Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An Artist Walks Into A Museum and Other Studies

Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

So, where were we?! Oh, yes, I was going to tell you more stories!

Before I do, let me write about the two studies I did today.

After the first study of The Notch, I decided that I wanted to explore the image a bit more. I liked the painting, didn't want to scrape it, but felt that I needed another approach. Here is The Notch #2, on a small 8" x 8" artists' board:
Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

But,I hated this!

Went back and wrestled the darn thing for another long while, and painted differently: The Notch #3, on the same artists' board:
Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

Ah, that's better.

I'm still going to deconstruct this image (it's so much fun), and I'll post more as I push it further. It's still not where I want it to be.

Our trip last month was one of those incredible journeys that has left me with a bazillion ideas, memories and photographs for further inspiration.

A cloud had something to say and a young man was bursting with ideas--
Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

Spending time with such brilliance kept me on my toes and wanting to go everywhere and see everything I could.

Of course, an artist, wherever she travels, will be drawn to the local museums. The day we visited Mass MoCa was very cold and rainy. Inside, the place was teeming with irony, surrealism, postmodern and post-post modern intrigue, retrospectives and introspectives everywhere!

If you haven't gone to Mr. Artyfice's blog lately and read his (Untitled) Art Blog Post, well, please do. He tells our story better than I could have. Really.

Last night, I had to watch (Untitled) Movie again....I just don't have the words for all that I'm thinking.

Mass MoCa was more than I expected, let's say. There was the Petah Coyne exhibit, which left my brain frazzled.

I thought it beautiful, important, unimportant, tragic, funny, disturbing and so labor intensive that I marveled at the artist's work ethic.

The Sol LeWitt Retrospective and Wall Drawings came next. Oh, I mean after the Leonard Nimoy gallery of digital portraits (stunning, high resolution of nearly life sized portraits of people who posed as their inner selves). Back to LeWitt...Oh, how about just some photos:

They came with instructions.
College students recreated his work from those instructions.
Their process was mesmerizing.

Then there was the installation work of Tobias Putrih:

Are you getting the idea that Mass MoCa was stimulating, while it painfully excluded painting? Yes, me too. I didn't want to go, at first, because I knew if they had any painting, it would be somewhere obscure. I was right. On the other hand...this was so much better than viewing the same old, same old, work by the same old guys of the last century and beyond. Eeks. I'm in trouble now.

Even looking out of the window at Mass MoCa was aesthetically pleasing. Hey! They have the Airstream I've always wanted! This is a wonderful installation by Michael Oatman: "All Utopias Fell."

Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

And, while I felt really silly doing this, I had to take a photo (or two) of the women's restroom.Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

As I exited the room, there was an exhibit by a woman artist who had photographed the same thing, along with the rest of the basement area of Mass MoCa.

There was only one glitch in our day trip to the museum...I could not play the guitar. The place was closed.Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza

It's probably just as well. We were players in a play, actors/artists with an 'eye' for things, and not a bucket in sight.


Anonymous said...

Wow, so much to digest. So many interesting pictures. My fav is the one of the cute artist in the hat! :)

Melinda said...

Wait....I must have missed that picture.


I hope you get a chance to click on some of the links, too. Mass MoCa is worth the trip across country in itself. And, they do have painting on the third floor. I couldn't walk another step, but that Mr. Artyfice did and took photos. He's promised a post on it some day. Hope it doesn't take six months. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Barbara Muir said...

Yes I get it. I get it. Why is this stuff so wonderful for the eye? It is. I love your painting -- the first version and the second version. I liked the digging in the first, and lack of digging in the second. I liked it all. Plus I am so fascinated by the process. I love art museums, and I know Mr. Artyfice said that apparently painting is dead. But it isn't. As we see here on your blog. There's too much to remark on, but I wish I had more time to deliver a thesis to you, an entire art book on what you've written and shown us.

So wonderful. Alas (I am also dreaming of writing art books. I heard such a wonderful artist on the radio today, she made me think.) Like you do.


Melinda said...

I'm glad that you "get it," Barbara! It was alluring and stimulating, beautiful and intellectual. All good things.

It was sad not being able to see the paintings (I was too tired to walk three more miles up to see them), but after we left, I felt really happy that we'd seen the works, and very inspired. Nah, Mr. Artyfice was quoting someone about "painting being dead"--I think a painter who later returned to painting--and was sad, too, that they weren't as prominent in MoCa.

Thanks for your comment about the two studies. I'm a'fixin' to experiment some more. Mostly, though, I'm delighted that you are dreaming of writing art books. Whoo-hoo! That means you're inspired and have lots to say!

I really like that.

Anonymous said...

What a great post, with all the pictures and links. The stimulation from seeing new things is one of the things I miss living on an island. The debate about whether some modern art is art or just a con goes on, and the movie takes a little of the pomposity out of both sides. Regardless of one's view of avant garde art, one cannot help but be entertained!

And your paintings of the notch... I like them both, and they are so different. There is something slightly sinister and spooky in Notch #2; good thing you preserved it in a photo! And Notch #3 is so gentle and feathery. I wonder where it will go from there?

Melinda said...

You're right, diddamsdigitalart!
It is stimulating to discuss and ponder these issues. After watching the movie a second time, I was touched by the sincerity of the characters. It was particularly moving that the musician took a new path for his compositions, one that was less about a reaction to classical music, and more about his intention toward his own approach.

Well, I wish you could travel more to all the museums you'd like to visit. May I suggest Mass MoCa! I do think that the more one thinks about avant garde art, the more it can grow on you. Not all of it, certainly, but much of it can be quite challenging and fun.

Thank you for your thoughtful observations on The Notch #2 and #3. I agree. On the monitor, #2 looks okay, but in real life I just couldn't stop there. Partly, because it felt as though I had been too "touchy" with it. You know, over painting and too "dauby." The Notch #3 is closer, but ain't no cigar. It's perfectly acceptable, I think, but I've got a spot down the road I'm looking for...

Yes, who knows where it will go. But, I'll try to make it interesting!

I've got to get over to your place and have a look now.

SamArtDog said...

I cannot believe I haven't commented yet, for all the times I've lingered here since you posted it. There's such awesome loitering here that I kept losing my way. Well, here I finally am and here's what I liked the best:

the hat
notch #3
Tobias Putrih
Arty Fice's post
the terlet in the basement

Thanks for the tour. It was almost like going somewhere.

Melinda said...

Hi SamArtDog!
You often brighten my day with a good chuckle. I appreciate your humor and am grateful that you came by again and commented.

Glad you like the hat. It's ancient and I thought appropos for a westerner to wear while sticking out as a "ferener." Plus, it kept my head warm!

I'm glad, too, that you could travel along with us. Yeah, the "terlet" was magnificent.

Hope you get a chance to watch the film as well.

Jala Pfaff said...

Thanks for sharing the trip.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Jala!
Traveling can be quite the gamble, yes?!

Linny D. Vine said...

Thank-you for taking me to new places, Melinda! Another beautiful notch!!! (I agree with you that the notch below is more than a notch above the notch above.)

Melinda said...

You are so very clever, Linny. A true wordsmith!

It is my pleasure to take you along on my journeys. How I wish one could be a journey to Linnyland. I'm just grateful that you paint magnificent images from your fantastic land!

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Thanks for sharing your adventure with us Melinda!

I like 'Notch 3'.

But hey...ya really gotta love that hat, girl!! (wolf whistle)