Thursday, July 24, 2008


Avocados Sold

oil on gallery wrapped canvas


Who doesn't love avocados? When we were kids we got an orange, a piece of chocolate and an avocado in our Christmas stocking. I can't even remember my first one, I was so little.
And wasn't it strange and funny when there was a late freeze in California or Mexico, somewhere that we get most of our avocados in January, and people were going nuts that there wouldn't be enough avocados for the Super Bowl guacamole!
I just bought these yesterday and they were about perfectly ripe and I was afraid that when I opened this one it would have a brown spot somewhere, but luckily it was just right.
In the comments about Oriana Kacicek's painting of the orange slices, was a good question I would like to address.
liz in IN said...
Amazing skill. 'real-looking' the style you're going for? >shrug<>
Well, I guess I am entranced by the Hyper-realists, and then again NOT. For one thing, they are usually painting from a photo which holds time still, and nothing changes the image. When I paint I am painting the actual scene, er, still life, and moving myself around and readjusting my posture and that changes what I am seeing so it is a bit more of a trick to get everything as perfect as it would have been if I had the still photo to look at. Those shadows and highlights don't change. And the avocado in the photo doesn't start getting brown after a few hours under the lights.
But I am aiming at the reality of it. And we all know nothing is as unreal as a painting. So it has to be my interpretation of the view before me.
I have been looking at lots of artists' work online, as part of my homework and one thing has really jelled in the ol' bean. None of us are going to make the history books. And I am finally OK with that. As a painting student, way back when, it seemed that we were primed to aim for that achievement, as tho it were the main goal. MAIN GOAL. I don't know how this was communicated to us, but I felt compelled to dream that dream. It killed me, artistically. I doubted everything I put forth.
Now, I could care less about the history books.
I think it's great that I can put art in the hands of people directly, either online or through the mail, without an agent, a gallery, a museum, or critic to get in the way. And because I don't have to deal with them, I don't have to categorize my style to fit into their marketing plan.

So as to real looking style? I guess I am learning to accept that this is the way I paint and it is evolving, and getting better if I do say so myself. Daily painting makes it happen.


  1. Just visited your blog, Melody, and your paintings are amazing! They absolutely glow with gorgeous color and vitality! I am so in awe, as I had always thought that quilts and wall hangings were your forte! What
    CAN'T you do?

  2. Anonymous6:06 PM

    Another insightful post today!

    I was that art student who annoyed the instructors to no end, my mantra was "if I wanted it to look REAL I'd be in a photography class" as I once read that Picasso could paint like Norman Rockwell, but chose to interpete what he saw into ART.

    I too took a hiatus from painting and found a voice in quilting. But your daily paintings have inspired me to give painting another try... on my own terms this time.


  3. Melody, just the other day, I found your blog and have been entranced ever since. Yes, I am the one spending a long time, reading about your metamorphosis. To be a fantastic quilter, and then to be an equally, if not greater, painter (and gardener and chef and knitter and...!) You 'wow' me girl! You are an inspiration and knowing that, should be enough 'real'. Thanks for all you share!

  4. Anonymous9:33 AM

    Melody, this is a great painting ! My new favorite.

  5. Liz in IN11:01 AM

    Great answer! Thanks!

    Painting for the primary purpose of reproducing the photo's subject matter in minute realistic detail...ehh, not for me. Tho' I do grant that the ability to draw well (decent hand-eye coordination)is a valuable basic skill.

    And I am now in love with the concept that a "live" (well, you know) object changes, over the time taken to paint it, because of the subtle shifts the artist makes.

    Also LOVE the avocado--gorgeous blocks of colour. Yum. Much more 'alive' and evocative than a painted photo avocado (imo)!

  6. Anonymous12:55 PM

    Why do they teach us as children that we must strive to be THE BEST at what we do? And that THE BEST means in the history books? This is true not only in art, but also in science, business, etc. It seems that a lot of people end up being very unhappy in their thirties and forties when they do not achieve these expectations of being THE BEST.

    How can we convince folks that being happy in what we do and where we are is so much more important than being in the history books?

  7. Anonymous12:55 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. I think that is typically an American phenomenon. Except in Minnesota, where children are taught to be self effacing.
    I learned that on Prairie Home Companion.

  9. You are right about being "taught" to want to be in the history books. Tho' I thinking the teaching was not conscious by most teachers. As a child taking piano lessons, I "learned" that the point was to perform flawlessly at the spring recital. Nothing about enjoyment or challenging myself. There is a fund-raiser show on PBS sometimes teaching piano for NON-Concert pianists. The teachers says, "Why do you want to play the piano? Isn't it to play a tune you know, maybe sing along? You DON'T want to be a concert pianist! Yet that is what most piano teachers seem to have in mind." Then he gives instruction in how to play a tune with some harmony---more like playing a guitar for sing-along.

    Hmm. . .there are many skills that we can enjoy as well as learn to do "better", WITHOUT imagining/needing/seeking to make historywith our sbilities.

    Either I'm maturing, or getting too old to do anything well...


  10. Recently I went to a major state gallery that had a large floor of a selection of their painting collection displayed on a time scale - the earliest at one end and the most recent at the other, starting at about the 13th century. 1/2 the space was taken up by the 20th Century paintings, many post WW2 paintings being very large.

    Being also a people watcher, I was fascinated by those viewing the paintings. People spent much time with the pre 20thC and more realistic paintings - the area was full of people. In the post WW2 part they walked around quickly and walked back out, some didn't even bother to look at them all and the area was pretty much empty. It told a story all it's own.

    Unless you're aiming to sell your work to art critics, what does it matter how you paint Melody? Go with your talent - it's extraordinary, it obviously makes you happy, and my bet is you'll go from strength to strength.

    Hugs from a big fan,

    PS. I enjoyed Oriana Kacicek's work, but I prefer yours - there's a joy and life in them, and those colours - Wow.

  11. In my old age, I have learned to be happy with what I can do and just trying to improve on that each time I learn a new technique or a new way of seeing things.

    I hope that jalapeno has no salmonella!! :)

  12. Yes, Mel, I think this one is my favorite too!

    I love what you've said about freeing oneself from the fantasy about being in the history books. What a liberating thought! Thank you for that.


So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com