Pin It
Favorite

VAT-Melissa Lang 

by Jessica Moll & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & A & lt;/span & n artist and former dancer who's struggled for nearly 30 years with the repercussions of a broken hip, Melissa Lang knows a lot about balance.





The last year and a half have been particularly dark. "It's hard to work when you're in constant pain," Lang remarks. "I ended up destroying a lot of the work I did during that time."





But having finally recovered from last year's hip surgery, the Spokane artist has emerged into a new place. "Last month, I started feeling pretty darn good," she says with relief. "I feel exuberance, hope... I feel so much life."


Lang's new drawings and paintings, on display at the Lorinda Knight Gallery through Oct. 28, reflect this joyous energy. One big change is Lang's experimentation with a new medium. Whereas before she worked with black charcoal and acrylic and oil paints, she's now begun adding color pastel to her canvases. "It's a dry pigment you can rub into the surface -- so it's like drawing, but a drawing in the form of a painting," she says.





Blurring the distinction between drawing and painting allows Lang to balance both processes: the spontaneity of drawing and the technical intensity of painting. "Drawing is fluid and direct. But with painting, you have to deal with mixing colors, so the paint is a mediating force that distances you from the work," Lang explains. She preserves the original fluidity of drawing by beginning with charcoal lines, then adding paint on top. "A lot of times I'll paint over the drawing so much that it becomes just a painting," she says.


Lang layers meaning in much the same way. She finds her subject matter in the natural world -- insects, leaves, twigs -- or in drawings from anatomy books. But the final product is more than a visual representation. "I don't want to depict an object -- I want to convey the sensuous experience of it," she says. "As soon as it starts looking like an image, I break it up and draw new layers over it. It becomes more about the painting itself than the ideas that started it."





But this move toward abstraction isn't always as freeing as it seems: "I get really obsessed," she says. "I can spend a whole afternoon trying to get a line right." That's where balance comes in again. Lang admits she's glad for the pressure of the upcoming show. Laughing, she says, "Deadlines make you realize what's important."


-- JESSICA MOLL





"Melissa Lang: New Work" continues through Oct. 28 at the Lorinda Knight Gallery (stop No. 14 on the Visual Arts Tour), 523 W. Sprague. Call 838-3740.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Recall and Response
  • Recall and Response

    The attempt to remove Spokane Mayor David Condon from office may be a long shot, but he isn't taking any chances
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Shades of Black Lives
  • Shades of Black Lives

    A Spokane County detective's Facebook post about Black Lives Matter sparks debate among local law enforcement
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Fires Hit Home
  • Fires Hit Home

    Tens of thousands of acres burn around Spokane on Sunday and Monday; plus, DOJ weighs in on concerns over bail system
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap

Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Wednesday of every month

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Jessica Moll

  • Pro Crochet

    Sure, there are cows to be milked and chickens to be fed on Butters' small,
    • May 30, 2007
  • Night Verses

    "When I am reading," he says, "it
    • Apr 18, 2007
  • Get Lit! - War Vet's Verse

    & lockquote & I am five, & r & & amp;nbsp
    • Apr 2, 2006
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'Unreasonable Threat to Life and Property'

    Spokane's rental housing has problems, but landlord and tenant groups are split on a solution
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • 'End of Story'

    Condon administration aims to close the controversial Frank Straub chapter — but last week's scathing report has irrevocably changed the narrative
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


election 2016


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • Ryan's Last Ride
  • Ryan's Last Ride

    Ryan Holyk's family is still searching for answers in the bicycle accident that cost him his life
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • Crash > Click > Cash
  • Crash > Click > Cash

    Lawyers and chiropractors already have your name, your address and the police report from your car accident — and they want you to hire them
    • Jul 21, 2016

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation