I am excited to share with you to another talented artist in my Artist Spotlight Series

This artist’s work speaks to me with the bold use of color in an elegantly abstract form.

Enjoy getting to know

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Melissa Herrington

Venice, California

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What is your training? 

BFA Florida State University; Tallahassee Florida, MFA, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA

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What inspires you and your designs?

Color and texture inspire me the most. I fell in love with the colors of the horizon overlooking  the  Irish sea. This inspired my recent collection of large paintings during my residency at the Cill Rialaig Projects, in Ireland. The color palette of this series is limited to only the colors I could see outside my workspace, inspired mainly by the varying shades of the Irish sea and sky, from deep azure blue to pale aquamarine.

I believe artists inevitably take inspiration from the world around them. I have participated many artist-in-residence programs all around the world. These experiences allow me to work as I am discovering a new culture and or places.  Traveling, whether alone or working,   has become part of my creative process as an artist. When I travel I try to spend time in unexpected places and be open to magical moments. I try to be present and absorb the beauty around me and I often find beauty in unlikely things. 

The effects of a place or experience takes time to evolve and become a visual reference in my work which tends to inform a larger narrative of my practice as an artist.  I love the  quote from Emily Dickinson, “The  soul should always stand ajar. Ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”

What is your favorite piece? 

Some of my new pieces from my recent exhibition, “Ireland.” which is on display at Chicago Art Source Gallery,  through November 12, 2016.  I was an International Artist in Residence in the remote area of Ballinskelligs. Co.Kerry, Ireland.  I am really excited about the exploration of these pieces and their mark making. 

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I hope my work  evokes emotion and  connection with the viewer. My aim is to create paintings that are hopeful, contemplative and evocative.  The organic quality of my textured marks lend an ephemeral feeling, implying fluidity.  This “unfinished” surface   represents an unfolding of possibility.  We are all evolving and I hope that my work reminds people of their own creativity and transformation.   

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How has your area influenced your work? 

I live in Venice, California.

Being by the water inspires me daily.  It is a neighborhood full of vibrance, light and collaborations and artists working together.  Venice is its own enclave.  The creativity, diversity and nestled so close to the sea, which is very important to me and my work. I moved to Venice a little over 10 years from Atlanta to go to grad school at Otis College of Art and Design. I can not imagine living and working anywhere else in Los Angeles other than Venice.

 

What is your favorite restaurant in Venice? 

Hal’s, so happy to have it back. 

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What is your favorite cocktail? 

Rosé. While it’s true that rosés are delicious any time of year, summer is still the best reason to think pink. “Whispering Angel” the name just makes me smile…

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How do you balance personal life and work? 

Still trying to figure that out 🙂

Dream trip? 

Well, I am a self declared, stamp collector..  I have been to 43  different countries and still counting. I have an upcoming trip this month. I am looking forward to exploring a new part of the world.. Follow my travel on Instagram @herringtonmel and see my next adventure.

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Dream commission? 

My dream commission, would have to be collaborating with a fabulous fashion designer. Art and fashion, the intersection is really interesting to me.

 

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give? 

I love books. Especially brining cookbooks to a dinner party as a hostess gift. Because I am an artist, I especially like artist inspired cookbooks .. creative and delish!!!   

“Dinner With Jackson Pollock: Recipes, Art & Nature”

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A Painter’s Kitchen: Recipes from the Kitchen of Georgia O’Keeffe” 

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Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo

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Who is your style icon? 

Olivia Palermo. Clean and chic.

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Your favorite up and coming artist? 

Not so “up and coming…” but one of my favs, Helen Marten. She is young and inspiring. Her work forces us to examine object-hood and our surroundings and our language. 

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What is your most treasured possession? 

I am so grateful to have a wonderful studio to work in.  It’s a sunlight loft/studio, vibrant and comfortable. My home and my work space always begin as clean palates of white and leave room for me to see and think.  I like white and  neutral tones- it is both serene and chic.

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I love mixing colors and textures in unlikely ways, my own mini collections curated, and travel items collected along the way and photographs of places. Richly layering textures, natural elements, while telling a story is the must for me. I hope this is reflected not only in my space, but my personal style and my work. I want a serene setting. But I’m still a girl so I mix in some sparkle and shine. I’d call my style romantic, soft and artistic.  Probably, the number one reason I love this space is that it has huge walls.   “I need to see light and feel it around me. This space allows me to paint, think and dream.”

My other favorite painting possession:: would be my painting apron. It is very meaningful to me – I’ve had it for 16 years and when I wear it I feel my history on me. Its so covered in painting, it practical stands up on its own. 

 

What are you reading? 

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain 

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What are you listening to? 

I love audiobooks. I listen to them constantly in the studio. Currently I am listening to, “The Art of Mindful Living: How to Bring Love, Compassion, and Inner Peace into Your Daily Life.” 

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What are your favorite blogs / publications? 

@designsponge, @elleluna, @thenovogratz, @thegracehouse

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Take a look at Melissa’s stunning portfolio…

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One Response to Artist Spotlight Series: Melissa Herrington
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