Monday, July 18, 2011

Artist Melinda Dreams of New Mexico Through Encaustic

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza Dream of Acoma, New Mexico (5" x 7," encaustic on encausticbord) I didn't completely crop the photo in order to show the rolled edge of the wax. Yum. Oh, I'm still gonna paint, but these new toys of encaustic paint and supplies, and the smell of beeswax, are more thrilling today than the storm clouds that surround the Old Pueblo (Tucson). 

Sometimes I play reader's roulette. It's a term I made up years ago and still use it every once in awhile. This time I practiced this technique with The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron: I flipped through the pages and suddenly stopped at: "Many of us have made a virtue of deprivation...We have used it to feed a false sense of spirituality grounded in being good, meaning superior. I call this seductive, faux spirituality, the Virtue Trap...We strive to be good, to be nice, to be helpful, to be unselfish." 

She then goes on to write something I'd like to pass along to all of you, if you're struggling with your paints, or struggling with your priorities: "Come out, come out, wherever you are..." --page 98, 99. Paint. Explore. Give yourself permission to be you without apology! 

I'll be cheering from here. Off in the margin was this great quote (my response--Puh!): "Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, good mother, good looking, good-tempered, well-groomed, and unaggressive." --Leslie M. McIntyre

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It Was a Party! The Sparkles Still Linger

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza Well, that ole Philostrate, ahem, I mean Mr. Artyfice the Party Planner and his nifty assistant "Nemo" aka, "The Bug," the Shakespearean Einstein graduate guy, went all out pulling off a kid's party for an oldster. Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza Wow. My best buds from around town came by to share in the fun. There was wand waving, funny glasses wearing, water pistol shootin', party hat stylin' silliness...AND...wait for it... An encaustic play session. Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza Whoo-hoo! Sparkles still linger on the walls--May last for weeks. I've had an encaustic kit just waiting for some artist friends to get things started. Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza This is the result. You may recognize this image from Sabino Hill on a Snowy Day. It's the painting that made it into the Arizona Biennial '09 . This encaustic piece is on a 5" x 7," encausticbord. Are you painting, enjoying the summer, looking forward to cool weather and more painting? What a week...Hoping all is well with all of you.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Sun Stings My Skin, While Watching Los Alamos Nearly Burn

TA-54 Los Alamos Red Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza Thinking About Area G-8 Los Alamos (glass front)

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza Thinking About Area G-8 Los Alamos (glass reverse)

Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza It was scorching hot here this week. That's what it takes to bring up the monsoon rains to our region. 112 degrees, 110 degrees, 107 degrees. Yeah, it was dry, so our coolers worked wondrous well. And, night before last, we received significant rain. But, there is something that happens with the density of the air, and I usually can tell how hot it is because I get a headache---and when I walk outside to get the mail, my skin hurts. Even one of our mesquite trees was starting to die back. Yet, what really got me was: My eyes were full of images of smoke, fire, mountains and comments full of worry this week. 

Guess you know about the largest fire in New Mexico's history--Las Conchas fire. My cousin lives in Los Alamos. He decided not to evacuate. It was hard to sleep each night after listening to the Live Updates from KAOT 7 News. The images of the fire were mind boggling and all I could think about was the air quality in the town as the monster huffed and puffed around the canyons and edges of the Valles Caldera and headed north, sweeping by Los Alamos and attacking sacred ground in Santa Clara Pueblo. To see how documented the fire, check out these great photos. 

I painted these two images influenced by the watching. The first one is on an 8" x 8" artists' board. The second painting is on a 5" x 7" piece of glass, with the reverse side too. Today, there is some good news for Los Alamos. Perhaps, it is too soon to say all danger has past, but there is more hope for the region. 

So, let me end with a few quotes I found today. I was looking for Julia Cameron quotes from her book, The Vein of Gold, and found this at Good Reads: "As you move toward a dream, the dream moves toward you." — Julia Cameron "Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite--getting something down." — Julia Cameron "Serious art is born from serious play." — Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way: A Spi Path to Higher Creativity) 

And, while I was searching I found an old favorite, humorous quote from...Jack Handey: "Happiness is not a circus clown rolling around in a big tractor tire so that his arms and legs form 'spokes.' Happiness is when he stops." - Jack Handey Looking for some happiness...