Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.
Issue link: http://read.uberflip.com/i/603345
254 Melody Phaneuf has a pin-neat carriage house studio on Glouces- ter's Centennial Avenue, where she is part of a growing community of neighborhood artists. Primarily an oil painter, Phaneuf began her career in an atelier with Robert Cormier at the Fenway Studios—a place with which she has been affiliated for 34 years. It was there that she learned a style that combines the teachings of the French academies with Impressionism. "We were always focused on reality," she ex- plains, "but on the abstract quali- ties—it's the relationship of the parts that really speaks to people on an emotional level." Today, though oils are her go-to medium, she does use pastels at times. "I like to layer them in the same way. One medium informs the other," notes Phaneuf. In fact, her oil paintings do have a pastel-like qual- ity, in that they are quite delicate. When it comes to winter land- scapes, she tends to paint smaller pieces outside, which she may later turn into larger works back in her studio (with warm hands). But she notes the value of begin- ning outdoors: "Being outside like that and having the experience… I find that if you do the bigger painting pretty soon afterward, it all comes back." It's that visceral quality of being in the elements that leaves a lasting—and informa- tive—impression. The winter season resonates with Phaneuf, who was born in January. "I enjoy winter paint- ing for a few reasons," says the artist. "I love the light either during or just before a snow— that kind of atmospheric [light] that obliterates a lot of details. It compresses the color range…It's the difference between a normal conversation and a whisper," Village in Snow Opposite, top to bottom, Squalls and After the Storm