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About My Art by Melanie Birk

Background . . . A former writer, I began painting about 16 years ago, after my family moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Diagnosed with a chronic illness and raising 3 small children, I found painting more energizing and therapeutic than writing. 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 evoke emotion and express vitality.

Nature . . . Many of my pieces are inspired by the abundant color and texture of nature's flora. 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 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 awesome beauty of Nature through my art, and to inspire us all to appreciate and conserve our fragile planet. 

. . . My home, studio and gallery are open by appointment, located in the Art Barns community near Santa Fe, New Mexico. 505.660.4063