Friday, December 31, 2010

Tucson Artist Melinda: Snowblind Under Cloud Cover: Happy New Year!

Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

Young, hesitant flakes of white
fell silently on black fur--

I walked bundled, lured by the beauty to the north of us, in rhythmic steps,
Quieted
Embellished with a leash--

Loki, chaos of dogness,
eyeing the flight of pigeons grounded to drink the pooled water with gasoline rainbows, moved apace
(eager to stay warm)
Eager to complete his neighborhood perimeter check.

Snow blind, with a countenance like a child with a powdered sugar smile, my head was full of brown mountains dusted with snow.
If the clouds would keep their cover, black fur might turn to white--

This sight was dessert for our city, a Mt. Lemmon mousse atop a chocolate base,
meant to celebrate the end and the start of a another year.
And, like candles on a cake--
in a call and response from the desert floor,
prefiguring new beginnings.
Poem © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year. Hoping, perhaps insanely so, that 2011 will be a great year, a better year for everyone--filled with good health, better work situations, good times with friends, and lots of studio time.Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Artist Melinda's Saga Continues: Notched Up!

Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

The Bershires Notch #4
To take a cue from Linny's comment, I've notched up this painting several times and will be adding notches to my portfolio again, I'm sure. Here, I'm slathering on paint with my trusty cake decorator, using scraping tools, and pouring paint.

.....So, the next day of our trip back east, we visited the The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

I remember on our first visit there, that I was completely dazzled by William-Adolphe Bouguereau's Nymphes et Satyre (Nymphs and Satyr). Notice that this painting is 5 feet 9" by 8. 53 feet tall! It was imposing. I think that Mr. Bouguereau, the Academic traditional painter, must have been so as well. Being a member of the Academy during the rise of Impressionism must have irritated the heck out of him. Still, his work is stunning:
I was swept away by John Singer Sargent's, Fumee D'Ambris Gris. (3' 1" x 4' 6 3/4") We were allowed to take photos of anything in the museum. That was a thrill too.
Sargent's:Fumee D'Ambris Gris
Two closeups of Fumee D'Ambris Gris
Then this--A Bad Monet, I'm Sorry, But It's True and I Don't Even Remember the Title:
Not to fret, there was Monet's The Cliffs at Etretat and everyone's favorite, Claude Monet, Rouen Cathedral, The Fa├žade in Sunlight:
And, Oh My Gosh! There were women artists in the 19th Century AND in the museum. Look! A Mary Cassatt and a Berthe Morisot!
There were several wonderful Winslow Homers and fabulous Fredrick Remingtons. Here are two:
Don't you think these two painters really got the power of photographs and their high drama and high contrast elements?
I'm tired now after all that walking. Maybe you need some comic relief too. Here's a link to The Madness of Art's most recent video and a link to Mr. Bean vs Whistler's Mother from a comment made at Madness. Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza
Happy holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An Artist Walks Into A Museum and Other Studies

Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

So, where were we?! Oh, yes, I was going to tell you more stories!

Before I do, let me write about the two studies I did today.

After the first study of The Notch, I decided that I wanted to explore the image a bit more. I liked the painting, didn't want to scrape it, but felt that I needed another approach. Here is The Notch #2, on a small 8" x 8" artists' board:
Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

But,I hated this!

Went back and wrestled the darn thing for another long while, and painted differently: The Notch #3, on the same artists' board:
Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

Ah, that's better.

I'm still going to deconstruct this image (it's so much fun), and I'll post more as I push it further. It's still not where I want it to be.

Our trip last month was one of those incredible journeys that has left me with a bazillion ideas, memories and photographs for further inspiration.

A cloud had something to say and a young man was bursting with ideas--
Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

Spending time with such brilliance kept me on my toes and wanting to go everywhere and see everything I could.

Of course, an artist, wherever she travels, will be drawn to the local museums. The day we visited Mass MoCa was very cold and rainy. Inside, the place was teeming with irony, surrealism, postmodern and post-post modern intrigue, retrospectives and introspectives everywhere!

If you haven't gone to Mr. Artyfice's blog lately and read his (Untitled) Art Blog Post, well, please do. He tells our story better than I could have. Really.

Last night, I had to watch (Untitled) Movie again....I just don't have the words for all that I'm thinking.

Mass MoCa was more than I expected, let's say. There was the Petah Coyne exhibit, which left my brain frazzled.

I thought it beautiful, important, unimportant, tragic, funny, disturbing and so labor intensive that I marveled at the artist's work ethic.

The Sol LeWitt Retrospective and Wall Drawings came next. Oh, I mean after the Leonard Nimoy gallery of digital portraits (stunning, high resolution of nearly life sized portraits of people who posed as their inner selves). Back to LeWitt...Oh, how about just some photos:


They came with instructions.
College students recreated his work from those instructions.
Their process was mesmerizing.

Then there was the installation work of Tobias Putrih:


Are you getting the idea that Mass MoCa was stimulating, while it painfully excluded painting? Yes, me too. I didn't want to go, at first, because I knew if they had any painting, it would be somewhere obscure. I was right. On the other hand...this was so much better than viewing the same old, same old, work by the same old guys of the last century and beyond. Eeks. I'm in trouble now.

Even looking out of the window at Mass MoCa was aesthetically pleasing. Hey! They have the Airstream I've always wanted! This is a wonderful installation by Michael Oatman: "All Utopias Fell."

Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

And, while I felt really silly doing this, I had to take a photo (or two) of the women's restroom.Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

As I exited the room, there was an exhibit by a woman artist who had photographed the same thing, along with the rest of the basement area of Mass MoCa.

There was only one glitch in our day trip to the museum...I could not play the guitar. The place was closed.Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

It's probably just as well. We were players in a play, actors/artists with an 'eye' for things, and not a bucket in sight.