Art review: Wildlife, sunsets, forests and plants flourish in Gallery

News-Register | Joanna Mikolajczak Artist and art teacher, Melodee Ramirez uses Renaissance-era technique for her oil on canvas paintings. The results are illuminating. Her exhibit is a must-see through April 14.

News-Register | Joanna Mikolajczak
Artist and art teacher, Melodee Ramirez uses Renaissance-era technique for her oil on canvas paintings. The results are illuminating. Her exhibit is a must-see through April 14.

By Babatunde Olorunfemi
Staff Writer

Melodee Ramirez’s warmth and humility shows through her paintings as you marvel at secrets of nature hiding in plain sight in her newest art exhibit Tales from the Trail: Places I love to be in Texas.

The Time of The Moon 3 clearly demonstrates some features that only her paintings can capture. The serene environment of an early morning in the swamp surrounded by tall trees while staring into the eyes of crocodiles in the distance as they peep out of the water to sniff the freshness of a new dawn is absorbing.

Her exhibit explores the interplay of light and darkness, time and seasons on landscapes as she expresses her memories of trails while walking and kayaking in the swamps of Texas. One is engulfed by the wonders of nature.

Ramirez is a longtime NLC art professor, wife, mother and grandmother who finds peace in the comfort of her studio. She is excited when students with no background in the arts or drawing skills come into her program and graduate shocked because of what they achieve in one semester. Ramirez believes that everyone is capable of painting great pictures; all one needs is a medium to express the picture in your mind.

Ramirez modifies Renaissance-era techniques for her oil on canvas paintings. Her manipulation of oil on canvas or on the board as her media demonstrates her mastery of these techniques. She layers the oil in a manner that reflects the expression of the sun of the expression as it illuminates a scene and how living organisms respond to various times of the day or season. The Moondance series needs to be viewed together to reveal the story of how the egret finds his mate to consummate the love affair with the recognition that time and season waits for no one. Ramirez explores the concept of time and life in her expressions of mortality versus eternity through the Eternal Circle series of paintings. Both are part of the exhibit.

Ramirez loves walking the Trails of Texas, and this gives her the opportunity to see nature up-close and to study her environment. It is unbelievable that so many colors are available in the Texas climate. Ramirez’s work makes you want to book your next trail trip because in every season, and at different times of the day, she pulls out the color nature presents to life. Her artistic sensibilities are delicate, powerful and sensuous.

“Understanding the meaning of life and death is one of the primary questions throughout the history of art,” said Ramirez.

The exhibition Tales from the Trails is like taking a breath of fresh Texas air.

The exhibition runs from March 18 to April 14 in the Gallery.

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