Monday, January 31, 2011

Tucson, Art, Trouble, Artist Takes a Breath, Paints

Winter Observe Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza 12" x 16," oil on artists' board January is a month I'd like to forget. But that would be unwise and unproductive. We had to euthanize our dog, Kate, on Wednesday the 5th of January. 

On Friday, my college boy left for college and on Saturday, the horror that traumatized Tucson, sent me reeling along with the rest of our country. 

Monday, the 10th of January is an anniversary of my first child's death. Most of my grief was wrapped up in my sympathy for the mother of the child shot to death at "Congress on Your Corner" on the northwest side of town. We're still not 100% here. As one Tucsonan pointed out, most everyone in this town knew someone there that day (that's true of me, too). Each time I drive to the market, I drive by the shrine of candles, cards, balloons and people standing around Gabrielle Giffords' office. So, when I noticed Monday evening that someone had plagiarized work from this blog, I felt done in. Let me make clear my thoughts on this issue. All work and images here, if not attributed to someone else, are mine. That means, if there is a photo here that I am posting, viewers can expect that I composed the photo, using all of my university training and years of experience. In addition, I often continue to work on the photo in Photoshop to enhance, edit and refine the image to express my personal experience with the moment. There are those who think that images and words and even music should be free, and that the very act of uploading them to be viewed by a global audience is an implicit agreement with this belief in "free" use. It. Is. Not. 

All work here is mine and it means a lot to me. I publish it here because there are many wonderful patrons, collectors and enthusiasts who really appreciate my art as much as I am in sharing it. Blogging my thoughts, along with posting my artwork, has kept me going forward for more than two years. The self imposed deadlines to talk with you, the viewer, has meant all the world to me. It is, in reality, an adjunct to my website--a way for collectors to get to know me and my approach to the work. My focus is on being the best professional artist I can be. Therefore, after being plagiarized for the second time (!) in a year, I am going to change how I do things. I know you'll understand. I'll probably change the look and the settings in the near future. While this is an unpleasant bit of business, I hope it may help other bloggers in the future. For those of you who do not understand what plagiarism is, I would like to direct you to Arty Fice's blog. Here you'll get to read a great post on the subject, plus, brilliant and thoughtful comments. I'm not sure about this winter storm (painting and reality), but I'm getting my art mojo back. I hope you never lose yours.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Candle for Those Who Have Suffered and Died

No art right now. Because of the tragic shooting of 20 people on the northwest side of Tucson yesterday, I want to join my prayers and thoughts for recovery and restoration and comfort for the families and victims of this horrific event. There is optimism concerning Representative Giffords' prognosis. She is in a medically induced coma for her benefit. There are others who are doing better as well. I am thankful she is alive, and for the survival of the other victims. It was sickening, both physically and emotionally, to have had such a reprehensible act take place in our community. My hope is that those who visit Tucson and read about this tragedy will consider that this event does not represent the people of Arizona, or Tucson. May all those families affected be comforted by the heartfelt support and love being sent forth from all of us. Thank you for remembering these victims with me. 

Update: A woman, who had been standing in line (update: she was not shot), bravely approached the shooter and grabbed the gun magazine away from him as he reloaded, thereby preventing further injuries. My kind of woman/human being. Update #2: A profound sense of healing covered Tucson yesterday as citizens gathered to memorialize those who died and those who are trying to recover. President Obama's words were good medicine for all of us. We could see in his eyes and in First Lady Michelle's eyes, all the sorrow, empathy and hope, that we are all feeling as a community and nation.