Artist’s Statement

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Water – elemental, essential, powerful. We need it to live, but too much can destroy. It’s beautiful in its many natural forms, from gentle lapping ripples to crashing waves, lazy river, roaring waterfall or peaceful lake. We are drawn to it, to play by it, in it or on it, and to contemplate it, to appreciate its beauty. Constant, yet constantly changing, it is a source and symbol of renewal.
The place by the water that we call a beach is also a stage for human activity. When there, we observe countless little plays, fragments of dramas and comedies acted out by characters in colorful costumes, in lighting that might be dramatic, bright and cheerful, or soft and subtle. In my drawings, I aim to capture those myriad scenes, bits and pieces of dramatic activity to be filled in from our own experience, by our own interpretations. We observe, and in our memories we hear the steady rhythm of the waves, the laughter of children and screech of the gulls, we smell the sunscreen and salt air, we feel the hot roughness of the sand. We are back at the water’s edge.

 

My beach drawings are based on photos. Casual human gestures and saltwater waves must be frozen in time and saved before I can draw them in loving detail. But when I set out to paint or draw on location, I still find myself pulled to the water. Every plein air (French for “outdoors”) piece in this show was painted alongside water in some form. When I go looking for something beautiful in nature to inspire me, I seem to always find myself drawn to the water’s edge

 

Melissa Miller Nece is known internationally as a colored pencil artist. Her enthusiasm and humor have made her a favorite speaker for arts groups, and she has inspired many others to try colored pencils through her classes and workshops. She is a frequent prizewinner in state and international exhibitions and at art festivals. 

 

Melissa Miller Nece is president of the Colored Pencil Society of America, and previously served eight years as CPSA’s ways and means director. She is a ten year merit CPSA signature member and a CPX signature member of the society. Her other memberships include the Miniature Artists of America (signature member and board member), the Professional Association of Visual Artists (board member), the Miniature Art Society of Florida (past board member), and the Florida Artist Group. She earned her BFA at Lake Erie College.

 

Melissa has been teaching drawing, colored pencil, and oil and acrylic painting at the Dunedin Fine Art Center since 1990. She travels frequently to teach specialized classes and workshops. Her step-by-step article on a colored pencil/mixed media technique was featured in The Artist’s Magazine in October 2012 and her work has been published in numerous books and other magazines. It has also been used for packaging and promotional materials by multiple art materials manufacturers.

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