Friday, October 28, 2011

2011 Tucson Open Studio Tour: Tucson Artist Melinda Esparza Waters the Plants, Dreams of Snow

Rincon Peak Winter Snow October 2011 Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

What is it about deadlines that can freeze all artistic activity? It feels like the psychological equivalent of "...caught in the headlights."

On the other hand, it has energized me to submit a donation of art to the Westmont Museum of Art in Santa Barbara, CA. The deadline is the first of November, so I just made that. And, the 2011 Open Studio Tour got me to deliver this new work to the JCC art gallery for the upcoming preview exhibit.

Heck, it even got me to do a little gardening...(This means I watered some plants and bought a young okra plant at Whole Foods.) Ha. Have you ever had fresh okra, by the way? It is very good with cornmeal and mesquite flour and very easy to grow. The flowers are spectacular too.

This painting, Rincon Peak Winter Snow (18" x 18", oil on cradled artists' board) is a reminder that winter is coming and perhaps a little snow will show up on the mountains around town. Wishing you all could show up for the Open Studio Tour.

Here's an image of the postcard that is being mailed out by Tucson Pima Arts Council. While I think there could be some refinement with the graphic design (I know. Having a graphic designer in the house can cause one to be very fussy), it does have my artwork in the lower right hand section!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tucson Artist Melinda and the Collaboration

She Wore New Earrings, Abstract by Jeane Myers, Karon Leigh and Melinda S. Esparza Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Sitting in my studio a couple of weeks ago, I eagerly awaited the arrival of a stranger/not a stranger--a friend--I had not met.

When could anyone write such a sentence and have it make any sense before 1996? Ah, then, you know what's coming.

Fellow artist and blogger Jeane Myers had written me, letting me know that she'd be in Tucson for a few days, and wondered if I'd be up for a visit. Wow. Of course, I said, and we set up a time.

To have the opportunity to sit and chat face to face about art and to share some brushstrokes on an artists' board with her, was a surreal and wonderful treat for this rather isolated artist.

We got to talking about Winsor & Newton Artisan water based oil paints, which prompted an experiment. Jeane's friend, Karon Leigh, and I pushed some paint around and after they left, I added the background, the "eye" and a few more marks. This is the result. I titled it: She Wore New Earrings (oil on artists' board) and hope this makes Jeane chuckle.

No. Words can't quite express how lucky I felt having Jeane visit in person, to talk about art, art, art, and to exchange real, in-person hugs. I'm still smiling. If I were a millionaire, one of my wishes would be to visit each of you and have a nice art chat.

I hope you'll visit her website and have a look at her fabulous work. And, then head over to Karon's website and look at her encaustic work. Lovely.

Any time you're in town, my studio is your place for sharing, collaborating, and for a genuine, heartfelt hug.

Maybe you'll even consider visiting during the Tucson 2011 Open Studio Tour coming up November 12th and 13th. Okay, I can dream.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tucson Open Studio Tour 2011

Ghost Ranch Ancestors 18" x 18" on cradled oil panel--Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Tucson Pima Arts Council is again hosting the Open Studio Tour, and it's coming up in just a few weeks. Of course I'm not ready. I will be, though!

We've had some challenges with lighting and with getting the 'ranchette' presentable, but I think we'll pull it all together in the nick of time.

The Tucson Jewish Community Center will be hosting the preview exhibit starting on Wednesday, November 9th. That gives artists and the community a chance to see a sampling of work in town. I wish you all could be here. We do have us some fun.

I'm still following the trail of images from my New Mexico journey. In my mind, I'm there.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The ANTs Disappeared and PAINT Made a Mesa

Ghost Ranch Mesa 30" x 30" on oil panel--Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

It was really wonderful to hear from you all about your own struggles with ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts). I know that you work diligently to chase them away. I think you're successful. You inspire me to keep chasing mine away too.

When they're gone, it is a good day. Here is a 30" x 30" oil on canvas that I finished last night...sans ANTs.