Melanie Hickerson paints not what was previously known but gives recognition. Her paintings are well-constructed objects of heart, intellect, and skill. They are metaphors in paint for breath and life. There is a love of good craft and well-made artifacts of discipline and of ambition. The palette is high key like the intense light of the Southwest where Ms. Hickerson has lived most of her life. The drama of the Baroque period is present in her composition as opposed to the static balance of the Renaissance. Ms. Hickerson makes her voice heard in her imagery as well as her color.
Ms. Hickerson grew up in the “oil patch” of Texas and Oklahoma. Her mother conducted the large, raucous family in music, art, and dance as they moved from boomtown to boomtown. Over the years medical doctors informed Ms. Hickerson that she couldn’t get pregnant. When she did, she was ecstatic happy. A miracle! No money, no job, no husband. She had the miracle baby in 1972. They were on our own. In 1977, Ms. Hickerson bought a one-way ticket to Rome, Italy, to be an artist. As an illegal immigrant, she sold miniature paintings of the ruins to tourists. With the pay from a mural in a villa, she returned to the States. Ms. Hickerson said, “I wanted to get credentials and I missed the free public libraries.”
After she finished her MFA at UT in 1985, Ms. Hickerson went to NYC to be an artist. She participated fully in the art world. Her son went to good schools, graduated with several degrees, and went away. Ms. Hickerson returned to Austin, TX, in 1999 to care for her ailing mother and be an artist.
“What a ride! So far life has been very challenging. I am so glad that I am an artist!” - Melanie Hickerson