Melissa Milton was born in the Southern United States during the turbulent 1960’s and came of age in the groovy 1970’s. The colorful clothing, interior décor, and art of those decades influences her artistic expression. The family of colors and designs associated with those eras frequently find their way into her artwork, especially in tertiary colors (colors derived from a combination of three or more colors). She tends to use curved, relaxed, flowing shapes which – when combined with the unusual color choices – can potentially express an object in a new way which perhaps some people may have not seen before.
Most of Melissa’s paintings are of living things observed close up. If it’s a painting of plants, trees, or florals it typically colorfully emphasizes at least one characteristic of that one living thing which makes it unique. “Just Peachy”, for example, emphasizes a peach tree’s surreal, ripe juicy looking peaches. If a painting is of a living creature or a human then you’ll notice that the creature or human is invariably in motion. It is living its life, unknowingly being observed during a moment in which it is in mid task. The viewer is benignly spying on it as it moves about.
Melissa begins most of her paintings with either a story or a question she would like to visually depict. These stories and questions are explained beside each painting on the artist’s website. The questions which become visually depicted in paintings are usually simple and often nonsensical, such as the question behind “Carrots” (What might it be like if we had magical vision that enabled us to see underground vegetables while they were still tucked away in the soil?).
The stories which become expressed in certain paintings may be stories of a memory, a philosophy, a fairy tale, a forewarning, or some other type of story. For instance, “The Wishing Tree” and “Frozen Moment” are based on fairy tales the artist created as the basis for those paintings. “The Wishing Tree” is based upon a fairy tale where there is a special tree with curly cue leaves. If a person pulls off one of the leaves and makes a wish, it comes true! “Balloon Release” appears at first glance to be a cheerful bright painting of a swan flying over released balloons but is actually a forewarning about a concern the artist has: That we humans sometimes unintentionally harm other living creatures. In this painting, the balloons are rising rapidly, possibly about to collide with an unsuspecting bird.
As long as there are questions to ask or stories to tell, Melissa will not run out of new paintings.