Thursday, August 13, 2009

Painting Texas Canyon, Arizona Rest Stop

My approach this last week was to try for some more layering and scraping, but after slathering on paint in a most haphazard, cavalier way, I decided to stop here and take a rest. When we traveled to New Mexico this summer, we stopped at one of the last Arizona rest stops before the long haul to Lordsburg, NM, called Texas Canyon. Sorry, I can't for the life of me tell you why it's named Texas Canyon. This is oil on artist's board, 12" x 12".

More water damage, but this time it happened to our adobe walls. It's so much fun seeing the studios, homes and nature at other artists' blogs, that I thought you might enjoy seeing my environment. The following shows our home back in the early 1970s (called Home Sweet Home) before all of the additions, and the next photo is the same view today. The small window in today's photo corresponds to the window in the 1970s house. The edge of my studio (the red wall) is on the left.

Over the years soil and dips in the soil have built up around the perimeter and water has begun to puddle along the other side of this little adobe. As I walked to the kitchen the other day, I saw a chunk of plaster on the floor and a small mound of sand flow out like sand in an hour glass. Yikes. You can see a close up showing the adobe bricks behind the old lime plaster. Now we'll have to work on patching this with the retrieved dirt, sand and some cactus pad juice for glue. What's with all of this water lately?! We had a major monsoon storm yesterday and we were outside with shovels re-directing water away from the house while it was pouring. Kinda fun!


loriann signori said...

Absolutely LOVE the color combinations in this painting! Sorry about all the crazy monsoons pelting your home......I sure do like your spirit about having fun while diverting the water. Best luck with Mother Nature!

Linny D. Vine said...

Wonderfully exciting colors in this painting and so full of energy! What an amazing home for an amazing artist to live and create in - perfect for you, Melinda! Thank-you for sharing images of your adobe abode.

Melinda said...

Hi, Loriann,
The color combinations were completely random as I thought I was going to scrape the painting later, revealing some other combinations. Maybe this will be another technique!

Thank you! Mother nature was very kind today and the temps were down to a chilly 86 degrees! A fine day.

Melinda said...

Hi, Linny,
Thank you! The place is like a living creature--sometimes kindly old friend, sometimes demanding beastie. But, it breathes and it inspires me to paint.

kathrynlaw said...

Eeeek, your house is melting! Seriously, what a fantastic place. That is an epic artists' house, I'm totally jealous. In your painting, I love the treatment of the hills especially. Gorgeous color and an almost-nervous energy.

Karen said...

I think it's kind of cool sometimes, when we have this drive we're on, to stop in the middle, pull back, and re-direct (or stop) ourselves. It feels good, like waking up. Maybe it feels liberating.

I especially love that little cloud peeking up over the mountain. It feels funny, or mischievous, or like it has a real personality.

Melinda said...

That's just what we said when we saw the tiny pyramid of sand! Eeek, indeed. If you were here, living with the unfinished construction, the no man's land of miscellaneous stuff and the constraints of money plus time to work on these things....well, you know. ;) Yet, we can't help but love it--so organic, to put it nicely.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I was very quick with this and squeezed out from the tube, mixing/blending very little.

Melinda said...

That's a great idea, Karen, to stop and re-direct one's awareness. I wish I could do that more often. My family is the type that is mostly thinking, "Are we there yet? I just want to get to our destination!" I usually end up taking photos at 75 miles an hour...unless I'm driving. ;-)

Yes, these clouds have been showing up a lot in our jaunts. They are like mischievous bits of energy. I'm so glad that you see that. They get me every time I see them. I think they're teasing the desert with a promise, often unfulfilled, for rain.

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

I've noticed that that cloud seems to appear often in your lovely work Melinda. Almost as though it can't be denied, just as your place in the south west art world. I really enjoy the work you have been doing...a lot! A mutal artist friend of ours often has a Vokswagen van show up in her dreamscapes.

Thank you for sharing a small bit of your domestic world. Adobe very interesting.


Edgar said...

I think your lonely clouds capture a key feature of the desert landscape -- the fact that there's often only one cloud in the sky at a time. It stands out.

This painting is a lovely pastiche of color.

Melinda said...

You're right, Jeffrey. These desert clouds do seem to have personalities that can't be denied. Maybe they're my way of painting alternate self portraits.

I just wish they would let go of their rain more often!

Melinda said...

Thank you, Edgar. They do look a bit lonely sometimes, but they often have a crowd of friends behind them, don't they? I believe this one had a valley full of them just beyond this rest stop.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I agree that your spirit is incredibly joyous to be happily diverting water to save your house. The painting is gorgeous, and I love all the discussion about clouds. In addition to being a great painter, you are a wonderful thinker and writer. I'm so delighted to be able to read your blog again.


Melinda said...

Thank you very much for your kind words, Barbara.

It's great to have you back blogging and I'm looking forward to your next painting.