Thursday, December 16, 2010

Artist Melinda's Saga Continues: Notched Up!

Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

The Bershires Notch #4
To take a cue from Linny's comment, I've notched up this painting several times and will be adding notches to my portfolio again, I'm sure. Here, I'm slathering on paint with my trusty cake decorator, using scraping tools, and pouring paint.

.....So, the next day of our trip back east, we visited the The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

I remember on our first visit there, that I was completely dazzled by William-Adolphe Bouguereau's Nymphes et Satyre (Nymphs and Satyr). Notice that this painting is 5 feet 9" by 8. 53 feet tall! It was imposing. I think that Mr. Bouguereau, the Academic traditional painter, must have been so as well. Being a member of the Academy during the rise of Impressionism must have irritated the heck out of him. Still, his work is stunning:
I was swept away by John Singer Sargent's, Fumee D'Ambris Gris. (3' 1" x 4' 6 3/4") We were allowed to take photos of anything in the museum. That was a thrill too.
Sargent's:Fumee D'Ambris Gris
Two closeups of Fumee D'Ambris Gris
Then this--A Bad Monet, I'm Sorry, But It's True and I Don't Even Remember the Title:
Not to fret, there was Monet's The Cliffs at Etretat and everyone's favorite, Claude Monet, Rouen Cathedral, The Façade in Sunlight:
And, Oh My Gosh! There were women artists in the 19th Century AND in the museum. Look! A Mary Cassatt and a Berthe Morisot!
There were several wonderful Winslow Homers and fabulous Fredrick Remingtons. Here are two:
Don't you think these two painters really got the power of photographs and their high drama and high contrast elements?
I'm tired now after all that walking. Maybe you need some comic relief too. Here's a link to The Madness of Art's most recent video and a link to Mr. Bean vs Whistler's Mother from a comment made at Madness. Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza
Happy holidays everyone!


Edgar said...

The new Notch: ooh baby! What a luscious canvas full of paint! I love everything about this one.

Isn't it nice to know that some of the old masters' work was pedestrian? I find that very comforting.

Merry Christmas, Melinda. You're at a creative peak... keep on pressing on.

Melinda said...

Yeah, it looks better in the day time, Edgar. Thanks for the vote of confidence. It was fun playing with the paint.

It was very comforting to see that not all work by the ancients are good.
It was paint.
Some of it was muddy.
Some of the work dull and uninteresting.
This is what happens with all artists--no matter the century.
Nice to know.

I'll press on, even if I'm not working on the press, or ironing with irony.

Barbara Muir said...

My favorite artist in the bunch is Ms. Esparza -- favorite photo the family, but what a post Ms. Esparza - so magnificent. Here it is almost 4 in the morning and I am mesmerized staring at all of this art. I even like the "bad" Monet, and am delighted by the inclusion of other women artists.

Must get off to bed, filled with delightful images from your blog. Thank you.


SamArtDog said...

This post is as good as a big ol' art book, but better; it's got an Esparza in it! And a happy family portrait.

Oh, how I love that slapdash Mr. Bean! What a jerk.

Melinda said...

Why thank you, artist Barbara. I'm so glad you like the work and the long post.

The trip back east was so full of adventure I could prolly regale you with a few more of this kind of post. Say....I do have one more. We'll see.

4 AM?!! Sheesh. You are a stronger person than I. Must be all that wrangling of snow and all the white-knuckle driving.

Hope your marking is done soon.

Ya shoulda' seen that Monet. It looks a whole lot better through the monitor. Really. And, don't even get me started on the Constables. I just couldn't include any of them in this post. My monitor would have blown an IC chip.

Melinda said...

Wow. Thank you, artist SamArtDog! "A big ole art book" sounds so impressive. I took a card full of photos, but the post took me all day to write and I ran out of steam for making a slideshow.

Each time we've been to see Ell, there haven't been any people around to ask to take a family photo. Edgar just holds up the camera and we scrunch together. Might become a tradition.

Hey! That's great that you watched Mr. Bean. Yeah. He's something alright. (Smiling broadly here)

SamArtDog said...

I forgot to say how much I like the new Notch. Best one yet. So I took another look. Now I'm having a major AH-DUH moment. Pinkham Notch. Some old stomping grounds. I grew up skiing and hiking and later going to college in the area. And the "name that tower" contest? AH-DUH. Thompson Chapel. Williams.

word verif.--legen

Melinda said...

