the art of Melinda Eliza
Melinda Eliza creates sacred paintings for modern, spiritual women. Her work connects the strength and wisdom of the divine feminine and serves to mirror the inner truth and courage of the viewer. Every painting is a creative act of devotion – her artwork is more than canvas and paint, for when each brush stroke is a prayer, a sacred light shines.
Melinda is best known for her colorful, modern, acrylic and mixed-media Goddess paintings. She travels widely, studying with creativity gurus, folk painters, craftspeople, and spiritual leaders the world over. With its emphasis on feminine power and joy, her artwork has been described as “a tender ritual and a powerful physical prayer reflecting the sacred feminine within us all.”
an interview with Melinda
how would you describe your art process?
I create with words, colors, light, and prayer for women who long for strong images of the divine feminine.
How do you pray while painting?
I weave ritual and intention into my process. I start by blessing each canvas and then by writing a prayer directly onto the canvas. I also create a small altar for each project. Each day, I start by praying – I continue my dialogue with the divine as I paint. This looks different on different days…sometimes I speak my prayers out loud and other days I paint in quiet contemplation. The best are the moments of artistic flow when I connect with the divine and channel that into my work. On those days, time flies.
How do you think this changes your finished artwork?
A finished piece has upwards of 30+ layers of paint, paper, ink, and prayer. I believe my art is more than just color on canvas…the completed artwork radiates a sacred energy that fills up the space it inhabits. I’ve had clients tell me my artwork brings joy to their home and work spaces. I consider such comments a measure of my success.
What religion are you?
I am a deeply spiritual person, but not a religious one. I have studied (and am fascinated by) religion and I have respect for the great diversity of thought and beliefs found around the world and through the ages. For me, somewhere at the core of all of those religions, beliefs, and myths is a divine truth.
What about the divine masculine?
My artwork focuses on the divine feminine in the hope of balancing the pervading images of the divine masculine. I do not discount the existence or need for the divine masculine, but I believe that Spirit takes more forms than just male. In fact, I believe there are aspects of the masculine and feminine in all humans. I am hoping for equity in representation.
What spiritual authority do you have to claim that you make spiritual art?
The words spiritual and authority suggest spiritual wisdom and power exist only in the hands of a few chosen, educated people. I reject this idea. I believe we are all spiritual beings and we each have our own spiritual wisdom, experience, and skills to share. That said, I have trained extensively on the path of Earth Medicine and I am well read in all the major world religions. I am a curious person who is constantly learning more about mythology and the history of human beliefs. To answer your question directly – I am a spiritual being creating spiritual art from a place of exploration, curiosity, and truth; I believe that’s all the spiritual authority I need.
You use images of Mary in a lot of your altars and artwork. If you are not Christian, can you explain the fascination with Mary?
I grew up Catholic. Mary was the first image of the divine feminine I knew and to whom I prayed. In college, I studied medieval literature, art, and history. I left the church and began to explore the concept of Spirit throughout all religions and throughout history. Mary was often the replacement for indigenous goddesses. In my own spiritual practice, she has come to represent the collective history of the divine feminine…all of those discarded and forgotten goddesses. To me, they all reside in her image.
What are your influences?
I am inspired by mythology, legend, folk art, and symbols. I’m strongly influenced by ancient sculpture, sacred art (especially medieval iconography), and Cubism. Honestly though – it’s the stories of inspiring women from around the world that motivate me to create art that celebrates the power, strength, and beauty of every woman.
What’s your favorite color?
This is the most difficult question so far! I love color and I believe it has the power to transform our moods and our living and work spaces. I use Venetian Gold, Hansa Yellow Light, Crimson, and Permanent Green in all my work and I’m really in love with Quinacridone Magenta, but if I had to choose one favorite color, it would be Pyrrolle Orange. Orange just makes me happy.
Some label your art as feminist art – would you agree?
Absolutely – yes. I consider myself to be a global feminist and I believe the artwork I create reflects this. I have a life-long passion for social justice; I served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in The Republic of Moldova where I taught English as a foreign language and worked with women trafficked into sexual slavery. A portion of my profits go to CARE.org to help sponsor young girls into leadership training.
Do you do commission pieces?
Where is your studio located?
I have an in-home studio in the American Midwest, in a small town just outside of Columbus, Ohio called Dublin.
How can interested collectors learn more about your art?
I send out a monthly e-mail which includes updates on new pieces, information about the divine feminine, and thoughts about living a vibrant and creative life. You can also peek into my studio through my Instagram account.
- Click here for a selected biography and a list of shows…
- Click here to read about Melinda’s near-death experience – it’s a story of creative resurrection and healing…
Because you’re still reading, here’s a bonus. This is Melinda’s favorite childhood portrait. She often still feels this full of wonder and joy – especially when she’s grooving in the studio.