You better believe it!

“Ruling the roost” is artist Melanie Florio. With her “sunny side up” personality, she has done a series titled “Chicken Scratch”. A curious combination of vintage/modern is what this California oil artist brings to the Imagination at Lovetts Gallery. Her zest for life, obviously spills out when her paintbrush touches the canvas. She is masterful at blending, not only with her choice of colors but with her subjects as well. The bright hues of her characters stand in vivid contrast against the warm tones of the backgrounds in her paintings. Melanie will have you wondering “which came first, the chicken or the egg”, with the expression of her characters and the unusual predicaments she places them in.

Florio’s series has a humorous narrative but a serious talent with her oil painting. Her piece, “The Little Red Hen”, is a generous example of her genius. A deep foreboding storm is collecting overhead, the hen’s behaviors are tempestuous and apprehension is seen in the women’s facial expression, yet a capriciousness exists. Clothed in a red dress, with her purse hanging from her arm and a loaf of bread in a sack, this “little red hen” is being heckled. Are the chickens “egging her on” to drop her bounty?

Perhaps Melanie’s summary describes it best: “I think the story probably ends with her beating them all off with the loaf and then having a delicious chicken sandwich later that evening”!

This painting has a rich, master’s quality: A roguish Renaissance charm on the farm!

With her piece “Free Range”, Melanie submits to the cliché of “opposites attract”. Set in the Wild West, with a raging fire and a larger than life rooster on the loose, the town seems to be in chaos. The facial expressions and body gestures of the characters are “worth their weight in gold”! The gentleman appears to be in total bewilderment as to what he should do, while the spunky little gal seems to be handling the crisis with no worries at all. Maybe a different storyline is happening; a revolt is underway, a rebellion, or the Chicken Apocalypse. (maybe it’s not zombies after all!) My advice, if you have fowl…let them have free range!

Florio’s’ paintings will “feather a fine nest” in your art collection.

“Fly the coop” to the gallery and see her work for yourself. “Don’t be a chicken”!

Welcome to the Imagination Melanie Florio

Nicki Carson