Melissa Weinman grew up in her mother’s painting and ceramic studio, on the prairies of southwest Minnesota where buffalo and prickly pear cactus are native. As a child, her mother would beckon her to look at the extraordinary beauty of things and to notice simple but elegant phenomena, such as dust mites floating in a swath of brilliant sunlight. Encouraged to sculpt with clay and compose with paint, Weinman learned early how to envision her creations.
Weinman went to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where she double majored in Creative Visual Arts and Chinese Studies. She took her junior year at Princeton University and studied painting with New York City artists Arthur Cohen and Howard Buchwald. While at Princeton, she spent many Saturdays in New York City visiting museums and galleries. After graduating summa cum laude from Bowdoin, Melissa pursued her M. F. A. under Ruth Weisberg and Ron Rizk at the University of Southern California’s School of Fine Arts. There she studied painting and printmaking while taking in the Los Angeles art scene.
In her twenties, she painted in a loft in Brooklyn, NY and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia as well as the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her thirties brought Melissa to the Pacific Northwest, where she taught at the University of Puget Sound for fourteen years and left in 2004 as a Full Professor. In recent years, she has been a teaching artist at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle. Currently, Melissa offers atelier-style, solvent-free oil painting instruction in her studio.
Melissa has been represented by numerous galleries across the U.S. Her solo museum exhibitions include the Frye Art Museum in Seattle; the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine; and the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY. A solo gallery show of Weinman’s was reviewed by Eleanor Heartney in Art in America magazine. Her work has been published in several books and journals, on contemporary art, including Women and Art: Contested Territory by Judy Chicago and Edward Lucie-Smith.
When not painting en plein air in the southwest or Europe, Melissa paints in a 700 sq. ft. studio in Tacoma, Washington. Her style is painterly realism. She says of her work, “I’m attracted to all subjects that are translucent and changing, therefore I’m drawn to paint fruit and flowers, water and clouds, and the figure. I aim to capture my subjects through a palpable sense of atmosphere, masterful drawing, and luscious paint handling.”