Melson Unveils Red Lodge Christmas Stroll Painting

Alastair Baker
News Editor
Thursday, November 7, 2019
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Photo by Alastair Baker
Absarokee artist Michael Melson with this year’s Red Lodge Christmas Stroll painting, ‘Makin’ Tracks To Red Lodge.’

Absarokee painter Michael Melson unveiled this year’s Red Lodge Christmas Stroll poster at Phoenix Pearl Tea last Friday. 

Entitled ‘Makin’ Tracks To Red Lodge’ it depicts two travelers looking at a city in the distance at dusk and wondering if they are going to go there.

“I was inspired to create a painting that approached the subject away from traditional holiday imagery, aiming toward a more simple, uncomplicated idea and what I hoped would bring a strong emotional impact to the viewer,” said Melson. “My thoughts eventually settled on how our souls can leave those we cross paths with a lasting feeling that their lives are better for receiving the gift of our smile, a kind act, or an encouraging word.”

“The travelers in the painting pause with thoughts of a visit to a place they’ve never been, and with hopes of a warm seasonal welcome from new interactions in the town of Red Lodge during the Holidays. I imagine this has been a timeless story through many generations and a heartwarming wish to carry that spirit with us through the beautiful season of celebration,” he said.

“Red Lodge is one of those places that has that kind of spirit and people feel good about coming here,” said Melson.

The painting is oil on birch plywood. 

“I am so honored and humbled the Chamber choose me,” he said.

Melson worked in the promotional and marketing side of country music back in the 1990s working with art directors and pitching album cover concepts and campaigns. He has a Master of Fine Arts from Tennessee State.

There is a limited edition of 125 Giclee prints of the painting. The prints are the poster image only without type. They are $100 each and artist proofs are $125 each. There are also raffle tickets at $20 each for a chance to own the framed original art. Stroll posters are $10, posters signed by Melson are $20. Mugs are also available. Contact the Red Lodge Area Chamber at 446-1718 to purchase or for more information.