Contemporary Northwest Art:
Mel McCuddin

Mel McCuddin, Inebriated Man, oil on canvas

July 3 – Sept 16, 2018
Helen South Alexander Gallery
Opening reception July 19, 5pm-8pm

Ideas from Paint presents fourteen of Mel McCuddin’s distinctive “figurative expressionist”oil paintings.

Mel McCuddin’s work is instantly recognizable to those familiar with his unconventional animal and human subjects. His inspiration is primarily the human experience, both good and bad, which offers him an endless source of material.

While some might see the painter’s offbeat scenes in muted “bruised” hues as a little dark, for most, his dry sense of humor is readily apparent and it delights and intrigues viewers.

McCuddin’s early paintings were abstract expressionist for the most part and then gradually evolved into his present style as he felt the need to more precisely convey his thoughts. His method of painting is still the same. He begins with no particular idea in mind, randomly applying paint to completely cover each canvas. Once this underpainting is dry, he studies the composition of color, light and space until an idea suggests itself. Perhaps a shape will suggest a turtle as seen in The Long Road or a pattern of light might inspire a face as in Hawkshow.

“My justification for forty years of work is that I am trying to put something worthwhile into the world and to make paintings that cannot be forgotten” says McCuddin.

Born in Spokane, Washington in 1933. Mel McCuddin studied at Eastern Washington University, Fort Wright College and the Spokane Arts Center (an extension of Washington State University.) He has exhibited his work throughout the Northwest and shows regularly at The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene.

Learn more about the artist.