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March-April 2009

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On the Job: Painter Melissa Whiteman

Melissa Whiteman is an artist in St. Louis, Missouri, who paints storms. She draws inspiration mainly from pictures and photographs and, most of all, the skies. Some of her work was featured in the January/February 2004 issue of Weatherwise, and additional pieces can be viewed at her Web site, We caught up with her recently to learn more about her work and creative process.

Can you tell me about your background?
I’ve been drawing all my life. I started painting about 12 years ago. I actually started painting astronomy stuff, and then it evolved into weather.

How did you first get into astronomy and then into weather?
I’ve always been fascinated with what’s going on in the sky. When people were running away from storms, I was running out to see them. I just always like to watch the clouds. That’s how I get inspired. So winter’s kind of bad, because I don’t really have any kind of inspiration. When the summertime rolls around, there’s clouds, and I’m pretty inspired. Sometimes I also like to take my own pictures.
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