By Al Gord
Melanie Poulina is a Netherlands based self-taught contemporary artist. She grew up in an artistic household, where there was always opportunity and encouragement to express her creativity. As such, Melanie’s passion for painting started at a very early age which has allowed her to grow through her experiences. She has developed her own style over the years, one which combines different techniques. Melanie usually works with acrylic paint and more recently in combination with some graffiti. Incorporated into her work is often the use of abstract or symmetrical shapes, as these forms in combination with her style best translates the story Melanie wants to convey at that moment.
Being a self-taught artist has given her the freedom to develop her own techniques – ones without limits. Melanie uses a mix of different styles to create her own reality; a combination of abstract and surrealistic components that bends the imagination and makes one think. Melanie describes her work as colourful, quirky, mysterious, and funky with a twist on actuality. Fascinated with the way colours work together and evoke emotion and state of mind, Melanie uses vibrant paint in her work to best reflect her feelings and express her story at that moment in time. She starts her creations by using herself, her face, to create a starting point for her art. From there she starts changing skin tones and other facial features to generate an imaginary person.
While most artists have a specific subject matter and style, Melanie takes it a step further. Believing that everything is connected in life by energy, Melanie seeks to capture this through her art. As such all of her work is interconnected; the pieces are her story. Her artwork is about her life and how she views things in the world around her. While this is fundamental to her work, Melanie does not transfer her perceptions directly, rather she likes to put a twist on reality. This allows her viewers to interpret the work differently. She finds it fascinating in that not everything is as it seems. This is part of her motivation for putting hidden messages into her art for her audience to decipher.
Melanie is fascinated by the mysteries in life and all that humankind does not yet know. She finds rapidly developing modern technological developments and the impact it has on humans intriguing. She is also inspired by the unknown, the universe and the mysteries of life. For Melanie, art is a way to explore these ideas, to express herself, and to show what she feels or what moves her in a manner that is sometimes difficult to put into words. Creating her own reality gives Melanie the freedom to be herself and thus convey her story.
Melanie always works while listening to music. It affects her greatly while creating. With the music on she completely isolates herself from the outside world and disappears into her own world – one full of creation and energy. Most of her creative ideas come at night as she feels there is something special about the darkness of nightfall. Often the images of Melanie’s story are already in her head and that is when they come out, often allowing her to work on several pieces at the same time. She is also intrigued by faces, as a look can tell so much. The emotion and the mood – Melanie uses this while painting in order to capture this energy.
Melanie has been painting for a long time but has only been sharing her work with the world for a few years now. She is starting to gain international recognition. Last year Melanie’s work was exhibited in a gallery in London. Furthermore, various works of hers have been sold in both the Netherlands and abroad. Melanie’s works can be seen on her website and Instagram page.