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 too.


Barbara Muir said...

Well now. Lucky you with Monsoon rains. Now is this Happy Birthday time. Happy Birthday! How cosmic this whole experience has been like a gift of healing to help the grief, and then a double rainbow in the middle of the desert. Oh my.

Life really is a miracle, and the life of those whose eyes are open, perhaps more so. Yours are -- beautiful painting. Love it.


cohen labelle said...

Holy Moly Melinda – is this captivating and ravishing and intoxicating or what?!!!!!
This painting makes me feel like swooning- I feel as though I could dive right into it. I think maybe you took flying lessons while you were at the Rim.

I imagine it’s great to be home and – for one Edgar is delighted and tickled to have you back – but I can imagine it’ll take some time to come back down to earth. In the meantime I would stay up there and soar to your hearts content!

Hey is it your birthday? Happy Birthday dear Melinda!!!!!

hugs, xo, Marcia

Melinda said...

Hello Barbara,

It was 'purdy darn' spectacular to return home to such intense storms and rainbows! I was surprised and grateful because I didn't want to leave the Canyon. What can top it? I suppose Diego's muzzle, my own bed, monsoon rain, and the song of the quail in my yard are all part of a good start though.

Thank you so much for being supportive and for your kindness. It was fun having cake on the Rim! Next time, let's have cake together, yes?


Melinda said...

OH! Thank you, Marcia!

It was a really tough painting to work on up there. The beauty was so intense and my efforts so small in comparison. I worked and reworked this piece for a week in the studio there. In a strange place, I think it's even harder to know if a painting is 'something.'

It is hard to transition. Well, actually, I think in my mind I will keep living in the state of mind that I rediscovered there as much as possible. It is good. I know you understand this!

Thank you for the b'day wishes. I celebrated the day looking out at the Canyon! Wow. Would love to share an artists' day with you and Barbara sometime...


Anonymous said...

Melinda, I love the nighttime painting! The depth, peace, and stillness are palpable. And I know what you mean about being overwhelmed by the beauty and presence of the Canyon. It is truly spectacular and deservedly one of the seven wonders of the world. How awesome you celebrated your birthday there!

Welcome Home!
-- Nancy

Jeane Myers said...

magic! you brought home magic! the painting is definitely speaking of something new waiting for you! I love this work! It has a new intensity - belated happy happy birthday! we must talk soon xo

Melinda said...

Oh yes, Nancy, I know you know the area well and understand its power.

If I can express any suggestion of its loveliness, then I am happy!

Thank you for commenting.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Jeane!

I know you've had some exciting, inspirational moments recently too.

Yes, let's chat soon. Looking forward to it.

Donald Diddams said...

Hi Melinda,
I missed this one...until today. A fabulous experience, with a birthday to boot. I hope you can hold on to those insights, the peace, the focus for a long while. Those things can't be bought for any amount.
Asterism's Dip is truly a 4 AM painting, the colors so true to that time of day. I'm waiting for that dipper to come down and take a scoop out of that purple hillside.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Donald!

I think I had a major shift in my psyche, one that I'm hoping lasts for the rest of my life. You are right. They cannot be bought at any price.

It was such a surprise to look out the window at 4am and see the Big Dipper hover over the Canyon. I thought I'd found out its secret journey after everyone else had left or gone to sleep. It was magical.