain of holding and reading Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art, Edited by Cornelia Butler, Alexandra Schwartz. Introductions by Cornelia Butler, Griselda Pollock, Aruna D'Souza. The book is about three inches thick and must weigh at least five pounds! I'm impressed. Now, who knew there were so many women artists, eh? (snark attack)

Wishing you all a fabulously productive (or, relaxing) weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Artist Melinda: Conquering the Monster and Lesser Beasts

Down from the mountain top and back into the studio. Hmm. It was a rough transition, but paint is on the road and the colors are good.

What have I been up to? Well, you can tell from the title of this post that I've been wrestling the Monster (the Grand Canyon painting from so many moons ago). I think it might be done. What do you think? Should I keep slathering paint on it, or is this okay?

Sunrise Grand Canyon (Oil on Canvas, 5 feet by 4 feet, © Melinda Esparza)

This is a bit of a departure from the direction I've been heading. I've often asked myself why I have worked on this painting since 2004. Some of it has been to maintain technical skill. Some of my attachment is all about the land. I wish I could live there. I am still processing the 25 days I spent as a Grand Canyon Artist-in-Residence this summer.

I've had the privilege of talking about art with several women artists lately. Each of them are so full of talent and passion. It reminds me of a discussion on NPR (Are Men Finished). Well, of course, they aren't...They've just gotta scootch over a bit.

Really, though, the battle is within us now. If you get a chance to read, The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, let me know. We'll have a good laugh together as we nod and cringe at the truth of it. Here's an excerpt written by the author's good friend (the link should go there, too):

"Some years ago I was as blocked as a Calcutta sewer, so what did I do? I decided to try on all my clothes. To show just how anal I can get, I put on every shirt, pair of pants, sweater, jacket, and sock, sorting them into piles: spring, summer, fall, winter, Salvation Army. Then I tried them on all over again, this time parsing them into spring casual, spring formal, summer casual...Two days of this and I thought I was going mad. Want to know how to cure writer's block?" (and painter's block, too--mse) "It's not a trip to your psychiatrist. For as Pressfield wisely points out, seeking "support" is Resistance at its most seductive. No, the cure is found in Book Two: "Turning Pro."--Foreword by Robert McKee

Yes, Resistance. I've been there in the past, and tried on the clothes to prove it. Now, I passionately do believe that some support is incredibly beneficially, especially when it comes from other women who are working through their approaches to art.

So, what the heck have I been doing? I have:

Learned to play a Stevie Ray Vaughn song (Life by the Drop), 'cause playing 'Sparky' is a great way to procrastinate, I mean, ahem, contemplate painterly things.

Started painting a bathroom cabinet for fun.

Spent lots of time training Diego to do fun dog obedience stuff (warning: loud background music). Someday he'll be able to do this, I just know it.

Got new, way cool glasses.

Finished reading, Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. Wow.

Did NOT try on my entire wardrobe. Nope. Not once.

Thank you for being out there. I'll try to get back here more often. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tucson Artist, Melinda: Travelin' Bug

Well, I've been all over the country this summer (sort of). I'm ready to hunker down for awhile in the studio.

Grand Central--New York (Thanks, Mr. Artyfice) They are beautiful people, n'est-ce pas?
What beautiful people (virtually there)
Boston, MA (Thanks, friendly stranger who took this one. I can almost taste the ice cream!
Going out for ice cream in Boston.
And, of course, my favorite destination, the Grand Canyon (really there).

Standing on the roof of Verkamp's with Ell
One place I haven't been to recently--Facebook. I've been meaning to ask you, do you see a change in the way people spend their time online this year? I mean, have you noticed, as I have, that it appears that most bloggers have headed over to FB and nearly disappeared from Blogger? What do you think is up? I do miss friends there, but I was rarely seeing them as organizations bumped them from my view. I also miss some of the best pet videos.

Are the ex-bloggers power hungry professors now, working on Quantum theories, and too busy to post?

