- 19 Eden Lane, Bethel, Maine 04271
- melanietornberg @ twc.com
As a native of Maine, Melanie was constantly drawing and coloring on any available piece of paper, including, to the dismay of her teachers, her school assignments. Hearing about the art lessons for children offered by the Western Maine Art Group, her parents hoped to channel this creativity constructively and signed her up for lessons. She spent 8 years studying with the group, beginning under the tutelage of Lee Bean in the children’s class. Later, she transitioned into the adult classes taught by Lajos Matolcsy. Melanie learned the basics of oil and watercolor painting, staying with the group until graduating from high school. At Mr. Matolcsy’s suggestion, she entered the BFA program at the University of New Hampshire, where she studied with painters John Laurent and John Hatch. Her first job after graduating in 1982 was to serve as the Artist-in-Residence at UNH’s Creative Arts Dorm.
Making a living as an artist is hard, and Melanie was a small town girl with no interest in living in a big city. Settling down in Southern Maine after marrying her husband Anders and having two children, she went back to school and got a degree in biotechnology. With that degree, Melanie found a position in the research and development department at IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook, where she worked for over 20 years. She received two US Patents and helped develop many veterinary diagnostic products during her tenure at IDEXX.
During her scientific career, she continued to paint, exhibiting sporadically at the Dovekie Gallery in Portsmouth, Emporium Gallery and Framing in South Berwick and at the Heartwood College of Art in Kennebunk. She also volunteered as a docent at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art until moving back to Western Maine, where she was delighted to find the WMAG still going strong. She and her husband divide their time between their home in Bethel and their summer camp in Norway, both locations offering daily inspiration for her painting. Now painting primarily in oils, Melanie enjoys painting landscapes as well as more intimate views of the flowers, birds and other wildlife she is lucky enough to encounter here in Western Maine.