Melissa Ebeling has been showing impressionistic and realistic works on Ugallery for the past year. She works from her studio in Hawaii, where she paints “with Ugg boots on, all smiles.” For more of Melissa’s work, see her Ugallery profile.
What’s your earliest art memory?
When I was 7 years old, sitting by the river in Geneva for my sketching lesson of the day with my mom. Sketching was part of my home school lesson.
Your oeuvre is especially dynamic - the works range from impressionism to photographic realism. Why work in two genres?
I started out painting realism and photo realism. While I very much enjoyed the challenge of making things look realistic, I did not find much feeling or personal style in that work. As my studies progressed, I found it much more challenging to paint with my own feeling. The result was my impressionistic style.
A few of your paintings feature classic cars. Can you tell us a bit more about how you became attracted to this subject and how you select the cars?
I love the bold colors and the design of old cars. There is also a strength to them that attracts me. I painted the ‘57 Chevy in layers, which is how they paint real cars. The layers create a deep and rich feeling.
You came to art later in life. What sparked your decision to commit to becoming an artist?
I’ve always wanted to be an artist, and was always taking some sort of art class throughout my life. That said, for too long I listened to people who told me to get a “real” job. After spending time in the workforce in things that I was not passionate about, I decided to not let fear be the driving force behind my decision making and I committed myself to art.
I hear you just moved to Hawaii. How are you enjoying it so far?
I love it. The people are wonderful! It is a very special place. I’m passionate about the native culture and I’ve always been an earth person. I’m especially excited to paint more outdoors. I just finished two ocean works and they flew off the shelf!
Can you tell us about your passion for sustainable farming?
When I was a child we always had a garden. I’ve always missed being able to go out and pick your own dinner. I grow healthy organic/sustainable food, and love being part of a community that helps to replenish the land’s vital nutrients.
What are you working on now?
Ocean, landscape, food and anything that inspires me on a daily base. I’m working on smaller, more affordable art for everyone during the economic downturn.
What advice do you offer to other emerging artists?
Stay with your heart and practice, practice, practice from real life. Life is a wonderful teacher - learn to see real color, the color that can’t be seen with a camera.