Who are you, Melissa?
I am an abstract painter and muralist based in London UK. I graduated from Central Saint Martins BA Fine Art in 2019.
What do you aim to display with your art?
Starting my artistic journey I used to create very realistic paintings, mainly portraits. Still trying to keep the detail and precision in my practice, for the past 5 years I have been exploring ways to paint meticulous hard-edge geometry, focusing on colour, form, light and space. Through painting, I aim to use colour as a means of controlling and directing the eye, challenging the viewer to perceive the work that is in front of them. I have always been interested in architecture and the shapes, lines and colours palettes they generate. It is important for me to capture ephemeral moments that others could overlook, drawing attention to objects and interesting forms.
Can you explain to us the process when creating a new piece?
I am a very meticulous person and do like to plan a lot of my paintings. I initially use photography to represent my surroundings, then produce abstracted digital drawings or sketches using compositions and colours from the images. Paint is then formulated through symmetry and kaleidoscopic forms using precision and balance. Even though I focus on fragmented, sharp shapes they are expressed in a very meditative way, using a very systematic, and repetitive process.
What are your plans for the future?
Within the last year, I have been exploring ways to expand my paintings – mainly creating large scale murals. I would love to develop this further, creating larger and more impactful murals inside and out. I would also love to meet more inspiring artists, it is so helpful and motivating to meet people you admire.
Does art need to contain a message?
I am drawn to the aesthetics of art and the beauty within the work. For me, there doesn’t need to be a strong message or meaning behind the artwork, the importance of simple forms and colour is enough. From reading Michael Fried, Art and Objecthood – an essay written in response to artworks of Minimalists exploring the creative boundaries of painting and sculpture and the effect the art has on the viewer. This allowed me to focus more on the minimalistic qualities of my work and enabled me to appreciate simple forms, materials and shapes more.
This account allows fellow abstract artists to connect and has allowed me to discover great artists I wouldn’t have known about before, so thank you!
Melissa Hartley ★ Artist resume
Melissa Hartley is a London based British artist/muralist focusing on 2D image making, graduating BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins 2019. Melissa’s work has been shortlisted for the ACS Studio Prize, 2019 and won The People’s Choice for the Hix Award, 2019. Also included in many exhibitions and auctions including: Art on a Postcard Auction, for International Women’s Day, London, 2020 and The Crossover, The Auction Collective X Motley, London, 2019.
Thank you too, Melissa.