Inspired by Melinda Cootsona - a series featuring artists whose work inspires me to develop my own

My ‘Inspired By’ posts began as a way to explore what makes me tick as an artist, what I’m drawn to, what makes my heart sing, what I might want to try out in terms of marks or colour combinations or compositions. They are also a way for me to share the work of artists whose work I love. I don’t advocate copying other artists instead of making our own work, however inspiring they are to us, but I do believe that we can learn from each other on our solitary artist journeys. This website is dedicated to the philosophy that you have a significant and unique offering inside you, waiting to be released. I created a course to help you with this very thing, which you can find by clicking here. May you be inspired to bring forth what’s within you!

Melinda Cootsona was introduced to me by Pauline, as she co-taught the section of the class on colour during DAPWYL. I had some very basic knowledge of colour theory, but the word ‘theory’ always made me instantly shut down and I never felt like applying anything too structured and technical to my paintings.

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Until Melinda came along! Melinda’s lessons on colour were enlightening, fun and really fascinating. Most of all they opened my eyes to the whole subject of colour, how we can use it and the infinite possibilities it offers.

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There was no dry ‘theory’, but through a series of experiments and exercises, I found that I actually own way more colours than the number of paint bottles I have. And even better, I now know how to use them!

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From showing us how to lighten a colour without using white, to darkening one without using black, and all sorts of techniques in between, Melinda shed a light on an area that can be quite daunting when you’re starting out, and that offers endless opportunities for further learning even if you’ve been painting for years.

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I wanted to share her work here because a} I absolutely love her paintings and b} she is an expert on colour. She understands about placement and juxtaposition, what makes a colour sing, and how to use values to make a painting feel ‘whole’.

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Melinda lives and paints in California, where she also teaches. She works both figuratively and in abstracts, and you can see from these paintings how she uses layers and lovely thick textural application of paint, and in the figurative paintings, she uses the negative space to build the shapes.

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Melinda’s teaching at a retreat this autumn with Pauline in California. I don’t know if it’s all filled up yet, but having been taught by them both online, I absolutely know that learning from them in person will be a transformational experience.