Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Famous Women Artists: They are Everywhere!

A few years ago I had the privilege of visiting the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Everyone knows Georgia O'Keeffe.

The architecture of the building was particularly impressive. Some of Ms. O'Keeffe's works were quite good. Thing is, I realized that a lot of her work was so innovative in approach that the more naive works added to her oeuvre rather than detracted from it.

So, today I painted one of my very own daturas from a photo I took last year while they were in bloom. Melinda Esparza: Datura in the Night of Yearning-Lost to the Darkness Swallowing up and Crunching Down Upon My Dream of You. Oil on panel. 8" x 8". I think I'll have to update this photo in the daylight to get a better photo of it.

What if...you are as good as the women artists listed below? What if, from now on, you lived your life with such conviction of this that your level of discipline and your audience reflected the knowledge you hold within your own hands?

Let's have a roll call, shall we?

Grace Hartigan

Deb Schmit

Peggi Nicol

Linny D. Vine

Donna Schuster

Yoko Ono

Euphemia Charlton Fortune

Jean De Muzio

Marion Wachtel


Jane Freilicher

Bonnie Luria

Joan Mitchell

Jeane Myers

Women artists of the 20th century in a bunch, Art Cyclopedia.

Louise Bourgeois

Karen Phipps

Eva Hesse

Marcia LaBelle

Frida Kahlo

Barbara Muir

There. Let this be a codification of who is who and how the world really does work. We move in and out of each others' lives, woven into the history that we are writing with our colors and words.

This gives me joy. I look at the list of famous artists and I see a group of dedicated, scary smart women, who, out of gracious mercy choose not to join together in any geographical location wishing to avoid a cataclysmic event that may cause disruption in the Force--the Artistic Force, which may cause weather events with colors and light never seen before. We wouldn't want to frighten the citizenry.

See yourself recognized and appreciated. See yourself and your work loved and supported.

That's a good life.


cohen labelle said...

WOW Melinda! This painting is breathtaking, stunning, totally!!! fabulous
Also thank you for this amazing post. I can tell you right now, what a sweet, sweet person you are – Melinda Esparza, you are a household name that I cherish.
XO Marcia

SamArtDog said...

Your post gives me the chills. 1st, your datura shines. 2nd, you write so beautifully. 3rd, I would never put my name on that list, am honored that you did, and see it as a challenge to be all I can be (without joining the Army). And 4th, we all know you're on it, too.

Melinda said...

Hi Marica,
Thank you. It was fun to paint this and I didn't even look at an O'Keeffe until I'd nearly finished this.

Oh, I'm pretty curmudgeonly, just ask the family. Really. But, like an old art professor told his class after yelling for twenty minutes one day (he was a true curmudgeon, not a part timer like me): I do love you. I do.

The roll call, partial though it is, puts things in context, doesn't it?

Melinda said...

Hi SamArtDog,
Sometimes it takes a different configuration to see things as they are.

You know, I had those words going through my head the other day (Be all that you can be). Yeah, but don't join the Army! We need your artwork and writing.

I would never call myself a writer, but I'm glad this post meant as much to you as it did to me in the making of it.

Deb Schmit said...

Wow, thanks Melinda!
For putting me on this list of amazing artists!
Your work and writings are always inspiring.

Melinda said...

Hi Deb,
I've been following your work for a long time and truly believe in your process and talent.

Thank you for commenting!

Anonymous said...

"...wishing to avoid a cataclysmic event.." too funny. I had a wonderful time visiting each of your female artist links. Thank you for posting these!

One of my favorite contemporary women artists is Catherine Kehoe. You have to see her self-portrait titled "Estivation".

Melinda said...

Hi Silvina!
I do believe that if you and the other artist bloggers had a convention, we'd cause some kind of weather event. ;)

I hadn't heard of Catherine Kehoe. Wow. Another great woman artist. She's brilliant.

So glad you're back online. Your work is spectacular, you know.

Edgar said...

Each of you shine with your own art-light! The world needs more shinies!

Melinda said...

Thanks, Edgar. Love shiny stuff. What is it with that?!

I would have had no idea how to spell "shinies."

Karen said...

Hey! Where the hell are you on that list?!

You post gives me the chills too, like SamArtDog said...it's like a call to arms to shake off the shackles of sheepishness and self-doubt...that what if we believe it and our self-discipline reflects that belief...phew!

A huge hug for the reminder, and for your invaluable support.

Jeane Myers said...

you have a gift and talent for expressing yourself through your painting, but also through expressing amazing ideas with words - this is an amazing post Melinda - I'm quite affected by it and then to be included on your list, an honor, but know that you are at the top of this list xxo

Melinda said...

