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""Sunday at the Pub"

Painted for Joe Byrne's

of Byrne's Irish Pub, 

Bath, Maine

for St. Patrick's Day '18 as a Thank you for supporting so much of our theatre endeavors and hosting many an after rehearsal and show celebration

I was born in Montreal in ’64 and grew up in a lively city filled with the vibration of street artists, music, theatre, dance and many diverse galleries.   As children, we were encouraged to explore all expressions of the arts and there was always plenty of supplies made available for visual and kinetic stimuli.  I studied classical ballet and voice.  As a teenager I came to the cross roads between pursuing visual arts and/or music/movement and pursued the latter.  I became an accomplished singer which awarded me travel throughout Canada/U.S. and abroad with many recording and performance opportunities.  In my late 20's I moved to the United States and earned teaching certificates in the areas of dance and movement therapy and have been a practitioner of yoga and meditation for 30+ years. 

 

Over the years, I developed and maintained my intense interest in the visual arts and was part of the creative and production teams in several large ad agencies.  I continued to improve my own skills through experimentation and self-study. I learned a lot about composition, light and tone from my husband at the time who was a skilled black and white commercial and art photographer.  When I lived and worked in the Berkshires I found myself exposed to an even wider palette of New England artists while constantly being surrounded by the picturesque scenery of the Berkshires.  I was drawn to aspects of color, emotion, collisions and expressions of inner journey. It was while working and living in the Berkshires that I met my wonderful current husband.

 

In 2001, we started our new life together and moved to my husband's native state of Maine.  I took weekly evening courses in drawing and learned about color for five years under the tutelage of local Maine artist and mentor Kathy Boldt who teaches at The Maine College of Art.    I switched mediums to acrylics and have participated in painting courses with the wonderful painter Sarah Greenier at her Studio in Bath.  This provided additional skills and confidence towards an anticipated transition to oil painting.    I enjoy the slower process of oils as compared to acrylics.  I learn from doing and my commitment since September 2016 has been to paint something every day.    I continue to draw as well, and am a member of a live model figurative drawing group that meets for 3 hours each week at a private studio.   I create and build my own frames, all of which I make by hand, custom designed for each painting. 

 

We live in the 'cool little city' of Bath, Maine and I am inspired by the beautiful natural surroundings of Maine as well as the wonderful city grit that Bath offers. I am drawn to paint many subjects but it is often not the subject itself but the play of light, intersections, collisions, relationships, and intense color that captivates me in this on-going yearning to paint and create on canvas.   Painting keeps me present and happy and I appreciate the discipline of going back again and again to the canvas.

 

My work sells privately, via web-site and connections in the US, Canada and Europe, at The Chocolate Church Arts Center Gallery in Bath and The Yarmouth Art Festival.  Two paintings recently sold in an auction to support an historic building.  8 paintings at a solo showing for the Bath Art Walk  2017  at The Patten Free Library and I have sold several other works at many fund-raising auctions for various non-profit organizations and events in our local community.  I also just finished a solo show as part of a series I am creating called  'Hue-Maine': paintings of people in my community.   This latest being "Diva Awakening" - A Portrait series of 37 women.   I sold all of the paintings and was able to contribute money to the development of the teen center at the library.   I have completed many commission pieces and look forward to continuing my journey as a visual artist and painter.  During the winter 2018 I had works on exhibit at The Crooker Gallery in Topsham Maine and at The Chocolate Church Arts Center Gallery for the Members show 2018. (Feb. and March)  and have continued to show throughout 2019.    Currently, I am working on two series.  One is for the Bath Art Walk 2019 which will be a group of large paintings of the city I love.  The second series that I am currently creating is part of my "Hue-Maine" group paintings, called "Re-cognize-me"  which will exhibit in 2021, details to follow.   

My family and I are all very involved and share a love of the stage and theatre.  I act and sing and have created many production posters, costumed several shows, created props, painted sets, as well as stage managed alongside my husband, who is a local community director. Both of our children attend a high school for the performing arts.  My husband and I are founding members of Shakespeare on the Kennebec since 2013 with the aim to offer at least one Shakespeare play per year.   For the past three years we have been in partnership with The Chocolate Church Arts Center. As you can imagine all of this helps to fuel our creativity as a family!

 

In terms of awards, well, I did win an award once when I was only five yrs. old aboard The Rotterdam Ship while travelling from Canada to England with my mother.   It was an art competition and albeit, the competition may have emphasized quantity over quality, as I had completed over five drawings as compared to the one drawing for each of the children next to me.   I was very excited and was awarded a very cute stuffed panda bear.   I share this little story because the true award I received that day, which was really quite huge, was the experience of being totally immersed in the moment and loving it.  This has remained my continued inspiration and discipline and what I hope my art can convey, this sense of immersion and being present.

 

Memberships include

Associate Member of The American Women Artists 

https://americanwomenartists.org/

The Chocolate Church Art Gallery

https://www.chocolatechurcharts.org/

Bowdoin Chorus

https://www.bowdoin.edu/music/ensembles/chorus/index.html

 

If you are interested in purchasing a piece of my artwork, ask about a commission or would like to order a print(s)  please contact me via e-mail at:  melaniewilleycreates@gmail.com.   Prices are affordable and vary depending on size of painting, materials, framing and shipping. 

A few links to artists that I truly enjoy and learn from.

The Group of Seven , 

Charles Sovek ,

Kathy Boldt,

Sarah Greenier,

Emily Carr, 

Kellie Chasse,

Stacia's Paintings

Performance Art:

Shakespeare on the Kennebec

https://www.shakespeareonthekennebec.net/

Studio Theatre of Bath

The Chocolate Church Arts Center  Gallery and Performance Center

Resurgence Dance Company

Let Me Do The Talking, Tamara Lilly Voice Over Actor

Lynda Hurd Goodman, Photographer

Benjamin Williamson, Photographer

 

 

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