1 of 2
2 of 2
Storm Chaser; Melissa Whiteman
Melissa Whiteman: Storm Chaser
by Hannah Kiddoo
For most, lightning is a fleeting event; it strikes fast and disappears. For St. Charles artist Melissa Whiteman, however, it stays close at mind until she recreates it on canvas. Melissa has been painting for 13 years, and her work captures storms.
“When people are running for cover from storms, I’m running to see them,” she says.
It took a long time for Melissa to master her craft. As a self-taught artist, she worked her way through graphite pencil, pastels, and acrylic paint before discovering oil paint as her dream medium. As far as inspiration goes, Melissa began painting by imitating what she saw in photos taken during storms. Now, she is able to create scenes from visualizations of weather in her mind.
“I get a lot of my inspiration to paint from just watching the clouds,” she says.
“I love to stand in the middle of a field when a storm is rolling in. I love the smells, the sounds.”
Melissa’s paintings capture storms in a variety of settings. Because storms are a universal occurrence, her images range from lightning on the St. Louis riverfront to tornadoes striking in a small town to far away tropical storms where she depicts lightning reflecting in the ocean.
Melissa’s goal is to recreate the storms as realistically as possible.
“I like to try and make people wonder if they’re looking at a photo or not.”