Melanie Whaley’s involvement in the arts started as a classical ballet dancer. She studied at The School of American Ballet (New York City Ballet Company) on a Ford Foundation Scholarship. After that, Melanie’s careers included professional cook, dairy farmer, television production, travel agent, and a few others she can’t remember. Ms. Whaley has previously set up a home on the east and west coasts in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.
It was while living in Singapore; she began painting. In 1994 Ms. Whaley returned to the United States to study at the Art Students League of New York under the tutelage of Gregg Kreutz (1994-1997). Ms. Whaley has also been privileged to study with David Leffel and Sherrie McGraw in Taos, New Mexico.
Gregg Kreutz has described his view of Melanie’s approach to painting in an early introduction:
“Melanie is a natural talent who understands the need to go after the big ideas and can move forward with a flair and a feel for the paint that, in my experience, is highly unusual. From the moment she first entered my class at the Art Students League, she had a clear vision of what painting is really about. While highly concerned with pictorial accuracy, she saw early on that an artwork must be about deeper concerns. Space, movement, light, harmony, and drama were intriguing issues for her. Accuracy is essential because it is part of the truth, but it is not the point of painting.
Melanie is an independent soul who has always followed her star. A former dancer, chef, and television assistant, among other things, she’s blessed with a sense of freedom and adventure. That sensibility is wonderfully manifested in her paintings.”
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