Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Beginning and The End

Actually I write this at the beginning of 2016 when I meant to write it at the end of 2015. But the years meld so well together these days, its not going matter!

"Cicada Landscape" 61 x 152 cm acrylic, January 2015

2015 for me was a memorable year. It held for me the death of a friend, the birth of a niece and the wedding of a daughter. I thank God for His unending grace and His myriad blessings.

I have been very fortunate & successful in continuing my arts practice, with many group shows, sales & teaching gigs. Although I told myself to take a rest and have no solo shows, I took on no less than 3 duet shows, which are probably just as busy as solos! I also had works travel to Italy for a group show in Rome. Seventy-two assorted paintings drawings and prints created

As well as a continued great relationship with my galleries, I joined with 2 more. - Paper Pear gallery in Wagga Wagga, and Manyung Gallery in Melbourne. And all the galleries I am involved with have blessed me with sales. It is interesting to note that in a time when many galleries have closed down, and artists haved needed to move on to use self promoting websites, I have come to rely on the "bricks & mortar" businesses that have endured.

I took on a temporary title - President of the Ferry Artists Gallery. This is a community run gallery in Wisemans Ferry - a great and talented group of people. I personally think that the rest of the committee does the real work, and I just swan in and make the occasional speech, but I am honored that they want me to help out.

Another honor - and this is a personal milestone - was to be elevated to Associate at the Royal Art Society of NSW. I even get to put letters at the end of my name!

In 2016 I am available as a tutor in Acrylics at The Art School, Royal Art Society, Lavender Bay - Wednesdays. Term 1 starts 25 January for 10 weeks.
To book a place please call or email, 9955 5752. During the holiday break you can contact me for details if you like.

So, here's to a brilliant year ahead! I wish you health, good fortune and joy.

Mellissa Read-Devine ARAS

"Breathing Space" 92 x 167cm acrylic,  December 2015

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

A Change is as Good as a Holiday

October was a long month for me, so in direct contrast, November whizzed by and is now gone!

I also feel like I finally succumbed to the post exhibition fugue that Ive been avoiding for sometime. But its been recuperative of sorts, the unfinished paintings and prints have been waiting patiently for me as I played with clay, gardened and started to clean out several years worth of household detritus.

 Here is a glimpse into a fab weekend I had at the Hawkesbury Community Arts Workshop. - Clay sculpture with esteemed artist Alan Somerville.

We started with coil rolling in order to build up a structure that could be manipulated into our desired piece. There were a couple of Jack Russell terriers, naked torsos, the head of a bull, an eagle, a scottie dog - a wonderful eclectic mix .

I decided to embark upon a childlike statue that embodied an emotion like joy or bliss, you know, that thing you feel as you put your hand on your chest and sigh-smile to yourself.

I really enjoy clay sculpture - yet another artform that I wish to pursue, but one has to be wise....I suppose.....but I do have nearly a full bag of clay left....


 I avidly checked out Facebook last weekend looking for glimpses of an exhibition that I was not able to attend, it being in Rome Italy.

 I sent 3 paintings over for "The Kangaroos Visit" at the Palazzo Velli Expo. Looks like a great show, and I am very thankful for the organisers whose vision and hard work caused it to happen.

The 3 unframed paintings having a great time without me in Rome.

Portrait Day at the workshop last week with the lovely Kate. I am planning to work on the portrait some more (acrylic) in the future.

Visited an exhibition at Purple Noon Gallery  "Tjirntu tjarrpanguru tjirntu pakalakuta: from sunset to sunrise (from us to you)'. A collection of contemporary pieces from the art community of Papulankutja in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands in WA. I got carried away with the glorious colour and design and I treated myself to a small piece (pictured to the left of me).
Here I am with fellow artist Judy Brownlie.

 This weekend the Ferry Artists Gallery opens with it's Christmas Exhibition. All visitors at the opening will receive 10% off all purchases on the night.

 There is also an exhibition opening at the Royal Art Society " Deck The Walls" at Lavender Bay, opening on the Friday.

So December is now upon us, and I hope it brings everything wonderful to end your year well. I for one, look forward to finishing some paintings before I feel compelled to put up a Christmas Tree!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Can't Be Everywhere... But I Try

I must write that title on the fridge... Much better to think of what I am achieving that what I am unable to get round to.

Actually Ive had a great couple of weeks. Out of 3 events the other Friday night, I chose to go to the Opening of the Fisher's Ghost Art Award. What a great turn out - there wasnt enough room to hear the actual announcements so a PA system was set up - unfortunately the noise of the crowd was such I wasn't able to hear who won (obviously not me ;). A really good show and I recommend a visit to Campbelltown to see it. Click the link to see the list of winners.

While you are on the computer - have a look at another show that opened that night - The Eutick Memorial Still Life Award at The Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. Here is a link to the finalists. I missed the Balmain Art & Craft Show, the pictures I saw looked pretty fabulous.

