Melanie Parke

*Scroll through the categories, click on individual images for availability, pricing, size, gallery locations of each piece

RECENT PAINTINGS: SOLO SHOW
May 2021
Beth Urdang Gallery, Wellesley, MA

THE TEA HOUSE: SOLO SHOW
November 2021
Meyer Vogl Gallery, Charleston, SC

FLOWERS FOR FRIENDS: SOLO SHOW
Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Kent, CT 2022
Summer 2022

Artists Spotlight with designer Holly Hollingsworth Phillips of The English Room
July 2020
www.theenglishroom.biz/2020/07/06/artis…

Interview with Chicago Classic Magazine
July 2020
www.classicchicagomagazine.com/chicago-…

Interview with I LIKE YOUR WORK Podcast
Talking with Erika B. Hess
I Like Your Work Podcast

NEW: The Kitchen Table Series - See Small Floral/Interior Paintings

THE STILL LIFES
Light is the main character in my work. I find magic in watching refractions move across a table holding just a few objects.

Composing a still life with the obvious identifiers - a bouquet, a bowl of fruit - what I want to give my viewer is that feeling of chasing light in a contemplative state of mind. I’m curious how light effects can make a chimera of things - a mutation - as if lifting the weight of what something is into something less knowable.

Cezanne’s idea of passing through objects is something I think about a lot. Even when the entire plane of one of my paintings is engaged in pattern, I’m going for the feeling of never-ending transparencies, passing through walls and hard surfaces, to keep the eye going, passing to the other side of a thing and to keep looking.

Interiors and garden motifs are reconstructed through ideology and memory, from halcyon days spent in island cottages and Roman villas. Flowers, which represent friendships and the women in my life, center most of my work. The presence of birds suggests curiosity and wonder, sometimes allegories of fragility, sometimes euphoria. I’m looking for visual lushness. By alternating tonal moods and vivid ornamentation I aim to convey sensations of consolation, longing and desire.

The DOMUS Series, works on paper
During the uncertainty of the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a new series of gouache on paper, titled DOMUS. Domus means House in Italian, in particular the Imperial style homes of the second century BC, like what we see in Pompeii and Herculaneum with courtyard gardens and frescoed interiors.

I love how working on paper feels so vital and immediate, free from the labor and time intensity of working in oil. This is just what I needed to restart my image making process after weeks absorbed in uncertainty and loss.

Gouache is a water based medium much like watercolor but packed with more pigment and opacity. The fluidity of it allows me to move through new ideas quickly.

The Domus Series is a way to re-think about our own domestic situation where we find ourselves during this moment. Missing bodies, skin, and human touch, I am exploring ideas of longing and desire. Being outside to enjoy nature is a fleeting comfort as it accompanies the reality of mass bird and bee extinction. It is a worrying time, and also weighing heavily on my mind is thinking about the continued dire hazards women face in this predicament of staying home, which is often not safe. A re-imagining of safe space feels necessary. Populated with female bodies, wild animals, birds and flowers, I am setting up protected places for the imagination, for women, for nature and for pleasure.
See the category Works on Paper for this series.