Welcome to my Blog. My adventure in 21st century. - Melanie Hickerson

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


I named this HOPE, I think. I'm not sure it is finished. It is (h)30" x 40". No, no! I got it from a poem I just read by the great Emily Dickenson! Update. MEMORY LIKE MELODY!

And now I've done another, 24" x 36" with Monarch butterflies and flat field areas. I need a name for this baby.
 And for this one MERMAID IN THE BASEMENT!  I know. No mermaids but it's a POEM! Visually speaking.

Monday, December 19, 2016


“Superfetation is the onset of a subsequent pregnancy during an ongoing pregnancy;…” Scientific American, April 27, 2011,  Khalil A. Cassimally

That’s mind boggling!

Anne Bynum in Arkansas had such a pregnancy in 2015. She is doing 6 years in prison. Long story.
She’s different, not “normal”. This is a nutty country we live in. I chose her case as my subject for the WOMEN UNDER SIEGE exhibit at Ceres. I painted the painting last spring, 2016, when I felt that my nation, the good ol’ USA, was really getting better. We were embracing human rights, equal treatment under the law. All sorts of promise! 

Now, the new leadership poised to take over in a month or so, looks like a blast from the past. Not in a good way. Xenophobia run amok. Isolation and bluster. Testosterone politics. Compassion need not apply.

Friday, December 16, 2016


The students finished up the semester with brilliant term projects!  Cliff painted his on a six foot by four foot canvas. I tried to talk him out of it saying this Life DRAWING!
 He labeled the bones with post-its but this photo is without the post-it notes.

 Leslie did a take off on a famous Toulouse-Latrec painting of Jane Avril.

Tori also did a painting since Cliff did one.

Tory sent me an image with the labels photoshopped onto the image.

Then there is Sydney's muscle study. Sydney also made a 9 minute Youtube video of her doing the 14 hours of drawing on this project. The music she used is new to me but I have heard that this is very popular music.

Here is her drawing.

Here is the link to her video.


Sunday, December 4, 2016


When Susan invited me to submit for this exhibit a year or so ago, there was hope that the exhibit would coincide with the inauguration of the first woman president of the USA.
This was my first version of the Anne Bynum story.

 Anne Bynum was a victim in a bastion of misogyny in a backward community in a reactionary state, Arkansas. She is serving six years in prison for her attempt to force a premature birth.

Once the nominations by the political parties were made, it seemed certain that this exhibit would expose the outliers in this great nation. It would be about travesties against women in the pockets of tyranny and ignorance in the fabric of our nation. With our first woman president and a more compassionate administration, real progress was possible to heal our society.

That has changed. The USA has elected a spoiled little white boy for President. Women are under siege anew. Racism is embraced by our president elect. The whole world is under threat. Hate and fear are the ruling force in the new USA administration. 


Friday, December 2, 2016


Women Under Siege: Its Happening Right Here
Curated by Susan Grabel
WINDS OS CHANGE by Melanie Hickerson

January 3-28, 2017
Opening reception: Thursday January 5, 2017 6-8 pm

Ceres Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition curated by artist Susan Grabel addressing the sexism and misogyny ­ contained in laws across the country being used against women. “It’s happening right here,” Grabel says, “in the exceptional USA, not just in Third World countries.”
Women are under siege from misguided legislatures and law enforcement agencies in many parts of the country.  Under the guise of protecting the fetus, women are being persecuted, forced to undergo unwanted and unwarranted medical procedures, confined against their will to hospitals, imprisoned for having miscarriages as well as for using substances while pregnant even if, like methadone, they are prescribed by a doctor. Women are being punished for the outcome of their pregnancies.  The potential life of a fetus is deemed more important than the life and well-being of the mother.
Women are also under siege from an antiquated criminal justice system that does not take into account the realities of domestic abuse and its impact over the course of time. Child abuse laws are being manipulated so that abused women are being punished because they couldn't protect their children and often given more jail time than their abusers. 
In Gallery I, Grabel chose the stories of 25 women whose circumstances illustrate these issues. She invited artists to acquaint themselves with a particular woman’s story and to create an artwork in response to it.  Participating artists:  Pauline Chernichaw,​​​  Loren Dann,  Anne Drager,  Everet, Phyllis Featherstone,  Susan Grabel, Melanie Hickerson,  Elizabeth Featherstone Hoff, Judith Hugentobler,  Mary Anne Kinsella,  Marilyn Kiss,  Helen Klebesadel,  Stephanie Kosinski,  Marjorie Kramer,  Tania Kravath,  Barbara Lubliner,  Lynne Mayocole,  Ann Marie McDonnell, Christine Mottau,  Denise Mumm, Perri Neri,  Ruth Bauer Neustadter,  Kristi Pfister, Rhoda Pierce,  Elizabeth Downer Riker.
Ceres’ 50% commission on all sales will be donated to National Advocates for Pregnant Women and The Women in Prison Project of the Correctional Association of New York.

In Gallery II, artist Francine Perlman presents an installation, Doors Open, Doors Close that speaks to the plight of women who have escaped domestic violence only to find themselves in shelters and often in poverty.  Doors, some open and some closed, are the main supporting and thematic element of the installation which incorporates collages and text made by women living in domestic violence shelters, during workshops given by the artist.

For more information please contact:
Stefany Benson, Director
Ceres Gallery, art@ceresgallery.org

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Riley made coasters and end tables from fallen trees. 

His designer end table from a magazine article.


I painted on some rejected slices of wood to make decorative objects. Hang them on a wall or on jewelry. I'm painting images of bugs, birds and flowers. Playing and practicing.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


 The recent presidential election reminded me of something I had read somewhere, sometime. Then browsing at the Library, I came across a book, DEAD-EYE DICK, by Kurt Vonnegut I had never read. I thought I had read everything he ever wrote. Got it, read it and Ah-ha! This is it! What just happened is described and explained by this prescient author with much needed humor and insight. I'm rereading a few of his books. It IS cheering, this dark humor.


Monday, November 21, 2016


Taking my 8 month old son for a walk in our overgrown yard, he opened a door of wonder that I had forgotten was there. I put in an endangered golden cheek warbler as an example of that wonder. When I create an image, it feels as if I go away. Artworks are constructed out of feeling and practice.

Zeitgeist is the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time. The USA has elected a man with the personality of a two year old. One of his campaign promises is to dismantle the environmental protections. An observer at an art festival pointed out the obvious. There is a resemblance in this painting to our current president elect and endangered species.