San Carlos artist, Melissa Mandegarian, has been polishing her oil painting skills for the past several years. Being an avid drawer since childhood, she always knew she wanted a career in something creative, so minored in Studio Art while earning her degree in Graphic Arts Production at San Jose State University. When Melissa became a full-time mom after working as a Graphic Designer for several years, she took up painting again as a creative escape and realized how much she loved the concentration, introspection, and challenge of translating the beauty of the world around her onto canvas.
Melissa paints in a timeless representational style, often from photos of her travels both home and abroad but also enjoys painting en plein air in the beautiful Bay Area. Images that attract her the most to paint are scenes that have interesting light - from reflections on water to dramatic effects from late day sunlight. In the studio, Melissa typically starts with an underpainting to establish the tonal values; this unifies the whole painting while adding a vibrancy when it peeks through the colors added above it. She also enjoys adding texture and drama to paintings by utilizing palette knives in her technique.