What happens when a talented Huff Harrington artist goes to Paris for the first time? A gorgeous collection of new work, all inspired by the City of Light, is magically created and has us all swooning. And Melissa Payne Baker‘s timing couldn’t be more perfect because this coming Thursday marks one of our favorite holidays to celebrate at Huff Harrington Fine Art. It’s our annual Bastille Day fete and we’ll be pulling out the stops with bubbles and nibbles, music and of course, gorgeous new art inspired by all things French.
Melissa recently took her first trip to Paris and the inspiration she found there sums up all the things we love about the City of Light. She’s an abstractist so she’s always looking for subject matter that can be manipulated and transformed by composition, palette and texture. She made sure she didn’t leave without her camera – and we just love the Parisian images she captured for future inspiration in her studio.
This is what happens when Melissa Payne Baker finds inspiration. The blue door becomes this:
Melissa’s enthusiasm for Paris is limitless and infectious. “The pops of colors in the flower boxes, gardens and boutiques around the city were breathtaking. My first trip to the Eiffel tower was a dream. We walked up to that massive beautiful steel structure and a gorgeous rainbow appeared over the sky. My plan was to take in everything the city had to offer – and it inspired me with color. I couldn’t wait to get in my studio to paint the grays with pops of color.”
With that in mind, Melissa busily snapped one afternoon as she strolled beautiful Parc Monceau.
Back in the studio, those sweet blooms inspired this beautiful vertical painting:
Melissa explored the entire city armed with her trusty camera and her keen eye. We love that she could look at the most ordinary Parisian scenes and find fodder for her paintings. We especially gravitated to the rich, lively images that came to life that afternoon at Parc Monceau:
Even the neighborhood flower shop became inspiration for a magical painting:
Here’s the flower shop on Melissa’s canvas:
Our gallery artists (including Andrea Costa, Amy Dixon and Charles Ross and others) have donned their figurative berets and have gotten into the spirit with a lovely collection of work that incorporates that French je ne sais quoi into their paintings. And, in preparation for the show, the gallery has been a-buzz with boxes arriving daily from our French artists, like Christian Nepo, Andree Thobaty, Ewa Rzeznik and Lyliane Coiffard. We’re happily spending a lot of time ooh-la-la-ing over their lovely paintings that range from classically elegant to edgy portrayals of heavenly French landscapes and the iconic images we all adore.
We’re also showcasing works from a group of emerging guest artists: painters who accompanied painting pro Nancy Franke to Provence for a week of intense instruction, painting and yes, maybe even a drop or two of rose. These ladies are hard-working, enthusiastic and excited about participating in the show. (Big bravos to Dawn Douglas, Suzy Dmetruk, Sandy Cox, Ann Currey, Martha Elder and Dianne Williams.)
So, we’re looking forward to seeing you chez Huff Harrington Fine Art this coming Thursday, July 17th from 6 to 8 p.m. (If you haven’t visited us before, click here for directions.)
Berets and espadrilles: optional!