Melody Johnson
I’ve always been obsessed with trying to figure out what is going on inside of my head. Reveling when I found a book, a picture, a piece of a performing art that not only recognized my form of thinking but who I am. I think in pictures and words. Not just talking words, but words that paint pictures in my mind. And everything I notice fills me with awe.

I refused to be a visual artist because of some unfortunate art teachers. I wrote and loved directing theatre but creating visual art was beyond me. I thought being an artist meant I had to do everything just exactly right. After I started teaching, I found myself through some whimsy of fate in Washington D.C. with a very bright student named Rebecca. We soon found the National Museum of Art. Every second we could spare was spent absorbing the art. I saw Van Gogh’s and Rembrandt’s and Whistler’s. There in front of me were de Vinci’s and Monet’s and Mondrian’s.

The experience charged me and pushed me forward. I started oil painting, and I began sketching everywhere and everything. And then I started taking art classes. I tried new media and new styles. A new world opened up to me.

Then in my mind, I hit the same old wall. I started entering shows and doing art fairs. But I wasn’t perfect. I wasn’t just so. The harder I tried the more frustrating making art became. I was teaching art by then and found creative joy in exploring art with some of the students. My own art was static.

One of the methods I taught to beginners was ripped paper collage. They loved it. My brain took a leap, and I saw a connection between several old ideas. I could take pieces of colored, patterned paper and cut them the way I made brush strokes. I’ve been doing and experimenting with cut paper collage ever since. The process has freed my mind of the old perfectionism. Collage is freeform and organic. Visions of pictures I want to create leap into my brain. Wonderful.
Artwork
Artist
Melody Johnson
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