Melissa A. Robinson: fanciful, meticulous, feel-good fine art
A Review of Robinson’s “Twilight” by L. Chrystal Dmitrovic

Empress Books
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Fall/Winter 2003

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          When I first cast eyes on Melissa’s “Twilight”, I was struck by its sense of serenity and simple inviting aura. One immediately feels she created this 4" x 6" minimalist landscape with a soft and gentle spirit. There’s a careful feel to it, like every spot where a hint of blossom was stroked in was scrutinized painfully. There’s a whimsy to it, too, although no folksy characters or nostalgic elements are present, other than the twilight, a time of day every person has experienced and enjoyed. Perhaps there was a touch of magic in the paint, or sorcery in the beautifully mulled blending of colours, where for example, mauve at the horizon gives the whole scene a “glow”. Using acrylic as a medium, she accomplished an almost shiny metallic effect in the spread of field. Stars peek in slowly. (One didn’t notice them at first.) That’s when “Twilight” really comes alive. The more one looks, the more comes into focus: blades of grass, the natural curve of the Earth, the gradual darkening upward of the sky where one suspects the moon lays hidden somewhere. A glance away from this work, and its magic, leaves one with the impression that there’s still more to find somewhere within the field or in the sky, of course in the twilight....

'Twilight" by Melissa Robinson
(click image for larger view)

      Over the last five years, Melissa has produced a sizable portfolio of originals, and she’s also currently making prints available. A common thread throughout her work is her ability to create/reproduce an emotion or feeling in her work that touches the inner person. Whether it’s the person we are, or who we want to be, it’s an appealing topical style. One can look at most any of her works and say honestly: “I’ve felt like that! I’ve been there! Now I know what I could have done!”

"Twilight” in Progress: A commentary by Melissa A. Robinson
      All of my work pretty much evolves in a similar pattern. I make the decision to create a new piece and I sit down at my studio table. I always have a number of surfaces already primed - in this case, Twilight began as a piece of white mat board taped off and primed with black gesso, picked at random. I may have some general idea of a topic, like landscape, animal, etc., but I rarely have any specifics in mind when beginning. I usually draw out something, anything, on the surface just to get things started. At this point, I am fully aware that whatever marks I make will eventually be underpainting. My work usually evolves through several layers, so I feel no pressure to get anything "right" in the beginning. Then I move colors around on the surface.
      My work always comes back to color. I let the colors talk to each other and develop a "scene" if you will. They relate back and forth like characters in a play. Eventually after moving colors here and there, and bringing out this line or that shape, I get to the point where I begin considering the overall idea of the piece, and whether or not the various components are working together smoothly. This is when the final composition is decided, where texture is added or removed in key areas, and colors are blended to create a finished feel. The piece is done when everything -- color, line, shape, shading, movement, et al -- has achieved some sort of balance. Or else it is done whenever I cannot stand to work on it anymore! Whichever comes first.

To View Melissa A. Robinson’s Art: (A link to her eBay listings and store can be found on her website)
      To Contact Melissa A. Robinson:

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