September WAVE Artist’s’ Studio Tour!!!!

One of the reasons why we chose moving to the Interlake over other areas is because of the very large and talented art community here.  The exceptional opportunity to participate in the WAVE, which is the Interlake Artists’ Studio Tour was a huge drawing card for me.  With plans in mind to have my own dedicated studio where I could work and teach as well as be part of the WAVE, we began the process to begin a new stage of our lives here in Sandy Hook.  It’s been a very busy summer working hard and furious to get everything done and it has been quite a challenge both physically, emotionally and timewise.  The interior of our home is almost complete, the screened-in room while not finished on the inside is up and usable and believe me, we use it every day and it has been quietly nick-named “Chez Mellway”, as we try to enjoy all our meals out there.  Today my son Kevin of KevBo Drywall is here doing the final sanding and once that’s done, I can get in there and paint and begin to move in furniture and shelving etc.  My husband Chris has been working day and night to get things ready and today he is working on the pathway to my studio and it looks fantastic.  It’s all coming together but there’s lots to do yet.  I hope that if you’re reading this and you’re able to come out on September 2-3,  we’ll be happy to see you for sure!!  I’m #18 on the tour at 64 Nicklaus Drive on the golf course in Sandy Hook.  I’m looking forward to my first WAVE and seeing many of you out here.

Home Sweet Home….

One of the pieces I’m working off and on at is this abandoned birdhouse.  In the forested lot next to our house this early spring, the sun was streaming through the bare aspen trees and I spotted an old bird house nailed to a tree.  The sun hitting the front of the house and places on the trees really caught my eye as I love seeing images of dappled sunlight through trees and flowers.  Anyway, I took the picture and later decided to recreate it with CP.  The bare aspens are but a backdrop for the house and foreground tree.  Getting all the little lines and dashes of bird poop and spots of decay are really challenging to say the least to get it to look realistic but it’s coming along.  Lots more of course to do and I’m pretty sure I will be deepening a lot of the values yet and to create more contrast but this is it so far.



I’ve been been working on 3 or 4 pieces at a time over the past month or so.  One of them is a study I was doing as a demo for a few shows I’ve been at.  It’s of a purple Iris and when I think of the colour purple I think of Royalty so I named it that.  This is an 8.5 x 11 on Bristol Vellum using mostly Faber Castell Polychromos and a few Prismas.  This one is a very labour intensive piece because there are so many subtle colour changes and it also goes from warm to cool colours so I’ve been using a full range of purples, pinks and blues working in many layers to achieve the subtlety I’m looking for.  The colour is off as the background is actually white but you get the idea.  I’ve left my drawing strong as most of the colour is quite dark so the pencil lines will not show.  I started by mapping out very lightly and one petal at a time, areas of strong pink or blue so as I worked around them or towards them I would not lose my placement and also to create that underpainting that will glow through the other layers.  Remember that CP is translucent and anything you put in first will come through to some degree so if for example you have a petal that is largely purple but with more of a pink hue to it, laying in an appropriate colour of pink first will although that essence to show through.  Conversely if the purple petal is more blue putting an appropriate colour of blue down first will achieve the same result.  Someone asked me the other day, “How do you know which colour to lay down first?”  The answer is that if the local colour of the area you are working is in this case for example – purple with pink undertones, then you want to have your predominant colour on top allowing the pink of the underpainting to shine through and enhance the purple.  If you were working with a bright red for example but it had a real warm orange feel to it you might use an appropriate yellow underneath to enhance and warm up the red just in the area you need.  This iris is going to take awhile as I’m working on it in between more important projects but I thought I’d post my progress so far.  Any questions, please feel free to comment.


Published in the Professional Artist…

Recently some of my works have been published in the Professional Artist magazine.

Those works are the “Woodstork”,  the “White Lily Trio”, and “Cock a Doodle Dandy”.  I’m very pleased to have been accepted for this publication.  Here’s the link if you want to check it out:

“Woodstork” 16 x 20 Coloured Pencil

“Cock a Doodle Dandy” Coloured Pencil 11 x 14 on Bristol Vellum

“White Lilies”Coloured Pencil 11 x 14 on Bristol Vellum

Competitions are great for the ego….

While my computer was out of service, I received notice that two of my pieces received an Honorable Mention and a Special Merit Award in the “Animals” category through the Light, Space & Time Gallery so I was unable to post this till today.  There were 674 entries from over 20 countries around the world.  The two works chosen were “Cock a Doodle Dandy”/Honorable Mention and “Wood Stork”/Special Merit.  Entering competitions does not always pay out in terms of cash or product but the media representation as well as just the confirmation that your work is worthy and you’re on the right track is of immense value.

