“The true beauty of humans lies in their barred vulnerability and characteristic flaws.” -Melanie Norris

Image: Melanie Norris' portrait: Monsters

Source: Monsters courtesy of Melanie Norris (copyright Melanie Norris)

Today on Ever Widening Circles (EWC), we’re taking a look at the creations from the hands of North Carolina artist, Melanie Norris. She has a unique approach to her subjects — getting to know their true being beforehand through conversation and observation so that she can paint them in their proper light.

Here’s an excerpt from her artist’s statement on her website explaining a little more of her process (you can read more if you visit the website, it’s beautifully written):

“I seek to show how a body isn’t an existence, but simply a vessel. Physical looks and material things are superfluous signifiers of our life. They are easy to understand and define, therefore the materials often replace the true person. I pare down environment and objects from my compositions, leaving a bare being.” 1

Let’s hear her in this short video created by Brass Brothers Film titled Beauty….

Melanie Norris paints not only a face that’s been worn for an entire lifetime, but truly aims to capture the essence of the true being behind it. This is such a beautiful way to see the people around you, and to acknowledge that who we are isn’t just skin deep!

8 minutes

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What if we were more attuned to noting how the people around us move, how they laugh, when they are quiet, the way they pause before speaking, react to what we say, the moments their attention is brought elsewhere, and how they stiffen in situations they’re uncomfortable in?

If we do this, it’s easy to be reminded that in every single one of us there’s something amazing, something beautiful, an entire life that isn’t visible on the surface with one glance. If we take that moment to truly notice the people around us we may be surprised at what we can find, and how easily connections can be made.

Let’s get humans connected again!

Keep yourself open to new possibilities and happiness will stay nearby!


You know what’s really beautiful?

That you’re here right now, looking for and appreciating the reasons that our world is still an amazing place to be! Whether this was your first article or you’ve been with us for awhile now, thank you for joining us!

You can find more amazing artists by clicking the button below!

Art on EWC

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  1. Norris, Melanie. “About.” Melanie Norris. Melanie Norris, n.d. Web. 17 July 2017. <http://www.melanienorrispainter.com/bio/>.
  2. “Beauty.” Vimeo. Jesse Brass, 12 June 2013. Web. 14 May 2018. <https://vimeo.com/68208871>.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.