Melanie Johnson uses drawing as a vehicle to construct stories and as a forum to exercise the physical process of combining the observed with the imagined. The large-scale work seeks to engage the viewer through space and scale and through the immediacy of recognizable and relatable subject matter. Each drawing is also a record of the history inherent in its own manifestation. In a very basic sense, it is a record of the act of looking, of touching, and of constructing meaning through relating one mark or image to another over a period—a physical testament to the passage of time and a series of visual decisions. Johnson is interested in the simultaneous read of an immediately recognizable image that asks the viewer to linger over a history and meaning that unfold more slowly.

Johnson received her MFA in Painting from Indiana University, and is Professor of Art at the University of Central Missouri. She lives with her son, two dogs, and two cats in Kansas City.