from the imagination: melissa peck @ bonner david galleries

Dressed to the nines, if magic and style thrill you then surely the creative compositions of Melissa Peck will tickle your fancy. Playful characters spring to life among whimsical palettes that speak to the soul in pastel. Imagine a place where you could be this carefree. An elegant reverie buoyant with patterns and textures intermingling as pensive figures stretch the length of the horizon with endless possibilities…welcome to the wonderful.

Emboldened by individuality, Melissa Peck’s compositional ideations and candy-coloured imaginings fill us with a visual potency that awakens even the sleepiest dreamer within. Each one an experience, the longer I stare at her paintings – the more they make me want to live vicariously through her gentle, fanciful muse. Where nursery rhymes go hand in hand with stacks of Vogue, would a game of Ring Around the Rosie before dashing off to the Met be that farfetched?

Romantic and graceful elements act as counterparts to her surreal signature twists, and it slowly begins to reel you in – tugging your heartstrings like a kite windswept in the clouds. Get carried away in dreamy notes of dusty sage and blush that beckon a smile and pique the imagination.

Melissa-Peck-Alice
“Alice at Tea” oil on panel 24” x 36”

Melissa’s language of fashion and artistic prowess captivate the viewer with nostalgic tones and endless ruffles. The historical sensibilities, enchanting mood, and fairytale couture embellishments are prominently featured – where every impassioned element invites you into her charming aesthetic. Unfurl the narrative of each painting, as if a spring flower in transformation, and let them forge a path to your sweet side.

Melissa Peck recently celebrated her solo exhibition, En Vogue at Bonner David Galleries. Visit their website to learn more or see the collection in a virtual flip-through here.

Melissa-Peck-Posey
“Posey” oil on panel 14” x 11”
Melissa-Peck-Birdie
“Birdie” oil on panel 26” x 18”

I am the happiest when I am creating; nothing gives me joy like finding the perfect colour pairing or creating something beautiful.

Exclusive Interview with Melissa Peck

Melissa it’s so nice to talk to you! Thank you for taking time to share with us and our Beautiful Bizarre readers. Let’s jump right in- what is one of the earliest memories you have of art, and do you feel those moments have helped define your creative spirit today?

I remember making a little clay pot in kindergarten and loving it – I remember taking a macramé class with my mom when I was 7. I always loved to draw and have a distinct memory of drawing a face from a book teaching you step by step how to draw. I was so proud of that drawing that I got up and while running around yelled, “I’m an artist!”

I am the happiest when I am creating; nothing gives me joy like finding the perfect colour pairing or creating something beautiful.

Melissa-Peck-Beatrix
“Beatrix” oil on panel 24” x 9”
Melissa-Peck-Trees
“Curtain of Trees” oil on panel 40” x 20”

I look at your work and I’m absolutely captivated by the playful relationship you have married between fashion and ingenuity. It’s refreshing and liberating – particularly as they speak to the soul to be your most authentic self. What influenced this artistic style?

I have always loved the details of fashion: the ribbons, buttons, fabrics, textures, and patterns. I take these things I love and integrate them into my paintings. This style has evolved over time and is directly influenced by the things I surround myself with in my own environment.

My studio is filled with colourful fabrics, ribbons, vintage packages, iridescent butterflies, and gold gild frames.

Fashion carves a path to our self expression, and lets us speak without words. Will you share a few designers you admire alongside some of your favourite elements of fashion?

I don’t really have any designers that I follow; I find my inspiration more from other artists such as the colour palette of Vincent van Gogh or the whimsy of Lisbeth Zwerger. I love integrating fashion with layers, patterns, and most of all scallops.

Melissa-Peck-Sisters
“Sisters” oil on panel 21” x 25”

In times of self-doubt, I remember that I am painting for me and I’m the only one who really needs to love it!

Your work recently opened and displayed at Bonner David Galleries, located near The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Congratulations! That’s so incredibly magical; I can barely finish this sentence! Let’s talk about that for a minute.

I absolutely adore the Met and it was so exciting to have my work displayed in close proximity to artists who I look up to and am so inspired by. I have been with Bonner David Galleries for over 15 years so this was a fun milestone we accomplished together.

Wow, 15 years is also a milestone…how has your artistic vision evolved over time?

My artistic vision continues to evolve and I find that so exciting. More than anything, for me, it’s about learning to see and pay attention to colours and images around me that end up manifesting in my work.

Melissa-Peck-Nabi
“Nabi” oil on panel 14” x 11”
Melissa-Peck-Franki
“Franki” oil on panel 24” x 16”

If we open the door to your art studio, will you describe to us what it looks like and something in your space that you refuse to live without?

My studio has coved ceilings and is the only room in the upstairs of my home. I have beautiful views of Salt Lake City as well as the mountains behind my home. I have a palette knife that I have had for over 25 years, and I literally can’t paint without it. My studio is filled with colourful fabrics, ribbons, vintage packages, iridescent butterflies, and gold gilded frames.

This is sort of a simple question and while it might seem cliché, I think it’s important. How do you practice self-compassion and what keeps you inspired during times of self-doubt?

My favourite quote that touches on self-compassion beautifully is by Julia Cameron from The Artist’s Way when she says, “Remember by being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance over time to be an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one.”

In times of self-doubt, I remember that I am painting for me and I’m the only one who really needs to love it!

melissa-peck-bette
“Bette” oil on panel 18” x 11”

And last but certainly not least…what’s on the horizon?

As far as what’s on the horizon, next year is the 20th anniversary of selling my oil paintings and I am planning a show at Bonner David Galleries to celebrate – in November of 2023! There will be 20 paintings for 20 years!

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