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Melanie Max

I want to create in my paintings a similar experience to an unfamiliar landscape being looked at for the first time, an uncertainty of what lies ahead, the puzzle that we undertake in trying to identify what belongs to the sky, what is the sea, what is the land and at what point they all meet.

Many of the titles to my paintings suggest physical movement, this reflects my desire to be in my own paintings, loosing myself in the space that I am creating. I feel the pull to walk amongst the surfaces and disappear traversing it. I hope to capture this urge for adventure and my desire for an endless journey across the land that is laid out before me; into the infinite space, taking a never ending walk.

My paintings have an element of ambiguity; how can you have an adventure if you know all about it before you set out? I like the eye to float around the surface of the painting trying to make sense of the transitions, colours and shapes, trying to make sense of their relationships to each other. When one approach to understanding the painting has been discounted another visual exploration of the surface is sort for an explanation. This active consideration of the paintings illusion to space, keeps it alive and active and being open to reinterpretation.

My landscapes are imagined spaces influenced by places that I have visited, predominantly by the North Norfolk coast. I am drawn to its endless beaches at low tide reflecting the huge skies in its wet sand and pools. its beaches are like massive canvases painted on by the clouds and the sea, shaped by the wind, littered with flotsom by the tide, shaded by the clouds, tracks scored into its surface and channels etched by water coming and going from the sea.

I was born in Cornwall, brought up in Devon, studied in London graduating from Chelsea School of art in 1991 with a BA (Hons) in Sculpture, I now paint, preferring its intimacy and immediacy of expression. My studio is aboard my narrowboat, moored in Ely.