Melissa Lackman



I had the good fortune to grow up in an exuberant family with many talented artists and musicians.  They directed me into academia with little subtlety, perhaps influenced by my faltering eyesight and remarkable lack of talent or drive for the violin and piano lessons I was offered.   I briefly rebelled to study art at university before setting aside my studio practice for the practice of law and the demands of a young family. Along the way I developed an interest in nonprofit management and enjoyed some wonderful opportunities in the fields of children’s mental health and then, back to the arts.  

In recent years I have returned to a studio practice.  I continue to be surprised by the intellectual rigor this practice demands, as well as the medicinal properties of putting hand to brush. At first, I painted to recover the self I set aside to raise a family, including one child with autism. Later, I painted to work out the mysteries inherent in losing my oldest child to a long illness.   Although my language is that of abstraction, many of my life experiences are referenced in my paintings.  Travel, language learning, music, sailing, visits to Griffith Observatory to learn about science and space, have all found their way into my work.  I make my home in Santa Clarita, California.