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


Edgar said...

Thank you for this reflection, and shared moment. It is healing and heartening to have art to look at, music to play, and songs to hum when you're down.

It's a melancholy time. But if it weren't for melancholy, we wouldn't have the Blues.

I love that last wistful cloud in the sky. It is a both a testament of challenges past, and a way of gauging how clear the sky may yet be.

SamArtDog said...

I try to call it as I see it. I have three thoughts:

1) I see a comet. Comets have always meant more to us than a comet; a sign, an omen, a prayer. Something auspicious, something to be noticed. Flaming ice.

2) While reading your post, my eye was drawn to the Alice Neel video. I've always loved her people. I don't know why or of whom, but perhaps painting an honest portrait might help.

3) I'm glad Edgar is there.

I wish you peace, my friend.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

It feels like you are going through a sad anniversary of some sort, as well as the hard times related the economy, and maybe as Jon Stewart says to the people in government who think KY Jelly is something people spread on their toast in Kentucky. That did make me laugh. Yes any of us do understand the other, the blues, the sadness. We do. We all do. What a lovely cheerful painting for a sad sounding day. I like the idea of painting all the time. I can't always paint, but I can try to always draw.

You inspire me, cheer me, and make me see.


Jeane Myers said...

Melinda, this feels full of so much hope - that little cloud above that mountain - I love this piece :)

cohen labelle said...

Your words are always a comfort to me. It feels good to have your sensitive, thoughtful – thought provoking reflections on art and life so close at hand. Art and life – there’s a fine, thin line between them. One imitates the other back and forth. And of course our emotional climate always plays a hand.
You are lucky to be such a fine painter and to have your work as a release and safety valve for you. I love the tone in this recent painting, so soft and gentle and subtle – so much implied beneath the surface.
I also love and admire the relationship you have with your son. I watched his Icelandic video recently – boy oh boy, is he ever cute!! – with so much natural charm and ability, obviously a chip off the old block. Good work there Mom!!!!
xo, Marcia

Melinda said...

Thank you, Edgar. You're right. The blues has to come from somewhere and making music out of it can bring a lot of joy.

Yes, a cloud of promise is good. But, there may be brighter skies in some other state.

Melinda said...

I really got a lot out of your three thoughts. I'm hanging on to them too.

This world really does need some answered prayers for justice, equanimity, hope and a kinder future.

Now, that Alice Neel was a gritty artist who kept going. I'd like to be as brave. An honest portrait? I think you have hit on it.

Thank you.

Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Barbara, for you kind thoughts. You've hit on my anguish for what is happening in this country and I'm seeing it affect children, the elderly and everyone in between. Ah, the middle, middle class, the thing that is being dismantled as though it isn't needed.

But, we know art is always needed and will comfort, inform and inspire civilization.

And, the blues inspires some guitar playing!

Yes, I really want everyone to know that art can save the world as well as the individual.

Melinda said...

You are such an inspiration to me! I see your work the same way. While in life there are "darkling plains" and high contrasts like in art, there are lines that converge and connect making a statement, holding a place of goodness--on canvas, board, in wax and in our futures.

Thank you!

Melinda said...

Ah, Marcia! Thank you so much for your comment. You make me smile. I'm glad you like this painting and read it just as it was intended.

Art/life, back and forth...yes, absolutely you are correct. It is a powerful thing and we artists must continue to speak, not merely in paint but also in our communities for a better world for our children and all those without power.

Thank you, too, for your comment about Ell. He is such an incredible joy to me and, while it is excruciating to have him so far away, he has many gifts that need an audience. I wouldn't hold him back for a moment. You should hear him explain complex math and physics topics! Makes them nearly understandable.

Virtual hugs and continued art adventures!

Linny D. Vine said...

I love Anthony's poem and Melinda's painting - such a great color combination, too! (Feeling is the answer, and, you are so right that the other answer is painting!!!)

Jala Pfaff said...

Wonderful sentiments and painting. It must have taken guts to put that one little cloud there, yet without it the painting would've been very lacking.

P.S. Word verif.: pussi

Melinda said...

Hi Jala,

Thank you for your comment! Hmmm Guts? Well, I'd like to think so. However, I'm not so sure sometimes. I mean, sure it takes some nerve to put down the paint, but doesn't it take even more to stop?

Ha! No wimps in the art world, right?

Karen said...

Your blog, your writing, your paintings..they do all that..they're there for the sad, for the glad, for the searching, or for the calm and peaceful times. That's why I love it over here. It's like a meditation.

Oh yes and the humur of a great wry poem.

Hope you are well!

Melinda said...

Hi Karen!
Thank you for commenting. I'm so glad to hear that this blog is not too dull. :)

I'm glad, too, that you like the poems. Humor and music are good medicine in tough times. I'm still getting ready for the open studio tour. It's a challenge, but a good one!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Like an ice-cream sundae.

When I'm unhappy I just close down.
When I am happy again, ye cannae stop me blethering!

I'm happy now :o)

And happy to see you painting so fantastically well.
Good luck with the open studio tour. You will be a star.