Exhibiting at Studio A
Acrylic paintings and screenprints on canvas, prints of digital illustration
15630 62nd Street
Mayer, MN 55360
Melanie Schumacher is a graphic designer, living and working on a 200 acre farm near Minneapolis. She gathers most of her inspiration from being outdoors, surrounded by fields, goats, cows, chickens, dogs, kitties, children and gardens. Growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, Melanie would spend hours filling sketch books with cartoons and wildlife drawings. There was little formal art training, but a lot of enthusiasm to learn, practice, and grow as an artist.
In 2006, while reading a book on Aboriginal Art and a book on Mandalas, she found her “style”. Her process takes a base color of acrylic paint and adds depth and texture by layering dots of color using the “wrong” side of the paintbrush.
Her paintings are inspired by the cut paper art of Hans Christian Anderson, quilting, and tattooing. Designs of plants, leaves, vines, and water, weave together detailed patterns of a magical world.
During a cold Minnesota winter, I was trying to find my voice as an artist. I was studying a book on using Mandalas, as a way to break thru creative blocks. It was fabulous therapy. I started to concentrate on the process of making art, and not just the final product. I had been experimenting with other mediums: watercolor, markers, and pen and ink, but, nothing felt right. During this time, I also found a book on Aboriginal art. I designed a mandala, painting it black, and then added color in the Aboriginal manner- using the non-brush side of the paintbrush. I was hooked! It had all the elements that I was looking for, just in a new combination: color, bold designs, and texture. My process has progressed and changed over time. My first paintings were smaller. As I felt more comfortable, I started exploring larger sizes, more complex images and complex patterns.
At this time, my process is: I sketch from life, magazines and other reference materials, altering the images as I sketch. I redraw the images on tracing paper, so that I can make repetitive designs. I use the tracing paper to transfer on to the canvas or paper. Then I paint the design in a dark color. I use the dark color as the base, so the next layer of acrylic dots stands out more, especially the light and metallic paints. I look forward to exploring a wide range of subjects. The paintings in this show are inspired by the cut paper art of Hans Christian Anderson, quilting, and tattooing.
In Hidden Details, designs of plants, leaves, vines, and water, weave together detailed patterns of a magical world. The colors and themes repeat. I find comfort in repetition, and enjoy the play on using the same shape or the same color as many different things. In one painting the same shape may be used as a branch and in the next, it may be a wave. The paintings have movement, movement in each of the shapes, the placement of the shapes, and also with the light in the metallic acrylic paint creates movement. Hidden Details also explores my use of both nature and art as a means of escape. That escape can be the therapy needed to find yourself.