Monday, April 18, 2011

Tucson Artists Open Studio Tour: They Visited. They Chatted. They Ate Some Treats. Me? I Had a Ham Camera

You know, these open studio tours are something.

There were people I hadn't seen in years, my poetry instructor from the UA, for example (!). There were people who were return visitors from last time. There were visitors who found the studio from the signs along the streets, and there were visitors who picked up one of my postcards at one of the local establishments.

Every last one of them brought synchronicity, sophistication, respectful and careful looking. They provided stimulating repartee.

Those collectors who bought my work mean more to me than I can articulate.

These paintings sold recently, and during the open studio tour:

Sabino Canyon House and Sky

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Sonoran Night Watch

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Rosemont Sonoita

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Sunset Catalinas

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Hill of Intrigue

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Mystery Door Tumacacori

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Near Sonoita

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Peak Red

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

There you have it.

And, I did something that really freaked me out. I had a thirty minute live webcam event (Ustream), on Sunday. Yes, I hammed it up a little. If you missed it, be thankful.

As our dear friend and wonderful actress friend, Mary, once said, "She's a ham, but ham can be cured."


Linny D. Vine said...

Wonderful news - lucky collectors!!! These are beautiful, magical paintings!!! I'm tickled for you, Melinda!!!

Linny D. Vine said...

(Darn,I missed seeing "the ham" but I'm certain that there's no need to cure...good for you for being adventurous, Melinda!)

cohen labelle said...

Melinda your work is so gorgeous and wildly beautiful - now I'm feeling deprived that I wasn't there to join in the fun!!!

Melinda said...

Dearest Linny,
You inspire me to be magical, whenever I see your beautiful work. I think I can fly, metaphorically of course, fly to new plateaus of beauty, lined carefully with paths of jeweled color, and filled with the atmosphere of strong spirit, gently offering whimsy, safety, rest, and new ideas.

Thank you so much for being there. Someday, you may fly this way to Tucson. I would love that, but know that you have important work there.

Thank you for sharing in my delight with this weekend.

Melinda said...

Hello Marcia,
How I wish you could have been here to share in the fun.

It was, without exaggeration, what every artist would hope for in an open studio event:
Kind hearts
Respect for the work and its maker
Lots of laughter and free expression of ideas
Mutual support for everyone present
A relaxed atmosphere
And, so many hugs that this artist thought she might be related to the visitors--lost family members who finally came home to a grand celebration

Building a place where the artist and patrons are respected must be done in one's own mind before it can materialize, don't you think? Only we can give ourselves permission to create such a building.

Thank you so much for your kind words. I am floating.

Donald Diddams said...

The tone and joy of your studio event is a wonderful reflection on you, the artist. Your collectors must be very proud to hang such stunning work in their homes. I love every one of the paintings you posted here. Congratulations!

Jeane Myers said...

clapping hands from here - sounds a huge success Melinda - huge congratulations on all you have created - amazing work, happy collectors, and community around creativity xo

Melinda said...

I hear you, Jeane! Thank you very much.

How I wish you could have been here. It was so encouraging--similar to the friendly community of artists online--except face to face laughing, hugging, sharing.

Hope you have this kind of opportunity where you are. It's worth every minute of preparation.

Virtual hugs!

Melinda said...

Hello, Donald. Thank you so much for your kind words. I really do want to convey how special this event was--to encourage you and all of our online friends that there are wonderful patrons out there, ready to join us in our connection to art--to participate in open studios in their areas.

Art is good medicine for such a troubled world.

Your words are medicine to me.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I'm so sorry I didn't wing my way over there, or see the live video. That would have been the best. Congratulations. The whole story made me feel a joyous glow. Hurray for you!


Melinda said...

Hi Barbara,
Thank you for such a kind comment.

It was my first attempt at live blogging, and mostly it was that Mr. Arty Fice who set it up and turned it on when no one was looking. Really! I swear most Tucsonans are in the Witness Protection Program. They are quite shy around cameras--well, except for this ham.

Virtual hugs!

Joan Breckwoldt said...

Congratulations! It sounds like you had lots and lots of people come to your open studio. And it sounds like you did some smart marketing, like putting info in local establishments. Your paintings are amazing, they are your own voice and that comes across so strongly in your paintings. That's not easy to do. At all. And you are so good at it. You have so much to be proud of! Hope you're taking a day and putting your feet up!

Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Joan! It was a great weekend with all the art aficionados.

I'm in total agreement with you about having your own voice in the work. It does get communicated to the viewer, doesn't it? And, when it isn't a true or sincere voice, it becomes clear.

Yes, I've been a slug this week--just what I needed. Whew!

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

Sounds like a memorable event Melinda. The kind that help to make sense of the swirling tides we swim!! Ride that wave girl!!!


Melinda said...

You are so right, Jeffrey. Yes, I'm enjoying this pool, and the occasional wave!

I'm thinking of your wonderful expression of water and the sparkling light that dances upon it.

Thank you for swimming over!

SKIZO said...


Melinda said...

Thank you, SKIZO. Thanks for stopping by too.

I enjoy your work.

Shelley Whiting said...

I really love Sonoran Night Watch. It's fun and funky. I love all the wild designs and bright colors. Beautiful and charming work.

Betsy Grant said...

Your "Hill of Intrigue" is intriguing. Visit me at
I blog about creativity.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Betsy! I will.

Heather said...

Hi, Melinda. It was so wonderful to see you and talk with you and your husband at the open studio. We put Peak Red up in our bedroom, by my side of the bed. It's what I see when I wake up and before I go to sleep. It was only last week that I noticed the sky in it is yellow! It made me love it even more. It's so Tucsonesque :) in its brightness (but not its horrible heat). It has more of a soft warmth like the wonderful people of Tucson, like you. Thanks so much for your beautiful artwork!

Melinda said...

Hello, Heather! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and writing such kind and encouraging words. It gives me a quiet joy to know that Peak Red administers beauty and "a soft warmth." That is just what I want my work to do. I'm glad you are a part of our community.

Best wishes always with your work. Hope you'll be able to stop in during the fall tour to chat, to smile, to enjoy the artists of Tucson again.

You have always been an inspiration to me.

Heather said...

Thank you, Melinda. Wow, _you_ are such an inspiration to _me_! I started writing more regularly after I visited you in your studio. Seeing how much work you do and how focused you are just made me want to rethink my priorities and remember what my own art, my poetry, means to me. Thank you thank you thank you.

Melinda said...

You are most welcome, Heather.

You've answered a wish I've had for you. I'm so glad to hear that you are working.

I don't know if you've read The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron, or her book, The Vein of Gold, but her writings got me into the studio--one day at a time. They are meant to help all artists, not just painters...

I hope you'll keep in touch and write, write, write!

Oh, yeah, and I hope you'll stop in for some cookies in the fall. We'd love to chat with you.