Melton R. Guthrie is a self taught artist currently living in the middle of a quintessential Texas ranch in the middle of a quintessential Texas county in, you guessed it, essentially the central portion of the state. The son of a football coach and a first grade teacher, Melton learned at an early age that he could “win friends and influence people” through his artwork as he was the “new kid” at seven different schools in four different states. (Football coaches are always looking towards the next “goal”) His first print issue came during the sixth grade in the form of a Xeroxed copy of a psychedelic rendition that could be colored by classmates as the teacher lectured. Issue price was $0.02ea. and needless to say, the release made him outrageously popular with the teaching staff! Unfortunately because “Only dead artists can make a living at it” his art career was put on hold as he obtained a BBA in Business after four years at the University of Texas at Austin. The subsequent four years spent in the rat race that was the Houston real estate market convinced Melton that the rats were winning and he decided to yield to his calling as an artist. 1989 saw the completion of his 3600 square foot home and studio patterned after a 19th century hotel, designed and constructed almost entirely by the artist and the football coach. By 1994 he finally discovered what was allowing the “little people” to invade his home and once again put his career on hiatus but the course has been corrected and the smell of linseed oil once again permeates the studio. Although time heals all wounds and age brings new perspectives, they have a saying in Texas that somehow just seems appropriate…”That boy just aint right in the head” 🙂
Any artist worth cutting the hair off a small animal to make a paintbrush for is driven to his craft with a definite purpose in mind. For some this takes on worldly proportions as they seek to change their world in some way through the portrayal of certain subjects. For others, theirs is to portray something beautiful to enhance the feeling of the room where the artwork is located. Strangely enough, the artwork of Melton R. Guthrie strives to attain neither goal specifically, yet as he labors to make an intensely visceral connection with the viewer he often inadvertently attains each of these goals. You WILL have a reaction to his work. It’s mere presence is the catalyst for conversation and since 88% of the time the subject is humorous, the resultant laughter can lower the stress level in an entire roomful of people. As each of these folks tell their friends and family about the paintings, the stress level of entire city blocks can be affected. See what I mean about worldly proportions? Suffice it to say that the years this artist has spent observing his fellow man have not been wasted in the paint!