Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012 Fall Open Studio Tour: Artist Melinda Esparza

Yes. Getting ready for the 2012 fall open studio tour here in Tucson, AZ.

Painting First Wall Oct. 2012

Can you tell that this is the scale on which I'd prefer to paint? We're starting to paint the house and this image was the first thing that caught my eye as I began. Wish I had canvas and space for it.

A week ago, I started the following painting and turned it around for a day to let it 'breathe.' When I turned it back to work on it (and each time I did after that), my dog, Diego (yeah, after THAT Diego), studied it carefully and then hurriedly left the room. Whaa?! Each time I turned it so he could see it, he would get up and walk away. Now howz that for silent criticism? Diego, the art critic. He also doesn't approve if I turn up my music...but I do it anyway.

So, today I went back into the painting and he didn't seem upset at all. Maybe it's done.

Light Descendant--Maricopa Point (30" x 30," oil on canvas © Melinda Esparza)

Circular thinking ahead:

Our library offers e-books now. I've gone nuts for checking out books to read on my tablet and reserving them online. One that I've started reading recently is The Seven Daughters of Eve, by Bryan Sykes (Genes are not watered down, but expressed for millenia.)

This, of course, got me to thinking about genealogy. Taking a break from painting, I watched a PBS special on the Modoc War. A brave Modoc woman, an interpreter/mediator, saved the life of Alfred Meacham (Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon, 1869) and tried to keep peace during negotiations with the Government in the 1870s to no avail. She was later sent to Oklahoma, and while there, Meacham gave her the name, Winemah, The Woman Chief.

This reminded me of my grandmother (born in Sasakwa, OK in 1904) who also shared the name, but spelled, Wynema. I've always wondered the meaning of my grandmother's name. In my research, she was named after a young cousin who had died as an infant in the late 1800s. I believe it is a Creek name. My family on her side descended from the Eastern Cherokee and possibly the Catawba, so the name may have been one that became popular as a result of all of the settling in Oklahoma.

Remembering my brave Wynema (c. 1912)
In the land, our ancestors dwell with us always, and we hold them in our hands as we honor their walk. I like the circle.

P. S. I probably should not ever consider becoming a house painter. Just saying. But, it would be nice to see you at the 2012 Fall Open Studio Tour here in Tucson, AZ.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

2012 Fall Open Studio Tour: Melinda Esparza

It's almost time again to have an Open Studio at Fuerte y Claro--my studio in the Old Pueblo. The dates to watch for are: November 10 & 11--only one month away! I hope you'll consider stopping by.

Almost Party Time.

Here's an 8" x 8," oil on artists' board, that I painted yesterday.

Icing on the Cake (8" x 8," oil on artists' board © Melinda Esparza)

I'm still reading bits of The War of Art (Steven Pressfield) and it can be brutal. I hope if you decide to check it out, you don't blame me if you need an aspirin after a day's reading. But, I can't look away. It challenges this artist to be disciplined, to show up, do the work--just like everyone else must do.

And, my arms are nearly recovered from the strain of holding and reading Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art, Edited by Cornelia Butler, Alexandra Schwartz. Introductions by Cornelia Butler, Griselda Pollock, Aruna D'Souza. The book is about three inches thick and must weigh at least five pounds! I'm impressed. Now, who knew there were so many women artists, eh? (snark attack)

Wishing you all a fabulously productive (or, relaxing) weekend!