— the story —
The Story Behind the Work.
Estimated reading time: 1 min 59 sec.
I could begin with the story of a letter that was sent, but came back unopened.
Or passing close to death in the jungles of Paraguay.
Or waking up to the sound of rain through the open window of a Bavarian castle,
Or the fateful day when a text message came that simply read, “Emergency.”
Or I could begin, like every artist does, by telling you that I have been drawing since I was eighteen months old.
While true, all of those beginnings would be a bit trite.
I am a fine art painter who probably should have become a biologist. Or a geologist. Or a librarian. Or something. But I am a painter who decided to go to RISD instead of pursuing science, and the rest was history. The beauty of it is, love of research and love of color go well together, and chances are you'll find both in my work.
I help highly educated people like you, who are quite likely very smart and cool (yes, let's face it, you are) …to pause for just a minute.
I spend my days making things for you to look at and experience.
You might (or you might not) find a new perspective on the same old things.
You might find yourself feeling like you're waking up, like I did one day near a forest in south Germany, to the sound of rain (and, I think church bells) and find yourself feeling as though you were in a totally different world…perhaps in a different kind of era. Art can do that.
And really, it’s a long shot, but— you might find yourself feeling inspired. For me, making a stroke on a canvas is an act of defiant celebration, a color-infused point of punctuation in a world that tends toward a monotonous hum of daily obligations. Perhaps if the velocity of that stroke carries through, you might feel bravely inspired to undertake another adventure, too.
And, perhaps you will find a place of resonance, a place of hope in the presence of these paintings. Especially, if you happen to have a fateful day, when one of your messages reads, “Emergency.” I hope it doesn’t happen. I hope you can live your whole life without that kind of day— a day like a door, where on the other side of it, everything is different.
But even if you do, I hope you will find the way through the new landscape where you find yourself. This work is about embracing a spirit of adventure through life’s most difficult circumstances. May it bring color, courage, and new horizons to your story, too.
What's your story?
It would be great to hear from you. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts and reactions to the work, and how it speaks to you. Drop me a line if you feel so inclined.
More about the artist
A somewhat more official bio.
From wall-sized mythical creatures to portraits that take on a life of their own, Melissa Carmon (b. 1984) expresses the realities and possibilities of life through the practice of art.
Her work includes large-scale portraits in oil and immersive installation work that transforms spaces. Carmon's shows often incorporate interdisciplinary elements, drawing from her studies in philosophy, literature, psychology, and the natural sciences.
A vibrant teacher and leader, Carmon leads courses, gives lectures, and creates workshops to help other artists to achieve greater artistic productivity.
Carmon's work was recently commissioned by HID Global, and her work has been shown in Denver and Washington, D.C.
Carmon studied Printmaking as an undergraduate at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and holds a degree with honors in Philosophy from Colorado State University.
Melissa Carmon currently resides in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband, Jonathan Myers.