About eight years ago, Melinda Engel Runge was painting with brushes as usual, but couldn’t get the look she wanted. So, she says she used her finger to push, pull and “smoosh” to get the look she was going for. And since then, she has put down all her brushes and creates now using only her fingers.
“Being able to feel the paint on my fingers and applying it to a canvas turned out to be a spiritual tactile epiphany for me,” says Melinda. "Every painting you see is done entirely using my fingers and layering and layering the paint. I work with water-based oils to get the same look as oils with a bit of a faster drying time. The final product is what I affectionately call 'Adult Fingerpainting.'”
Born and raised in St. Louis, Melinda says she spent many, many days with her grandpa, who taught her how to create art, a talent he inherited from his mother, Eleanor Hartwell, a highly regarded member of the St. Louis Artists Guild.
Melinda worked 25 years in corporate sales and it’s only been in the last 10 years that she has focused more on her art, which can be enjoyed, and purchased, on her website: EngelRungeArt.com/. It’s also fun to watch her create on her Facebook videos (Melinda Engel Runge Art).
Melinda’s art focuses mainly on animals and nature.
“You may notice a hint of Impressionism. I was greatly influenced by Monet, Renoir, Manet, Seurat, Pissarro, Cezanne and many more. In their styles, I found my style. I consider myself more of an interpretive painter. I tend to see colors in animals that most people do not see and I try to reflect my interpretation of those colors in my paintings,” she says.
You can view and purchase Melinda’s art at the 27th Annual Mosaics Fine Art Festival in Historic St. Charles from September 16-18.
The free three-day festival includes approximately 80 juried artists from more than 15 states who will exhibit artwork available for purchase. Media categories include clay, drawing, glass, leather, metal, pastel, oil/acrylic, photography, printmaking, sculpture, watercolor, and wood.
In addition, the H. Robert Pank Memorial Entertainment Pavilion will showcase a variety of performing artists throughout the weekend.
The Mary Hediger Memorial Art Shop for Kids is a kids-only gallery where children ages 14 and younger can buy professional artwork. Designed to foster art appreciation at a young age, all pieces are donated by participating festival artists and can be purchased for a nominal fee.
The Joyce Rosen Founder’s Scholarship art display will include select high school students' works of art. Scholarships will be presented in memory of Joyce Rosen, the original festival founder and a longtime supporter of St. Louis artists and events.
The festival even features the Artists for Adoption Pet Pavilion, for those interested in adopting pets from local rescue organizations.
So don’t miss it! For more information: stcharlesmosaics.org.