Mel McCuddin - 2017 Exhibition


The Art Spirit Gallery is thrilled to showcase over forty new works by well-loved figurative oil painter Mel McCuddin of Millwood, Washington.

Opening Reception:  October 13 from 5-8pm in conjunction with ArtWalk sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Arts and Culture Alliance.

Artist Demonstration:  October 14 from 11am – 1pm at The Art Spirit Gallery.

Show Sponsor: Fine Brewed.  We thank them for their support of the arts in our community.

Fall Gallery Hours:  Tuesday through Saturday 9 - 6

About the Artist

French poet Charles Baudelaire once observed that the “beautiful is always bizarre.” The legion of Mel McCuddin fans couldn’t have said it any better.

The growing popularity of the 85-year-old artist from tiny Millwood, Washington comes from his instantly recognizable “figurative expressionist” oil paintings that depict offbeat scenes in distinctive muted bruised hues.

In the World of McCuddin…

A tiny cowpoke rides a huge hog like a rodeo bull.  A large blue woman bathers in a birdbath.  Dogs and farm animals gaze from the canvas through human eyes.  McCuddin’s playful and comic expressions showcase the human condition in all of its relatable farce and folly.

“There is a special buzz about Mel,” said Blair Williams, the owner of The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where McCuddin’s latest creations will be on exhibit from Oct. 13 through Nov. 4.  Prolific despite his years, over 40 new “McCuddins” (an endearing term many of his fans use) will be on display.  McCuddin found a warm home at The Art Spirit Gallery beginning in 1997, when the gallery first opened its doors and began to regularly show his paintings.  “People from around the country make a pilgrimage here to view and purchase his paintings,” Williams continued. “Mel’s unique loose style and engaging compositions draw people in. They are crazy about his work.”

In contrast, the soft-spoken former dairy deliveryman harbors not a whisper of the weirdness seen on his canvases.  Some “do think of my art as being a bit dark,” McCuddin conceded, “but I’m not that way at all.  It comes from the paint.”  A McCuddin is never premeditated.  Rather, the subject matter emerges slowly through a process of applying coats of paint in a variety of colors with brushes, cloths, and even hands.  McCuddin would use his feet if he thought it would advance the artistic outcome.  “I begin a painting with no idea in mind, and at a certain point in the process of putting paint on the canvas, and idea will suggest itself,” he once explained.  “Many of these ideas change and many are rejected until one seems strong enough to accept.  My paintings, then, are essentially a record of the evolution of an idea.”