For me, I noticed that I would turn into a small mouse who clicked and clicked the lever (fb) for a tasty 'food pellet,' only to find that I remained hungry, without many finished paintings after all that clicking. Now that I'm off, I'm pushing the lever that really gives me a payoff: PAINTING! Yum.

In the Night, Spirits II (30" x 30," oil on Canvas, Oct. 2012, © Melinda Esparza)

Here is the painting I finished this week, a 30" x 30," oil painting on canvas--a large iteration of, In the Night, Spirits. It was challenging and fun to paint this image on the bigger canvas.

I hope whatever you are doing, that you are getting just the right 'payoff' for you!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gather 'Round the Campfire, Kids: A Scary Story

After Sunset from Verkamp's July 2012 © 2012 Melinda S. Esparza

It was not a dark and stormy night. It was merely an evening--when Ell and I were alone upstairs at Verkamp's settling in for the night. As Ell walked toward the kitchen, and I stood next to the living room sofa, there was a very, very, loud CLAP. He looked at me. I looked at him. Both of us had queries, "Did you hear that?! Was that your laptop?" "No!" Neither of us had made the sound and the laptop didn't have that kind of capability. I, like the good and safe mom posited," It was prolly the fireplace flue, er, something," and we carried on (The fireplace had not been operable for many years, I later learned.) Ell says he totally bought my explanation, even though there was no reason to assume it. I'll take that as a good thing.

The house was extremely noisy, until it wasn't. There were some nights when I would smile listening to the sweet laughter of children and adult voices accompanied by faraway music wafting up from the downstairs gift shop. Then, I'd realize it was 10:30 pm at night! The gift shop closes at 8 pm. Sometimes it sounded like a dinner party, and all this with an evaporative cooler fan running. There were other nights when the house walls seemed alive with strange noises and knocks, when it wasn't windy, but never a large clap, even when the monsoon winds arrived. (An aside: wolf spiders and other strange insects seemed drawn to my bedroom and to my pillow during these days! Okay, old houses have these things, but why, oh why, were they on my pillow and on no one else's?!)

In the Night, Spirits (8" x 8" oil on artists' board© 2012 Melinda S. Esparza

I heard that there were spirits (legends from Native American culture, too) that spent a lot of time around the mule barn and some of the employee housing nearby. They were not the cheerful sort.  Here's one employee's story.  And, there is a book on the subject: Grand Canyon Ghost Stories Spooky Tales About Grand Canyon National Park.

After Ell left, and I was all alone at the Canyon, I became increasingly uneasy--prickly really, with an intuitive sense of energies curious about who was hanging out at Verkamp's old place. And, they were mischievous. I mean, I'd had three roller blinds fall on my head and one window fall out of its frame while I was standing next to it! But, there might have been a slight breeze...On the other hand, the window had been open for days and I'd recently checked to make sure it was in its track.

Okay. I was getting nervous. There. I wrote it. I don't know about you, but I do sense things that sight and ears don't fully account for. Color me crazy, that's just the way I've been all my life. I'll bet you've had some radar for this kind of thing, too.

The intensity of my anxiety continued to roil, until I was so freaked by sounds and sensations each night that I became fed up--and annoyed, and with all the good synchronicity happening, I didn't want things to get ugly. So, near midnight one particularly goose-bumpy night (like being watched and troubled and ready to run from the building screaming and freaking out), I had a conversation--out loud and for a few minutes, in the living room and the balcony under the stars. As I spoke about how I was living there now without malice and that I expected the same, I felt a dissipation of energy (curious spirits?) Peace and quiet filled the house. Even the darkness of the Canyon seemed friendlier.

I was so at peace after this loud conversation that I never felt concerned about being alone in the building for the rest of my stay. A couple days later, there was an unexpected knock at the door. This never happens! Two local, Native American men in worker's garb wanted to check all of the fire alarms. They went through the place, chatted cordially with me, asking questions about my art and my stay with curiosity and studied, thoughtful looks. Finally, they said they'd be back later to replace an alarm. They never returned. I was in no way concerned about the unexpected strangers. I felt I'd past some sort of test.

