About My Origin as an Artist
Melynda Andrews, abstract artist, with three paintings from her “Currents” series
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t creating. I made mud pies. Then collages of flower petals. Needlepoint. Ceramics. Macrame. As I grew, I dove into drawing, watercolor, and sculpture. At university, I took minors in Art and Theatre Design, and afterward, I taught art and drama (and English and Earth science), while freelancing as a graphic artist and web designer and producing seven novels. Then, in 2006, on hiatus from writing, I sold my first painting, a miniature landscape no bigger than a matchbox.
Was that my eureka! moment? Not exactly.
It took quite a few more sales to convince me that I could make a living as a fine artist, but I was determined to give it a good try. So, I began painting and selling large abstracts on Ebay. At first, I let my paintings go for little more than cost, but over the next three years, I developed a following, and my sales grew substantially. I took a brush name, “Melynda, The Brazen Eye” ( TheBrazenEye , www.TheBrazenEye.com ), opened my own online gallery, and sold some 350 paintings to collectors all over the world. I was taking commissions. And I loved what I was doing.
In 2009, a large gallery with showrooms in Dubai, Paris, London, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tokyo approached me. They had a deal with Celebrity Cruises to sell art in the cruise line’s onboard galleries, and they wanted all the paintings I could produce. To say I was thrilled is a gross understatement. But then the Great Recession hit, and no one was buying art or much of anything else. The cruise industry tanked, the gallery closed its doors, Ebay sales went down the tubes—and I needed to pivot.
In 2010, I changed the name of the studio to Deep Urban Fine Art ( DeepUrban , www.DeepUrban.com ) in order to accommodate the addition of other artists. But the recession was still with us, and so a return to writing and the classroom was in order. The writing went well, but I missed painting. And teaching was growing more and more frustrating (Don’t get me started on the subject of our education system’s failings!). I didn’t just need to pivot. I needed a reboot.
Leaving the classroom and Florida behind, I moved across the country, to the beautiful Pacific Northwest of the United States. The move extended my absence from the studio, but all things pass. I’m painting now, working in a solo studio, and loving it. Color, texture, wash, and stroke combine to speak an uncanny language that conveys emotion, and my happiness in life shows up in my paintings.
I live with my beloved husband and 3 studio cats in Maple Valley, a small town outside of Seattle, Washington, nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. When I’m not in the studio, you might find me writing, reading, hiking, playing video or board games, baking, or torturing my guests with my horrible piano playing. The most important thing to know about me is that I live by the Golden Rule: treat others as you wish to be treated. It’s my goal in life to make the world a better place—and to have a great time while I’m at it. When painting, I’m doing both.
About the Works I Create
I paint strongly emotive, large-scale abstract paintings. My works are all hand-painted originals, not prints of any kind. My materials are designed to last generations, not a year or two.
About Your Support of the Arts
The “paintings” found in retail stores are usually just cheap prints “hand embellished” with careless dabs of thick, clear paint. By purchasing from me, you’re supporting a real artist, not the exploitation of workers forced to toil in some sweat-shop assembly line art mill in Who-Knows-Where. Without you, artists like me wouldn’t exist. I thank you.
About Shipping, Stretching, and Hanging
Shipping is free within the continental United States and Canada. For anywhere else, please read my Shipping and Returns page carefully.
For paintings over 30 inches wide or long, I offer a large discount when you let me remove your painting from its stretcher bars and ship it to you rolled in a sturdy tube. This is much safer for the painting and is much less expensive for you. If you opt for this discount, you can have your painting re-mounted on stretcher bars at a local frame shop or DIY.
About My Paint
I’m often asked if I do “oil paintings.” The answer is, “No. Absolutely not!” I never use oil paint, and here’s why:
First, a little history.
Two hundred years ago, an oil painting was something only the rich could afford, so the words “oil painting” came to mean “luxury.” Then along came acrylics.
When acrylic paint was first invented almost 80 years ago, it had a justifiably bad reputation in the art world. But the technology quickly improved, and today’s acrylic is, in my opinion, far superior to oil.
Modern acrylic colors are just as rich as oil colors, but they offer a greater range of texture and sheen. They last just as long as oils, but they don’t decay, crack, or chip like oils can. Fading is no longer a problem, because acrylics come in a wide range of rich, lightfast colors. Acrylic also gives artists amazing new properties to work with for all sorts of special effects, yet if we want to make an acrylic painting look indistinguishable from an oil painting, we can.
Acrylics are also healthier for people and for the Earth. Some of the ingredients in oil paints can cause physical problems like headache, sinus and skin disorders, and even cancer. It and the solvent the artists must use to clean their oil painting brushes and equipment has to be treated like toxic waste, because it is. Not so with acrylics
Acrylic paint is simply better than oil paint. It’s an amazing, wonderful medium, and I love it. You will too.
Some artists and galleries will tell you with pride that they only sell oil paintings, never acrylics. That’s just silly. They’re pandering to the buyer who doesn’t know any better, the one still burdened with prejudices from the Renaissance and the 1950’s.
It’s time to leave the old “Oil is better than acrylic” nonsense behind—along with skeleton keys, 8-tracks, and outdoor plumbing.