Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tucson Artists' Open Studios: Paintings, Drawings, Visiting

Thanks to SamArtDog, I walked myself, with soup pan and tongs in hand, right on over to the San Gabriel "Prak" (okay, they fixed the sign years ago, but that's what it said for the first six months!) on Sunday morning and collected a pan full of juicy, ripe, lovely prickly pear tunas. Sure, the quail were annoyed and the rabbits skittered defensively away from the park, but there are plenty more tunas for them to nibble on. They'll just have to share. Besides, it's a bountiful year.

I was in such a hurry that I didn't even wear gloves. I wore jeans and a solid shirt, though, and came home with one side filled with little stickers. Cool. You saw me, didn't you Bonnie?!


This is a Caran D'ache (Neocolor) drawing of some that I harvested last year. I haven't worked with these water soluble colors in quite sometime. I don't know why. They really work best, in my humble opinion, on Moleskine paper. Update: It is because of Kathyrn Law's selling of her Neocolours to me in 2008, and her encouragement to try blogging, that started it all for me. I'd say these crayons and one artist's kindness can change a life. Go see her work...and be dazzled.

Last year at the Tucson Artists' Open Studios Tour, I had a couple of paintings that were nearly fought over. What a concept!


Out of curiosity (so typically artist, eh?), I wondered if I could reprise the image. I painted this one about a week ago. Guess I can. It's Two Clouds Over Patagonia II, oil on artists' board, 8" x 8".

Are you harvesting in your area, both artistically and gastronomically? Sure hope so.

19 comments:

SamArtDog said...

What a juicy post!

Melinda said...

Hi SamArtDog,
Ha!

Bonnie Luria said...

What a great " pear " of paintings.
Seriously, I knew you had to be grappling with fibers- tongs be damned. They cling to everything.

What's juicy is that drawing of the word I never heard of before: tunas.
Other than the plural of well, you know.

Wonderful- love those little red chubbies. Neo- Color? I have Caran d'ache water soluble pencils- is what you used something different?

I hope more fights break out in your studio between patrons. People, move up your tempo if you want what you want!!!!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I was so excited the first time I learned about these prickly pears on your blog. I love both paintings,and 100% understand extreme fighting over the Two clouds over Patagonia. In an ideal world I would arrive in the middle of the sale rolling in on rollerskates wearing a cape that said Artwoman and offer 1,000 times the price of the highest bidder,
wrap the paintings in bubble wrap,
put them under my cape in my special
artpurchasepocket and sail off a happy Artwoman. Come to think of it we need capes and outfits.

Super work, and expect a lot of buzz and an influx of cash at your show.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxBarbara

Karen said...

I haven't been harvesting to much this month...so it's good to come over and be inspired by your luscious paintings.
I know people will be fighting over the work again this year! as they should be.

Melinda said...

Hi Bonnie!
You are soooo clever--and a great psychic/sidekick.

I thought "tunas" was a strange word to use for something that grows in the desert, too. I have no idea how that happened, but that's what they call 'em.

The Neocolours I use are water soluble artists crayons. I think they are a bit different from the pencils you use, but I've never used the pencils, so I'm not too sure. I love these because they are like oil bars AND watercolor. I burnish the color in with a Q-tip. It's amazing stuff.

"I hope more fights break out in your studio between patrons. People, move up your tempo if you want what you want!!!!"----From your keyboard to my studio!

Thank you so much!

Melinda said...

Hello, dear Barbara,
I love your ideal world.

What imagery. What a happy possibility. What a pleasant dream that I wish could be.

Thank you so much for your kind words. I'll let you know all about the day. Gettin' excited...

P. S. I do have a cape, you know--really.

Melinda said...

Hi Karen,
I understand if you're not harvesting as much as you'd like right now, but I know that you are doing good work.

And, that you are cultivating a future replete with strong, nutritious fruit and seeds of inspiration!

Thank you for the encouragement!

kathrynlaw said...

I had *completely* forgotten that those Neocolors are what brought us together, dear Melinda, and became instrumental in getting you blogging! I can't believe I forgot about that. So glad you still have them and turned out such a lovely piece with them. It's beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Having been away from home for a week or so, not much harvesting here. But you sure have been busy, both in and out of the studio. I've never tasted the juice from those prickly pear tunas, so can only imagine based on your beautiful drawing. The colors in "Two Clouds..." are absolutely vibrant. They are going to vibrate right out the door! I think you are having fun!!

Melinda said...

Dear Kathryn,
Yes, indeed, you started it all in 2008. And, I'm so glad that we met online. I still have these beauties and will be using them soon.

Your work continues to dazzle me, amaze and inspire me. You are so good. I hope you know that.

This piece is one of my favorites. In reality, it gets to me every time I look at it and I wonder how it was done!

Thank you.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Don!
Oh, how I hope you are predicting a future event.

Your words make me smile and I am always, always blown away by your work. You are so painterly and I hope I can have as much graphic impact as your work has on your viewers.

cohen labelle said...

Dear Melinda
I am fascinated by your love affair with the prickly pear. I’ve looked for this fruit in our local supermarkets – I find Bosc, Japanese, Anjou, Bartletts but no prickly. Then I researched prickly pear on the internet and find that Canada has edible prickly pears in the southern Alberta badlands – botanical name: opuntia polyacantha. I got this info from Bill Casselman's website - www.billcasselman.com - recipes too - dizzying wouldn't you say, as are these two dizzingly beautiful paintings. Good luck with your show.
The leaves are edible too.
xoMarcia

Linny D. Vine said...

I LOVE this painting, again and I LOVE the title, two, too! (I'm predicting a good rumble again this year!!!)

Betsy Grant said...

I can see why this painting - rather the one like it - was nearly fought over. I can just imagine someone wanting that on their wall!

Melinda said...

Hello, dear Marcia,
I wish you had the prickly pear cactus in your area. They can become addicting!

You're right. We have recently eaten the pads of the cactus. They taste a bit like green bell peppers, but with a bit more zing.

Thank you so much visiting. I'll be thinking of you!

Melinda said...

Oh, I like that, Linny! "A good rumble" would be most welcome.

Thank you so much. Wish you could be here...

Melinda said...

Hi Betsy,
Ha! It is a fun concept. Thank you so much for stopping by.

I hope all is well with you and that you are inspired with your work.

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Beautiful colour and imagery with this piece Melinda.

I can sense your excitement with your upcoming event and prickly refreshments...oooh how very south west. =;-))