Melissa and Mercedes Baker grew up on a cattle ranch in the hills of Napa Valley, CA. Isolated from town and media, they spent their spare time drawing, writing, and turning old dusty hay barns into palaces of their imagination. They never stopped.
Their current studio, a 1920’s hay barn as described in “American Art Collector,” May 2015 is “ A 6 acre ranch in the sticks with hundred year old houses, trees, rusty cars, fields, a gypsy wagon, a river, and an abundance of talented artists. It's where community is luxury and creativity is treasure. So basically it's a mansion." - Domonique Ellermeir. At their studio, @ehlerssociety, they do productions, film, art shows, music, and stage sets.
Along the barn’s walls are oil paintings of the sisters. Both artists have distinctive styles, yet their work maintains a similarity in feel and attack. Though Melissa leans toward abstract and Mercedes representational, both toy with surrealism, expressionism, and abstraction. Their work comes from a place of spontaneity, idolizing the idea that painting comes from the subconscious and not the noisy opinionated mind. The Baker’s oil paintings have exhibited both nationally and abroad, in galleries, museums, universities and wineries.
Mercedes’ current work reflects the passage of time through a transparency of figures, buildings, and animals, layered to reflect her heritage. The idea that every person carries with them all that have come before, as well as, everything that directly and indirectly affects them. It is only a thin veil of perception that makes us feel alone.
Zach Shuster's comment of Melissa Baker’s current work states “Her abstract style ranges from a landscape like dream on canvas, to the visceral suggestion of bubbles foaming out of a rift in our very reality, to the dawn of time from deep beneath forgotten seas. The art that covers her studio walls evokes a grand journey through the inner and outer spaces of life, boiling and churning like some barely tamed cacophony. “