Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Great and the Not So Great

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

"April is the cruelest month."
--T. S. Eliot (from Brainy Quotes)

I suppose you know what's coming.

Made Bed, Pensacola Beach, Or What I Saved, What I Didn't was not chosen by the juror for the Tucson Museum of Art's Arizona Biennial '11.

There 'tis. This is the 'not so great.' Thank you to everyone who offered such encouraging words and support. I still think it's a good piece and hope to find it a venue some time. Until then, onward.

There has been a painting, 8" x 8" (oil on artists board), that has been really driving me buggie. It just didn't have any oomph. I think I fixed it. Here is the photo of Edge of Sky.

The great news for our family is that Diego (as in, If-I-were-Frida-I'd-have-Diego-on-a-short-leash) has joined our pack. Well, Loki (the guy in the back) has him on the leash for now, and he'll be keeping an eye on him too.

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

I've missed you guys! Hope you're all happily busy and throwing some paint around.


Donald Diddams said...

I guess you can't win them all, but then the real victory was in the making. Just like the "Edge of Sky" here... I really love the different textural qualities of the sky and land.
Happy dogs to you!!

Barbara Muir said...

Love the painting, and I'm sorry about your not being accepted into the Tucson Museum of Arts Arizona Biennial '11. The piece is powerful and will be gratefully accepted into another important show I'm certain.

The dogs are adorable, and I hope Diego is settling in well.


Jeane Myers said...

I think the most exciting thing about the work that didn't make into the show, was your excitment and energy when you were making the piece - that's what art is all about - it's a piece that came from the deepest part of you and that spoke to you and so it spoke to us also - not getting into a show we think we covet is always disappointing - but I believe it is a doorway to something more - it
s a very good piece! your new tribe member looks wonderful! and I really think you nailed the painting above - I just love your color sense xo

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Yesss!!! You are my hero/heroine (kiss kiss on both cheeks)...a knock-back doesn't get you down, you are straight back in an upright position and looking FORWARD! My hero/heroine (loud drum banging).

"Edge of the Sky" gives me exhilirating vertigo as though the world will turn and I might fall off.

Diego looks a beaut...an older dog from Rescue?
I love German Shepherds.

Melinda said...

You're right, Donald. It is in the making of a work that is the most important thing we can do.

Those textural elements you notice are the result of painting and scraping and layering over the last nine months or so---a new painting regimen, one in which we destroy the painting several times before we're done, no? !

Thank you so much for coming by--always an honor.

The pack is wonderful. :-)

Melinda said...

Thank you, Barbara. It was a blow to my ego, for sure, but I always bounce back...in time. I hope that there will be another opportunity to share the piece. Sigh.

Mr. Arty Fice told me that he let Diego run free in the yard the other day and he went leaping and rejoicing and spinning in his new yard. He's grateful and very affectionate.

Loki? He's keeping a watchful, older brother, eye on him for now. They seem to like each other.

Best wishes to you as you travel and fill your heart with art!

Melinda said...

Thank you, Jeane.
Absolutely so. I was so into this project, connecting and conversing with the materials, that I felt like I was listening to the Universe. I was puzzled when it didn't get in because we're still dealing with the tragedy--this sculpture/installation is timely.

I really like your comment that it might have a different doorway. I will look for it.

I'm glad you like the new painting. It gave me a tussle.

Having two dogs, for me, means having balance. Diego is a good dog.

Melinda said...

Oh, dear brither David. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your affectionate support. You just know that my heart sank when I got the news. I was stunned and very sad. All that work!

Yet, building a portfolio over time, and getting such good feedback on other work, has built a sanctuary of fundamental confidence that has lifted me out of any temporary flooding from waves of discouragement.

You are an astute observer of dogs. Indeed, Diego is a rescue dog, five years old, and desperately underweight. But, we are feeding him wonderful food and training him to be our faithful companion and friend to the Lokes. We now have two heads of knuckles, and we are so happy.

Shepherds are the best!

Thank you, too, for your generous comment about the new painting. Smearing paint is so exhilarating--you know this because you do the same very well.

p. s. I asked our dog trainer if I would have street respect when I walk these beasties and he said, "Oh. Yeah." Cool. That's important in the Wild West.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

When I was growing up (Oh yes, I'm still in the process) we had a cross breed Shepherd called 'Lass'. The best dog ever.
Important street-cred in the Wild West of Scotland too :o)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elliot said...

mmmmmm... cloud bursts...