The garden of sculptor Ulric Steiner

I went on the Arcadian Artists trail and enjoyed visiting every venue. I also managed to meet up with many artists who either were on the trail or in it.

I presided over a meeting for the Ferry Artists, and on the weekend I tutored a workshop on fabric printing with linoleum blocks. I'd forgotten how much fun that is and I would really like to get printing in earnest again.

Things I didnt do.. 
Unable to attend North Shore Craft Group's Meeting and will not be able to exhibit with them in a couple of weeks due to no time and no work available. I didnt get to Greg Hansell's Open Studio in Windsor , also wouldnt have minded going to an opening in Katoomba Gallery ONE88. Missed an opening at Breathing Colours with Peter Griffen and Denise Lithgow. Ajewellry party was had without me at Mette Haulrik's and I wont be able to attend every service with a visiting evangelist Pr Patrick Johnson at my beloved church Potters House Parramatta

Still managing to be super busy as usual - but I have finished some projects and worked on others as well.

Some works on the go

Also, there is one more week to see mine and Taryn Malzards Show at Sassafras Creek Kurrajong.
Hope you get to be creative this week!

Digital work, soon to be painted

Reworked portrait of artist Jenny Lloyd, Acrylic & Oil Pastel

Reworked plein air sketch. "Secret Nasturtiums" Mixed Media 17 x 22cm

Sunday, November 01, 2015

November No Way

Interactive scratching at Sassafras Creek Restaurant

Yep, the new month has taken me by surprise. there I was steadily working away, and the realization hits me that the year is on its last legs. Better make the best of it then!

The Opening of mine and Taryn Malzard's show at Sassafras Creek, Kurrajong, went well - some sales, lots of visitors and as it will still be on until end of November, I am confident in its success.

Made it to Portrait Day at Hawkesbury Community Arts Workshop. Tried to portray young Jasmine - as usual didn't finish the work.

Speaking of finishing work - I counted up the canvasses in the studio and I have EIGHTEEN to finish. And that doesn't count various print blocks drawn up ready for carving, and the portraits & plein air sketches I mean to work on. I challenge myself to get something done before I start anything new!

Coming up this week - 3 events that I have work in and want to go to but cant as they are all on at the same time.

Balmain Art & Craft Show

Fishers Ghost Art Award, Cambelltown Regional Gallery

Eutick Memorial Still Life Award, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery

Have a lovely November!

"Black Tie"
Scraperboard etching

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

No More Teenagers

Princess #2 turned 20 the other day. No more teenagers in the house. Just a husband, the usual dogs cats and visiting wildlife, and some young woman that I can lend money to on a regular basis..

I dont think I feel older. Probably in denial.

Anyway, a marvelous couple of weeks. Won a First Prize in the acrylic section at Parramatta Art Awards. The first art society (CPAS) I joined, when I arrived in Sydney in 1999, and the 2nd oldest Art Society in Australia apparently.

"Territory" with that artist Mellissa Read-Devine

Taught a workshop for Castle Hill Art Society. Enjoyed the students and their work immensely. And they want me back, which tells me I must have done something right.

A couple of deliveries to coming shows:

St.Thomas Art & Craft Fair - on this weekend.


Ryde Art Show - opens this Friday.

"Brighter Memories"

And of course, madly working away in order to hang finished works at Sassafras Creek Restaurant Gallery on Friday. Opens this Sunday!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dancing About

Went to see The Russian Ballet at Panthers, Penrith the other night. I had a lovely time, sometimes transfixed by the glorious dance, interspersed by moments of painful memory (blisters, the acid tongue of the ballet teacher), and the amusing dialogue I had in my head on the story that is Swan Lake. At the end of the show (and interval) it was wonderful to see inspired little girls spinning around and showing everyone their steps. I still remember some - maybe I should have joined them!
I think this is me right now..

With Steph at Paper Pear, Wagga Wagga
Just for a change, I'll tell you that I've been busy....

Went to Melbourne and visited a few galleries.
Picked up old work from TUSK, visited MANYUNG (all 3 galleries), met Steph at PAPERPEAR and had an impromptu visit to Bridget McDonnell Gallery.
I delivered mine and other peoples paintings.
I drove to Portsea and tried to remember what it looked like when my beloved was at Officer Cadet School.
A very full but very nice 5 days.

Outside The Schaller Studio, Art Series Hotel, Bendigo

Back to Sydney and there was an exhibition - "Identify" which was a very nice show, but I was too weary to stay for the opening.
Penelope Oates and I took down our show from GAFFA. Not a success monetarily, but brilliant nonetheless.
Found out I am finalist both in EMSLA and FISHERS GHOST ART PRIZE. I look forward to seeing the rest of the finalists - having the opening night on the same night will be a bit tricky. - Coffs Harbour to Campbelltown is a little far (about 6.5 hours drive).
Took my painting to Club Marconi for the Kangaroos show (we are a group of artists that will be exhibiting in Rome next month).
Demonstrated for Kur-Ring-Gai Art Society
Visited an exhibition at Breathing Colours - the latest works of the vibrant Kristine Ballard
Setup, worked at and packed down the North Shore Craft Group show at the Wildflower Gardens.
Thats not bad for 3 weeks huh.

