The artist Melanie T. Pettersen states, "the creative process involves more than inspiration from a few sketches, I involve myself with alot of background research, which then influences the subject matter, how it is created and presented".
To give you insight as to those sources, here she shares research she has been undertaking. You can also follow her for updates on Instagram @melanietpettersenartist
TOUR OF EGYPT
Little did I know, that when I made a sketch back in 2016, that it would lead me to descend into tombs to view wall paintings, cross the sandy desert plains to see monuments, climbing the steps of temples to enter holy inner chambers, or scramble along the edge of rock faces looking for petroglyphs. Well to my surprise that is exactly what I did and needed to do, to learn and experience the context of the artwork I am creating, to see for myself the monuments and artwork of the Ancient Egyptians. The trip in December 2022, guided by Salah Sholok, commentary by Dr Campbell Price and organised by Ancient World Tours, took 14 days to 3 major cities and numerous locations, a feast of an adventure.
Cario: The Giza plateau for the pyramids and the Sphinx; Old Cairo; the Citadel of Saladin; Hanging Church; Coptic Museum; Mosque of Ibn Tulun; The Gayer Anderson House; National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation and the Ancient City of Fustat.
Saqqara: Step Pyramid of Djoser and Pyramid of Unas; Old Kingdom Mastabas; New Kingdom Tombs and the Serapeum.
Luxor: Colossi of Memnon and the Mortuary temple of Amenhotep III; Valley of the Kings for the tombs of Ramses II, Set II and Merenptah; The Ramesseum the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses II; Luxor Temple; at Katnak for the Temple of Amun, Pylons, Great Hypostyle Hall, The Sanctuary and the Sacred Lake; Luxor Museum; at Deir el Medina the village and tombs of the artisans and workmen, the Great Pit and Ptolemaic Temple; at Deir el Bahri the Temple of Hatshepsut.
Edfu: Temple of Horus
El Kab: The Ancient city of Nekheb tombs,
Aswan: Island of Philae and the Temple of Isis; Unfinished Obelisk; Qubbet el Hawa and the tombs of the Nobels; Sehel Island for the Famine Stella; Nubia Museum.
Nubia: AbuSimbel with the Great Temple of Ramesses II and the Small Temple of Nefertari.
The Egyptian Exploration Society EES, founded in 1882 by Amelia B. Edwards. Based in London, England. The society offers a range of online courses which I have taken advantage of over the past couple of years, and highly recommend.
April 2021 Egyptian Art through the Ages with Jennifer Turner
Jan 2022 Foundation Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs with Charlotte Jordan
The Golden Mummies of Egypt by Dr Campbell Price
It was the mummy Ta-sheri-ankh that caught my interest at an exhibition, 'Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology' at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff back in 2016, I did a quick sketch of her wesekh collar, it was not until during lockdown of 2020 I created a painting based on my sketch, I loved it so much I went searching for further images of this mummy. There began my introduction to Manchester Museum, Egypt and Sudan collection and it's charismatic Curator Dr Campbell Price. I followed Dr Price's live podcasts on Periscope answering questions from the public, of which I submitted, Why did the ancient Egyptians outline their paintings in black? Dr Campbell's answer, "the black was intentional, it doesn't compromise the magical functions of the paintings, it enhances them, it activates those paintings, activates the hieroglyphs", 7th January 2021. Dr Price's explaination really struck a cord with me and from then, I viewed these heiroglyphs in a new light.
So as soon as I was able to get my hands on a copy of his book, I had to wait until February 2021, I have been pouring over it ever since. It is a meaty read, I needed it predominatley for the spectacular images of Ta-sheri-ankh, in order to clarify colour and design for the pieces I was painting. Little did I know then, that I would follow Dr Price to the tombs of Egypt.
Myths & Legends of Ancient Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley
My husband spotted this book and bought it for me, so thank you to him. This handbag size book goes with me when I am travelling or filming, so I have some down time to just take it in. Joyce Tyldesley is a British Archaeologist and Egyptologist, and a lecturer in Egyptology at Manchester Museum. I really like the language that Joyce uses and a great introduction to unravel the characters and context of ancient Egypt. I am someone who likes to underline and make notes, so my scrawlings are all over her book, (sorry Dr Price your book is too much of a work of art to do that), and take digital notes of each page so I can have a quick glance when I want to refer back.
Manchester Museum, England
Dr Campbell Price the Curator of the Sudan and Egyptian Collection at Manchester Museum. From following Dr Price during lock down, I got to meet him on my tour of Egypt, and I find his way of delivery about speaking of Ancient Egypt very insightful and engaging.
Website Manchester Museum, I visited the Museum back in the summer of 2021, it is free to visit and set in a Victorian building opened in 1888, I loved the main hall with all the glass cabinets. I especially liked the preserved jakal, I instantly recognised it with the pointed ears and was surprised to see how small a dog it was.
Golden Mummies of Egypt Exhibition, YouTube GMofE Live, looking forward to visiting this exhibition in the summer, after following the building of the new exhibition hall and waiting for it to arrive in this country.
Instagram @egyptmcr following Dr Price's travels around the world and updates.
British Museum, London England
The British Museum, since 2019 has been undertaking the restoration of an Ancient Egyptian cartonnage coffin, orginating from Aswan in Egypt and acquired from Sherborne Castle. Finding this series particulalry informative, as to the construction of cartonnage, to add to my own knowledge in creating cartonnage to use as a painting surface.