Painter Melanie Ferguson expresses the beauty of nature using a distinctive, contemporary style. Explore more of her portfolio by visiting her website.
From the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles and Hollywood to rural living in the little mountain town of Oakley outside of Park City, Utah, art has always had a home where I reside!
Growing up, I always had a love for creating something from nothing. It’s in my bones. Both my mother and grandma were artists, and I learned early on what magic a tube of paint can create. As an artist, I get excited when I see something that inspires me—a new color, a new product, or a new subject to paint.
I designed my home studio (with a 360 view of the outdoors) as a space to house all the things I love. It has a nook for books and a big comfy chair to read in. There is a big easel, space for my supplies, and pots of fresh flowers from my garden or store year-round. It’s my special place, and it inspires me to paint every day.
My travels inspire me as well. I can’t wait to record the different colors, cultures and scenery in my journal, which I take back to my studio to recreate. Throughout my life, I have taken many paths to get where I am today.
I moved to Los Angeles in my twenties, got married and started a family. Navigating a new city and raising children didn’t leave much time to pursue art. I took a class whenever I could. Art was my break when my kids where young. It kept me focused on who I was and what I passionately wanted to do in my life. When my girls left for college, I booked a trip to paint the French countryside, and a whole new world in plein air painting opened up!
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At the same time, my thirty-year marriage fell apart. This blindsided me for a bit. I had to redefine my life, who I was, what I wanted and what my family life would be. Art kept me grounded through those dark times. It gave me purpose, and as my life changed, so did my art.
I no longer wanted to just paint traditional landscapes. My focus became deeper, and more abstract. I wanted to take my viewer on a journey where they could fill in the gaps, and find their own meaning in my art.
In my current process, I start with an abstracted first layer, adding texture, colors, thick paint, etc. Then I edit and refine the next layers, creating my landscapes or a floral painting.
It might take a week, a month, or sometimes a year to create the final painting that meets all my aesthetics. It’s not finished until the painting tells me it’s done. Then I can let it go to a new home.
Today, I hope to create art that uplifts, energizes and gives the viewer a sense of the beauty in nature. I want to provide a peaceful, calm spot in their beautiful homes. And, maybe a memory of a place they’ve traveled to, or hold dear.
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