Melissa West

People are sometimes struck by the apparent disparity of subject between my abstract work and my landscapes. To my mind, they are not so very far apart.

My abstract work begins with a movement: a circle, a spiral, a sweep of the arm. I believe that certain shapes resonate with us because we recognize at some deep and primitive level that they were made by a human hand. We recognize and even feel that span of arm, that circle of hand and wrist. The line created by hand speaks to us, and says ‘human’. It reaffirms that we exist, and that we are not alone in the world. It is a powerful form of magic.

Similarly, certain landscapes strike me, and I feel compelled to paint them. The curious thing is that ‘landscape’ is also a human creation. The land is quite simply the land; landscape is our projection of feelings onto what we see. Again, we think magically, and own the world in which we travel.

Over time I’m finding that my landscapes and abstract paintings draw closer together in style. Perhaps some day they will fuse. In either case, the act of painting is a journey and exploration, both of my inner and outer worlds.

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  • Artist Info

    • 1190 24th St.
    • Oakland CA 94607

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