Monday, January 31, 2011

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

Winter Observe Image © 2010 Melinda S. Esparza 12" x 16" Oil on Artist's 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 do 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.


daviddrawsandpaints said...

I too am getting my painting "mojo" back, albeit slowly, but what I read here fills me with great sadness at what you are suffering, from the loss of Kate to horrific tragedy in your community to the stealing of your work. Rightly sad and angry. Can't say more than thinking of you and offering my personal support.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

PS: What a brilliant painting!

Melinda said...

So nice to hear from you, David. I've had you on my mind often and am glad to hear that you are getting your art mojo back too.

We can restart as many times as we'd like, now can't we?

Glad you like the painting. Looks a bit dark to me, but, well...there 'tis.

Thank you for your kind words. It means a lot to me.

Barbara Muir said...

Beautiful painting Melinda. I have to agree with David. I am so sorry you have been through each sorrowful event. My thoughts are with you.


Melinda said...

Thank you, Barbara. Glad you like the painting too.

cohen labelle said...

Melinda you're painting again! Yay and it's a beauty!!!

I'm so glad to see you're back in the saddle or as you put it - that you have your art mojo back.
I know you've been through a great deal of anguish this past while and while it's true we never get used to losing those we love - still I do think art gives us a safety valve - it lets us bear witness and also to work things out of our system - and in doing so, reach out to others. I value that and I love your work!!!!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

I see it as a powerful expression of the cold dark storm that's encircled you, but what fabulous colour forcing through!
At least your paintings are worth stealing.

Seems that I have to re-start every ten minutes :o(

Jeane Myers said...

so sorry! about it all! what I'm not sorry about is the painting you shared - it is really wonderful - this is one I would really like to see in person - I bet it has big impact one on one xxo

kathrynlaw said...

This painting is deeply saturated in color and emotion, tear-stained and glorious in its optimism. As David said, the essence of color, and of who you are, shining through. Thank you for being you.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Marcia.

It's true that art provides sanctuary as well as a voice for what we can't or are unable to express.

Melinda said...

Lesson learned, David. Lesson learned from years ago: Begin again and try not to count how long it's been since you've begun before. Mindful presence, you know?

Great observation. I really like that you see that colour is forcing its way through the darkness. A natural instinct, don't you think?

I'm hoping that you are mark making and colour producing with passion.

Thank you...

Melinda said...

Hello, dear Jeane. Thank you for such generous words. Even though I photographed this painting without flash, with a timer and didn't correct the light or color at all, it is a pretty dark painting. But, there are parts I really like. Glad you like it, too! Maybe you'll travel to Tucson someday when things are better in the world. I would love to share it with you.

You continue to be a major inspiration for me. Paint on, my artist friend!

Melinda said...

Dear, artist Kathryn,
You have become such a valued friend and critic. It means so much to me each time you look carefully at my work. I'm glad you see with such clarity.

It's true. No matter how down things get, there is always the light of color and the sense of hope that there are better days ahead.

I look forward to reading about your recent adventure and work.

Thank you so much for your extraordinary support and wisdom.

Joan Breckwoldt said...

My thoughts are with you too Melinda. I'm so glad to read your strong voice and read you're getting your mojo back. 2011 will be a good year. Your paintings are beautiful and you are one of the most creative people I've seen!

Melinda said...

Thank you, Joan. I am encouraged by your kindness. I'll grip tightly onto your words that "2011 will be a good year." Wishing you a very good year too. Hope you are staying warm and painting a lot.

Edgar said...

I'm so glad to see you post again. You're going to get through snow, and stormy weather—mojo intact. You have too much talent and professionalism to falter for long. This painting is brave and unflinching, and the artist who expressed it has her arms around the mountains and the sky.

Bonnie Luria said...

I'd write something but for now I'm just going to stare at this incredible painting.

Fast forward- one hour later.

OK, I've stared, I've read, I've viewed the thoughtful comments. And am so glad you've found the breath to post.

You never lost your mojo- you gave it a time out. It was never up to the mojo- you own it.

Melinda said...

Dear Bonnie,

Breathing easier because of your strong support and kind thoughts.

"...mojo-you own it." I like that.

Yes, I do.

Thank you.

Linny D. Vine said...

First, this painting is incredible and beautiful, Melinda!Snow and cacti and so much more!!!
(Way too many misfortunes and heartaches.A big,gentle hug from me to you.)

Melinda said...

I'm so glad you like the painting, Linny. It is just as exotic to us every time we see cacti and snow together. Dazzling, it is...very rare too.

Thank you so much for the kind words. I'll take all the gentle hugs offered.

And...Hugs right back to you!

P. S. I am just loving your recent work!

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

A very magical painting Melinda...lovely!!


Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Jeffrey! When I think 'magical', I think Linnyland! So, that's quite the compliment.

Donald Diddams said...

Amen to all your thoughts here, Melinda. And a spectacular painting! Wintery with the heat just beneath the surface.

Melinda said...

Thanks, Donald! I really appreciate you comment. Yes, there is always the underlying heat.

Glad you agree with the thoughts expressed here.

Nice to hear from you, too.

SKIZO said...

good creations

Melinda said...

Thank you, SKIZO.
Hope you'll come by and visit again sometime.