The art of Melanee Sylvester began in childhood and progressed to expressing herself as an impressionist painter. She spent two years of formal art training in England at the Ipswich Civic Art School learning the basics of drawing and composition and exposure to art history. Living in the English countryside has greatly influenced her outlook on the subjects she choose to relate in her paintings ..landscapes, country gardens, old homes and barns now seen in the central coast of California by the sea in Cambria.

Cambria, on the central coast offers a plethora of subjects that draw visitors from over the world. Her favorite subjects are the old ranches shaded by eucalyptus and oak trees snuggled in the golden hills hidden down tree tunneled country roads. Down the hill from her home is the softly trailed Moonstone Beach....its charm is the many tide pools and preserved native plants and grasses. The old village has many picket fences with rambling roses planted by the first Italian-Swiss settlers along with their remaining homes all making nostalgic subjects for Melanee’s paintings.

The feeling of atmosphere and gentle lighting on simple everyday life in the country capture her attention and this is the story she wishes to tell in her paintings. Like any good story teller , to be effective requires skill and a working knowledge of our tools, likewise good drawing ability and sense of color and light are reflected in her oil paintings. She continually tries to develop as a skilled artist telling a good and interesting story.

Tracey Sylvester-Harris, Melanee’s daughter, is also featured in the gallery. She likes to create a mood or feeling that the viewer can also experience and relate to in her paintings. The feeling could be one of repose, peacefulness, thoughtfulness, contentment, camaraderie, or even loneliness. Her subject matter is drawn from the world around her. Not from fiction. The figure compositions are most often her friends or family, in settings familiar to her.

The interior studies and still lifes are inspired from observing the poetry in ordinary thins. At times her paintings reflect coffee cups, tea pots, tables, chairs, plants, and hats... to name a few. However, one of her favorite painters, Matisse, said it best, “What interests me most is neither still life nor landscape but the human figure. It is through this that I best succeed in expressing the nearly religious feeling that I have toward life.”


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