Saturday, April 03, 2021

Artwork: Young Hoop Dancer

 My latest artwork, "Young Hoop Dancer." Polychromos color pencils. Apache Junction, Arizona ©Melissa Enderle

Although I've been a part of my family's Yellow Bird Dance group since I was a toddler, performing in front of audiences with the hoop dance is something I've only done in the last few years. It takes a lot of coordination and practice to get those hoops into the different formations such as a butterfly or eagle while at the same time doing fancy footwork, accented by the jingle of bells attached to my sheepskin leggings. Everything– the formations, facial expression, movement, and the homemade costume– has symbolism. My ancestors created the hoop dance to be part of a healing ceremony, but for the past 30 years, our dance group has used a form of the hoop dance to share a bit of our culture with others. I can't grasp as many hoops as my older brother, papa, or uncle, but I'm feeling much more confident with my form. In a couple of weeks, we'll be heading to the Heard Museum for the annual World Championship of Hoop Dancing. Native American groups from all over the country will be competing. My papa, who has used 40 hoops in one dance, is a five-time world champion. Last year I got 2nd place in my age division. After today's performance, I think I can get first place. Wish me luck!

See more of my artwork on my website, on Flickr, or my Artwork Facebook Page.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Manipuri Dancer: My latest artwork


Manipuri Dancer

Pastels on PastelMat paper
Chennai, India
©2020 Melissa Enderle

The full moon is out tonight. I am playing the role of Lord Krishna as we perform at the Kalakeshetra Fair in Chennai, India. The crowd always loves seeing the love between Lord Krishna and Radha being reenacted. Just like the Bharatanatyam dancers of Tamil Nadu, much emphasis is placed on the hand and upper body gestures I make. We don't wear anklet bells or perform such forceful footwork though. The tube-skirted Radha and I dance gracefully, accompanied by kartal cymbals, a barrel Pung drum, and singers chanting beautiful Sanskrit poetry. As I move about in our courtship dance, the feathers from my headdress and tassels affixed to my arms sway in the humid air. Did our Lord Krishna have as much fun when he courted Radha? I wonder.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

My latest Artwork: Announcement at Ulica 16 Kumanovska

 My latest color pencil drawing Announcement at Ulica 16 Kumanovska. Vranje, Serbia ©2021 Melissa Enderle

It is customary for death notices to be posted on doors as well as public display areas. The highly textured, colored weathered door, along with the announcement, immediately attracted my attention while walking through the town. I had just held a solo art show at the town's American Consulate.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Playing for the Maharaja

 "Playing for the Maharaja"

Color Pencil. Jaisalmer, India

©2020 Melissa Enderle

It is the day of the Gangaur festival in this ancient city of Jaisalmer. I'm doubly giddy about the festival celebrating our goddess of love and marriage this year since my granddaughter is in the procession of other eligible young females eager for love. She looks so beautiful and grown-up in her new dress and jewelry. Plus I'm one of the musicians selected to perform. Both me and my trusty kamaycha instrument are a bit worn but we both will sing out our best today. I've already performed some songs that beseech the goddess Gauri to bless these young women with prosperous marriages. Behold! The Maharaja has arrived! I quickly switch to a song singing the praises of His Highness. May he and his family live a long, prosperous life! The Golden City of Jaisalmer loves you!

See more of my artwork from India and other places on my website.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Pastel Artwork: Purple Iris


My latest artwork, a pastel painting. 
"Purple Iris"
Pastel on PastelMat paper
©2020 Melissa Enderle

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

My latest Portrait Art

Here is my latest portrait artwork, a color pencil drawing of a dancer I saw a few times in a park in Xi'an, China. It is the first artwork I did with the Polychromos color pencil set I bought. Based on her costume (especially the embroidered hat), I believe she is from the Uyghur ethnic group, those Muslims who are being heavily persecuted by the Chinese government. Some even are calling it a genocide. After the day I photographed her, I never saw any of the dance troupe again. I sure hope that the reason for their absence is not a sinister one.

You can find more of my artworks (for sale) on my website

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Desert Bloom at DeGrazia, Tucson

Here is one of my recently completed artworks, "Desert Bloom at DeGrazia, Tucson". Created with color pencils, it depicts the gated path leading up to the DeGrazia Art Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
You can find more of my artworks on my Melissa Enderle Artwork Facebook page or on my website.