Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tucson Artist Melinda Grand Canyon Part II: Segment 2218--Chapter 4

Redwall Canyon (8" x 8," oil on cradled panel) July © 2012 Melinda S. Esparza

It could be really easy to write about being one of this year's artists-in-residence at the Grand Canyon. Yes, I could write about it for the rest of the year....Okay, maybe not the entire year, but how about some more?

As part of my volunteer time there, I agreed to lead two workshops for kids. One was Parks in Focus. The kids were in middle school and up from Tucson. They were so intensely interested in their experience. I could tell.

I drew a super larger drawing of the Canyon on several torn pieces of watercolor paper, numbering the backs of the sheets, thinking of David Hockney and his approach to photography in the 1980s.

Each child then got to watercolor and use pastels to paint and draw on their segments of the drawing. You could hear them think the concentrated silence was so strong.

© 2012 Melinda S. Esparza
Didn't they do a great job of abstracting the drawing? Here is a link to their twitter account quoting something I said (Yes, I do remember saying that!): Parks in Focus Twitter Message

Monday, July 16, 2012

Artist Melinda: Home Again, Home Again

Asterism's Dip (8" x 8" oil on artists' board) © 2012 Melinda S. Esparza

Perhaps an artist-in-residency should be subtitled: and Spiritual Retreat. Alone at 4 AM, no tourists or rangers, no pets, no city activity, there are other sounds and thoughts to consider. For me, driving away from consuming grief when I left Tucson, and heading north to the Rim, gave me a place to recover, and an opportunity to craft some serious realignment, to bring forward what I know to be true and hear again the soul's voice that really does know everything. We get so lost trying to please others--listening to their requests, their needs.

From silence, love speaks.

In the morning, I got to give Ranger Pete Peterson and Virginia of the Gift Shop at Verkamp's hearty hugs before departing. They were so kind and enthusiastic about my work and the artists who reside upstairs. Good people! They do have perfect jobs...after painting, of course.
I'm home now. And what a day of travel it was! I drove us away from one of the best places I've ever had the honor of experiencing. It was a cool day, and the drive home was exciting with the monsoon rains. At the end of the day, double rainbows formed over my home and studio. The second one is barely visible in the upper left hand corner of the sky.

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too.

The painting, Asterism's Dip (oil on Artists' Board, 8" x 8"), was painted after awakening at 4 AM several nights in a row. The Big Dipper was swooping down for a drink, or delivering energy to the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon. I know I drank deeply.

I ate birthday cake.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Grand Canyon Artist in Residence Melinda Esparza: Of an Evening's Measure

Of an Evening's Measure (8" x 8," oil on artists' board)© 2012 Melinda S. Esparza

What is the purpose of an AiR (Artist-in-Residence)? How is that opportunity honored, and what can one get out of it?

I found that I:

Cleaned my palette

Found I used less of everything

Looked more

Spent time more wisely

Addendum--Things I learned:

Stand back when pulling down ancient rolly blinds

A wolf spider is hard to sleep near

Save the Daddy Long Legs

Condors perform for travelers, and ravens do too

Walking up three flights of stairs several times a day in addition to sightseeing, grocery shopping and laundry doing, will definitely hobble one for a couple of days

Synchronicity is everywhere, if you're open to it

Don't put things with polyester in the public dryer with towels--they will melt

Stop with the multi-tasking already

This piece (Of an Evening's Measure, 8" x 8," oil on artists' panel) was created during the last two weeks. Plus, here's another slideshow of a spectacular sunset last night. Wishing you all paint time.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Grand Canyon Headquarters Art Exhibit: Artist Melinda is There!

It's been an incredible honor to be one of this year's artists-in-residence at the Grand Canyon, only to have the added privilege of having my work exhibited at the Grand Canyon Park Service's Headquarters.

Life with a cherry on top.

A major thank you to Rene A. Westbrook, South Rim Artist-in-Residence program coordinator, Grand Canyon National Park. She has been so generous and thoughtful coordinating my stay and hanging my work. She is also a wonderful artist!

Here are more photos from the Canyon taken on different days: