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About My Art by Melanie Birk

Background . . . A former writer, I began painting about 20 years ago, after my family moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Diagnosed with a chronic illness and raising 3 small children, I found painting to be therapeutic, even energizing. I studied with successful local artists and began painting vibrant landscapes in acrylic. Eventually, my work evolved into a larger scale, focusing on joyful depictions of nature and including mixed media. 

Signatures . . . Hallmarks of my art are the use of happy, vivid color; the portrayal of nature in a contemporary, whimsical style; and an unusual mix of prints and patterns that is stimulating and artful. I am a garden lover and never tire of examining plants to feature in my work. Handmade paper, turquoise fragments and feathers are among my favorite objects to incorporate.

Color . . . I enjoy using saturated color and am influenced by "les fauves," a group of early 20th-century artists known for their intense palette. I employ bold hues to express vitality and inspire delight. Surrounding ourselves with art that exudes positive energy can change our daily outlook, instilling a sense of optimism and moving us to action.

Nature . . . Many of my pieces are inspired by the abundant color and texture of nature's flora and fauna. Stylized leaves, flowers and branches are layered and intertwined in a playful style, reflecting my belief in the interconnectedness of all living things. Other pieces reflect my love of animals, aerial points of view, architectural formations, or visions from my dreams.

Blue Thistle Arts . . . I print patterns from my original art onto fabric, and then produce luxury one-of-a-kind scarves, shawls, tunics and pillow covers. This venture allows me to reach more people with my art and fulfill my mission, described below. Go to www.bluethistlearts.com to view my e-boutique.

 . . . My goal is to celebrate the beauty and wonder of Mother Nature through my art, inspiring us all to cherish and conserve our fragile planet. 

. . . I recently moved from Santa Fe to the Texas hill country. My home and studio, surrounded by horses and live oaks, are open by appointment. 505.660.4063