You could say that I met my own fears and conquered them. I agree. Yet, I think we are visited sometimes, that there are residues of human energy that can cling to an environment (and what an environment it is!), and that these two possibilities can be hard to untangle, especially when all things must be measured against current scientific studies.

This painting might be in response to my remembering that part of my stay. It was another spontaneous painting that I painted a few days ago.

Have you had similar experiences?

"Now about those ghosts. I'm sure they're here and I'm not half so alarmed at meeting up with any of them as I am at having to meet the live nuts I have to see every day. "
Bess Truman

Monday, August 6, 2012

Artist in Residence: Melinda as Minor Vessel of Good

There was another workshop I facilitated while at the Grand Canyon. This one moved me so deeply I cried and rejoiced, as I was used as a vessel to speak art to young people.

The program Grand Inspiration offers high school students time to become "immersed in the beauty of Grand Canyon and record ...their unique perspectives."

After some days rafting the Colorado through a segment of Grand Canyon, the kids return to the Rim and put on an art exhibit, reflecting on their journey together.

Grand Kids after the workshop

They gathered at the residence with me for a couple of hours. When an adult guide asked how I came to be an artist, I told them this: I was in my mid-twenties and lost. I had experienced too much tragedy. In despair, I lay down for a week--not eating--waiting for some answer to go on living with purpose. Nothing happened until a week had passed, I heard (almost audibly) two words:
s t a i n e d   g l a s s!

This startled the students. They thought I would have gotten some kind of transformative wisdom from God, not two unfamiliar words. I have to admit, I was a perplexed! Yet, those words were lightning bolts to my soul. 

I went on: I had $60 to my name and no car. I borrowed one and drove to Oakland to buy a book (How to Work in Stained Glass, by Anita Isenberg, Seymour Isenberg) and some tools. I returned to cut glass, bleed, get flux in my cuts, and to make a few small pieces before moving back to Tucson. Four years later, I was supporting myself doing commission stained glass work and had been in two newspaper articles about stained glass artists in Tucson (along with other artisans of the day). I also had completed two large restaurant commissions, one at Macayo Restaurant and one at El Parador. 

My point for them was this: Each of us can find a way to be artists in this culture, despite tragedy, bias, and a host of other obstacles. The way is not straight, nor easily explained in a textbook. 

Grand Kids with their work

That evening the kids had an art exhibit and were so full of life. The Canyon seemed to inhabit their eyes with renewed purpose and strength. As I looked at the large artwork they'd created at the workshop and the fabulous poetry and drawings and photographs they'd worked on, I was humbled to be a part of it. 

Then, a gifted student walked up to me and told me that he'd had an epiphany. Art is saving HIS life. He, too, he had suffered too much tragedy recently. He shared such a horrible loss with me that I was speechless. But we encouraged each other, hugged, and I left overwhelmed with emotion. 

© 2012 Melinda S. Esparza

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tucson Artist Melinda Grand Canyon Part II: Segment 2218--Chapter 4

Redwall Canyon (8" x 8," oil on cradled panel) July © 2012 Melinda S. Esparza

It could be really easy to write about being one of this year's artists-in-residence at the Grand Canyon. Yes, I could write about it for the rest of the year....Okay, maybe not the entire year, but how about some more?

As part of my volunteer time there, I agreed to lead two workshops for kids. One was Parks in Focus. The kids were in middle school and up from Tucson. They were so intensely interested in their experience. I could tell.

I drew a super larger drawing of the Canyon on several torn pieces of watercolor paper, numbering the backs of the sheets, thinking of David Hockney and his approach to photography in the 1980s.

Each child then got to watercolor and use pastels to paint and draw on their segments of the drawing. You could hear them think the concentrated silence was so strong.

