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VISUAL LANGUAGE contemporary fine art

Melissa Post van der Burg

November 2013 Volume 2 No. 11


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http://www.mpostvanderburg.com/

Artist Interview Melissa Post van der Burg


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Texas Artist Sharon Hodges in studio.

Melissa Post van der Burg

http://www.mpostvanderburg.com/

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Melissa Post van der Burg

When did you realize you loved art and wanted to be an artist? When I was 9 years old, my third grade teacher asked me to be the official class artist—my job was to illustrate the book reports written by my classmates. I loved the responsibility and feeling kind of special because I was actually good at something. Who has been your mentor, or greatest influence to date? Well, living in Maine, I would have to say Andrew Wyeth, although, sadly, he passed away a few years ago. But his work has been very important to me—especially the fact that he stayed so “close to home” in his subject matter. Many of his models actually grew up in his work. I think Wyeth’s work has given me permission to not stray too far from the images and people I know. And, of course, he set a great example in his work ethic. Who is another living artist you admire and why? The wonderful Maine painter, Linden Frederick is a great favorite of mine. He has the ability to capture a mood, and then make it hold—that’s very difficult. What is your favorite surface to create work on or to work with? I love tempered masonite panels when I’m working on paintings 16x20 or smaller—anything larger becomes too heavy. I cut the panels to size, sand them lightly and then gesso them—usually 3 coats of gesso that I tint a steel gray. Then I lightly sand with #400 sandpaper, creating a super-smooth surface. What are your favorite materials to use? Since drawing was my first love, I would have to say a graphite pencil and a piece of beautiful, creamy white paper. Or gray-toned paper—that’s nice, too. Do you have a favorite color palette? Yes, and I always set my palette up the same way—it saves so much time when you know where each color is. So, I go around the edge of my palette with: titanium white, ivory black, ultramarine blue, raw sienna, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, cadmium red light, cadmium red medium, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, raw umber, burnt umber, sap green. How often do you paint? I’m lucky enough to be able to work every day, so that’s what I do—a total of 30-40 hours a week. I think of it as a job. What is the one thing you would like to be remembered for? I would like to be remembered for my head-on, confrontational portraits. There are many culprits that can crush creativity, such as distractions, self-doubt and fear of failure. What tends to stand in the way of your creativity? Sometimes I forget that painting is a choice I make every day. I can choose to work through distractions, and in spite of self-doubt and fear of failure. The only thing that really stands in the way is choosing not to work. What are your inspirations for your work? I find that I am often inspired by film and by opera. When I see or hear something really remarkable, a painting will often begin to formulate in my mind, and then I spend time with that idea. I begin to think about the right model, and creating or finding a setting or location. What props might I need, etc.

http://www.mpostvanderburg.com/


artspan What is your favorite way to get your creative juices flowing? I like to be quiet. There is usually something in my head waiting for expression, but I have to spend some quiet time with it, thinking of the possibilities and various meanings. Which work of yours is your favorite? A 48”x48” painting called “3 Young Men on Canal Street.” I really loved the guys, who were obviously “gang-bangers” trying to look tough-- but to someone my age, they were just 3 boys hanging out. Plus, I love painting kids on the edge—I think they deserve respect.

Big Winner Oil on Canvas 36 x 36

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Melissa Post van der Burg

Minus Fifteen Degrees Oil on Canvas 20 x 16

Right Page: Hard Hat Area Oil on Panel 20 x 16 Island Boy Oil on Canvas 36 x 24 http://www.mpostvanderburg.com/

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Up Close and Personal

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What is your favorite color in your closet? Teal blue. What book are you reading this week? “The Year Of Magical Thinking,” by Joan Didion—I’m reading it for a second time. Do you have a favorite televion show? I don’t actually watch TV per se—I rent movies or watch BBC America from time to time. What is your favorite food? Split pea soup. (Cooked all day in the crock pot—yum.) What color sheets are on your bed right now? Goldenrod. What are you most proud of in your life? My kids. They are each fantastic in their own way. Who would you love to interview? My mother. She died when I was still pretty young. I think she was the most interesting person I ever knew. Do you have a passion or hobby other than painting/sculpting? I love to cook, and I read cookbooks as if they were novels. Who would you like to Paint? Some of the people I see walking around with all their worldly possessions in a grocery cart—they are, themselves, an interesting hodge-podge of color and texture. If you were an animal what would you be and why? I think I’d be a crow. Crows are incredibly clever and have sophisticated family groups—not to mention, of course, the flying thing. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take three things, what would they be? A beach chair, a good book and some sun block. Share something with us that few people know about you. I dream in black and white. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Monhegan Island, Maine.

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Melissa Post van der Burg

Three Young Men NYC Oil on Canvas 48 x 48

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Murray’s Bagel Oil on Canvas 16 x 20

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Melissa Post van der Burg Nov Visual Language Magazine Vol 2 No 11 Featured Artist