Melissa Chandon considers herself to be an abstract realist. Among her greatest influences she cites the Bay Area Figurative painters, specifically Richard Diebenkorn. She also feels that were it not for her friend and mentor Professor Wayne Thiebaud of University of California, Davis, she would not be the painter that she is today. Perhaps her greatest influence, however, is her environment. “I have always been, even as a small child, strongly influenced by my environment. I paint narrative journals of my life which, in and of themselves, are complete worlds.” The paradox of creating an image while portraying a complete story within the confines of a two-dimensional surface is the challenge foremost in Melissa’s mind while she works.
Melissa grew up on a family ranch outside of Winters, California and she continues to draw inspiration from that landscape, often returning to sketch and draw the familiar surroundings. The views from the ranch house flow from the coastal range to the vast openness of the surrounding farmland. She currently resides in Northern California.
One of the most appealing and striking aspects of Melissa’s work is the genuine feeling of honesty involved in the creation of her art. “I consider my paintings to be moments of expressed inspiration,” she states and she hopes the existence of these paintings may bring happiness and a feeling of peace to the viewer.