Why does Melinda favor watercolor?
She loves the way it looks. The transparent pigments let the brightness
of the paper come through, making wonderful highlights. There are no
fumes as with other mediums. She also likes the fact that watercolor is
considered a challenging medium.
How does she begin?
Once she has a backdrop, such as a period home or garden, she will set up
the scene with live models and then take photographs. She uses these photographs
as a reference for her paintings. She does all the photography as well as design
and sews many of the clothes that appear in her paintings. Each painting
averages 150 - 200 hours to complete.
The prep work, photo shoots, finding models and backgrounds as well as
creating or finding the clothing for each painting takes an additional
week or better.
How does she find models for her paintings?
Some are friends or friends of friends. There have been times
when she had to literally
pluck folks right out of the mall.
Melinda Byers Art
Artist Melinda Byers
fell in love with the world of art at an early age. She vividly
remembers as a four-year-old how beautiful it was when, while sponge
painting, the red and yellow when mixed together made orange.
In grammar school Melinda's teachers knew she was destine to become
a great artist. They always paid special attention to her and
awarded her certificates of achievement at year's end. One of
Melinda's grade school teachers saved one of her paintings
and still shows it to each new group of kids every year.
As a sophomore in High School, Melinda's art teacher introduced her to
watercolors. She became so comfortable with this medium that by senior
year she took first place in the All High School Art Show, which included
four other schools. Although Melinda took lots of art in school, the teachers
never taught her how to paint. In fact, she'd never seen anyone paint
in the tight dry brush style that she uses now until years later.
When Melinda started to take her art seriously, she began donating
original paintings to annual fundraisers for the hospital and the
local Rotary club. She remembers being shocked when one of the paintings
was purchased for $4,400. It was around this time that Melinda was
invited to participate in "Studies in Watercolor", a four artist
show at the Lancaster Museum and Art Gallery. It was the first
show of it's kind at this museum (devoted only to watercolor)
and she was honored to be the only local artist asked to participate.
Not long after this, she began to submit her work to various companies
in the art industry. At this point in the early 90's she was working
as a dental assistant and working for several companies with her art
after her "day job". This went on for about a year until she began
painting full time and loving it!
"I believe my ability is a God-given gift; God inspires me. He continues to guide what
I do every day. I feel very, very blessed."
--- Melinda Byers