“Cock a Doodle Dandy” Coloured Pencil 11 x 14 on Bristol Vellum

“Woodstork” 16 x 20 Coloured Pencil


In addition, today I received notice from Anne Kulhberg’s CP magazine that they would also like to feature my piece “Cock a Doodle Dandy” in their magazine so it looks like it is definitely the Year of the Rooster.

Hanging at Mona Lisa Restaurant!!

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to meet & share some laughs with three very talented artists, Sonja Strausz, Barbara Stafford McCluskey and Talia Keyton.  We were all at Mona Lisa restaurant and Barb and Talia were just taking their work down for this month and Sonja and I were hanging ours up.  It’s a fabulous restaurant that really appreciates the art community.  For every piece of art sold there, 10% goes to the Forum Art Institute to support young artists.  What a great way to give back to the city!  Bravo Mona Lisa and thank you Giuliana for all your help!!  Here’s a few of my pieces that will be hanging in the conference room for the month of May.  If you’re getting hungry drop in and savour some of the delicious food they serve and browse through the art work.  All the art is for sale by the way!!


“Tulip Trio” 8 x 10 Coloured Pencil on Black Artagain

“White Lilies” Coloured Pencil 11 x 14 on Bristol Vellum

4th Place Winner in the International Contemporary Art Competition – “Shasta Daisy” 8.5 x 11 Colored Pencil on Bristol Vellum

WAVE Brochure Launch!!!

Well yesterday we officially kicked off the Interlake WAVE with the 2017 brochure.  If you’ve never been it’s a wonderful tour of the artists and their spaces in the Interlake region.  Held each year in June and September, the artists of the WAVE open their homes and/or studios to the public so they can get close up glimpse of where and how they work at their masterful art.  Most of their work will be for sale so bring your shopping list!!  There are sculptors, makers of incredible jewelry, potters, stain glass artisans, painters in many media and styles and much more.  As my studio is currently under construction I will not be in the tour this June but will be raring to go in September.  I’m #18 on the tour with directions in the new brochure so don’t hesitate to come out both in June and September and be sure to look me up.

Studio is now underway…..

Yesterday the guys from Ace Tree Service came and took down 7 trees, five giant spruce, one ornamental fruit tree and one gigantic Ontario Maple.  Wow what a difference!  All that beautiful light now coming across our yard and into our home.  This wasn’t a decision made lightly however.  The spruce trees were coming through the foundation of the house along with the Maple and they had spruce bark beetle so they were dying.  The fruit tree had Fire Blight so it had to go.  The giant maple while very beautiful blocked all the light from the yard and the roots simply killed all the grass and any hope of having any so we made the choice to remove them.  The yard had not been maintained in any way shape or form for over a decade, probably two and really needed some serious attention, so over the next year or so we’re going to “spruce” it up and make it an attractive place once again. The second picture by the way is just a portion of one tree, the maple.  It was about 3 feet in diameter so that big portion you see, we’re going to get creative and maybe make some raw tables with it.  Thank you so much John and Tanner!

Today the guys showed up to start work on my dedicated studio.  The big picture window that we took out of the front of the house has now gone in to the detached garage (my studio)on the north side.  Lots and lots of beautiful north light!  I’m so excited!!  Next trip they will be putting a good size window on the west side of the studio.  This is where most of my work area will be.  Once that’s in, then we insulate, install electrical and do drywall.  I’ll post the work in progress as it happens.  Can hardly wait to get in and set things up!!


Portrait of Aaron finished….

I have a lot to do to get prepared for the annual Springtide show in two weeks so I was very motivated to get this finished before then.  Worked on it today to get it completed.  I’ll get it in next week for framing.  Funny thing though, I mentioned that he looked so much like Che Guivera, the famous revolutionary and today when I was finished I went into town to pick up a few groceries and this man comes walking toward me wearing none other, than a Che Guivera shirt!!  So I stopped to chat with him and told me how it was like seeing my grandson on his shirt.  What are the odds!!  Anyway, here’s the finished piece (my photography).



Portrait of my Grandson…

So the last few days I’ve been working on a portrait of my oldest grandson, Aaron.  He’s such a handsome young man.  When he lets his locks grow out everyone says he looks like Che Guivera who was an Argentinian Marxist revolutionary.  I’m just about done, just his hat, his t-shirt and some little tweaks here and there.





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