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 finest 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 shes 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...

8 comments:

Barbara Muir said...

Love the painting, the dogs and the quote. My good dog has helped me on my path. Wonderful thought about the little girl in the sandbox. What a perfect metaphor.

Back to the sandbox. You rock.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoBarbara

Melinda said...

We do love the sandbox, don't we, Barbara?!

The rest of the article is definitely worth reading and rereading, too.

Thank you so much for being there and sharing your own castle building! I'm really loving your ginormous work lately. Own that wall, girl!

xo

Anonymous said...


Hi Melinda, It's a great piece, always is.

The dogs are darling. How did you come across El Zorro Melinda? Love that you always adopt adult dogs. The need a second chance.
Sherrill

Micros said...

Hi Melinda

I enjoyed viewing your latest work and can imagine myself trekking around the rocks a bit looking up and seeing the intensity of the sky colors mixed in with the red rocks as well.

Good work!

I read the article and upon further reading (on a different web sites), found out some very disturbing news and that is, that only 5% of work done by women artists are shown in galleries or museums. I can come up with dozens of scenarios why that is and each one bothers me to no end.

At this point. . . I'm speechless.

Micros

Donald Diddams said...

Great Jim Shepard quote. If someone doesn't say something like that to us, then, yes, we say it to ourselves. And up go the roadblocks.

I was looking back over my old work and found some very nice things, and some things that for good reason have never seen the light of day. There was a clear ebb and flow with periods of success, balanced by periods of palpable frustration and failure. I think it is valuable to acknowledge that those ups and downs naturally happen.
And yes, a good dog can help through the good times and bad. They are real friends with their own special wisdom.

I think you won the wrestling match and have a great painting -- hopefully true to those feelings you had on Forest Road 151.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Sherrill. I'm glad you like this painting. It does seem to get worked over every few months. I really hope it doesn't present any need for manipulation in the future.

I've never bought a dog, or any animal, really. They've all been rescue dogs from the Humane Society, the county animal control, or from a rescue group. This lovely Zorro called us from Phoenix (130 miles north of Tucson) and we listened. I had been looking at GSDs on Petfinder.com since the end of July, and found this guy a few weeks ago. He's a jewel.

Dogs keep me balanced. I feel lost without them. Do you have pups?

Thank you so much for commenting!

Melinda said...

Thank you, Micros, for taking the time to learn about this pervasive problem. I have a treat for you. If you'll look on the right hand links on my blog, you'll see about half way down, a link to Guerrillas in Our Midst. If you click on the link and scroll down, you'll see a very small window for a film to play. It looks as though it's already played, but you can click on 'play' (might have to advance the bar a bit), and watch a very entertaining, very educational film about the status of women artists today.

I would love to be a "Guerrilla Girl."

Thank you for visiting and leaving such a thoughtful comment.

I'm glad you like the work, too.

Melinda said...

Absolutely, Donald. Why do we take over self-destructing our art careers after others stop? It's a puzzle, but I know that negative thoughts are automatically generated in our dear brains. Sometimes, they're merely random mixes of errant chemistry. We can ignore those!

Thank you for your wise words. I always feel edified when you comment.

I love that you're reviewing your work and pondering its trajectory. I hope it inspires you toward a direction that brings it all together for you.

Sending you good and supportive thoughts.