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2013 June 5

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and fudge

I seem to be always apologizing for running behind on judging the $5 Art Contest. This time I am just going to say, “Yes, these are the April results.  Let’s move on.”   Think of it like waiting for bread to rise.  Ahhh, did I mention I’m trying to live a wheat-free life now?  Let’s call “carbohydrate-jonesing” a contributing factor to this month’s tardiness while I formulate an excuse for May.

This month’s artist works in intricate detail and with a twist of humor and pun. Watercolor, ink and drawing all come together to give this mechanically organic feel.  The color screams pop art, but the texture often echoes natural forms.

On behalf of, I am proud to announce the Featured Artist chosen from the April entries to the $5 Art Contest is Melody Sage, bringing us a little smile, a pop of color and a twist of phrase.

Learn more about our Featured Artist Melody Sage!

Sage’s work made me want to get to know her over cocktails, if for no other reason than to mine for puns.  Inspirational wit


Melody Sage


Melody Sage grew up in a heavily forested area of northern Wisconsin.

“Ecology is magic to me. Following streams to see where they led, keeping grass snakes in jars, drinking tea cups of rain: a barefoot and disheveled child, bowled over by splendor.  Those hours studying intricate textures and forms shaped my sensibility.”

Kiwi Bird by Featured Artist Melody SageSince I am also a writer,
subtext, wit, and narrative
infuse my art.


“In my work, I explore the connection between nature and metaphor, color and poetry, pattern and clarity.”

Are you a self-taught artist or have you been formally instructed? “I am self taught.”

“I come from a big eccentric family where if someone had an idea to attach a bed with ropes to the ceiling to turn it into a swing, everybody else would say, ‘Why not? Who cares about dents in the wall?’  From there, becoming an artist was a natural progression.

The Cat Lady by Featured Artist Melody SageTalk to me about the process you use. “Mostly I like to work with ink and paint, things that stain and make mistakes that I then have to improvise and work around.  I like the spontaneity and intractability of tangible materials, the surprises.  The possibility of unredeemable failure at any moment is exciting.”

I notice that you seem to be attracted to portraiture and organic forms.  Tell me why.  How do they work together for inspiration?  “Humans are an indivisible piece of the continuum of nature. I think it is very primal. A disproportionate portion of the brain is dedicated to facial recognition. We are hardwired to see faces everywhere from gnarled trees to Martian geology.  It’s compelling.”

Your work is so diverse that I really had a hard time finding a direction.  Talk to me about writing and the effect it has on your art.  “I am interested in metaphorical leaps, that moment of recognition when an unlikely connection is made.  My writing is imagery rich in style, and my art is often inspired by word play, mythic archetypes, or poetry.”

Skeleton Key by Featured Artist Melody Sage“Another major part of my process is listening to audio-books downloaded from the library. I find it distracts the talkative critical left side of my brain like dangling keys in front of a baby.”

Editor’s note: In my studio it is the white noise of junk TV in an adjacent room.  Just something to break the pressure of silence.

Talk to me about the effect the possibility of sales has on your technique or subject matter. “I never expected to sell my work, and it still feels unreal when it happens. I feel wistful, when I see artists who have a consistent vision, and market themselves with savvy and grace, but that’s not my strong suit.”  ...Segue into the merits of the $5 Art Contest, snicker.

You know we have to talk about food. What is your favorite? “Nectarines.  I know they are basically bald peaches, but I love them to the utmost.  Fresh baked bread used to be my favorite food, until I had to give up wheat as well (sad trombone).”   Sad trombone for us both.  Remind me to give you a recipe for gluten free nectarine scones.  Yum.

Endless Love by Featured Artist Melody SageWhat about snack foods? “Lately, I have been making this recipe for fudge babies about once a week. They are like the love child of a cookie dough ball and a truffle that grew up and went to a liberal arts college.” For the record, I chose Melody BEFORE she sent links to chocolate recipes.  No bribery involved.

So, what’s coming up next for you? More of my life now, fingers crossed.“Brevity is the soul of wit.”  Thank you, Melody (and Shakespeare).

See more of the work of Melody Sage online!

2 Responses
  1. June 6, 2013

    Nice work! Love the kiwi 🙂

  2. December 8, 2013

    Love the work- Really great details!

Comments are closed.