Melissa Dickenson’s works on canvas are comprised of raw earth pigments she collects and catalogs in the form of rocks and minerals while hiking, walking, and experiencing her surroundings. She processes the rocks and minerals in her studio, by hand with a mortar in pestle, to create her own paints. She creates abstract landscapes using these paints. Dickenson physically transports terroir to the viewer in each painting’s surface which visibly contains the gritty, yet sometimes silky-smooth grains of sand, ground rocks, charcoal, soil and earth. Each painting is a portrait of the place in which its pigments are derived and each palette is augmented from a vast earth pigment library from the artist’s travels.
Dickenson’s work is rooted in reverence for our earth and a deep connection to the body, material and place. Although many would consider her a painter, the origin of her works utilizes photography, sculpture, drawing and performance in their creation.