21 Under 31: Young Artists to Watch in 2015 | Melanie Thompson


Melanie Thompson, Down the River, oil, 24 x 36.

Melanie Thompson, Down the River, oil, 24 x 36.

Art Education: Bachelor’s degree in digital technology and culture with a minor in fine arts from Washington State University in Pullman. Most of the fine-art classes I took involved studying and making conceptual works, so in painting and drawing I’m primarily self-taught.

Style: Painterly realism with an emphasis on bold shapes and a sense of distance.

Creative Spark: The feeling of freedom I get on a road trip or a long hike far from the city.

Second-Choice Career: Part of me wishes I hadn’t left wildland firefighting. Every summer I miss the adrenaline rush and hazard pay.

Other Passions: Geology, road trips, camping with my husband, and avoiding doing dishes at all costs.

Best Advice Received: Know the rules so you can break them well.

Biggest Fear: That I will forget how to paint. I know it’s not logical, or at least my husband says it’s not. But the feeling can be overwhelming. For me the key is to keep the brushes wet and never be too attached to the outcome.

Mantra or Motto: “When in doubt, wipe it out.”

Favorite Studio Music: Florence and the Machine and Fiona Apple. I also love listening to audiobooks while I paint. My current favorite is Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey.

Favorite Work by Another Artist: ON THE WAY TO HEAVEN by Clyde Aspevig.

Future Goals: Continue to grow and develop my own artistic vision while showing art lovers across the country the unique beauty of the inland Northwest.

Price Range: $400 to $2,500.

Representation: You & I Framing, Kennewick, WA.

Featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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