Monday, December 14, 2009

Stepping Back from the Abyss: Grand Canyon Painting

The holidays are always freighted with conflicting emotions, new resolves, past remembrances--good and not so good, don't you think? It must seem as though time is flying by as we all think about the end of the year and our interest in the future. Sometimes it all looks like an abyss into which our lives fall until the new year. Well, here I am thinking about all of that and offering up a more pleasant abyss, from the edge--a safe place.

This section of the monster is in the center of the painting. As you can see, I'm still traveling its depths, navigating the scenery and making it into paint. This segment is probably about 2' x 4'.

Hope you're all warm and well as you attempt to stay above the fray!


loriann signori said...

Wow Melinda! I can't wait to see the whole thing. It is looking good. Paintings like that take an awful long time, with ups and downs, sort of like children. Constantly cooking.
Take care of yourself during this hectic time. When in doubt paint or take a bath. ;-) L

cohen labelle said...

This looks like the stage set for the great American ballet, maybe to be choreographed by the likes of Balanchine if he were still around, so Melinda the job falls to you!!!

Sadia said...

Great movement!and wonderful choice of colors!
Take care and Happy Holidays!

Edgar said...

I remember standing on a few precipices: the Grand Canyon, the Cliffs of Dover (or somewhere nearby), and the narrow ramparts of a castle. I remember that high winds near a large drop give me a dread fear. One castle tour had my legs trembling. Otherwise, I have little problem with vertigo.

Mostly, at the Grand Canyon, the winds in my memory are relatively quiet. I remember the snow falling in a dead calm, and white-out a hundred feet out over the chasm.

On a calm, sunny day, the Canyon is serenity itself to look over: God's zen garden. Great forces are always at work. They carve deep, but slow. You are small, but a welcome part. Your painting reminds me of these feelings.

Tatieva said...

Wouah, quelles couleurs, quelle lumière ! C'est d'une grande intensité et d'une luminosité grandiose... Bravo !

Melinda said...

Oh, so true, so true, Loriann! Like children, these paintings require patience, and abundant and good seasoning. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you'll also take good care of yourself in all of that cold weather!

I like that bath suggestion...ah, with some candles and classical music perhaps...

Melinda said...

Ah, Cohen Labelle, how I wish my painting could be so uplifting as Balanchine! Perhaps, it can be a modest "concerto da camera." Although, I'm feeling that it is like On Your Toes--while I sometimes dance and soubresaut.

I shall try. But, I know that I will fall short in many ways.

Thank you so much!!
P. S. Can you tell I did some homework?!

Melinda said...

Hello and welcome, Sadia.
Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comments! I just hope I don't ruin this painting.

Best wishes for a great holiday season!

Melinda said...

You know, Edgar, I can't top that. Thank you for waxing so eloquently. Wish we could go back to the Grand Canyon this winter. Ah, well, we have the painting to look at.

Melinda said...

Hello and welcome to my blog, Tatieva!

C'est très gentil de ta part!

I hope to finish this before the year has ended, but I'm not sure now. To capture the intensity and the luminosity of the light in the Grand Canyon, is exactly what I dream of doing...I guess I can keep dreaming, yes?

Je vous remercie!!!

Marian Fortunati said...

Beautiful colors and a wonderful overall feeling to this "part" or the painting...
Is it a diptych or a triptych or something like that???

cohen labelle said...

Listen Melinda, this segment 2 ft. by 4 ft. is breathtakingly beautiful and looks complete to me. I don’t know what the overall dimensions are of your entire painting but don’t be spooked by it! The Grand Canyon is a force of nature to be sure but so are you!
If you need some distance from it you could maybe start another canvas the same size or possibly a bit smaller? That way you would have two things to work on and wouldn’t risk feeling stuck on the enormity of this one – which from what I can see is totally magnificent.

susan hong-sammons said...

What a passionate painting! wow

Melinda said...

You are very kind, too, Cohen Labelle! Taking a deep breath here...Trying not to be spooked, mostly sustaining. I think that's why I'm working on this in sections with only a few daubs randomly placed elsewhere in a painting session.

You've read my mind. I am thinking of doing portions of this in the future. Plus, I just HAD to take a break from all of this mostly real painting and throw paint on a different canvas. What a relief that was!

Thank you, too, for the "force of nature" comment. Funny, that's what my college boy says...hmmm. How I wish. ;)

Melinda said...

Hi Marian,
Thank you! This has been lots of fun to paint, but sometimes scary.

It is one, very large, no honkin' large painting. It's four feet by six feet and needs a room of its own!! I work and post sections instead of waiting until it's all done...That could take awhile. :)

Melinda said...

Hi Susan,
Ah, yes, a passionate painting...and challenging and exhausting. But, totally worth it so far. I'm still learning as I go and making some discoveries.

Thank you!!

Jeane Myers said...

good morning Melinda - wow, this painting is starting to feel alive - just wonderful :)

Melinda said...

Hi Jeane,
Yes, it's talking to me, alright! Some of its comments are not printable...

Thank you!

SamArtDog said...

Hi Melinda

I'm sending this because I've noticed how many great blogs we enjoy in common.

I'm appreciating your work a lot and especially loving your courageous trip down into the Canyon.

I'm hoping your blog, with all of the wonderful reminders of a place I love, will get me back there sooner than the return of the desert flowers (which ought to be spectacular after this wet winter) to visit friends and artists there I haven't seen in too too long.

Have faith; spring will come, you will finish the Canyon, and both will be beautiful!

Melinda said...

Hi SamArtDog,
Your words stuck a deep chord with me and I thank you for stopping by and leaving such a heartfelt comment. I will hold your words in my head: "Have faith; spring will come, you will finish the Canyon..." And, I'm dreaming it will be good.

I do hope you'll have the chance to visit the Grand Canyon in the not too distant future. Sounds like the desert is calling your name.

You have a fantastic blog!

Karen said...

So true, so insightful, about the conflicting emotions! It's good to 'hear' someone else mention it, so we feel maybe a little less like the only one feeling that way (like, isn't everyone supposed to be SO HAPPY every minute of the season?!). It's a rest to read this,
and a rest to look at this beautiful abyss.

Melinda said...

Hi Karen,
I'm glad you like this painting. When I look at it, remembering when my family was there last, I instantly feel calmer.

Wishing you a more peaceful holiday season!

It jus' ain't natchul to be happy all the time!!

SamArtDog said...

Thanks for your remark about my blog; the process is new for me, so I'm often teetering on meltdown.
When I wrote about the Grand Canyon, I was referring to your wonderful painting. The rest was all about Tucson; that's where I long to revisit, hopefully in time to see the desert bloom.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I just plain love it. We are back on Northern North American soil, and though my heart is heavy with that sudden return feeling, I am infinitely cheered by your lovely painting and your thoughts on this fraught holiday. I hope you are feeling well, and that you have the merriest Christmas.


Melinda said...

Welcome back, Barbara! There is often a bit of a travel let down, but I know with some rest, it will pass quickly for you. Once you start painting again, you'll be flying high!

Thank you for your comment. Looking forward to your new paintings!

Linny D. Vine said...

Happy Solstice, Melinda! Your painting is gorgeous and it glows with warmth!

Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Linny!! Wishing you all the best in the new year!

I'm glad you like this painting. It's coming along...slowly.

Inna Lazarev said...

Very athmospheric painting. Combination of red and dark blue creates enigmatic feeling. Well done!

Inna Lazarev,