Mel Cormack-Hicks – Passionate Places

by Marine House At Beer Limited | Seaton
Date of event: 13/04/24 - 26/04/24

Mel Cormack – Hicks lives in the heart of the Cotswolds but shares her time and boundless energy between those rolling and wooded landscapes where she has her home and studio, and a caravan on the cliffs overlooking Beer with its distant views along the Jurassic coast towards the Isle of Portland.

As expected, all the woodland scenes are near her home in the Cotswolds, and the Jurassic Coast near Beer and Branscombe also figure extensively. Other locations include Cornwall, the Cairngorms and Royal Deeside in Scotland, and stepping stones in Wales. All were visited by Mel in 2023.

Mel’s journey towards a completed painting starts with the challenge of selecting a scene the essence and drama of which she feels she can capture on canvas. Compositions are for the most part started en plein air, but she returns to her studio to complete final detailing and adding those little splashes of colour that always seem to further lift the excitement present in her work.

There is no doubting that the thrill Mel feels in committing paint to canvas is reflected in the finished works. These paintings are multi layered and painted with bold, wet, brushwork and mark making. You can hear the waves breaking on the shore, the wind in the trees, the calm after snowfall, the waterfall’s roar. Her palette with its rich browns, greens and blues, captures the seasons and nature’s elements, wind and water at play.

Mel’s life has been grounded in the delight of painting. She studied for her degree in Fine Art at Cheltenham, and followed this with 20 years teaching art. She finally made the transition to full-time artist some six or seven years ago.

Since joining Marine House at Beer in 2019, we’ve seen the popularity of her work just grow and grow. This fine body of paintings represents her third solo show with the gallery.