Thursday, July 26, 2012

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

Redwall Canyon (8" x 8") 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


cohen labelle said...

Yes, absolutely! I want to hear more!
You could write about your reflections and experiences at the grand canyon this summer as an artist in residence - until the cows come home and I’d continue to be as spell bound as I am now.

I love your quote - "Art is a whole body experience: mind, body, and soul."Melinda Esparza
How lucky those young people were to have you for their workshop - what a wonderful project you devised for them.

This recent painting makes me completely speechless – I’m enthralled by your your use of color, I’m thinking maybe it’s almost an out of body experience. I also see a figurative element in it against the canyon wall, which frankly I find quite fascinating – at least according to my reading of it - intended or not these ambiguities make it incredibly rich and give it an added dimension!!!

xo, Marcia

Edgar said...

Me too! I'm dying to hear more about your experience there. Feel free!

This work -- more abstract, more expressionist, yes? So many beautiful little elements and details, packed into that little space. And still some sense of the Grand. This one will be in the retrospective coffee table book!


Melinda said...

Dear Marcia,
Well, now you've started something! I might be talking about the Grand Canyon until next year!

Yes, I, too, noticed the figures showing up in the piece. Completely spontaneous, I must say. There were things that happened that, if you're so inclined, would remind one of visitations, as though the ancestors would show up and whisper their presence.

Living amid such beauty was like living halfway to heaven--not gone, but not burdened with all the news of misery we hear daily. The travelers seemed to feel this way too. They were reverent and polite, not worried about time passing, crime, or carrying the world on their shoulders.

More soon.

Melinda said...

Thanks, Edgar.

This was a random, spontaneous painting inspired by the nightly show of Canyon through the trees at the rim by Verkamp's. Each day, the light would dance along the Redwall and change, sometimes disappearing, sometimes changing colors.

I was mesmerized, especially at sunset.

Donald Diddams said...

What an interesting painting, so many elements. I too see the figures, almost floating like spirits at the edge. And those linear elements in the middle and along the bottom add another layer of mystery. Just so much there!

It looks like the kids had a fabulous experience. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it makes them thirst for more art in their lives!

Anonymous said...

Hi just wanted to say that I like your article very much. Please keep up the good posts Thanks a ton! and Have a good day

Melinda said...

Thank you, Donald. I think this painting is a bit "Jungian" for me. I like that. I'm glad you see things in it too.

Yes, it is my sincere hope that the kids latch onto art for their entire lives.

Virtual hugs to you and yours.