31227D80-EF35-4438-9CB1-4CF1CD445D28_1_1

 

Artist Statement

"For me, painting, it’s like having a conversation with my best friend. Yet, it’s all unspoken but perfectly understood. I’ve learned to read the paint like we read body language."

              - Mel

 

Why did I choose to paint landscapes? Actually, I believe landscapes chose me. Nature is where I belong. I marvel at the complexity, depth, light, values, and contour lines. Studying clouds, sunsets, palettes and storing  them in my head. Then, I paint what’s inside my head as my reference, producing work that is very ethereal and luminous.

When starting, there’s never a preconceived idea of where it will go. I tell people the paintings really paint themselves, I just happen to be holding the brush. I start with big loose strokes with Golden® acrylics. Add more colors, add more layers. Pouring and dripping paint mixed with interference or iridescence colors, maybe micaceous oxide. The luminosity comes to the foreground. The science and exploration of the hues are constantly evolving. That endless exploration of ‘what ifs’ keep me awake at night.

I have to trust myself and the paints, but the paint leads the way. When I paint, it’s 100 percent concentration. Everything else fades away. I hope my audience hears and sees the quiet in my art.

For me, painting, it’s like having a conversation with my best friend. Yet, it’s all unspoken but perfectly understood. I’ve learned to read the paint like we read body language. When it’s finished, that part of conversation is over, but it continues to speak. You have to be still and present to hear it. My hope is that the painting will speak to others, and they will have their own conversation.

During my favorite classes in college, we had to replicate the Masters. At first, I thought painting that Cezanne still life was so simple. Then, a van Gogh. The palettes, brush strokes, techniques were so different. I began to understand the importance of studying the Masters. While painting a Picasso, I discovered his most influential artist  was Cezanne. I learned how one Master inspired another. The dots starting connecting. My appetite was insatiable. Today, as an artist and educator, I teach the Masters paintings. And the Masters are still teaching me.