© 2012 Melinda S. Esparza
Didn't they do a great job of abstracting the drawing? Here is a link to their twitter account quoting something I said (Yes, I do remember saying that!): Parks in Focus Twitter Message

Monday, July 16, 2012

Artist Melinda: Home Again, Home Again

Asterism's Dip (8" x 8" oil on artists' board) © 2012 Melinda S. Esparza

Perhaps an artist-in-residency should be subtitled: and Spiritual Retreat. Alone at 4 AM, no tourists or rangers, no pets, no city activity, there are other sounds and thoughts to consider. For me, driving away from consuming grief when I left Tucson, and heading north to the Rim, gave me a place to recover, and an opportunity to craft some serious realignment, to bring forward what I know to be true and hear again the soul's voice that really does know everything. We get so lost trying to please others--listening to their requests, their needs.

From silence, love speaks.

In the morning, I got to give Ranger Pete Peterson and Virginia of the Gift Shop at Verkamp's hearty hugs before departing. They were so kind and enthusiastic about my work and the artists who reside upstairs. Good people! They do have perfect jobs...after painting, of course.
I'm home now. And what a day of travel it was! I drove us away from one of the best places I've ever had the honor of experiencing. It was a cool day, and the drive home was exciting with the monsoon rains. At the end of the day, double rainbows formed over my home and studio. The second one is barely visible in the upper left hand corner of the sky.

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too.

The painting, Asterism's Dip (oil on Artists' Board, 8" x 8"), was painted after awakening at 4 AM several nights in a row. The Big Dipper was swooping down for a drink, or delivering energy to the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon. I know I drank deeply.

I ate birthday cake.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Grand Canyon Artist in Residence Melinda Esparza: Of an Evening's Measure

Of an Evening's Measure (8" x 8," oil on artists' board)© 2012 Melinda S. Esparza

What is the purpose of an AiR (Artist-in-Residence)? How is that opportunity honored, and what can one get out of it?

I found that I:

Cleaned my palette

Found I used less of everything

Looked more

Spent time more wisely

Addendum--Things I learned:

Stand back when pulling down ancient rolly blinds

A wolf spider is hard to sleep near

Save the Daddy Long Legs

Condors perform for travelers, and ravens do too

Walking up three flights of stairs several times a day in addition to sightseeing, grocery shopping and laundry doing, will definitely hobble one for a couple of days

Synchronicity is everywhere, if you're open to it

Don't put things with polyester in the public dryer with towels--they will melt

Stop with the multi-tasking already

This piece (Of an Evening's Measure, 8" x 8," oil on artists' panel) was created during the last two weeks. Plus, here's another slideshow of a spectacular sunset last night. Wishing you all paint time.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Grand Canyon Headquarters Art Exhibit: Artist Melinda is There!

It's been an incredible honor to be one of this year's artists-in-residence at the Grand Canyon, only to have the added privilege of having my work exhibited at the Grand Canyon Park Service's Headquarters.

Life with a cherry on top.

A major thank you to Rene A. Westbrook, South Rim Artist-in-Residence program coordinator, Grand Canyon National Park. She has been so generous and thoughtful coordinating my stay and hanging my work. She is also a wonderful artist!

Here are more photos from the Canyon taken on different days:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Grand Canyon: Quiet Walk, and then!

Photo by Ell (recent graduate-Master's in Math-and all around good man)

Here are two paintings from this week's paint demos. They aren't done, of course, but they give me ideas.

I was walking along the Trail of Time this morning, contemplating the beauty and quiet. There is something that happens when you're here for awhile. The world falls away and there is a desire to slow down--way down. It's so subtle, yet powerful.

Then, I spotted large birds circling, and I thought that they'd found something to hunt. They swooped over my head and I began to shake. They were condors! There were about eight of them having a pleasant fly over, landing along the edge of an outcropping, talking to each other, observing. They looked like they were performing too, but there was no crowd.

