Melanie Fogell

Melanie Fogell’s engaging and diverse paintings reflect a rich and storied life. Colourful and reminiscent of the Fauves (early 20th-century painters who emphasized colour and the characteristics of the paint itself, rather than focusing on representation), her work is also strongly influenced by music. She holds a degree in piano performance, and her artwork has evolved in tandem with her musical interests. (She started out painting people, then nature and landscapes, and now her work tends toward the abstract.) “I was trained in classical music,” she says, “and now I have developed a love of jazz. I’m teaching myself to play jazz piano. I think the improvisational nature of the jazz I listen to has an impact on my painting in that I paint only abstract now.”


Her forest paintings absolutely dance with sunlight. Her enigmatic oval series is exuberant and wonderfully ambiguous. Surely these are flowers? Faces? Balloons? The viewer’s mind starts whirling, while the senses are simply pleased with the colour, composition, and movement.

Fogell has raised four children and has lived in Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver. When asked about art being influenced by life, she says, “There was never a shortage of emotions to draw on for my artwork. I guess everything in my life is related to my artwork, not just the music. But the music is always going on in my head.”

See more of Melanie Fogell’s work at

Words | Nancy Pincombe

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