An art gallery cel­e­brat­ing Melinda Cameron-God­sey will be held on Thurs­day

El Dorado News-Times - - Living - By Ha­ley Smith Staff Writer

For more than 30 years, Melinda Cameron God­sey has shared her love of art and de­sign with oth­ers, and that work will be rec­og­nized Thurs­day dur­ing a pub­lic show of her art.

Back­woods Art and Frame will be host­ing a gallery of God­sey’s art­work from 6 to 8 p.m. Thurs­day in or­der to thank her for all she’s done for oth­ers and cel­e­brate her life’s work. The art­work of God­sey's work, has all been do­nated by lo­cal pa­trons.

“I am so very pleased that peo­ple wanted to do this for me,” God­sey said.

God­sey has spent her life in ser­vice to oth­ers. She has shared her in­te­rior de­sign ex­per­tise and her art, and has taught the com­mu­nity both for well over 30 years.

She said she has hoped to in­still con­fi­dence in her stu­dents through the years.

“I’ve al­ways wanted to teach them a level of what I learned through years of work and school, but more im­por­tantly, I wanted them to know what they are do­ing isn’t wrong,” God­sey said. “Con­fi­dence is key.”

For God­sey, con­fi­dence in her own art­work started at an early age.

God­sey al­ways had a pas­sion for art, not­ing it has al­ways been a part of her­self.

One of the first things she learned to draw was Santa Claus, which she learned from her dad. For the next few years, chil­dren would give her a nickel for one of her Santa pic­tures.

She said she was the child that her class­mates would pick when they had an artis­tic class project and, by the time she was 12, she had de­cided she would fol­low her love of art into an in­te­rior de­sign ca­reer.

From there, she de­vel­oped her own style.

“I’m known for be­ing cre­ative,” God­sey said.

God­sey said she would take clas­sic styles such as pointil­lism, where an artist takes tiny dots to make a larger pic­ture, and twist them into her own style. In­stead of dots, she drew in lines or fish scales.

God­sey said she took in­spi­ra­tion from her work as a free­lance in­te­rior de­signer and ap­plied it to her art process.

“Ev­ery­thing has a de­sign. Brick, her­ring­bone, lines and scales are all a part of in­te­rior de­sign,” she said. “I took that and ap­plied it to my art.”

Her art­work has been de­scribed by art en­thu­si­asts as “semi-ab­stract re­al­ism” – an ab­stracted im­age that is still close enough to the orig­i­nal im­age that a viewer can see parts of it and rec­og­nize what it is.

Although she loves us­ing all medi­ums, she re­ceived her first award with her wa­ter­col­ors.

Ac­cord­ing to Back­woods Art Gallery, God­sey is an elected mem­ber of the Knicker­bocker Artist of New York. Her work has been fea­tured in Amer­i­can Artist’s Wa­ter­color ‘90, Crazy Horse, a lit­er­ary mag­a­zine and the cover of the 1992 edi­tion of Poet’s Mar­ket. She also has es­tab­lished her­self on the na­tional wa­ter color cir­cuit of com­pe­ti­tions, win­ning nu­mer­ous first place awards and best in show awards from groups such as the San Fran­cisco Wa­ter­color So­ci­ety.

She once was in­vited by for­mer U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, who served from 2003-2015, to par­tic­i­pate in an ex­hibit called “Cel­e­brat­ing Arkansas Women Artists.”

Even in the dark times in her life, art has been her com­fort. God­sey was di­ag­nosed with a can­cer a lit­tle over two years ago and has un­der­gone sev­eral rounds of chemo­ther­apy.

“(Art) has kept me liv­ing,” she said. “Go­ing to de­sign­ing clin­ics, in­te­rior de­sign­ing, paint­ing and teach­ing has kept me on my feet.”

She has a rare form of stom­ach can­cer that has been proven to be hered­i­tary. Since God­sey’s di­ag­no­sis, sev­eral fam­ily mem­bers have been tested and found they were in early stages of the de­cease.

Through­out the di­ag­no­sis, God­sey has re­mained pos­i­tive and cred­its that to her work. She said she has no prob­lem bal­anc­ing her treat­ments and art as she has

been jug­gling both her in­te­rior de­sign ca­reer and art for years.

“When you are a free­lance de­signer, you have to be ready to go at the drop of a hat. That flex­i­bil­ity has kept me go­ing,” God­sey said.

God­sey’s di­ag­no­sis also has not dra­mat­i­cally changed her art.

“I have re­mained real pos­i­tive through this area in my life,” she said. “I love bright col­ors, that is what I am known for. Nor­mally in dark parts, the col­ors I use change, they deepen or be­come muted. It hasn’t phased me through can­cer.”

Con­trib­uted

Sugar Downs: Above is a wa­ter­color paint­ing called 'Sugar Downs,' that was cre­ated by Melinda Cameron-God­sey. It is a humer­ous print de­pict­ing South­ern horse rac­ing.

News-times/Ha­ley Smith

A painted war­rior: An art dis­play will be set up in honor of Melinda Cameron-God­sey on Thurs­day at Back­woods Art and Frame. It will be a cel­e­bra­tion of the life she has lead and the art she has cre­ated. God­sey was di­ag­nosed with a rare stom­ach can­cer over two years ago.

Con­trib­uted

Pro­gres­sion: 'Pro­gres­sion' is a wa­ter­color cre­ated by Melinda Cameron-God­sey. It is a per­fect ex­am­ple of her 'semi-ab­stract re­al­ism' style. Prints of this piece can be or­dered through Back­woods Art and Frame.

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