melana bontrager



I have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Taylor University in Indiana and have studied painting/drawing at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy and at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Additionally, I have a Master's degree in Art Therapy, which has encouraged an integration of emotion and intimacy in my creative process.



My materials play an important role in my creative process.  I work primarily on wood panel and start with black ink which offers definition, boundaries, and suggestions, and sets the stage for the incorporation of acrylic. I then add layers of color. Creating abstract art through color and simple organic forms I attempt to visually suggest a shift in perspective; an invitation to delve into a different way of seeing. 



I have always been drawn to layers in soil, patterns in rock, the visual interaction between natural objects. There is a soothing element in repetition, and an unsettling element in fragmentation; both exist simultaneously in nature. I am drawn to creating abstract landscapes as a representation of life. Life, also, holds many varying elements in tension. Seemingly conflicting emotions co-exist: our reality as human beings is never all-good or all-bad—rather we experience both in chorus. Love and loss, hope and pain are part of daily human existence.