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Through the Trees

20170127_120726Melissa Blue Fine Art

This painting has been nearly a decade in the making. That is kind of embarrassing to admit! Usually if a painting is just not working I paint it out and use the canvas for something else. This one, though, I always felt could be worth finishing. Finally yesterday I realized what I needed to do was to run a wash of light color over all the detail my younger self felt was so important in the far meadow. And just like that, the painting resolved itself. This seems like a metaphor for life, really . When I simplify, I find things become more clear.

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Big Bluestem at Illinois Beach State Park

I meant to be painting snow, but when I was glancing through some photos I took in the fall I was struck anew by the play of colors and texture along this stretch of trail. Late afternoon sunlight was slanting through, picking out the stems of this this fine tall grass.  Besides, we’ve hardly had any snow this year, and I don’t want to tempt fate!

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Green River Soda Girl


A delightful thing happened one day as I stood at my easel. An old acquaintance happened to be passing by and saw me standing there, wielding my brush, so he stopped in. He does graphic design and marketing work for a number of clients. Among them is the owner of Green River Soda. Are you familiar with it? Around here it has deep and nostalgic roots. People will instantly begin to reminisce about their youth, sitting at a counter in a drugstore while the soda -jerk created this concoction of green syrup with soda. Misty eyed they describe the old glass container that held the syrup, the stool they sat on, everything comes back to them. Isn’t that fun?  At any rate, the owner wanted to refresh the label design, and they asked me to create this painting. We wanted to be true to the 30’s Art deco design. If you google Green River Girl, you’ll see her. So, that is where I’ve been for the past few weeks, harking back to the wonderful era of Art Deco. Soon, I hope, the owner will come see the painting and approve it. And then, perhaps, my art will appear on the labels of the soda in stores! I’m so excited.