Project Description

Melinda Littlejohn


To draw you must close your eyes and sing.
― Pablo Picasso

Melinda Littlejohn was raised on quarter horse ranches in New Mexico and Northern Oklahoma. Surrounded at an early age by the artists and writers who frequented her maternal family’s home, the Taos Inn, she naturally gravitated to a career as a fine art painter and sculptor.

Her Aunt, Helen Martin, founded the historic Taos Inn and was one of the first early day woman artists. Helen, along with her husband, Dr. T.P. “Doc” Martin, hosted the inaugural meeting of a group of taos painters–including Bert Geer Phillips, Eanger Irving Couse and Joseph Henry Sharp–and thus the Taos Society of Artists was born in their home.

As a young child Melinda sketched and painted with the various fine artists that frequented the salon of Helen, as well as that of her mother, a well-known art collector and patron of the five historical Taos Museums.

Melinda spent her childhood summers painting and showing five-gated Saddlebreds and Quarter Horses on the western show circuit. She studied sculpture in Paris after

attending Interlochen Arts Academy in Traverse City, Michigan. After developing an interest in animation and film graphics she graduated from California Institute of Arts (Cal Arts) with a degree in film and the fine arts. Melinda moved to her home in Malibu, CA began working in the animation film industry, and raised her family.

In 2010 she moved back to New Mexico in order to paint full time in her Taos studio

“I try to make my work whisper, not shout,” says the artist, who routinely paints at night by candlelight. “I’m looking for poetry in commonplace objects and quiet arrangements.”

Maria Littlejohn, Taos, New Mexico Artist