Melissa Shawnee received her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from Southern Connecticut State University in 1999. In the winter of 2012, she directed new focus to painting and had her first show in 2014. Since then, her work has been shown throughout the Boulder/Denver area, winning awards in both cities for her piece, rise and shine.
Always ready to challenge herself and sharpen her technical skills, she works in three styles mostly using acrylic paint and, recently, ink on paper. In Melissa’s realism, she uses the technical skill of molding to bring life and drama to inanimate objects. By using light and shadow with great contrast as well as subtle transition, she is able to bestow upon her subjects undeniable emotion, giving life to the lifeless. In her figurative works, Melissa is exploring our connection to nature, each other, and the infinite universe. “We’re living this strange existence. And, where we’re heading is a mystery. These works show a possibility for something more, for our energy and consciousness to somehow continue on.”
In her abstracts, she attempts to capture the mood of places with color and movement. Knowing that everything is in constant motion, and places we’ve been can seem far away and unclear. A palette knife technique lends well to express that motion, and brushwork to blur out chosen areas is the perfect tool to convey that foggy, distant memory. Her inspiration comes, in part, from the iconic pop images of Warhol, the dramatic use of light by Dutch Masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer, and the surreal, weird, wonder of Salvador Dali.
Melissa also shows her work out of her business, Beehive Hair & Art Studio, in Boulder, CO.