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