My portrait, conceptual, and genre paintings examine the status quo and social norms of modern life. I paint untraditional realistic narratives that invite viewers to look and consider the psychological, sociological, or emotional complexities of race, gender, age, and culture.

     A painting begins with someone I have seen whose appearance, character, situation, or personality interests me and then slowly transforms into a narrative.  I recently displayed several paintings at a regional library and decided that since my paintings were narrative and were hanging in a setting filled with thousands of stories, that I would write the story of each painting.  I posted the stories to my Tumblr account and also had hard copies available at the library for easy accessibility.  During the exhibit reception, I observed people: standing in front of a painting and reading its story, viewing the paintings and then sitting down and reading through the stories, and asking me if they could take the booklet of stories home to read again.  Honestly, I had underestimated the impact the addition of story added to the exhibit experience and I soon realized that its presence invited the viewer to become a participant rather than just a bystander with my art.

      This exhibition proposal takes the marrying of painting and written word one step further by adding my own voice; thanks to technology, the viewer can listen to the story on his/her smartphone.  Next to the label description of each painting hangs a QR scanning code.  To listen to the story, scan the code with a smart phone and the image of the painting appears on the screen of the phone.   The code has taken the viewer to YouTube where I’ve downloaded the painting image and the story narration of the painting. (Scanning the code below will take you to one of the narrations.) The individual can touch “PLAY” and listen to me talk about the painting as they look at the actual painting.  The phones will need to have a scanning app, which I discovered was a quick, easy, and free download. 

     My Tumblr account,, has all of the images and stories, and hard copies of the stories will also be available for the hearing impaired or those who prefer to read from paper.


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© Melody Croft