Artist Statement

It’s all about the love of the subject for me. My childhood was spent moving around to numerous states and countries as my Dad was in the military. I knew when I was in the third grade that I would grow up to be an artist and paint exactly the things I now paint. I endeavored to keep the memories of my favorite times and places stored in my heart.

I relate to California’s art history. The vast open land, sea, light and colors of California have drawn artists from all over the world, inspiring them to tell their story visually. All of the places I have lived and loved – Montana, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Kansas, Nevada, Italy and England are embodied in California.

I was fortunate to be accepted and attend Ipswich Art School in Suffolk, England. I will always be grateful for this opportunity, entirely supported by the British school system. We worked from life, mostly drawing and water colors and were required to turn in at least six sketches a week.

After returning to Nevada with solid drawing skills, I invested in art supplies and taught myself to paint in oils by studying the old masters, visiting museums, reading books and watching instructional videos by well-known artists. I married a fellow artist, Lowell Sylvester, & we have three daughters, Andrea and Tracey & Kellie. While they were growing up I entered some competitions and showed in galleries in Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah, Morro Bay and Cambria, California where we had often vacationed.


In 1983 we opened our own gallery in Cambria and I have been painting full-time ever since. What I really love to capture is the lighting that makes ordinary subjects so special. My paintings center mostly around the our beautiful Central Coast. We feel we have it all … bays and boats, vineyards, Big Sur, wildlife, quiet tree-covered roads, the trails, beaches, ranch life and village gardens.

I am privileged to study and paint them all. The early painters had a deep respect for our Creator who made all of this great land for us to treasure and care for. They were saddened to see it being ruined by developement & pollution and endeavored to preserve it in their paintings. So, whether we are thrilled by the breathtaking grandeur of the Sierras and Big Sur or a beautiful pot of geraniums, our appreciation goes out to the efforts of those many wonderful California artists who started this great art movement.

I am happy to continue in their tradition. Melanee Sylvester