Woven Patterns & Details
water-base color paintings by
Melissa Coury

January 20 - April 24, 2006

Chinese Screen, watercolor collage, $400

New Haven artist Melissa Coury studied art at CalState LA. She is a collector of Arabic art, and her work has been published as cover designs for "Arab, African and Islamic Worlds" edited by R.Kevin Lacey & Ralph Coury, for the "Journal of Middle Eastern and North African Intellectual and Cultural Studies," Binghamton University, and for "Yesterday's Children," UFDC, Pittsfield, MA. Her artwork has been in group shows in Connecticut, New York, and California.

"My paintings are inspired by the landscapes and cultures of the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia," writes Ms. Coury. "I lived and worked in those areas and was always fascinated
by the patterns and details of everyday life -- the weaving in a carpet, the curve of a piece of calligraphy, the surface of an ancient wall. I have tried to capture the sense of layers one finds
in these ancient cultures by experimenting with different textures and incorporating both design elements and actual physical objects, such as sand, postage stamps or bits of package labels.

Click each thumbnail to view an expandable image
Grid 1, watercolor collage, $Price on request
It's Hard Being Green, watercolor collage, $Price on request

"I work almost exclusively with water-based media -- watercolor, acrylic, gouache, water-based ink -- and I always start with my collages with blank white paper. With the exception of a few small
"found" bits that might have text or color, I prefer to build all color with paint. I also enjoy working with a single color to see how many hues can be created.

"I have studied with several painters and have been taught many rules, but I am most interested in seeing which rules can be bent or broken, whether in terms of composition or technique. In creating the works here, I have used - among other things - my microwave, my electric sander, my washing machine and my dremel. I also employ a variety of implements I have picked up in my travels, including a vegetable corer, a palm fiber crub rush, a batik chop, and a Chinese cookie mold."



Gallery curator: Johnes Ruta (203) 387-4933 azothgallery@comcast.net