Henr​y Meloy

Henry Meloy

Henry Meloy was an artist of many talents who explored different artistic styles. Additionally, he was also a prolific author with numerous short stories and books published under his name.

Colin Patrick Henry Meloy is an American musician and writer best known as the lead vocalist of literate indie folk rock band The Decemberists. He plays various instruments including acoustic, 12-string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bouzouki and harmonica.

Early Life and Education

Colin Patrick Henry Meloy is an American musician, singer-songwriter, author, and the lead vocalist for Portland folk rock band The Decemberists in Oregon. He plays various instruments including acoustic, 12-string acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bouzouki and harmonica as well as writing books and composing music for film and television projects.

Born in Townsend, Montana and living for many years in New York City, he experimented with different artistic styles and studied techniques belonging to various modernist movements. His body of work provides a window into art history from both Montana and New York during this era.

As an artist of working-class roots, he displayed an eclectic range of artistic styles and experimented with numerous modernist philosophies. His journals and practice sketches demonstrate his systematic approach to understanding what made works successful with regard to composition, subject matter, line structure, shape, and color choices.

Professional Career

Henry Meloy’s father had anticipated him becoming an electrician or at least something more practical, yet Henry decided instead to pursue art and follow his heart. After enrolling at Chicago Art Institute and studying painting there for some time, Henry relocated to New York City where he studied painting with Robert Henri at National Academy of Design before finally studying with John Carroll at Art Students League.

Meloy accepted a teaching position at Columbia University and taught painting and drawing until his death in 1951. Additionally, during this time period he traveled to Montana in order to collaborate with his brother Peter on ceramic designs.

Meloy’s voice may not be technically proficient, yet he still manages to effortlessly perform both romantic ballads and gritty tales of drowning and murder with ease. Additionally, he’s adept on various instruments such as 12-string acoustic guitar, electric guitar banjo and bouzouki.

Achievement and Honors

Meloy began teaching painting and drawing at Columbia University in 1940. Together with his brother Peter, he designed ceramic chargers and vessels which now belong to the collection at Helena’s Holter Museum of Art.

His essays explored the paradoxical nature of American Southwest landscapes, contending that idyllic spaces often make up the sites of American human history’s most difficult episodes. Her best known work, Raven’s Exile: A Season on the Green River (Henry Holt & Co, 1994), chronicled her time spent there with her husband patrolling for Bureau of Land Management.

Maile Meloy, his sister, is a fiction writer for both The New Yorker and New York Times. Additionally, Meloy fronts indie folk rock band The Decemberists as lead guitarist (using 12-string acoustic, electric guitar and bouzouki).

Personal Life

Colin Patrick Henry Meloy is an American musician, singer-songwriter and author. He is best known as the lead vocalist of indie folk rock band The Decemberists; on stage he can be found playing an acoustic guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bouzouki and harmonica. Additionally he authored The Wildwood Chronicles series of illustrated novels for children.

Carl is married to Carson Ellis, an illustrator renowned for her children’s book illustrations. They share two children; Henry “Hank” Meloy and Milo Cannonball Meloy.

Maile Meloy, his sister, is an award-winning American fiction writer. Meloy lives in Montana where his home is filled with antiques he’s collected over time, as well as having a studio space where most of his writing takes place.

Net Worth

Meloy’s works, whether depicting nude figures, interpreting Asian designs or exploring abstraction, exuded mastery of medium as well as his unique vision. Modernism celebrated individual experimentation over representationalism – an art movement which encouraged artists to test both personal boundaries as well as those set forth by society and culture.

Meloy’s next move after graduating was Portland. Hoping to reach more listeners with his band’s whimsical songs featuring characters ranging from whale-swallow sailor and child ghost to whale-swallow swallow sailor and whale ghost, his gamble paid off when The Decemberists opened for Barack Obama in 2008 in front of 75,000 fans including him at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Meloy won over many hearts.

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