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Conversations with Melanie Anderson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Anderson.

Hi Melanie, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’m an artist, wife, mother, art educator, and dog advocate living in Arlington, TN. I’ve been married to my husband Mark for 36 years, and my son Austin lives in LA… both of whom are creatives. I credit my grandmother, who was an artist and fashion designer, for starting me on my creative journey, and the time I spent in Girl Scouts for shaping me artistically. There were Girl Scout badges for everything, and many were art related. The first art contest I ever won was through Girls Scouts and it, ironically, was a drawing of cats. I was born and raised in Memphis and teach art at Arlington High School where I’ve taught for 15 years.

I’ve always worked professionally as a creative. I was an advertising director in the fashion industry for many years before switching to art education so I’ve always been surrounded by artistic people. I loved my time in the fashion industry but decided I was ready for a change and a new challenge. I enrolled in grad school at MCA where I returned to painting and have been painting and teaching art ever since. I love the creative experience in the studio environment. I make art in the classroom when time permits because I think it’s important that my students understand my passion for art.

I like to hear their feedback on what I’m creating. I strive to create every day, even if it’s a small drawing in my sketchbook. Dogs and cats are my main subject, but I love to experiment with new subjects and mediums. My two rescue pups, Penny and Rizzie, are the inspiration for many of my paintings.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
As a professional artist, there are internal obstacles. Most visual artists I know, trained and untrained, struggle with insecurities about their work at some point, and I am no exception. I went thru a lot of subject matter and mediums before I found my niche and my passion. When I started painting dogs I found my “happy place!”

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
After experimenting with many subjects and mediums I painted my first dog in 2005 as an example for a class I was teaching. It was a painting of my poodle. I had so much fun creating that painting that I kept painting dogs, and then decided I wanted to paint one of every breed.

My dog paintings resonated with people, and I started taking commissions. With over 500 dog paintings under my belt, I haven’t achieved my goal of painting every breed, but I’m still trying. My work has evolved over the years and is most recognizable by the colorful palette I use. I just can’t get enough of saturated color!

How can people work with you, collaborate with you, or support you?
To purchase or commission work visit Instagram: @melanietanderson
Originals and prints are available at Arrow Creative in Memphis.

Melanie’s work was published by North Light Books in Incite 2: The Best of Mixed Media, Incite 4: The Best of Mixed Media, and Acrylic Works 7. Her work was also published in a college textbook Teaching and Learning in Art Education. Her work can be found in personal art collections around the country.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Dana Harris

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