Visual artist Melanie Tomsky is a master at creating paintings that convey tempestuous feelings of emotion. With intense eruptions of color, there is a kind of relatability in the work that make the viewer commiserate with the artist’s psyche. The style she paints in can be classified as abstract-expressionistic. Unlike other artists, Melanie is also a gifted musician, giving her a more well-rounded foundation in her creative perspective, which leverages her as an “artiste”. She is sensitive to the energy other people emit which gives her a greater awareness about the scope of color she uses. These are the kind of paintings you want hung on your wall to bring positive vibrancy into your home.

Your paintings evoke a lot of emotion. What kind of feelings do you experience when you paint?

As I paint, the initial feelings I have, or lack thereof, change. It’s hard to describe what goes on. The color allows change, and in return I imagine anything that may surface. The range of specific feelings vary from withdrawn, curious, agitated, hurt, trapped, undecided, ecstatic and hopeful. It’s rarely just one state. At times I experience flashbacks or nostalgia. Other times I discover new feelings or realizations towards a person or situation. Sometimes I “blank out”, become very concentrated and am solely focused on the placement of color. 

Do you have a method to the way you create your clusters of colorful paint strokes? 

I mix, match, blend and disperse the paint as I go along. It’s improvisation. I never know how it’s going to end up. Colors inspire me. I use the brush to channel whatever energy I feel in the moment. 

How do you think being a musician has contributed to your identity as an artist?

To be honest, I don’t really have an identity as an artist right now because I don’t exactly consider myself an artist. When I talk to people about painting, I guess it’s with a rather childish approach. As comical as this may be to the grand scheme of art experts, I accept it. This is because I am aware of my current lack of training and extensive textbook knowledge of art, since I am so new to it. I do want to know more about painters and study the history, though.  My obsession with music has influenced me not to get too carried away with the complexity of visual art or my identity and to just enjoy it for what it is to me, for now. Painting opened a door for me that I thought was locked forever… it allows me to have fun without the expense of neurotic self-criticism. I encourage anyone and everyone to try painting, but I also have the utmost respect and admiration for artists who have dedicated their lives to studying and mastering their own work.

I guess I would describe your work as abstract expressionistic, who are some painters of this classification that you admire?

Hans Hofmann, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Pat Steir. I’ll never forget the first time I saw Pat Steir’s “Everlasting Waterfall”. I absolutely adore her work.

Where do you see your paintings being displayed in future? What kind of setting?

In a small gallery or someone’s home. I have ideas about an exhibit for the paintings, so I’m really looking forward to the future. 

What is your goal as an artist? What message are you looking to convey?

I think my goal is to try to inspire other people to try new things, no matter how uncomfortable it may make you feel. I would like to encourage others to not live in fear of judgement, to have fun, not be so hard on yourself and that it’s fine to just do something for the sake of doing it. It doesn’t even have to mean anything, for the same piece of work can mean the world to someone and absolutely nothing to another. Also I guess I’m trying to convey that all feelings are valid and it’s okay to be human. In this devastatingly superficial society, there is profound beauty in emotions. Your whole world can change at any given moment.

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Alexa Modugno is an accomplished classically trained violist, performance artist, fashionista, social media guru and writer who is passionate about NYC, culture, film and the arts.