“I distill and consolidate my experience of the landscape into my painting. I seek an equilibrium between the exuberance of nature’s disorder and the meditative calm of minimalism. I want to encourage the viewer to pause and to attend for a moment, to contemplate the tension between chaos and order, simple and complex, geometric and organic, spontaneous and deliberate. A painting begins as an attempt to capture a particular moment in time: the sky after a storm passes, the moon rising over the ocean, a golden field against a pure blue sky. As quickly as it is seen, it is gone. To make a representation of a single moment, I reduce elements to their most basic – color, shape and texture. Roads, paths, fields, sky, ocean, woods lose all detail until they are only suggestions of themselves. Sky and ocean become a collection of blues, grays and aquas. A path through the woods may transform into an indistinct line.”
Melissa Husted-Sherman has a BA in psychology and an MC in counseling from the University of Delaware. After working in crisis counseling, she left the field intending to pursue a degree in landscape architecture. A landscape design course reignited her love of drawing and painting, leading to another change in direction – using painting to distill her experience of the landscape into color and line. Since then, she has had solo and group exhibitions throughout the region. In 2000 she won a Leeway Foundation Seedling Grant for Emerging Artists in Painting. Her work has moved away from pure representation to a more abstract expression of ideas involving the impact of time passing in the natural world and the impermanence of beauty. Inspiration for her work comes from such diverse sources as Renaissance painting, decaying buildings, maps, architectural diagrams, erosion, and evolving landscapes. She lives and works in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.