Artist of the moment……Melinda Hackett….

Melinda Hackett is known for her paintings which remind the viewer of advertising layouts and graphics design from the 1960s and 1970s. Even though as a child I grew up in the eighties, I loved visiting grandma’s house as a young boy and spending hundreds of hours making my own cards and posters using the Spirograph.

This was an artistic set for beginners to craft great abstract shapes using various plastic pieces into great works of art. The patterns were repititous yet different, a great lesson for anyone wanting to become a better artist. Remember Andy Wyeth thought of himself as looking at the world in a very abstract way. I would say he just looked at objects with a very close eye for detail. For example he would find the pattern in very small minute details of the individual hairs making up a butterfly’s wing.

The Spirograph game  was sold starting in 1965 and was designed by a British artist. The shapes created were something that new to the viewing public and were called hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. The former is made by making a roulette on the inside of the circle. The epitrochoid is made by using a roulette on the outside of the circle.

Below is a commercial for Spirograph from 1973. Even beginning artists like myself were able to make fun and exciting biomorphic shapes.

A short clip featuring Melinda Hackett talking about her art with a show called Culture Catch!

Here is a clip from a show given for the artist in April 2008 in New York city.

Melinda Hackett was born in New York city in the year 1961. For her collegiate studies she attended Hobart William Smith in Geneva, New York earning a bachelors of art degree. Hackett went on to graduate school at Parons School of Design in New York city.

When looking at Hackett’s artwork I am reminded of the great illustrator Charley Harper. Harper had a great knack for capturing animals (mainly birds) and reptiles with very simple shapes. The  work below is a painting titled “Waterdrop” made by Charley Harper. Harper was a lead illustrator for the Ford magazine but was also able to supplement his magazine earnings by selling prints of his very unique style. Harper had a great eye for making fun shapes and repeating patterns.


Another artist that comes to mind when viewing Hackett’s art is Yasmine Esfandiary. She comes from Iran and also a great eye for making fun and exciting patterns for the eye. Below is an great example of Esfandiary’s style of art. The shapes are pure eye candy! And the color!


A link to Melinda Hackett’s website:

Price range information: None available.

Melinda Hackett lives and works out of New York city.
Hackett works in both oils and watercolors. For painting supports she works with canvas and paper. Her works are very large in scale with smaller sides measuring at least forty inches and larger sides measuring up to 70 inches!

I think everyone should have at least one abstract piece of art in their collection. Just to sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee, and look at the fun shapes and color on the canvas. With a great abstract artist such as Hackett, the viewer can look for hours at a time and never be bored!


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