About the Artist
Born February 1970, Illinois.
Valerie Stangl Melançon, known as 'M' by her closest friends, was raised a child of two cities, splitting her time between families in Chicago and New Orleans, and currently resides in Mandeville, Louisiana. Following a successful career as a mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry, in 2007 she turned her talents to the field of fine art and is now supporting herself with her paintings.
I can’t say that I fit neatly into an artistic category. I relate better to the concept of design, a term tied to both art and engineering. My past definition of design was finding solutions with the application of mathematics. Now my definition of design is finding solutions with the application of rich pigment and good draftsmanship. The solution I am seeking is how to provide a strong sense of reality in my paintings, yet retain the mystery that resides beyond the visible appearance of the subject.
The images I try to find in my paintings exist in my dreams; they are not unadorned representations of everyday life. The greater part of my inspiration comes from Renaissance art, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the great designers and artistic film directors of today. I want to create images that are breathtaking, beautiful, and bold in imagination. I want to lead the mind’s eye into wonderful places. My objective is to create jewel like paintings. Being surrounded by mundane, and often formidable, depictions of a world where “anything goes” -- I feel somewhat starved for great imagery.
I approach each work much the same way as a film director. I research, design, and revise character, costume, and scene until the final composite is consistent with or exceeds my initial vision. I am a self-taught painter. I paint in oil with a “wet on wet” technique. I focus on the use of rich colors and solid draftsmanship. And probably what is most evident in my paintings is the focus on that most classical of artistic subjects, the human form, which for me is the most powerful subject in art.
M - (Valerie Stangl Melançon)