When I launched The Road Gallery, one of my hopes was to give a voice to talented, emerging artists, especially those artists who, for the most part, were undiscovered. When I stumbled upon the work of Melissa Monroe on Instagram and heard her story, I knew I had struck gold. Monroe is exactly the type of artist I had in mind for the gallery. Her work is powerful, strong, beautifully raw and edgy. She tells the world what she is thinking through her paintings and does so unapologetically and unashamedly.
Currently living and working in Portland, Oregon, Monroe was haunted from a young age by a need to find her passion. In 2012, during a time in her live that she had voided herself of emotion, she started painting one night as if someone had whispered in her ear that she should. With passion overflowing, she made a mess of that first canvas, pouring paint everywhere and using her hands as brushes. She continued to paint every day with every chance she got, using broken objects as inspiration. Without the influences of a formal art education or background, all her paintings come from within. Monroe currently shares studio space with prolific artist Jesse Reno. They inspire each other daily with new ideas and methods. Her work has been shown at the True Measure Gallery in Portland.
Monroe believes somewhere inside her is another life, one for which she in constantly searching. When she paints there is no plan, no expectations. Her paintings are like puzzles that she is trying to put together. Finding all the pieces in the layers of paint is where the magic lies for her. In Monroe’s words, “It’s as if my subconscious has taken over and my hand does what it does, creating images that no one has seen. A history of a land that know one can remember, making wishes in the purist form. I have learned more from my paintings than any book could teach me. They have changed my life; I have changed my life.”
See the full collection of Monroe’s work in the gallery.