Friday, July 23, 2010

Artist Melinda Reflects on Secret Ingredients


How about a little play with color, a little play with paint, a momentary suspension of the hierarchy of the left brain critic? Oh, I know, it's in there watching: as you push paint around, visualize your influences, as you consider elements of composition along with value and construct. But you, the artist you, can be the alpha dog of your own paint world.

Speaking of influences. I painted this painting today and saw some of my favorite artist mentors. I swear, they live in my head! Previous to painting, I'd been out grocery shopping. I didn't see any painters then...

I see the influence if not the mastery of Helen Frankenthaler, Fritz Scholder and Jim Waid.

And, as always, my left brain sat in the corner offering a gentle word or two--mostly, thinking of Anne Taintor's, "The Secret Ingredient is Resentment." Anne is my kind of woman. Was this because of my chores today?

Don't let your left brain drive the painting. Your heart knows the paint a lot better.
Palm #57 Tucson (oil on canvas, 16" x 20")

21 comments:

SamArtDog said...

I am so excited! Your stuff has reminded me of Jim Waid several times before( (big compliment!), and here you mentioned him as one of your favorite artist mentors. How cool is that?! He had an exhibit here at the Boulder Art Center maybe 15 years ago. Maybe more. Seeing his big paintings changed my life. The catalog is one of my prized books, and I refer to it often. Oh, I do admire him so much! Can you tell?

Waid's influence is all over this painting of the organic palm-bird. I admire it a whole lot. I hear the familiar language of a whacked-out tribe. Sweet!

Melinda said...

Wow. I am delighted by your comment, SamArtDog. Big smile--huge wow. Oh, I do feel the compliment and I'm humbled by it.

I carry around a catalog of his work and when I'm stuck (no pun intended) at the allergy shot clinic for thirty minutes every few weeks, I thumb through it soaking in the colors and shapes. Guess they've sunk in. I wonder if we have the same one...

Many years ago, I used to frequent the neighborhood library where one of his earlier works still hangs. It's Ginormous. He stained the canvas just like Frankenthaler and I used to sit and stare at it instead of looking for books. It was very different from his recent style.

Nice to know that you are as enthusiastic as I am about his work.

Thank you so much. You are such an encouragement. I was under the weather this week until today.

Edgar said...

I really love how you write about the creative process. So frank, and so familiar.

This painting is really splendid—a fusion of color, wash, impasto, scraping and scratching-in, but what remains miraculous is the richness and clarity of the color. I like the way the local color is almost free from the forms, and yet the image resolves into a strange yet still familiar landscape.

This recent spate of abstraction is leading you down a very exciting path.

Nice new direction, Melinda.

Anonymous said...

I love the colors in this. So alive! And the swirls of the brush and scratches and scrapes show your hand at work. A beautifully exciting painting!
And fine advice at the end, that the heart knows the paint better.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Edgar. You well understood how experimental this was! Maybe the alla prima approach kept me from getting muddy. If I had a little more patience, I would let the paint dry a bit and add more layers. I'll work on that.

Really appreciate your perspective and art criticisms.

Melinda said...

I'm pleasantly overwhelmed by your kind and generous comment, diddamsdigitalart. It is so encouraging to know that this experiment is well received. I need a lot of practice, though, and will endeavor to develop this more. You are an inspiration to me.

Thank you very much!

Jeane Myers said...

excellent advice Melinda! and thank you for the introduction to Jim Waid - he is new to me and wow! this painting is wonderful - fabulous color sense :)

kathrynlaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kathrynlaw said...

WOW!!! I don't think this one needs a thing! It's firing on all cylinders. Color, balance, paint handling and manipulation. Nothing contrived about it. Just honest and beautiful. I am blown away by this one. Maybe a breakthrough?

Melinda said...

Hi Jeane,
Jim Waid lives in Tucson and I've seen his work around town for many years. I even saw a video of him demonstrating his painting technique, but now can't find it online. Too bad, because he's really good.

Thank you so much! I get a little nervous about these experiments.

Melinda said...

Oh, Kathryn, you've made my day. I get so concerned about these experiments and sometimes buckle under self-criticism.

Thank you so much. As long as my core is TDC (Top Dead Center), I won't be fouling any plugs, right? ;-)

Joan Breckwoldt said...

What a great post. You have inspired me to tell my left brain critic to shut up! Thank you! I forget to tell it that most of the time.
Very exciting painting!! I love how you speak with your color choices, it's a whole language unto itself. Very powerful.
Joan

cohen labelle said...

Dear Melinda, What can I say, you play beautifully! – everything, all the devices - color, composition, shapes, markings -
are all wow, wow, wow!!!
Also thanks for drawing our attention to Jim Waid, he’s a good one.

Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Joan. Yes, if you can keep telling your left brain to be quiet and occasionally, politely helpful, then you will have a lot more fun painting!

Your work is wonderful. I believe that you can point out this fact to your left brain whenever you're having any doubts.

Melinda said...

Hello Marcia! I sense the kindness and generosity in your comment and I am very grateful.

I'm glad that you like Jim Waid's work. He's a Tucson favorite.

Your work inspires me to be brave and thoughtful in approach. I hope you feel the same about your beautiful artwork.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Woof, woof!!!
This little alpha doggie knows a tree when he sees one :o)
(ten minutes laughing my head off and wagging my tail).

Calmed down now, sitting like a good doggie, ears up, tongue out, panting.
This is just fantastic!
Where on earth do these paintings come from? Certainly not Frankenthaler, or Waid for that matter. This is brilliantly original, and I love it!

You can take me walkies any day, even throw a ball and I'll fetch it :o)

Melinda said...

Hahahahahaha!!!!
Brither David, you are a hoot. I mean a bark and a half!

Honestly, I'm as startled as you are. Where do they come from? Juss li'l ole right-brained Melinda's haid.

If you're anything like my German shepherd dog, Loki, a rattle of the keys and a calm and assertive Ssst, a la Cesar Milan style, would prolly be a recurrent sound! Oh, but he does enjoy his walkies...the knuck'o haid. No! Not you! Loki!

Thank you so much for stopping by. Does this mean you've returned from your most recent adventure? I'd better go check.

Linny D. Vine said...

Play and color...magical ingredients in a painting and, yes!yes! this is a magical Melinda painting!

Melinda said...

You are one of my main inspirations, Linny! I'm so glad that you like this painting.

I think your paintings are magical, too, in so many ways.

Jala Pfaff said...

This and the paintings above it seem to show a totally new direction, at least in my eyes. They are so energetic, vibrant, alive, and genuine. They're very very exciting works!!!

Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Jala!

It's great that you find this new direction interesting and alive. I so want my paintings to hold what I throw at them.

You're an inspiration and I hope to live up to all that you see.

Following your own vision is the way, yes?!