Artist bio

Melissa Ruffino, originally from New Jersey, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting at Parsons School of Design. She also studied painting abroad in Florence, Italy. She was a juried member at the studio residency of Art Center/South Florida for 5 years, developing her work. Currently living in North Carolina developing a new body of work. Adapting to a very different environment from a city to a slower paced life has made her work grow in new ways.


Safe Haven

Artist Statement

My work is the journey of the unknown subconscious mind applied to the canvas. I find myself lost in the work through the process of escapism, not paying attention to time or even my surroundings. The pleasure, conflict, and fear of what I will discover about myself fuels me to evolve. I must discover more. I see the work as a window into nothing and everything. I am able to destroy the work and still make it precious. But above all else, the work must reveal beauty and darkness of the soul. When the world is asleep and the streets are quiet, I am free to create.

Through the development of specific technique, manipulating the paint through glazing and sanding and using contrasting colors and different surface textures, I create the chaotic but controlled atmosphere of dreams and memories. The sensual and organic spaces evoke these powerful messages. The nature of the work is an instinctual process that is intimate and personal, which is evident in the time and labor that constitutes the artistic process.

How it fits into contest

Safe Haven, represents the search for the good within myself and the armor I use to protect myself from evil. In the dark abstraction of the subconscious mind, I battle with my fears and doubts. I often forget that God is with me, guiding me to use my shield from self doubt. In his strength I use my paint and brushstrokes to paint the beauty of self reflection.


Melissa Ruffino

How to Purchase this Artwork

Type of work: a unique original
Purchase price: $1500

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