Portrait of the Artist

Melinda Green Tepler

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Color and Form

Melinda Green Tepler, Lupine Meadow, oil on linen, 12 x 16 inches

By Noelani Kirschner

February 27, 2017


 

After starting out as a children’s book illustrator, Melinda Green Tepler transitioned to oil painting six years ago. Inspired by her travels across the country, Tepler, who lives in New York, paints from photographs that she takes on her road trips.


“This work was inspired by a meadow that my family and I experienced; that’s how all my paintings start, some form of connection with the landscape. We were in the Grand Tetons in the summer, and I had never seen a landscape like that. I had never seen such mountains. I’m from the Midwest; that’s probably why I really appreciate beautiful scenery. Around Detroit, where I lived, it was pretty flat.

But really seeing these landscapes, the color and the warmth–unbelievable. So standing in a meadow like that and seeing a mountain rising in front of you with wild flowers all around was just striking. You have all that color and form. I can see from the brushstrokes that I was saying, ‘This is the most lush, brilliant place I have ever been.’

I was originally a children’s book illustrator. I think I was always most moved by color and the way that color is activated by form. Color and form–the way they interact is so emotional. The more I learned about painting, I kept painting. I use big brushes to keep me kind of free. I want to express more of a sensation, more areas of color than I do a specific narrative of details. It’s a very dynamic process, but it’s always about the color.”


Noelani Kirschner is the editorial assistant for the Scholar.

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