Melinda Firestone-White Talks the Talk with 1stAngel

When did you first become interested in art?

I first became interested in art in 1996.  The walls were white and really needed colorful artwork to liven it up.  I wanted original artwork but knew I couldn’t afford original artwork so instead I started created my own art.

What style of art do you use most?

The art style I use most is abstract expressionist.  I love allowing whatever medium I choose to flow and become something unique and beautiful.

Has your style changed from when you first began as an artist?

My style has changed slightly but only if I use paint instead of colored pencils.  When I use paint the style is different and abstract in a different way.  I look forward to incorporating drawing more into painting and am excited to see how that changes my paintings.

What medium do you use?

I use colored pencils and pastel chalk on paper.  I also use acrylic paint on canvas.

What made you choose that medium?

When I started creating artwork I chose colored pencil because of how inexpensive it was.  I then incorporated pastel chalk with colored pencils and it created very unique artwork.  So initially it was cost but now I continue to use it because I really love the art.

Do your ideas come from life or imagination?

My artwork is created using my imagination but would love to someday use life as more of an inspiration.  I love nature, in my view there is no better artwork than nature.  Nature is beautiful and inspiring.  I am inspired by nature and I think that comes out in my artwork.

Painted Fabric ©Melinda Firestone-White - copying from this site is illegal

How do you choose your images and colors?

When I start creating I allow the medium to flow and the colors blend and come together in a way to create the art.  When I choose the colors I like a mixture of dark and light colors.  I like the balance that it gives.  The light brings out the dark.  I look at the piece and it has to flow and have a balance.

Do you work in a studio?

I create artwork in my living room.  I like painting where the family hangs out the most.  Where there is more life, light and love that is where I feel more comfortable to create art.

Who is your favourite artist?

Salvador Dali is my favorite artist.  I love his imagination and the way he painted was just beautiful.  His paintings say so much when you look at them that you cannot look away.

What is your favorite piece of work by yourself?

I have a few favorites of mine.  One of them is a piece titled Splendid Vine.  This was one of the first pieces I created with colored pencil and pastel chalk.  It is also one of six pieces signed with a pseudonym.  My mindset was a little strange back then.

Dancing Birds ©Melinda Firestone-White - copying from this site is illegal

How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?

Depending on the medium and size I choose it can take one hour to a couple of days.

How well do you take criticism?

I can take criticism, but I also know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Everyone has an opinion on art and some people love, others with dislike.

What do you do to overcome a ‘block’?

When I feel a block or stressed that’s when I have to step back and quit over thinking things.  Art for me has to be fun and it has to flow otherwise it will never work out.  I have to relax and not try so hard, when there is a block, just allow the lines flow and allow the medium to guide the direction.

Colorful Forest ©Melinda Firestone-White - copying from this site is illegal

How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?

I know I have finished a piece when I no longer want to touch it, when I can look at it and say I no longer want to do anything more to this piece.

Have you had exhibits in galleries?

About 10 years ago I had a gallery interested in my artwork and gave him 7 pieces to exhibit in his gallery.  He sold two of the pieces and then told me afterward that they were sold.  Instead of being happy I was crushed, they were my babies and I never got to talk to the people who bought my art.  I wanted to ask them why they liked the art and what they could see in the art.  I was very interested in their thoughts but never got that chance.  My artwork is a part of who I am.  I am now more ready to sell and would love for a gallery to be interested.

Have you any exhibits in galleries planned for the future?

I am now in the process of looking for a gallery to exhibit my artwork but am finding it difficult.  There are a lot of great artists out there but I feel like I have the passion and eventually, with hard work it will happen.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on acrylic on canvas using an abstract expressionist style.  I will use the same technique I use with colored pencil but apply it to canvas using acrylic paint.  I want to make a series of canvas pieces to sell at a gallery.

What are your plans for the future?

My plan is to get into the licensing business.  For a long time I have always looked at my artwork and really wanted to do more things with it than just hang on a wall.  Putting my artwork on products such as t-shirts, bedding etc. would be ideal.

Splendid Vine ©Melinda Firestone-White - copying from this site is illegal

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

The best advice I would say is to never give up on your dream and be persistent.  Nothing happens if you do nothing.  Keep working and make it happen.

What advice would you give new artists?

The advice I would give new artists is just to keep doing what makes you feel good.  Art is a part of who you are, it’s in your heart and soul.  Just bring that out in your artwork.  Have fun with art, everything else will fall into place.

Have you done any courses to help you?

I have not taken any art courses but plan on taking a few in spring term.  I would love to take a drawing class.

What do you do to market your work?

I have my own website which helps to market my artwork.  I am also on a few art sites such as Fineartamerica.com and artistrising.com.  I also have a twitter account which has my website as a link.  I need to do more and plan on it.  For example, I plan on getting flyers with my artwork displayed and sending them to businesses.

Do you use social networking in your day to day life?

I am on twitter.com.  You can find me at www.twitter.com/glowingbird.  I also have a website www.glowingbird.com

Space Collision ©Melinda Firestone-White - copying from this site is illegal

Are you available for work (commissions)?

I do not do commissions.  Maybe that will change in the future.

Have you got hobbies?

My hobby is creating art and finding the many ways I can use my artwork to create a business.  I love art and would love to be able to create artwork as a full time occupation. That would be my dream.

Where are you based?

I am located in Portland, OR.

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