Abstract Painting | Melanie Daniel’s Creative Process

Ruth K. Meyer describes the similarities between Wassily Kandinsky’s and Melanie Daniel’s intuitive process, as exemplified in Daniel’s Antlers In Berry Season (oil, 35×43).

Melanie Daniel’s Exuberant Creative Process
by Ruth K. Meyer

Antlers in Berry Season, 2010 vividly calls to mind the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), the Russian artist who pioneered abstract expressionist painting while living and teaching in Germany prior to World War I. His many paintings entitled “Composition” were attempts to attain what he called “the spiritual in art:” this was the title of a treatise written in 1910. Although originally influenced by the post Impressionists, Kandinsky believed in going far beyond the representational elements of a landscape to express the energies that created their forms. His works were speculative, experimental and intuitive: also, not always easy on the eye.

Antlers in Berry Season oil painting, abstract painting

Similarly, Melanie Daniel can pull off a “seasonal” painting with strange antlers that look somewhat fabricated or branch-like and are well hidden among an explosion of summer-time color. It’s a joyful expression as the colors indicate, with berry-colored swishes, orange and fluorescent yellow drips and patches. Two large, dark blue shapes sprinkled with glitter push to the foreground driven by the powers unleashed in the brushwork. About this painting Daniel comments: “Deer horns, intended for protection, hover in an ever changing environment, a motif that can be likened to perennial self adaptation.”

Antlers in Berry Season abstract oil painting

In this detail of 'Antlers in Berry Season,' especially, you can see the riotous interplay between abstracted figurative elements (antlers, tree forms, stars, flowers) and the artist’s inventive, playful, exuberant gestures that make the surface multi-layered and endlessly rich.

Melanie Daniel’s work is featured in the March 2012 issue of The Artist’s Magazine. Click here to get your copy and read the full story about her techniques.


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