About Melanie and Blue Thistle Arts
“She was sitting in a garden more beautiful than even her rampaging imagination could have conjured up, and she was being serenaded by trees.” Lynn Kurland
I have loved nature since I was a young girl, riding my horse through woods and fields. My parents planted acres of flower gardens that I helped tend, and my mom hung ferns on the porch that touched the floor by summer's end. My father photographed flowers - thousands of them - and built bluebird houses amongst his 25 walnut trees.
The beauty of nature rubbed off on me. Sitting in a field or garden, near wildlife, is where I feel most at home and most alive. It is only fitting that I should paint, sitting outside with an easel. And while I love plein air painting, I also make art in my studio, drawing from my imagination and dreams. Artists who have influenced me include Henri Matisse, Georgia O'Keeffe and Henri Rousseau.
My path to art was a winding one. With a degree in journalism, I was a successful writer and editor, specializing in architecture. I began to study art in my spare time, at the Art Institute of Chicago and then, after having children and moving to Santa Fe, with local painters. The windows in our old adobe faced the Sangre de Cristo mountains, and meadows of indian paintbrush, cholla cactus, and piñon trees. Inspired by the Southwest, I settled into my own style and brightly colored palette.
Twenty years later, my children are grown, but Mother Nature is still my inspiration. I treasure the time I spend hiking and horseback riding in her presence. And I am happy to share the joy she has given me with others.
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