Although I work in multiple mediums, I am always attracted to the human figure, texture, weathered and decaying surfaces, bones, rust, and the natural world. These interests create common threads that weave through my work regardless of medium.
I work in both 2 and 3 dimensions, sculpting, painting and creating assemblage work. When I paint I like to work in oil because it allows me to work slowly, in layers, and offers a greater freedom and range of effects than other mediums.
Most of my work is figurative. It is narrative, and often autobiographical although not literally self portraiture. For me, figurative works evoke an emotional response that is rarely attained in landscape or other genres of painting.
I am inspired by the visual poetry of the human form. I'm attracted to the turn of a wrist, the curve of a spine, the shadow of a collar bone. I love the way light can make skin glow and the way shadow defines a form, then the challenge of trying to recreate that beauty and complexity in paint. In addition to the physical qualities of a figure, I am interested in the psychological aspects of the human mind - and strive to convey mood and feeling in my paintings.
My technique in both sculpting and painting is realistic and detailed, layered, and created slowly over time. Often it strays into the realm of magical realism. Although my work has personal meaning, the narrative is deliberately oblique, inviting the viewer to interpret the image to suit their own story and experience.
Melissa was born and raised in Detroit and attended Wayne State University where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Art Education and a Masters Degree in Art Therapy.
She worked previously as an art educator in the West Bloomfield school district. She has been exhibiting her work professionally in the Detroit area since 2006 and has since won numerous awards.
She also serves as a board member and exhibition committee member for the Detroit Artists Market.