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New Art - Conceptual Realism - Melissa Forman

Updated on February 13, 2013

Melissa Forman Beginnings

Ms. Forman was born January 21 and grew up in Uniontown, Ohio a small community near Akron. At the time Uniontown was primarily a farming community with few built-up areas. As such it provided Ms. Forman with wide open vistas of quietude. There is also a large Amish population there with frequent travel via horse and buggy.

"I spent most of my childhood outdoors. My sister and I would go out in the morning and only come home for meals, or when our mom called across the yards for us. We rode our bikes everywhere or took walks to new and interesting places. I've always loved nature, and I think that's part of the reason I always wanted to be outside as a kid. I definitely think that has inspired my art making. Nature has always intrigued me and inspired me to make beautiful things. I was also very shy as a child and making art was my way of communicating with the world. I have always been better at speaking visually." - Melissa Forman

Ms. Forman has been drawing and painting since she was fourteen. She attended the Columbus College of Art and Design graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2002. She currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio where she works

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Painttubes (title & photograph by artist)Pirate Ship (title & photograph by artist)
Painttubes (title & photograph by artist)
Painttubes (title & photograph by artist) | Source
Pirate Ship (title & photograph by artist)
Pirate Ship (title & photograph by artist) | Source

Growing up Melissa Forman was fascinated with all things Disney. During this time she had dreams of becoming an animator. Later she moved on to "Calvin and Hobbes" and much later fantasy and horror illustration ala John Singer Sargent. These days she is inspired by fashion photography, pop surrealist works, as well as renaissance art.

"I always loved drawing people or characters and it manifested itself in many different styles." - Melissa Forman

Ms. Forman currently spends her days working as a commercial artist and her nights creating a a rich world of color, texture, and setting. The natural world often provides a rich backdrop to her wistful ladies of nature.

Most of her subjects are women. Her "She Who" series has most of these ladies in forest settings.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
She Who Sows the Seeds of LifeShe Who Give the Light of LifeShe Who Lies with SerpentsShe Who Heals the Fallen
She Who Sows the Seeds of Life
She Who Sows the Seeds of Life | Source
She Who Give the Light of Life
She Who Give the Light of Life | Source
She Who Lies with Serpents
She Who Lies with Serpents | Source
She Who Heals the Fallen
She Who Heals the Fallen | Source

Inspiration and Technique

Ms. Forman states that she is inspired by everything and sometimes nothing at all. She equates this "nothing at all" as an epiphany that springs, evidently, from nowhere.

She states that she sometimes gets inspiration from random Internet surfing, sometimes from books, but most often from photo-shoots.

Once she has her photographic work complete she'll use Photoshop to work out a composition. This allows her to make changes to color and background. Even at times, to make slight changes to facial features.

Once she has her composition worked out she'll print the modified photo and do a line drawing on gessoed masonite based on the photo. The Photoshopped composition only serves as visual reference. Once the graphite drawing is complete she'll start painting in oil. She paints in layers to build up opacity and detail. Once the work is complete she spray on a layer of varnish to bring out the colors and protect the work.

She Who Guides the Cunning Fox
She Who Guides the Cunning Fox | Source


Ms. Forman's last show was at the Corey Helford Gallery November 13, 2010 through December 4, 2010. If interested in purchasing her works in a non-gallery setting visit her website above.

The Gallery is located:

Corey Helford Gallery
8522 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232


The author was not compensated in any way by the artist for the contents of this article. The author does stand to make a small profit from the article itself and any advertising associated with the article.

The author has no control over the advertising placement or their contents.


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