Artist
Mel Kistner Oviedo, Florida

Mel Kistner uses her experience in art therapy to create works with themes of redemption and hope. She recently completed a commissioned painting for a counseling center. She often paints birds to represent freedom, human emotions, and human responses to the world. Currently living in Orlando, she finds inspiration in a range of artists, from Frida Kahlo to Andrew Wyeth.

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    About The Artist

    Mel Kistner uses her experience in art therapy to create works with themes of redemption and hope. She recently completed a commissioned painting for a counseling center. She often paints birds to represent freedom, human emotions, and human responses to the world. Currently living in Orlando, she finds inspiration in a range of artists, from Frida Kahlo to Andrew Wyeth.

    Artist Statement

    In this fast paced, media driven culture when do we take time to contemplate ideas or fully consider ways to change our interactions and responses to others? This is a theme that arose in my paintings out of my experience working as a clinical therapist. I developed an interest in painting figures in moments of introspection and contemplation. The paintings in my figure series all have symbolic images representing intense emotion or unseen results of an internal struggle. My interest lies in how these moments of emotional tension can lead to redemption and hope. My bird series paintings focus on the human tendency to let words fly without thought. In many of the paintings words that have at least two different possible meanings are written on tags that have been let go into the environment. A bird finds the words apart from any context and is unclear of their intention.

    The rich textured backgrounds are created by layering and removing acrylic paint over time, bringing a sense of age and emotion to the painting. My aim is to evoke the passage of time, which is an essential element in emotional and spiritual growth. The contrast between the abstract quality of the background and the realistically painted images are symbolic of human reality verses memory and emotion. My intent is to create artwork that communicates truth, redemption and hope.

    Artist Background

    School of the Art Institute of Chicago
    Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1996

    University of Illinois at Chicago

    Master of Arts, 1999

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