Wishing you all time to slow down, disconnect and take in a little nature...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Grand Canyon Artist Melinda Video Postcard

Dear artist bloggers,

Here's a quick video of me painting on the Rim Monday morning. You'll hear the wind whistling, so you might want to turn down the sound at first.

Each day gets better and better. Clouds are coming in causing a shadow dance of shapes across the Canyon walls and mesas. You should be here!

Wish you were.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Made It! Life on the Rim is Good

Just a quick note to let you know that I made it here. What a day! What a place! Wish you all could stop in to celebrate with me. Here are some first impressions:

Wishing you all a great weekend. More soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grand Canyon Dreaming

In my mind, I'm already there.... Grand Canyon Guide

I'll be painting, musing, thinking of you all. My heart is full of good words of encouragement.

I am thankful for you.

Let's see if I can blog a little while on the Rim. At first, you can just picture me with an awestruck (and slightly goofy) look on my face. 

Here sits a visitation of joy
Captured by a flickering light
Easing the cry of a world yearning to rest
Just for a moment
This is my gratified wish
To be present in this warm light (of the Rim)
Not far away
Where I am of no use
---Melinda Esparza © 2008

And, a special thank you to:

Kathryn Law
Jeane Myers

Barbara Muir

Donald Diddams

Linny D.Vine

Jeffrey J. Boron


and Mr. Artyfice and Ell.

Could not have done this without you. There are other really special people who have helped in so many ways. I'm thinking of you, too.

With best wishes--m

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Woman Artist, Melinda asks: What Are You Afraid of?

Yes, you, dear men and women of the Western cultures. What scares you most? Is it spiders? Or, roaches? Maybe heights, or flying? Now, if you have strong fears, I'll bet there are some things about painting that keep you up at night. Nearly all my of life, I have been afraid of spiders. So much so, that I couldn't even look at photos of them in magazines. But, nature finds a way. One day, my Ell won the fifth grade class's tarantula. That's right. T A R A N T U L A. I was clearly stuck. If I expressed my true terror of the ghastly thing, why, I'd be the laughing stock of the classroom. Ell would know for sure that I am really some kind of cowering, simpering fraud after all those years of being... Mother: The Force of Nature (echo, echo, echo). Her name was Molly. We brought her home and started collecting crickets for her. We added to her name. She became Molly Francesca Gomezina. She was the subject of many a monotype and a very long poem/book. I learned to hold her in my hand. Before she died, she graced us with a phenomenal event. She molted. This is her molt that you see me holding today. Maybe we don't have to be afraid of paint. Maybe we can paint with abandon, knowing that there are scarier things in the world; and that nature and pigment and canvas are not any of those things. Makes the brush a lot less intimidating, doesn't it? Be brave.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Painting! Ain't Gonna Be Dragged Down

Here it is a Wednesday and I'm painting again. This is much better. You guys are great and I am so thankful for your friendship and art.

The other day I was reading an article in New Mexico Magazine about Georgia O'Keeffe and her camping trips with her assistant, Maria Chabot. I wish I could share it with you, but it's in the current June edition and there are no links to the article right now. However, there is this, Georgia O'Keeffe and her houses, that you might like to look at.

Ever the curious web-surfer, I found another article. This one, quite damning of O'Keeffe's work. My. I'm in conflict. I can't help but enjoy her work, but I think the author makes valid points. Pointedly. Here's a link to the article, Inspired illustrator, by Deborah Solomon. This should stimulate some discussion.

I've completed Pedernal One, 18" x 18" (oil on cradled panel) today. Whew! This is the one I worked on during the Tucson Artists' Open Studios Tour in April. I wonder if this is, er ahem, O'Keeffe-like, or maybe, even better...

Blue Pedernal II (18" x 18," oil on cradled panel) © 2012 Melinda S. Esparza
Music is like a great cup of coffee, isn't it? This song by Eric Bibb, Don't Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down, got me going today, and I thought I'd share it with you. Wishing you lots of inspired time in the studio.