Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Perhaps a Mirage--


Sometimes a mirage helps us break the "thousand mile stare" (or attitude) and offers a landscape of ideas and possibilities. And, sometimes, it just freezes us in our tracks. That's where I am right now.

Makes me think of nights of full moons with wispy clouds and twinkling stars. Or, those stunning nights when the moon is just a sliver of light--offering us hope and beauty.

"When the moon
of a hundred equal faces
comes out,
the silver coins
weep in the pocket." --from Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca's The Moon Rises (Translation--Diana Guillermo)

Struggling with words, struggling with paint, struggling with the guitar...Must mean a breakthrough is coming.

This is a re-worked painting that had been bothering me for quite sometime. I posted this last year and felt that the first version was the one I wished I'd kept.

Anyway, here is another experiment, oil on 9" x 12" artist's board. A mirage, I suppose, like the landscape of a night full of moon, buildings of dark clouds racing to crumble overhead, spilling their contents, while twinkling lights fade out.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm going through a sort of struggle too. I feel this way when a new season is coming, in the literal sense. Fall is here, and I feel ill at ease. Unsettled. Like I'm not ready. I abhor this feeling. But you're right, it just means a good change or breakthrough is in the works. It's always darkest before the dawn.

I prefer this year's version of this painting. This is it's third incarnation, right? This is by far the most dramatic version. Earth-scape in red iron oxide. Delicious.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, an interesting post Melinda. Is the mirage a glimpse of the future beyond the horizon, or just a distraction from the firm ground in front of us? In either case there is something to be learned, and one can be thankful for the beauty of the mirage -- and the value of the struggle.
I know I have gone through periods like this and sometimes it lead to a breakthrough; other times to a return to more solid ground.
The painting is lovely. While I'm not familiar with it's earlier incarnations, I really love the colors in the sky and the vibrations set up between the sky and the earth in the foreground.

Melinda said...

I so understand, Silvina. Fall always gets to me, causing the same kind of discomfort as you describe. I'll be looking with you for the dawn.

Thank you for your comment about this painting. I think I like it better, too.

I've been blown away by your wonderful work lately. Wishing you all the artistic energy and joy you desire.

Melinda said...

Hello Donald,
Ah, you bring up good points--points I've been considering from another perspective.

Yes, I think a mirage can allude to a future of better days, or merely different days and challenges. It certainly will snap us out of taking the view for granted, don't you think?

I like your view that struggle can lead to "a return to more solid ground." I think I'm looking for both breakthrough and a solid place to stand. Is that possible?

Thank you for your kind words about the painting. I was really inspired by your work, Graffiti at Fort Augusta-2010 and think that the light, colors and contrasts are a kind of reply.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I'm so entranced with this painting and post. I think there's a seasonal affected disorder that hits different people at different times. My whole being rebelled against painting this summer. My brain was keen, but the body was unwilling. I treated myself like a kid who doesn't want to go to school, kindly, with lots of time off, and rewards for good behaviour. And praise be to the gods of painting, the desire, even
the pure untrammeled joy returned. And now I like both -- painting and school. Yay!

I also think that as you suggest angst is a sign of s shift. As in what now? Next? And something huge happens. Why not?

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxBarbara

Melinda said...

I think you are on to something, Barbara. Perhaps, this is what is happening to me.

Things are in flux, but you remind me to be as kind to myself as I feel toward you and our fellow art bloggers.

Thank you.

Bonnie Luria said...

Melinda- perhaps there's some universal struggle going here as friends who know, have alerted me to the worst retrograde of Mercury ever.
In our own self important ways, I was reluctant to visit friends blogs recently, thinking that my lack of artistic production was affecting only me, while everyone else motored along.
Not so, I see.
Whether breakthroughs are a result, or that stepping away for a while is a necessity, it's in us and will always find an outlet for expression.
Thank you for bearing your humanity.

Melinda said...

Hello, dear Bonnie,
I am very comforted by your comment and want you to know that it doesn't matter how long you need to re-invigorate those artistic elements in your life, I'll be sending you supportive thoughts and waiting patiently and without pressure to see your new work--when you are ready.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

It is a rough time, but we'll get through it, eh?!

P. S. Oh, yes, I've felt as though my motor has run its last mile lately--going from loathing all of my painting attempts to merely feeling lack-luster about it all. Not normal at all!

cohen labelle said...

I'm thinking if you didn't struggle Melinda than you'd be facile - but you're not, you always have something meaningful to say that's thought provoking and needed. Anyway I'm inspired by this painting - it seems to me to be a breakthrough in itself, powerful, mystical - a joy to look at.
Federico Garcia Lorca is nodding his head in agreement!

