My name is Melissa Matheny. I was born in 1975 and grew up in Pulaski, Tennessee and currently reside in Lawrence County, Tennessee. I am the office manager for an accountant, a jewelry maker, greeting card designer, and a part time mixed media artist. I have recently started learning graphic design and would like to incorporate some freelance work into everything else I do. I like to be working on several things at once just to help keep things a little chaotic.
I took art classes in high school because I thought it would be an easy course. I didn’t think I had an interest in it at the time. A lot of years went by with me not doing artwork. In the last couple years, I started making art again and it has taken off from there. When I’m painting that is my stress relief.
I am a huge fan of watercolor, and watercolor is my first choice, but I have never met an art medium I didn’t like… watercolor, acrylics, oils, pastels, colored pencil, charcoal, graphite…. it’s all great! My go-to watercolor brands are Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith (especially granulating paints). As far as watercolor paper goes, I’m really not so picky. I have found that as long as I’m using a quality paint, the results are great either way. I use both hot pressed and cold pressed paper, both for different reasons.
I love mixed media because adding other mediums to watercolor can really take the painting to a different level than can be achieved with paints alone. Recently, I have been using watercolor along with inks and pen nibs with great results. I have recently discovered Winsor & Newton drawing inks and am incorporating them into my paintings.
When I am painting on hot pressed paper I like to use a white china marker for adding highlights because of the texture I can get. I like to do my sketches with watercolor pencils so as I paint, the sketch lines disappear into the painting. Caran Dache Supracolor and Derwent Inktense are my preferred watercolor pencils.
I like to do my painting early in the mornings or late in the evening when I can have some peace and quiet. I’m lucky enough to have summers off from my job and I am sometimes in my studio from morning until late in the evening. Inspiration is pretty much everywhere you look.
One of my first sales was of a painting I thought turned out so ugly. I wasn’t even going to list it for sale but decided to go ahead and see what happens. Turned out that someone else loved it and bought it! What one person sees as ugly, another person sees as great!
I am hoping to someday be able to teach small art classes to those wanting to learn, either virtually or in person. Until then, I’ll keep painting and building my skills. A big thanks to Charlie O’Shields for having me here!
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