Although of Mexican American descent, Melinda Vasquez always felt a deep affinity for the Asian aesthetic. Her love of 18-19th century Japanese designers of wood block prints and paintings, including those of Kitagawa Utamaro, has influenced a series of collages which portray birds, bamboo, and fruit. Using collage as her medium supports a great flexibility in the use of materials. She incorporates Prisma color pencil drawing to illustrate the focal point. To create layers and a feeling of depth, she adds frosted Mylar with its semi transparent quality. The bamboo itself establishes the Asian theme. The decorative papers that form the bamboo leaves echo the rich detail of kimonos. Some of the leaves are applied to the underside of the Mylar which softly veils their color and pattern. In this way she establishes the background. Others are applied to the surface with their clearly defined patterns to form the foreground. The collages are challenging with the complexity of pieces that must come together like an intricate and beautiful puzzle. But the rewards are bountiful as the scene emerges from the weaving of drawing and layers of decorative paper.
In addition to her collages, Melinda creates asian inspired beaded jewelry. Melinda Vasquez will be sharing an exhibit room with Sandy Fisher at the Art at the Matador, May 11 & 12. We look forward to seeing their exhibit!