She has developed an effective synthesis of abstract and representational elements in her works. This gives the works an intensity and raw graphic power to behold.
~Wayne Thiebaud, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Davis
The surfaces of Chandon’s paintings make her traditional subject matter seem contemporary. Yet, these same surfaces, along with Chandon’s moody colors, evoke a sense of melancholy and mystery, serving as hazy veils that cloud our memory.
~Scott A. Shields, Ph.D., Chief Curator, Crocker Art Museum
Melissa Chandon’s oil paintings are rendered with a passionate physical language that evokes a deep feeling of isolation and loneliness amidst the welcoming Sacramento Valley air. The intentional use of negative space via shape and shadow create an aura of solitude and privacy to which the viewer is slowly drawn into the environment. These compressed landscapes suggest a place where our most interpersonal memories dwell, and reinforce the seclusion necessary to reflect upon this feeling. The flatness of the space requires the need to hesitate just on the surface to echo upon the intimate setting. As in Road 31, the warm glow from the golden field draws the viewer closer, allowing for deep contemplation while the dark shadow in the foreground requires one to pause prior to facing the desperate remoteness of emotional aloneness.
Chandon’s representation of the conventional mid-20th century automobile and farm equipment reflect her traditional deserted landscape where a feeling of isolation persists. These vanishing subjects of beloved rural society bolster a need to ponder the past and create a personal connection with this rare slice of Americana. The deep shadows amongst the warm valley sky illuminate the lone utilitarian subject, and draw the viewer in for further consideration and personal recollections.
~Jemima J. Harr, Museum Director-Curator, Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California