The French easel, the tubes of paint, mixing the incredible colors outside; I was fasciated. I realized I could travel and not even have to take a camera. I can paint.”
Interview with Melinda Smith Haymons reflecting on her first outdoor painting workshop in Taos, New Mexico over 20 years ago
Energetic and passionate about her love for expression on canvas of the outdoors, Melinda Smith Haymons is inspired by color and the simple but complex act of transposing paint onto the palette and onto the canvas. She paints en plein air and is inspired by color and is fascinated with design. Whether Haymons is capturing a cloudscape in Wyoming, a seascape in Mexico, ﬁgures in the Italian sunlight or the endless possibilities of subjects that might grab her on any given day while working in the ﬁeld, Haymons continues to be transﬁxed by light and shadow while mixing paint on her palette.
With strong focus and devoted study, Haymons’ enthusiasm and unfailing interest in ﬁne paintings has been constant for as long as she can remember. As a young child, her parents exposed her to the arts with countless visits to Santa Fe and an education on The Taos Society of Artists and collecting ﬁne paintings. Haymons truly has an appreciation for the foundation of a painting, application of design, color and, most importantly, drawing. She ﬁnds that drawing surely the substance of painting and uses her thumbnail sketches as preliminary studies for every painting.
Haymons is a graduate of Colorado College where she met her husband, Chris. Her works are in private and corporate collections, she’s been commissioned to paint the largest avocado ranch in California and was selected by Great Outdoors Colorado Trust to capture on canvas the group’s most important-to-date legacy projects across Colorado. This project is ongoing and a notable historic collection for Colorado and marks the importance of preserving our beautiful open space. In addition to other interesting projects, Haymons has completed a series of paintings for The University of Denver’s permanent collection.
Recently, she has been commissioned to paint a series of minimalist landscape abstraction paintings which Haymons is delighted to be working on in her studio side by side with her plein air works from the ﬁeld. As Haymons conveys to her three children, art is constantly evolving and we never stop learning or being inspired.