An Introduction to Melinda Cootsona of Paint Happens

Melinda, Beckett and Toaster


I love oil paint. I love the gooey textures and the thick, rich colors, and, yes, the smell. Unlike watercolors, I can change any stroke at any time; the entire painting experience is dynamic.

I also love to teach painting. My desire is to inspire others to create, and find their own “voice” and vision in their art. I’m happy to share all that I have learned about painting, creating and the “business side” of the art world.

Melinda Lomax Cootsona is a native of Northern California. She attended the California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts) in Oakland where she received her BFA in Interior Architectural Design in 1981. She worked full-time in both the Interior and Graphic Design fields for over twelve years “from furniture systems to album covers.” She also taught design for two years at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, and now regularly teaches oil painting classes and workshops out of her studio in Menlo Park, CA.

Melinda’s work was originally influenced by the early California Impressionists, and particularly by the Northern California group called the Society of Six. She painted loose, vibrant landscapes, often in the “plein air” style, and learned about light and color and how to “bend the rules”, from observing nature, as well as workshops with Ted Goerschner, Jerry Turner and Leslie Rich.

Melinda’s work currently focuses on Abstracts and Abstract Figurative paintings, “after painting one too many Eucalyptus trees.” She is influenced by the Bay Area Figurative artists both past and present including William Rushton and Linda Christensen.

You can see more of Melinda’s work at her website:, and at The Studio Shop in Burlingame, CA,


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