Artist and musician Melissa Short’s passions definitely collide in the subject and inspiration for her visual work. Her pieces are colorful and fluid. She’s a first-timer at Arts on the Square and we are excited to see her gorgeous work in person. Check her out here and at the 5th Annual Arts on the Square on July 29th!
Tell us a little about how you started your business?
I am an artist and musician from a little town in Northeastern PA called Waymart. Recently graduating from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Music Business Administration and Technology, I started a job in the radio industry with Bold Gold Media Group. Art has always been a large part of my life. I grew up as a musician and I’ve always been introduced as a musician. In search of more inspiration and a doorway back to my musical roots, I began experimenting with my grandmothers oil paints. While performing and listening to music, I experience colors, shapes, and textures in my mind. This neurological phenomenon is called synesthesia. Synesthesia is the stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway which leads to the automatic, involuntary experience of a second sensory or cognitive pathway. Something that started as an outlet very quickly became a passion; “painting music”. My primary goal is to show others, the beauty I experience in music through my interpretation of each song on canvas.
What types of work will you be featuring at AOTS?
I will be featuring some of my best work at AOTS, including pieces such as “She’s Out of Her Mind” by Blink-182, “Burgh Island” by Ben Howard, and “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy. A variety of sizes will be available.
Do you offer custom work?
I accept commissions. A piece generally takes about a few weeks to be completely finished, depending on size.
Do you have a favorite piece?
My favorite piece is “Burgh Island” by Ben Howard.
Being one of my favorite folk musicians, Ben Howard, creates a dark tone with this track. His vocals build quite subtly, yet hauntingly, creating the sort of sea of color you see in this piece. This song was inspired by Howard’s memories from surfing the beaches of Burgh Island. The line, “And your eyes screamed it, Burgh Island, in sepia tones”, from early in the song really compliments the electric guitar in this section of the song, which creates the brighter tones you see in the center of this painting. Both a beautiful piece audibly and visually.
What is the inspiration for your work?
My chosen art form has always been music up until I recently delved into the realm of visual art. Those two worlds are vast and rarely intertwine. I’m lucky enough to experience both at the same time. I started my journey in painting with the intention to show others what I experience and very quickly fell in love with painting music. Inevitably, I found my space in the place between knowing who I was and finding out who I am. As an artist, it’s rare that you can clearly communicate what’s in your mind. However, this is one of those times I feel I’ve captured exactly what I’d like to convey. The pieces I have created thus far represent my deep connection with music and the colors that circle around my mind, seeing the music flowing in a mixture of hues, textures, and movements, shifting as if they were vital and intentional elements of each song. The thing about music is that no matter how far away you go, or how long you stay away, it always seems to keep coming back. And as wild and unpredictable as it is, I’ve learned to trust it.
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