Artist Melanie Therrien paints murals, illustrates children's books, teaches and hosts art parties for both children and adults.
The Sun Journal wanted to know a little more about the busy woman who operates Wicked Illustrations in Auburn.
Single, relationship or married? Married to my awesome husband, Glen, for 11 years
Children? A great stepson, Dylon, and a granddaughter, Madilyn, who I get to paint with.
You've been an artist all of your life. Do you remember your first piece of art? My mom has a drawing I did when I was 3 years old. She says it made her think I would do something with art when I grew up. I think it was a bird.
You teach and you create in several media. However, murals seem like a specialty. What makes them so special to you? They are the ultimate blank canvas. I get to make someone's vision come alive and transform a whole space. I also love sharing the process with my clients as the mural comes to life or with people who come in if I'm doing it in a business or other public place.
When you go in someone's home or business and you see a blank wall, do you imagine what it might look like with a tree or other scene painted there? All the time! It can be very distracting when I should be filling out paperwork at the doctor's office, for example, and I'm designing the waiting room mural in my head.
Do you have a favorite creation? For a creation I made for myself, I did a painting of an old abandoned building I saw on a drive to Kennebunk with my husband about six years ago. It has a good memory attached to it, and there was something captivating about it. A favorite piece I did for a client was of an orange tree as the focal point on a piece of furniture. My client and his seven brothers and sisters had it done for their mother, who had a mini orange tree when they were growing up. The name and birthday of each child and their mother was put on an orange. It was such a sweet gift and a neat story.
Every kid tries painting and drawing and sculpting, at least for a short time in art class. But few adults do that. Why? I find a lot of my students' parents took lessons as children and most still paint/draw or are creative in some other way. A lot of people are just really busy I guess. One of my favorite sayings is, "Every child is an artist, the trick is how to remain one once we grow up," by Pablo Picasso.
How do you get a paint brush in the hands of a reluctant adult? I've heard a lot over the years, "I wish I could draw or paint, but I can't even do stick figures." Those are my favorite people to sit down and do one of my quick paintings with. They are always amazed at their accomplishment.
You've illustrated several books. How do you begin a project like that? On the computer. There is a lot of research involved. The last book I illustrated took place in Scotland. I would have liked to have gone there, but I had to do the research from my desk.
Are there books you wish you illustrated? I never really thought of that.
You work in so many different media, do you have a favorite? Acrylic because I can paint on furniture, walls, canvas, decorative items. There's a world of possibilities with acrylic.
What makes your illustrations wicked? Well, they're a part of me.