For the third edition of Greenpoint Artist Profile we are proud to present Melissa McElroy. Walking into Cafe Grumpy one day I saw installed along the walls paintings of such varied styles I figured it was a whimsically curated group show. I learned it is actually the work of one artist who divides her creative energies between interior decoration, furniture design and painting.
Along one wall at the cafe you’ll find a series of small square paintings of coy fish, painted above a serene sea of light blue water, wisps of white ripples flowing throwing in trail of the fish. Along another wall you’ll find similarly small works, a series of rigidly abstract and minimal painting where bands of color sweep through the surface of neutral colors. On the other side of the wall you will find a rolling hill landscape painting with a lone tree atop the hill with clouds frolicking the sky.
In the hallway of the cafe a circular disk-like canvas depicts rays of mosaic-patterned color fields, its motifs reminding me of african or egyptian fabric.
My favorites are along the back walls where drips of paint trickle horizontally across the picture plane, an otherworldly rainstorm engulfing patches of dark rich colors of red and blue. There is also a series of window pane paintings where Melissa depicts subtle changes of light and shadow, toying with the idea of what is real and what is mere reflection. There is also a sculptural installation tacked on the wall of wooden planks layered atop and adorned with black roses, its petals dripping down the white washed background.
I was intrigued by the variety of theme and style and had to make a studio visit with Melissa. She’s worked as an interior designer for residential and corporate environments and recently had a show mixing painting and furniture designs at a design center in Manhattan. Much of her inspirations come from everyday living; windows, graffiti, architecture, and nature. Besides paintings she is launching an online store that is an inventory of goodies for people wishing to buy art, furniture and accessories at an affordable price showing editioned originals by local artists in various mediums. Melissa is also available for commissioned pet portraits. This woman’s got her fingers dipped all over the place!
I asked what she loves and hates about Greenpoint and she simply stated she loved the cheapness and the industrial scene and hates the stench rippling through the neighborhood. She loves the laid back vibe and that all the houses are ugly except that one house that you get enamored with (for me it’s Noble Street).
You can find Melissa’s paintings at Cafe Grumpy for another week so make sure to check it out!

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