Monday, September 26, 2011

Last Swim of the Summer, Stomping on ANTs, Ghost Ranch Cliff

Ghost Ranch Cliff 8" x 8" on oil panel--Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

I don't know about you...Wait. I think I do know about you. If you're an artist reading this (or not), I'll bet you have ANTs too.

Okay, let me explain. I had a few days of not painting recently and I watched some PBS programing on the brain, again. This time, Dr. Amen talked about how all of us have Automatic Negative Thoughts, yeah, ANTs that are just a part of regular brain function. We can kill these ANTs by redirecting our thoughts, and we don't have to let them eat up our days. I really like that we have the power to change the way we think.

It's rather unusual to be able to swim at the end of September, even for this hot Arizona desert. But, with a pool cover, one can eek out a moment of water meditation before it is just too cold. Water therapy is great for fighting ANTs.

Last swim of the summer Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Ah. Getting back into the studio and painting does this for me, now doesn't it for you too?! So, here is a painting that completely led me away from self deprecating thinking after an evening soaking in the pool.

Amen to that. Thanks, doctor.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thank You, Georgia O'Keeffe. Something New. Something Sold

Took a break from working on "The Beast" (Grand Canyon painting) yesterday and experimented with this encaustic. It's on a cradled 12" x 12" encausticbord. It felt like a meditation. It may not be finished.

Ocean Meditation #1 Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

I went to have my eyes examined last week (Should it really have been my head? Prolly, but that's for another day.)

Chatted with the wonderful Dr. Peterson like we were old friends. I mentioned that Georgia O'keeffe had macular degeneration throughout the final ten years of her life. How horrible that must have been for her. How awful for an artist!

Here's the thing I learned from the good doctor. She told me that new studies have shown that lutein (10mg per day) and ziaxanthin (2mg per day) can reduce the risk of developing this sight robbing disease. I ran right out and bought some, not because I have it in my family, but because it is on the rise in this country--and, because of Georgia. I hope you'll consider this for your dear artist's eyes.

Glyff Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

This painting, one of my other favorites, Glyff (8" x 8") sold this week from my website. It's been a good week so far.

Better get back to work with my fancy schmancy new glasses...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Grand Canyon Work: Small Endeavor for a Day

While taking a lunch break today, I watched a little of Charlie Rose's program with Chuck Close and Richard Serra talk about creativity and the brain. A woman artist was not part of the discussion, which I thought would have added to the conversation. I mean, the male brain and the female brain are different from each other we've learned. How so scientifically as it relates to creativity? Historically men have been heralded as leaders in art. So, what do women artists' brains reveal in relationship to art and creativity?

Well, it was interesting that Chuck Close said, and I paraphrase, that inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. While that seems flippant, it is true that we have jobs to do. I like to think this way too--do the work, surprises happen, new ideas emerge.

I'm endeavoring.

This week, I'm working on "The Beast" again--the Grand Canyon painting that I've been working on since 2008 (48" x 72"). This is one new section. Of course, it brought back wonderful memories of going there, standing there, dazzled by a sunrise on the rim. I surely hope I can finish this painting soon!

Grand Canyon Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Plus, I am delighted that this small work: Evening Light Catalinas (5" x 7") sold this past week. What a boost for this artist.

Evening Light Catalinas Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Okay. Lunch break over. Wishing you all a productive, happy discipline in the studio!