Ha! Karen, you're very kind. I'm in there in the middle, mostly implied.

This is how I think of you and other women artists and I'm so glad you get it.

Best wishes with all of your work. You're going to accomplish everything that you want.

Melinda said...

You are a big inspiration for me and I'm so glad you got the message.

This is how I think of you. You're on the path!

And, I'm so very happy that I can observe you living your process.

Anonymous said...

Is it my imagination or do your posts just get better with each progression?
I'll let your other fans weigh in on this too.
I love that datura, your assemblage of words that are as expressive as your work, and would hope, that I might even qualify to be on your list, which of course is a perfect example of " it takes one to know many ".

Thank you for the mention, while I appreciate the introduction to the other artists on your list.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Where was this sweet blog hiding when I was thinking of something else. First of all your beautiful datura! Yes you and Georgia O'Keefe, au moins equals. Love the painting and your incredibly thoughts, always such a complete treat to read.

Thank you for ranking me on that list and I agree that your name should top the list. I am beyond honoured, beyond humbled to be included in this company. And I like the idea so much. I used to drive to evenings at my art club chanting I am Monet, I am Monet, but of course I am Mary Cassatt, I am Melinda Esparza, lets get it going. We women are sticking together, we are a force, we do have power. And here it is all
stitched together in word and image in your beautiful blog.

Thank you again. You have made my day, my week, my month.

Love Barbara

Melinda said...

Gee, that is really kind of you, Bonnie, about the post. I don't know about that, but I'm glad that you like it and understand how impressed I am by your work.

Oh, you're qualified, alright, and I hope you see yourself in the same way.

Melinda said...

Wow, Barbara, I'm so happy that you see how I think of your work too. It does my heart good to know that you get it.

And, to be "au moins equals" with O'keeffe?! Yes, I like the look of that.

Your words of "I am..." were particularly profound to me. Sometimes we can sit in our studios and know that:

We. Are. Art.

Virtual hugs!

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Though I understand the sentiment in this post Melinda and have had the wondeful opportunity to see some of the work these women have created and even had a great deal of contact with one of them, and imagine such thoughts while in 'process' all the time, I would never be able to imagine being like them... being from Mars and all...=;-))

However you are right about the way their work will always inspire us and lead the way during those times when we lose the light. I must say that there was one other artist that really needs to be included in your list...Melinda Esparza


Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Lovely and striking painting here Melinda...love the thick application of paint!


Linny D. Vine said...

THANK-YOU, dear Melinda!!! And, of course, you and your beautiful datura need to top the list cozied in with Georgia. I love, love, love that you positioned me right next to Pegi and all of the other incredible women artists. (It's thrilling!!! A new mantra, too...I am a shiney!!!)

Edgar said...

BTW -- it's a great thing to have a network of amazing women artists, scattered like a constellation across the heavens, but it's also a great thing to have known one, person-to-person, Melinda.

Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Jeffrey! I know that you understand and I appreciate that you are such a thoughtful AND talented artist. I definitely didn't want to exclude male artists, and I think there could be a strong point made that contemporary artists continue to be overlooked as the traditional, famous artists get the most mentions.

You are truly fortunate to be in contact with your friend and woman artist. How I wish we could all have a visit someday. Of course, I wouldn't want to tip the earth on its axis or cause an earthquake!

Thank you. You are a delight and a fabulous artist.

Melinda said...

Oh, yes, Linny, you are a shiney! Most definitely. And, I am so glad that you see that too.

Thank you so much for your comment. Your work continues to inspire me and I endeavor to be as shiny as you are!

Glad you like the painting too. :)

Melinda said...

I like the constellation image, Edgar! It's nice to know that the universe is big enough to accommodate all artists, yes?

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Late to the party here... I love the painting (and those you've posted before). I always appreciate the sentiments you express and now thank you for the many links. So much inspiration!!

Melinda said...

Welcome, diddamsdigitalart. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

I just visited your blog and am most impressed with your work. Added your link to my blog roll.

Feel free to stop by any time!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

It is with some fear and trepidation I even raise my head above this parapet. But "Fearless" is my middle name.
Your list is not bad at all, Melinda. The only one I really know of is Joan Mitchell (who I consider my sister). But let me tell you, my other sister, you are luminescent among them!
(I like being part of a big family).
Yer brither in paint,
PS: Left a wee message for you over my place.

Elliot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melinda said...

Dear Brither in Paint (formerly David),
Yes, you are family to me and I wish we could have a sit on the parapet together, discussing this world of paint, graphite and global living.

You're a sweetie. Never be a'feared to speak yer mind to me!!

Thank you so much for commenting!