Friday, February 26, 2010

Paint, Painter, Painted--Art, Artist, Alive

When you are sad, paint.

When you are happy, paint.

When you need a calm and quiet place, paint.

When you are sick, draw.

Do these things even when you are somewhere in between. If you're not an artist, buy art and meditate on why it is so utterly healing for the moment of your gaze.

And, when the storm passes, smile that there is another day.

I'm sensing that we are all storm watchers, sky watchers, observers of the times and environment. It's just primal, isn't it? Things are still very, very tough here in Arizona (but, do you really have any idea?), and I imagine they are tough all over. Reminds me of an old poem, Dover Beach, by Matthew Arnold. But, being a bit quirky, my mind always goes next to Anthony Hecht's version and I laugh every time I read it.

Only one storm has passed, but there are others on the line. I'll try to paint them and you do the same because things are bad all over for someone.

This oil painting is: After the Storm (8" x 8," on artists' board).

Painting Mirrors the Hopeful Heart While the World Climbs into a Basket--Melinda 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Arizona Painting Brings Rain to Tucson

Are we artists shamans, priestesses, seers? I started a painting a few days ago inspired by the clouds that were slowly coming and going across this immense Arizona sky. I was thinking about how clouds look different in different regions and remembered that Ell has already done some interesting research on this. At about 2:27, there is his observation about Arizona clouds versus Icelandic clouds. Yes, ours seem pretty cool, languishing for awhile, then moving on. They also have curled whisps that I've only seen here and in western New Mexico.

My approach was to paint from my reaction to the one huge cloud that hung over my street yesterday. I spent quite some time smearing and slap dashing on the panel. This morning the winds picked up and the rain descended like a response to paint, a dream of water to quench a thirst for connection.

Please don't wake me from this vivid dream...

This is Ah-Ree-Zoe-Nah Ski (Arizona Cloud, 8" x 8," oil on artists' board).

Just for fun, here is a photo of the animals enjoying the special day and a view of the rain from our living room. It's been a lot of fun seeing other artists' pets and environment.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tucson Artists' Open Studios Coming Up

It's only four weeks away until the Tucson Artists' Open Studios event, and the buzz of preparation quietly, yet doggedly, begins. This artist is now completely plugged in: blog, website and Facebook. This is unsettling--in so many ways. In the last week, I've been able to touch up a few paintings, paint the sides of others, set up my print rack and go through some of my favorite prints. Mr. Artyfice was kind enough to stabilize one work table. There's more to do. Yesterday I finished reading Seven Days in the Art World, by Sarah Thornton. I recommend it. For many of you, it won't be shocking, but there are lots of insider goings-on of which we lowly artists are ignorant. Tucson seems to be light years away from it all. But, good art and devoted artists are still here in the Old Pueblo making marks. 

Last August, I posted a painting called Almost Los Alamos (30" x 30," oil on canvas) that really started to bother me. I sought advice from Kathryn and Jana, and went back into it. I think this is much better now. My thanks to them both! It might be that I'm wishing I were in Los Alamos today having a chat with my cousin about Little Boy and Fat Man, and how well Oppenheimer played the dead guy in the community theater melodrama years ago. Right now, it seems like it would be a lot less stressful...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sabino Canyon House and Sky

Cold in the desert. Cold in the West. Cold in the East. Cold in the Middle. Let's all get together and knit an Icelandic sweater for the entire country, eh? I hear that there is another storm racing up to New England. My portion of the sweater will be cobalt blue and cadmium yellow medium. What are your colors?

This painting is one from last week. This is 36" x 36," oil on canvas. It has a little sister, which I'll post some other time. I'm getting ready for the next Tucson Artists' Open Studios coming up March 13th and 14th. Yikes. February is a short month. And, there is a storm heading our way in the desert too.

Don't you just love winter?!

"I wanted things that I couldn't at times articulate."
--Helen Frankenthaler

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grand Canyon, Small Scale

Not to belabor the concept, but here is an 8" x 8" oil on panel of one famous peak in the Grand Canyon called, Isis Temple, that I painted last week. I wanted to paint a more contemporary iteration of the view. The photo from which I'm working was taken at the rim, next to the Bright Angel Trail.

Today is a glorious Tucson day, full of sunlight, warmth, and cool, gentle breezes. The Gem show is kicking off and the mood of the Old Pueblo is sound. We are also looking forward to...hang on to your barometers...more...rain. Our water barrels are full, but we'll take more! The desert really needs it.

I've also included a photo of a very strange, non-native succulent that blooms in our front yard this time of year. Does anyone know the name of it? Hint: It is native to Madagascar. I use to call Madagascar, antimacassar (bonus question: Does anyone know what an antimacassar is? If so, you. are. old. very old) Answer at end of post...

What's it like where you are today?
Be careful with your monitor as you flip it to read the following answer: ɐuɐıʇuoɯǝɹbıɐp ǝoɥɔuɐ1ɐʞ

Answer to bonus question: antimacassar