GET OUT! The notch has a name?!

Thank you so much for telling me the name. Wow. Small world, eh? I would send you some cactus candy just for sharing that info. Interested?

Wanna share stories?

Glad you like this iteration.

Anonymous said...

..."a bad Monet"?! Sacrilege!! (I kinda agree though).

Nice candid family portrait! Merry Christmas to you all!

Melinda said...

Hahahaha! Good point, artist Silvina. I hope I don't get a nasty-gram from The Clark. I love The Clark for all of the work they have there, even though I wish they had more women artists represented. Actually, when we were there last, they did. I don't know what happened.

Glad you like the family photo. Wishing you and your dear family all the best this Christmas season.

Thank you!

cohen labelle said...

Melinda, although I’ve been a reluctant and lapsed blogger of late, I’ve still taken special note of your brilliant posts and marvel at the distinctive and dazzling brilliance and lucidity of your notches – all of them – I love them all. You can slather paint as you put it like no one else I know – these paintings of yours, notches, have enough wattage or voltage in them to launch a procession of rockets!!!

Also of very special note is the fact that when I returned home today, from a late afternoon stroll, I found between my two front doors a package addressed to me from Tuscon! Cactus Candy!!!!! Purple!!!!! A Tuscon Studio Tour Program!!! You’re in it!!!! I will savor these items – thank you!!! Melinda!!!


Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Marcia! This Notch is my favorite too, although I do enjoy the others. It was a fun progression.

What a coincidence! I was just going through my recent receipts when I picked up the one from the post office. I was about to write you and offer to send another batch. It's been so long!

I do hope you enjoy the strange candy. It's pretty sweet, but it does have that cactus taste in there.

Best of everything to you and yours as we approach the beginning of a new year.
I like thinking that my little painting has some wattage. Oh, not enough to compete with all the season's lights, but a little twinkle is nice.

Virtual hugs!

Linny D. Vine said...

It's Notched, Melinda! All along it's been amazing to see these transformations and all along the way the notch's already beautifulness has continued to change and grow in beauty differently. (I hope that makes sense - it does to me...and what you are doing is fasinating - continuing to push beauty.)
Your fam photo is fab - you're all beautiful!!!

Linny D. Vine said...

ps thank-you for your post! L.

Melinda said...

You are fantastic and fabulous yourself, artist Linny. Thank you for such an enthusiastic appraisal of my Notching.

I do understand.

Wishing you all the best for the coming new year--more art, more good weather for plein air painting, more good times in Linnyland!

Virtual hugs to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

While I love the others, this is the best "notch" yet! Time to buy stock in the cake decorator company -- they'll be a hot item!
Interesting observations on the art. Hard for me to imagine a "bad" Monet, but I'll take your word... Visiting new places and seeing new art (even when it is from generations ago) is so inspiring. Thank you for your post, for the holiday wishes and and for the lovely family portrait at the end! And the blue spruce? Spectacular!

Melinda said...

Thank you, artist Don! Cake decorator stock? Yup, maybe so. :-)

I know it's hard to believe that Monet might have a less than stellar piece, oh, heck--a bad painting, but if you took away the label, put it in a room that was not called "museum," you might agree. I like to think that Monet would not be offended because I truly love his work. It was a surprise to see the not so great one next to his brilliant Rouen Cathedral painting.

Yes! Best wishes always to you and yours. Glad you like the blue spruce. I thought the contrasts between it and the tree next to it were art readymades (nature's version, of course).

Jeane Myers said...

notch indeed! this is in a fabulous place right now - very complex with alot to say - have a fabulous Christmas xxo

Melinda said...

Hello, artist Jeane!

Thank you very much. When you stop by and find my work interesting and engaging, I know I've been successful with the painting. You've been such an inspiration to me.

Wishing you all good things this week. Thank you for the holiday wishes.

Virtual hugs!

Arts web show said...

There is a very impressive collection of artworks in this post.
Some of them could indeed be confused for vintage style photography

Melinda said...

Thank you, Arts Web Show. I appreciate your stopping by.

Hmmm. Interesting about the "vintage photography" reference. I'm, of course, wondering which artworks seem like that. Perhaps this last work, Berkshires Notch #4, may suggest a vintage photograph that has had been washed in a chemical bath.

That would be cool.