Melody Knight Leary


At its base, my artwork is an inquiry; a series of experiments. I  use my work to explore, rather than offer definitive answers. I can’t always explain what I am searching for or what is finally resolved. Though I can site the sources for some of the imagery, I am at a loss to say why those resonate within me in the first place. My internalized observations of the passing of days, the drama of the unseen, the meaning of stillness, and the witness of the objects that surround me become vehicles to voice the expressions of lived experience for which there are never quite the right words.

As an artist, I’ve always been intrigued by the unique opportunities that the transferred image affords. The structured limitations of the medium you must work within, the energy involved in working the plates, the smell of the inks, the feel of the paper, and the magic of the press all play a roll in printmaking’s allure. The ritual of printing and the countless transformations involved satisfies my basic hunger for exploration and risk taking; the possibilities are endless. At the end of a printing session it’s always magical to find out what lies beneath the blankets.

I have been actively engaged in the field of printmaking as an artist and educator for many years. A self-taught printmaker, I was first introduced to contemporary nontoxic printmaking practices in 1995 at Keith Howard’s master’s workshop held in Peace River Canada. Since that time I’ve  gone on to investigate various less toxic methods and techniques and introduced nontoxic practices to my printmaking classroom and home studio. I work out of my home studio – Tree Top Press – located in the woods of southeastern Connecticut: a place that provides sanctuary, serving as a vehicle for meditation on the ebb and flow of time and the unfolding cycles of life.


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