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. This was followed by careers as professional cook, dairy farmer, television production, travel agent and a few she can’t remember. Ms. Whaley has previously set up home on the east coast and west coast in the United States as well as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
It was while living in Singapore, she began painting. In 1994 Ms. Whaley returned to the United States in order to study at the Art Students League of New York under the tutelage of Gregg Kreutz (1994-1997). Ms. Whaley has also had the privilege of studying with David Leffel and Sherrie McGraw in Taos, New Mexico.
Gregg Kreutz has described his view of Melanie’s special approach to painting in a recent introduction:
“Melanie is a natural talent who understands the need to go after the big ideas and is able to 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 she was highly concerned with pictorial accuracy, she saw, early on, that a painting needed to be about deeper concerns. Space, movement, light, harmony and drama were the intriguing issues for her. Accuracy is important 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 own 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.”