SamArtDog said...

Like Bonnie, I also have friends who have warned me of the doom of this Mercurial Retrograde.This astrological horror obviously is for real and has been evident for most of this year. That changeling, Mercury the Messenger, the one with wings on his sandals no less, has arrived in the guise of a well-meaning friend, to deliver some irreparably bad news. Jeepers-creepers, dude.

Well I say, get thee behind me, you rumor monger. Every single day that we wake up, whether to an empty head or to a full heart, is another day which we conquer merely by getting to the other end of it. The Law of Physics says that, either way, we will have made a difference just by showing up. Judging that day to be worthwhile or not will make none.

So one winged shabootie after after the other, ours is not to reason why; ours is but to take off and fly.

P.S. Take another look at your landscape. The mirages lurk at the horizon, where all the possibilities lay. Not the negabilities. Trust me.

Melinda said...

Hello Marcia,
You are very kind and very generous to see meaning in my painting, and I truly appreciate it--more than you know.

It would be an honor, indeed, if Lorca could be in agreement. I find hardship and struggle more and more fatiguing. I'm not sure I'm getting the proper attitude adjustment. If my work shows any depth, then perhaps that is the most positive thing.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you are doing well and working on your art as much as you'd like.

Melinda said...

Oh, dear SamArtDog! You do get to me with your wonderful, witty and encouraging comments. I will link arms with you (though virtually, of course) and repeat, to that damn Mercury, or whatever is causing such an artistic lock up, to get behind me as well. Just thinking those words makes me sit up a little straighter.

You're right. The laws of Physics rule supreme. And, I know that you will also find the doggedness of dogs to be a great motivator, as do I.

I figure, what else do we have if not to keep trying? To be 80 years old and regretful would be a horror to me.

Thank you so much for commenting. I hope you are doing well and working too--even if you wipe the canvas, so to speak, several times.

Jeane Myers said...

wow Melinda! this is so much stronger - this one really speaks and I love it!

loriann signori said...

Your painting stopped me in my tracks. The feel, the colors, the texture...... Something new, something on the edge. Then I read your post and understood. Hang in there Melinda. Struggle is good. Breakthroughs happen after struggle.

Melinda said...

Hi Jeane,
That's great to hear. I agree that this version seems to have something that the other did not. Wish I knew what the secret is, but I'm glad to stumble upon it once in awhile.

Thank you so much!

Melinda said...

I'm counting on your perspective, Loriann. May the breakthrough come soon.

It means a great deal to me that you enjoy this painting. Translucency, color vibration, texture, and a certain elan is what we seek so diligently, yes? I see those elements in your beautiful work.

Thank you for coming by!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Struggling to regain one's footing after a period of intense outflowing seems to be a part of everyday life as a painter. What to do? Start afresh, go back to basics. It's what I'm doing right now (in my bedouin tent). Why should it be this way? I don't know. Perhaps accept as part of your nature that growth is not a straight line but a wobbly curve, and keep striving. Why can't I grow from strength to strength? Weakness? Lack of focus? Inferiority complex?
I don't think these things apply to you, but I bet you would say they did.
Every so often we need to shake ourselves loose and come back at it with new determination.
This small painting of yours shows me it can be done, and for that I am grateful. The lesson is there in your action.
What I see is a a painting of duality: the ethereal sky of blues and pinks and whites, and the vibrant earthscape full of raw power.
Absolutely love it's direct simplicity. Wish I could be so forthright.
And the mirage promising one thing, feeding our imagination. It's what drives us on.

I need to lie down now after that. See you in a fortnight after my much needed vacation.
Yer brither,
DAVID

Melinda said...

Well, dear brither David,
I can truly enjoy the metaphor of a wobbly line as artistic journey. We can all appreciate line quality! Perhaps, picturing this, the edge of despair, at times, can become more translucent, less dense.

Yes, I'm in the same boat, or desert, hmmmm. Don't you find that small grains of sand add a beautiful texture to the work?

"...Duality." "...Direct simplicity." Lovely. I do head in that direction--mostly without any words at all, but you've given me optimistic symbols.

Thank you. Now, don't hurt yerself, man. Have a rest in the tent and dream of the sea.

Jala Pfaff said...

Melinda, I love love love this piece.

By the way, thank you for your thoughts on gluten. Everyone in Boulder is hyperaware of this, and so I got tested at one point. It actually showed me having just a slight sensitivity to soy and none to gluten. Hm.

Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Jala! I'm glad you like this. It's growing on me...

Good to hear that you are advocating for yourself and on top of the latest. We really have to do this in today's climate, don't we?!

Wishing you all the best--always.