about the artist
Melissa Turner-Drumm is a painter, printmaker, and sculptor. She received her BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA and her MFA in Painting from Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson, NY.
Experimenting and working with different techniques and their combinations is a longstanding fascination. It is in the process of working through a drawing and relying on disparate ideas along the way that bring together a painting or sculpture. One of the most active parts is in the development of the idea, whether drawing by hand or a CAD program. Integrating thought experiments and making them into a toned down visual helps strip away any unnecessary components.
Using my own inventive wax and blowtorch process to draw on large roofing sheets of copper led to teaching myself how to weld on YouTube. The chosen YouTubers were carefully vetted over time with a few mishaps. Although, classically trained as a Painter and Printmaker, it was a lot of fun to learn by watching from a video in the studio. Working in copper, aluminum, iron, bronze and hot rolled steel have produced welded, laser cut, poured and cast pieces.
The most recent work continues with the thrill of power tools by shaping, sanding, drilling, carving and cutting wood. The discovery of a particular grain in each piece of wood is enhanced by dying, staining, painting and/or polishing by hand. From creating surfboards and lipstick that celebrate the freedom from masks to the antithesis, bullets, these works typify the joys and tribulations of the last few years. Installing with earthly elements intertwines man-made industrial usage of tools with the natural world. The swings in subject alternate from current events and influences of social media.
Stripping away any extraneous parts is essential and stems from a long lineage of the study of Japanese landscaping, Architecture, and the power of minimalism with Nature. This reductive approach contributes to appreciation of everyday life to see what lies in the details of wood, color, shape and nature itself while reflecting slices of societal occurrences.