The use of light, its absence, and forceful movement are common themes in my work. Throughout the course of my career, I have explored the shifts between earth and atmosphere, mass and space, blurring the lines between abstraction and representation. I create two-dimensional, primarily abstract images that are high in contrast, producing a representational abstraction of nature and its elements. I use charcoal for its ethereal qualities, making the desired soft, smooth transitions possible. I use oil paint to further investigate the principles of atmosphere and form. It also allows me to add layers giving a deeper sense of space.
The dichotomy of light and dark mirror the transitions that occur when drifting through various emotional states, from belonging to alienation, grief to joy, and attachment to separation. The images are inspired by my encounters with the natural world, and informed by personal mythologies, and memories. They serve as visual metaphors for psycho-spiritual transformation.
I rely on the effects of sharp and soft focus, along with extreme lights and darks to create swirling, luminous, and organic areas of mysterious presence. I use methods of application and erasure to create drawings that allude to natural elements, landscapes, and still lifes. The act of rendering allows for contemplation, where connections to both the internal and external world are made.
Certain aspects of my work are deeply autobiographical, incorporating my own feelings, and reactions and arriving at an understanding of my place in something akin to the collective consciousness. Taken further, aspects of my work explore the possibility of the existence of an alternative or parallel physical realm. My recent work, conceived during the period of isolation was inspired by revisiting my art history books. The meticulously rendered flowers of the Dutch still-life period hint at their inevitable decay and speak to the fragility and evanescence of life. The work of Agnes Pelton, a transcendental artist, articulates the transformational process and addresses the inherent spiritual aspect found in abstract art. I wanted to add my own voice to something from the art that came before me. The desire to probe deeper into form and space yet remain focused on elements of nature, spirituality, and the principles of Wabi-Sabi has guided me to a return to oil paint. Using a limited palette and abstract marks, I am investigating what it feels like to encounter a space that can interfere with an expected or perceived scenario.
Melissa Reischman is an artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. She has exhibited in several notable regional spaces, including the Museum of Art and History (MOAH) in Lancaster, CA; Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall, Los Angeles; and the Brand Library, Glendale, CA. Reischman’s art can be found in the permanent collection of the Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH) and several private collections locally and internationally. She is also an accomplished print designer, whose work has been featured in Print’s Regional Design Annual, and “Print’s Best Letterhead & Business Cards”. She finds inspiration in the work of J.M.W. Turner, Mark Rothko, Rachel Ruysch, Georgia O’Keefe, and Agnes Pelton.