Mel was born and raised in the small town of Paw Paw, MI. She spent 21 years as a military [USAF] spouse and mother of two sons. Their family spent time with her husband’s career living in Las Vegas, NV (Nellis AFB); Crete, Greece (Iraklion AS); and ending up in Cheyenne, WY (F.E. Warren AFB), where the boys finished high school and Mel attended Laramie County Community College.
She received an A.A. in Fine Arts/Mass Media from LCCC and enrolled in as many art classes at the college she could. She was the editor of the student newspaper, Wingspan, where she found an affinity for graphic design, which combined her love of art, writing, photography and computer graphics. She would spend the next 20 years as a print graphic designer, first designing the product catalog for Corral West Ranchwear, then as a writer/designer/photographer for the Public Relations Dept. at LCCC. She still maintains a home office graphic design business, MJones Designs, offering creative marketing pieces, such as posters and postcards, and some photography.
Mel retired from LCCC and moved to a simpler life in Laramie, WY in 2015. It was here that she finally had the time and motivation to once again pick up a brush and squish oil paint around a canvas. When she’s not creating in her home studio, she works part-time for the City of Laramie Parks & Recreation as a marketing assistant designing flyers, social media graphics, postcards, brochures, etc. She also spends time riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle, playing with her two bulldogs, Harley and Honey, gardening and raising chickens.
It is my hope that the loose daubs of oil paint on the canvas, what I like to refer to as “Wild West Impressionism,” will invite the viewer to use not only eyes, but all the senses. That the scene will evoke memories of the taste of hot dust, the refreshment of cool rivers, the sharp bite of icy snowbanks, experience the heartbreaking loneliness of a sweep of flowers blanketing an empty meadow, or wonder at the grandeur of lofty mountains. I invite the observer to take a voyage into my love of swirling colors – purples, blues, yellows, and reds, layers upon layers, providing a rich tapestry of light, shadows, and movement. Delight in my passion for the textures and hues of our magnificent Rocky Mountain West. Please enjoy!