NSCG Contemporary Craft, and look! one of my paintings

Coming up is a joint show with Taryn Malzard "The Knife's EdgeSassafras Creek Restaurant & Gallery, Kurrajong. Opening is on Sunday 25 October 3-5pm. Im not quite ready....

Scraperboard Etching


Friday, September 11, 2015

Exhibition Mode

Have been a bit preoccupied with getting ready for the coming show opening next week. Also a busy few weeks after that so I thought I'd better dash off an entry before I head to the studio. Right now I'm having a coffee in bed - my only free time this week as I I have been attending church conference in between busy days at the office. I have no room to stretch out my legs because the dogs have come in and taken over 

Coming up is "Mergence", a collaboration between mixed media expressionist Penelope Oates and myself, opening at Gaffa Gallery in Sydney this coming Thursday night. I'm looking forward to a great show - a kaleidoscope of colour, texture and brushstroke. Also, Gaffa have 4 other galleries opening that night so should be a great mix.

I'm still trying to navigate how to use the blogger app so bear with me...

Thursday, August 20, 2015


I am quickly writing this blog before a big weekend  - The Hawkesbury Artists and Artisans Trail are having their Open Studio Weekend - (for the next 2 weekends). I wont be opening my studio as it is just out of the area - but I am "moving in" to the studio of Taryn Malzard over at Grose Wold. I am looking forward to it - lots of people to talk to, lovely arts and crafts and the weather is particularly glorious at the moment... (mind you we did buy tank water yesterday so that might jinx it and cause rain!).

The ladies in my family all went to see the musical "Matilda" at the Lyric Theatre Sydney last week. It was fabulous. I wasnt sure what to expect - not usually a fan of lots of children (that I dont know) dancing about (must still be affected by my early years of ballet etc.), but these performers were FANTASTIC. I particularly loved the choreography and the writing. The adult actors were pretty good too.

My fabulous daughters enhancing the poster

The Ferry Artists Gallery opened their exhibition last Saturday - Really nicely put together show. I wore my newly purchased Black Milk pencil print leggings to celebrate the occasion. And then they asked me to open the exhibition. I obliged. I felt suitably colourful enough to perform for the occasion.

I used to be very shy - you get older and you stop caring, that s what my mother always said.
After that performance shot - here is one without me in it - I gave a painting demo for The Friends Art Group in Ryde. I took a quick pic from the back - Im always amazed at how much better everything looks from far away.

Another fabulous show - "A Brush with Japan" at the Gosford Regional Gallery. As a member of the Australian Society for Miniature Art (NSW) I was able to have a couple of pieces on the wall. If you are in/near Gosford, I recommend a visit to that lovely gallery - and the exhibition of Peter Smeeth's portraits are marvelous.
At Gosford Regional. My two teeny weeny pieces.

I have managed some paintings - the most recent one being of teabags. Yes, teabags - all used and squeezed and dried up. My mother Patricia Devine saves them for her wonderful mixed media works. Ive been threatening to paint her little bowl of dead bags for ages now. Finally achieved.

"The Collection" 30 cm square

"Protected" 61 x 76cm

Studio shot of "Omniscience" 76 x 183cm

Now, back to the coming weekend. I am a bit spoilt being represented at 3 venues:

Purple Noon Gallery - Now serving coffee and cake on the weekends so you can pop in and be refreshed!

Little River Art Studios - Fabulous venue for workshops. You can visit and see demos, artwork, and just enjoy the bucolic atmosphere situated next to the Grose River.

The Old Schoolhouse - The studio of Taryn Malzard. I will be here too! Both in artwork and in person. I will be painting one of my landscapes as an informal demonstration.Wayne Wagstaff, blacksmith with be there also, demonstrating his skills.

And there are many other venues to visit - here is the trail map. Check out the website for more details.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

In the Pink

Didnt even comb my hair for the photo
First of all, I have pink highlights in my hair. Makes for a good heading don't you think ....HORRIBLE PUN, eek.

A couple of paintings this week - I really have to get organised for a coming show in September.

"Looking For a Sword" Acrylic 76cm square

"Palisade" 76cm square acrylic

I'm off tonight to do a painting demonstration for Castle Hill Art Society. Took me most of last night to decide what I was going to paint - not too simple, not too hard (I need time, privacy and a tremendous amount of tea for challenges). I may change my mind at the last minute.

Coming up:

"A Brush With Japan"Australian Society of Miniature Art (NSW) will be having a show at The Gosford Regional Gallery - opens this Saturday.

"Abstract Express" at The Ferry Artists Gallery opening Saturday 15th August.