Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Easel. The Best Taboret. More New Mexico Painting

Cerro Pedernal #1 Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

Today, hiding out in my Tucson cave, otherwise known as 'The Strawbale Room,' I worked some more on Cerro Pedernal #1. I'm not sure if it's done yet, but it's looking a bit more finished now. It's 30" x 30", oil on canvas. It was a blistering 108 degrees today, but a storm is coming in from the east which we hope will cool things down--maybe to a cardigan donning 100 degrees!

Missing the smaller 8" x 8" format this week inspired me to paint another view of a New Mexico hill with fancy junipers. They looked like they were posing or getting ready to dance.

New Mexico Hill and Junipers Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

I was thinking, too, about the equipment we use in our artwork.

A few years back, I needed to buy an easel and a taboret for the studio. These things are so expensive. The prices were astonishing.

Monterey Multi-Angle Easel Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

My quest led me to find two really good studio aids. This Monterey multi-angle easel is really wonderful. I've not been super happy with the wiggly-ness, but wow, when you want to lay on some paint and don't want it to run, nothing beats this easel.

I couldn't find a taboret that I could afford. So, I looked on eBay for something like it. I found this:

Innovex three drawer file cabinet with glass top Image © 2011 Melinda S. Esparza

If you've ever worked in an office and wished you were at home in a studio, this image could be a treat. I never worked in an office, but opening a file cabinet to find oil paints is a dream come true. It's great because it has wheels, and the glass top serves as another palette surface! I'll bet the manufacturers didn't think of that.

Hope you all are well, safe and happy. Be careful, Easterners! After the earthquake comes some heavy rain. Gee. I thought Tucson weather was challenging...


kathrynlaw said...

I just *love* this painting of Cerro Pedernal, can't stop looking at it. Fantastic colors and subtlty in the mountain. The whole thing just works.

Melinda said...

Hello Kathryn!
Oh, I am so glad you like it. You know, when a painting is new, it can take awhile to settle in to its existence. You know what I mean, don't you? It takes time to figure out if the painting wants more work.

I was just at your blog 'oooh-ing' and 'ahhh-ing' over your beautiful Cabrillo National Monument paintings. Really wonderful work, and I am so happy you are there.

Thank you so much for your friendship and comments.

Barbara Muir said...

Love the paintings. So gorgeous. I love the idea of trees dancing. We had a minor earthquake here and a heck of a storm today. Still going on as I write this.

The studio shots are wonderful. I didn't even know what a taboret was until you showed the image. Now I know I had one -- the lady across the street's discard. It was not elegant like yours and I kept bumping into it in my small space. So mine is gone.

Inspiring post.


Melinda said...

Hello Barbara!
Yikes! An earthquake? Do you mean in your area, or the one from Virginia?

And, a storm too?! Whoa. I hope you are all doing well and can stay indoors until it all passes. I hope, too, that you won't be affected by the coming hurricane.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind comment.

I had been looking at Dick Blick listings for Taborets and was absolutely shocked at the prices. My office filing cabinet was just under $100 dollars. Such a deal!

One does have to be careful not to bump into them, though, as well as not tripping over the darn dogs!

Be safe. Virtual hugs!

cohen labelle said...

Melinda this is more exciting work from you!!! - gorgeous paintings!!! I also find it interesting to see how you improvise with equipment in your studio - ingenious really! Of course anything on wheels makes perfect sense to me.

I really don't know how you proceed in such blistering heat - I so admire you for that.

We were quite astonished in the east, some of us, to feel some shaking, so remote from the earthquake in Virginia. I was sitting in my father's old blue chair in our living room when I felt my body begin to inadvertently tremble for a few seconds, and then again and during this David above shouted down to ask what I was doing that was making him shake - thinking I was the cause of all the commotion!
And yes, following that there was a tornado warning, fierce winds which blew a strip of siding loose from our third floor and broke a branch from a tree above my studio which landed on the roof - all of which we had to deal with today and oh yes a night of torrential rain.
But not to worry, all's well and back together again!

xo Marcia

Jeane Myers said...

okay I had to look up a taboret - didn't have a clue - your solution is genius - love anything with wheels on it - my work table I got at a garage sale - some old guy made it for his workshop - we put some casters on it and I've looked back - love that little table but not as much as the first painting - wow! it is just wonderful! xo

Melinda said...

Hello Marcia,
I'm so glad you like these paintings. They feel a bit different, which always puzzles me.

It's so much fun finding equipment that doesn't require a second mortgage on the home! I was looking for mobile, three drawer carts on eBay after seeing artists' taborets for $300-$500. I understand the price for handmade wood, but I knew I was gonna get paint all over the thing. So, these office carts came up at one third the cost, and I thought, Why not?

Actually, I'm a pretty big baby when it comes to heat. 100 (37.77C) degrees here, when the humidity is down, is probably like your 80s (26.66C) The studio is air conditioned (:-), and we have ceiling fans. Otherwise, I'd be heading to a cooler place. We think of summer as our winter: Shun the light, stay indoors, run errands before noon, take a water bottle in the car, wear cotton clothing and Polarized sunglasses, etc. Sometimes, cabin fever sets in, but then October comes!

Amazing that you also felt the earthquake! I am so glad that you are safe with no damage. My grad student is now in New York. My tummy lurches over this. Then, the coming hurricane...I wonder if you'll get rain out of this where you are. That's a funny story--the exchange between you and your husband! Unbelievable weather where you are! Makes Arizona seem very mild.

Thank you so much for commenting. It means a great deal to me.

Wishing you and the region calmer weather soon!

Virtual hugs.

Melinda said...

Hello Jeane,
Thank you for the kind words. So glad that you like the Pedernal painting.

We artists are problem solvers, yes? When I looked at thrift shops, there just weren't any this functional, or were too expensive used. I love your solution and it's true--anything with wheels on it in the studio is great!

You are one of the best artistic problem solvers I know!

Virtual hugs to you!

Donald Diddams said...

Cerro Pedernal #1 is lovely. It has gained subtlety and nuance since the earlier version. And if those two junipers aren't dancing, the colors certainly are!
The studio glimpses are fun to see, as was the painting laying horizontal on the easel. Thanks for sharing!
Summer and cabin fever season will soon end... No 108 degrees here, but hot and humid; we go for our walks at dawn to beat the heat and sun.

Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Don. I've also taken a better photo of it and uploaded it. It's so difficult to photograph a wet painting!

So glad, too, that you like the New Mexico Hill and Junipers. It's more minimal, I think, than usual, but that's a good thing.

Dawn?! You're industrious! Because I'm a bit of a night owl, that's hard for me to do. But, it is what many desert dwellers do here--as you do. I'll bet you see marvelous sunrises. That's one the payoffs for getting up early, isn't it?

When I lived in Pensacola, 90 degrees with humidity was oppressive in a way that 100 degrees without humidity is not. However, our monsoon season reminds me of Florida summers.

Linny D. Vine said...

I love these, Melinda!!!

Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Linny! It means a lot to me that you do.
Virtual hugs!