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.


cohen labelle said...

You are such a gifted powerful brilliant shaman, artist, priestess, seer – all bursting out of one magical skin. This rain cloud painting is simply ecstatic, FANTASTIC!!!!!
I love it!
I can feel myself dancing and being soaked in that glorious Tucson , Arizona rain.

XO Marcia

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,
I looked at this without my glasses on and was dazzled, with them on I am in awe. Girl you can so paint. So incredibly superb. I love the photos of the animals and the way the colours leap out in the rain of the courtyard.

I want that cloud. You have turned me into a cloud watcher. This is a good thing. Driving out of Ottawa in full sun last weekend we saw a low gray cloud the width of the entire horizon in the distance. Snow I said. Steven said no. That's just a cloud. Snow I said. About an hour later we were under it,and sure enough that's what it was. Snow.

Incredible painting. In the land of shamans, my friend you are the
quintessential magic being. An artist.


Janelle Goodwin said...

Well, this was an entertaining post! Loved it! Your cloud is alive in all it's beauty and power. My question is - who is Eli? What a talented guy!!!

Salon Delucca said...

fabulous painting Melinda - so much energy and it just feels good to look at it :)

Karen said...

It's a magnificent one! I was just thinking about simplification, and you've got it nailed here!

(and thanks for the reminder to get plugged in, to facebook, I think...)

SamArtDog said...

In "the Zone", any magic is possible. Clouds are meringue buffalo, the land is made of caramel and a wet window is a perfect painting.

A smart cat stays warm, all good dogs have kongs, and Ell makes great movies.

We have identical refrigerators.

Magic is everywhere.

Melinda said...

Ah, Marcia, you make me smile! Thank you so much. You, too, are magical. The saguaros are puffed with water, the rabbits dash about looking for sprouts and the cactus wrens click away as hawks seek shelter.

A good rain dance is always welcomed here!

Melinda said...

Hi Barbara! I loved your story. Proof positive that you are also a seer and magical artist.

So glad that you like the cloud. I'm gonna be careful what I paint...


Now, what do your clouds look like?!

Melinda said...

Hi Janelle,
What a nice to thing to write! Ell is short for Elliot, my college boy. He made this video from his travel to Iceland in 2007 for a school project. He taught himself some Icelandic and then requested that his hosts speak only Icelandic while he was there. We were in awe.

He is definitely funny, talented and scary smart.

p. s. Now, Ell, don't let this go to your head, if you read this...

Melinda said...

Hi Jeane,
Thank you so much. That is exactly what I hoped this painting would do--make people feel good looking at it, especially if some are in unpleasant weather or times.

It's always such a treat to hear from you!

Melinda said...

Hi Karen,
Mr. Artyfice and I were just having this discussion last night about simplification. Why is it so, so, so hard to do?!

Well, I'm glad that you like this and, even though I was on the edge of over-working it, I think I quit while ahead.

I hope you won't blame me later if you do get "plugged" in to Facebook!

p. s. I just re-read The Blue of Distance, which always causes a small mental tornado, and that's what started this.

Melinda said...

Wow, SamArtDog, you have a way with words. I love "meringue buffalo", just love it.

I concur--with all of your observations.

Yes, magic is everywhere.

And, so is Kenmore...

Anonymous said...

Fluffy, bulky, heavy, curlique-y cloud is just so brilliant hanging over that sliver of orange horizon.
This piece, this piece is making me want to paint more abstractly.

I love everything about this painting.

Great post, as always.

Melinda said...

Hi Bonnie! Thank you so much for your generous comment. I'm really touched by your words.

I was just on my way over to your blog and you beat me to the comment section!

You inspire me and I can only hope I can occasionally do the same.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I didn't have time to watch the video my first time through. Now I've watched that one, and part of another untranslated. How incredibly great they are. What a beautiful, funny,
articulate, boy you have there. He reminds me a lot of you, and of Edgar.

Good job. Excellent job in fact.

I don't think I could portray the cloud I saw without about a million people marching very slowly. No cigarette break. Just steady march.

And then of course the result was large gorgeous sparkling white artistic flakes falling against the dark night.


Melinda said...

Sister shaman, Barbara, you wax poetic and parallel the spirit of mark making with deep intention.

I say, Go forth and paint! Your cloud will fill the sky with a "steady march" and great presence.

No doubt, girl. No doubt.

p. s. Can you believe he was in high school at the time and creating such good vids? Thank you. He is all I hoped he'd be.

Linny D. Vine said...

You are definitely a magical and powerful artist, Melinda! Your cloud is, too! (Thank-you for sharing your world, I love the courtyard photo.)

Melinda said...

Thank you, Linny. I really believe all artists are.

You paint such magic in your paintings that I think that they must float on the walls.

Wishing you all the art power you need to paint many more exquisite works!

Anonymous said...

Clouds are quite difficult to paint well. You captured the essence of this one. I think of clouds as having moods too - there are the dark stormy ones, the light wispy ones, the windy ones, and so on. It helps to give them life when painting them.

Melinda said...

Hi Jean,
Clouds can indeed be pesky, but I'm thinking that if we just look and listen as carefully as possible, they can teach us how to paint them.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Love your cloud Melinda...and I'm sure they are so different here and there and everywhere. One day I'm goin' to paint those desert clouds too!!!


Melinda said...

Ah! I believe you will, Jeffrey. Spring time and winter are the best times, if you hate the heat. If the heat is no problem, the monsoons of July can be spectacular.

Thank you so much for your comment!

Joan Breckwoldt said...

Melinda, I love how your sense of art is so advanced, for lack of a better word. You paint from your reaction to something? You are on a whole different level girl! I think when you paint your reaction, viewers have more of a reaction too. It's amazing!

Melinda said...

Hello Joan,
Thank you so very much for your kind words. If you are correct, then I feel that my art is successful.

You've made my day!