Melinda said...

Hello David,
I'm glad you qualified your assessment re "growing up." :-)

And, oh my. I did not know that about the "Wild West of Scotland."


Melinda said...

Hello dearest Elliot,
Thank you for commenting.

I miss you so much! My heart is bursting with pride for you too.

Edgar said...

Melinda, the work you did on "Made Bed" was exactly the work you should be doing...which is making art. And you should know that I see you as one unstoppable Force of Nature when it comes to commitment, courage and artistic dedication.

I read a great quote in "Seven Days in the Art World" yesterday that made me think of you and how important it is that you follow your muse, even when it seems to be a side-track like Made Bed. The quote is from Thomas Lawson, dean of the School of Art at CalArts, in response to the question, "What is an artist?":

"It's not necessarily someone who sells a bunch of objects through a fancy gallery. An artist thinks about culture through visual means. Sometimes it's thinking aout culture through any meas possible, but it's rooted in the visual...As they say in the movie industry, ideas are a dime a dozen. You've got to put it into some sort of form."

That's the commitment you showed, with all the burnt fingers and everything.

Your new Edge of Sky... man, I love that ground - the simple certainty of the strokes and lines, not over-thought or over-worked. So, it's surprising how much I also like the soft interaction you've got going in the sky. It's a delicate balance of hues, and a great reclamation of the piece.

Fatten up that dog! But find time for art...

Karen said...

I adore this painting, and Ooopmh abounds!
Diego is way too cute, and, the hell with it...onward indeed! (I would send you all my recent rejections if if would help) :)

Melinda said...

Wow. That's a lot of nice writin', Edgar. Thank you. The sting of the wax has now moved inward, but I'll recover.

Melinda said...

Oh, dear Karen. Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry that you, too, know of such rejection. It is a part of our lives, most definitely, but it never gets completely easy. I'm glad you are committed to going forward as well!

When I walk these guys, it's a bit like walking small ponies! Or, when I'm tired, Clydesdales!

Glad you like this painting too. It defied me on several occasions, but I would not give up. I know you know what I mean. :-)

cohen labelle said...

T.S Eliot would have been dazzled by your work just as I am. You are one great painter.
Well it's a disappointment that they didn't choose your installation project because it is a powerful piece that speaks with depth and eloquence. But I am more than glad that you did it because it was so much an act of faith and it keeps us sane - good for one's mental hygiene.
Last but not least - welcome Diego! is he really a womanizer ha ha

Melinda said...

Dear Marcia,
I am humbled by your generous comment and must write that I do not think of myself as a great painter, but only an enthusiastic and dedicated one, aspiring toward greatness, but not quite achieving fully. I hope this will be enough over time.

I'm still reeling from not getting the work in the Biennial, but you're right, it was an act of faith and a statement from my heart.

That Diego?! Well, they fixed any possible wandering he might feel at the animal shelter, but he has completely captured our hearts!

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Linny D. Vine said...

Melinda, you and your work are ALWAYS GREAT!!

Jeffrey J. Boron said...

It is our own personal journey (the ride) that really matters I think... which is what making art is?

Love this painting Melinda!!! I can't help but see this in a 30 x 30 formatt or larger? =:-l


Melinda said...

You are so right, Jeffrey. Reminds me of those artists who work their entire lives in obscurity, happily, and sometimes gain acknowledgment in their later years. A good life either way. Thank you for your wise words. :-)

Linny D. Vine said...

Melinda - Your work is incredible and inspiring and (I agree with Jeffrey) what the world needs is more of it and in a large way!!!

Melinda said...

Dear Linny,
Your comment comforts and inspires me, just as your work and beautiful personality does.

Thank you.

When I need a good role model for continuing to work, I will look north in your direction.

I am very happy for all of your recent success. You deserve adoring patrons!

Anonymous said...

We artists have to be thick skinned because jurying can be very subjective, I've found. I've seen some incredible pieces of art being rejected and some that don't follow any of the principles and elements of design that have been accepted by jurors. Nice piece as always.

Melinda said...

Hi Jean,
You're reminding me of some really important facts. It's not always about the work. It's more about the theme or agenda of the juror and venue. Thank you!

Arts web show said...

Fantastic artwork, i like the abstract nature of it.
I on the other are throwing guitars around. lol

Melinda said...

Thank you, Arts web show! I understand about the guitars. I sometimes do the same.

Hope you'll visit again. Best wishes with your work.