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Sonoma Cliff 

Mudstone, Sandstone, Sonoma Charcoal, Limestone, Malachite and Acrylic on Canvas

40" x 40" 2020

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Sonoma Charcoal
Rooted in Reverence

K. Imperial Fine Art is pleased to present its third solo show of the work of Melissa Dickenson, Sonoma Charcoal: Rooted in Reverence. Dickenson is known for mixing her own paints with pigment she collects from the earth, grinding it up by hand, and making it into the most beautifully grounding paintings you’ve ever seen; luscious with place, and meaning, and heart. “Sonoma charcoal” is pigment made from the burnt wood and mineral she collected from the devastation left after the Kincade fires, exactly a year ago this month. And with Sonoma on our minds and in our hearts yet again Melissa is paying homage to our beloved California with her new show “Sonoma Charcoal: Rooted in Reverence”. Included in the show are hauntingly beautiful paintings and charcoal drawings of the Sonoma landscape. Each piece is a portrait of the place in which its pigments are derived.  The striking black of the charred paint and drawing matter is the common thread throughout the works.

Dickenson’s work is rooted in reverence for the fragile state of our earth. The artist works with earth pigment and the landscape format as a method of connecting the body to a planet we as humans continually neglect. In combination with charcoal and pigments native to Sonoma County, Dickenson uses two non-native minerals (lapis lazuli blue and malachite green) to emphasize season and depict the narrative of an alarming cycle.  Sonoma Charcoal is an homage to a beautiful place called California. To all of its moods, modes and states of being. A place I love and call home, and also a place where fire increasingly ravages the landscape year after year. -Melissa Dickenson

Melissa Dickenson received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD and her MFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States as well in Japan, Spain, and Poland. Melissa lives and works in San Francisco, California.


Sonoma Charcoal: Rooted in Reverence will be on view October 18 – November 30, 2020.  The gallery is by-appointment only

SFADA Review

Sonoma Charcoal Rooted in Reverence
by Art Critic Richard Speer

Click here for art critic Richard Speer's review of the show at K. Imperial Fine Art in San Francisco, CA

Charcoal Mountian

Working in Place, too

Expanding on an inaugural virtual show, K. Imperial Fine Art is pleased to present to you new works created by its gallery artists during this prolonged shelter in place.  “Working in Place, too” touches on the familiar situation many artists find themselves in… creating in solitude.  Many of their practices require solitary devotion, yet there’s an added stillness and solemnity and weight, even an unrest and anxiety.  Their creations are moving and poignant; in many ways an expression of what we are all feeling yet can’t express.  The art born during this unusual time in history is significant and we’re honored to share it with you.

Online Exhibition click Here to View

Charcoal Mountain, Sonoma charcoal, mudstone, clay, and acrylic on canvas, 67" x 74"

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 Wandering California, collecting sand, soil and rock, Melissa Dickenson forages pigments from nature to create paint. These landscape paintings abstractly reflect the terrain from which their pigments are derived. Each work alludes to geological formations and the ever present light and energy surrounding us.

On View March 13th-September 13th 2019 

The Upstairs, 3000 20th Street, San Francisco, CA


Opening reception Thursday, March 21st 5-7pm

Black Sands Beach Acrylic, sand and soil on canvas 40" x 50" 2019

Berm acrylic on canvas 60" x 72" 2017


Please join me April 6th for the opening reception of WEST, my second solo show at K.Imperial Fine Art in San Francisco. 


This new body of work is a combination of acrylic paint manipulated between multiple layers of stretched polyethylene films as well as works on raw canvas utilizing technique of using plastic, body pressure and movement as a brush.

Inspired by the western landscape, this new series alludes to geological formations and the ever-present light and energy surrounding us and uses landscape as a method of comparison and assertion of the body to material and place.


West will be on view:
March 9 – April 22, 2017
Artist Reception:
Thursday, April 6th 5:30 – 7:30pm.

SFADA Review

Context Art Miami

I'm thrilled to announce that I will have work at this year's Context Art Fair, November 29th- December 4th 2016.

K.Imperial Fine Art will be exhibiting my Nimbus Series.  


Please join us for opening night Tuesday November 29th 5:30 -10pm or for General Admission:


Art Miami, LLC

Miami, FL 33127 

48 NW 29th Street 



Fax: +1 305.396.8753

Phone: +1 305.517.7977 


Nimbus acrylic, plastic  films and stretcher bars  24" x 18"   2016

Miami Project

I am excited to announce that my work will be part of Art Basel this December in Miami.

 K.Imperial Fine Art  Booth B1 at the

Deauville Beach Resort

Miami, FL



Please join me for the opening reception: 


Thursday, December 2nd, 2015


6701 Collins Ave, Miami, FL 33141



Famous Shoes   acrylic, plastic  films and stretcher bars  72" x 48"   2015

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Hard in the paint is a series of new paintings by Melissa Dickenson that utilize paint sandwiched between and multiple layers of plastic film. Dickenson uses her own body weight to manipulate the movement of the paint and then stretches each layer upon stretchers. Some 20-30 layers deep these works allow for depth perception and speak of the artists relationship to the canvas.

On View March 5th- April 6th 2015


Opening reception Thursday, March 5th 2015

K. Imperial Fine Art 


5:30-8:30pm 49 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA

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