My Mural @ The Port of Montreal

This is my latest mural.

I’m painting “5 stories up” at the Old Port of Montreal. I chose black-on-black & gold for this piece.

The Port of Montreal is a port and transhipment point on the St. Lawrence River. It’s an international container port that services Toronto, Central Canada, the U.S. Midwest and the U.S. Northeast. It handles more than 2,000 ships and over 28 million tones of material per year. Montreal also welcomes cruise ships.

The Port of Montreal originated in the historic area now known as the Old Port of Montreal and over the years expanded eastward.  In 1978, the Port of Montreal ceded the area of the Old Port to the Old Port Corporation, a public corporation responsible for developing tourism and recreational activities in the area. The site is now a cultural gem and a major tourist attraction. It has  museums, restaurants, shops and water-related activities.

My Birds up Close

People know my work best for my dramatic, large-scale paintings and murals of photorealistic birds. It’s a passion that I have had since childhood. However, it would be wrong to consider me a naturalist or wildlife artist. When I do a painting of a bird, I am not aiming for realism. I am trying to capture not only their image but the stillness of their souls. That stillness is meant to inspire reflection for those of us whose lives are in constant movement.

Visualization is key for me.  It is a kind of zen process. I have to see the painting as a completely finished piece, in my mind.  I establish the subject, the layout, the colors and the size… I even sometimes see it hung in a particular setting or establishment. If it’s street art, then I visualize it as part of the whole environment and everything around it.

When I do a painting of birds, I always start with the eyes because I feel like they need to communicate to me. I need to be able to relate or communicate with the subject and then it morphs from that point on. Because the bird is a single theme for me, I always put a plain background in a solid colour. I really want to emphasize the bird. I want its true character to shine through.

Birds have long been strong symbols for aboriginal people throughout the world. The crane has represented longevity, the owl wisdom, the parrot word magic, the cardinal power and enthusiasm, the canary illumination and the crow prophecy. Birds have also been symbols of spiritual growth or transcendence and man’s striving to attain that goal. Their flight has symbolized our own journey of release, renunciation, atonement and compassion.

For me, birds have always symbolized freedom and our awareness of our own forever-fleeting present. I feel that my paintings of birds not only show us the beauty of the bird itself but are also telling us to enjoy each of life’s individual moments – “Carpe diem; seize the day!”

In the painting pictured above, “The Merkaba in Flight”, I painted a Black-Capped Chickadee in flight. Behind it is the Star or Double Tetrahedron, also called the Merkaba, perhaps the most astounding geometric and all encompassing of all designs in Sacred Geometry. In early Jewish Mysticism, it was a vehicle (Merkavah) by which Ezekiel ascended into heaven. In Ancient Egypt, this primal pattern was called the Mer-Ka-Ba (Mer or light, Ka or soul, and Ba the body or reality) or rotating light that would take the spirit and the body from one world into another.

I hope that it touches you in some way.

I painted the Merkaba also in the Montreal offices of Shopify. In this high-tech environment, the Merkaba now becomes a symbol for personal and business growth and transcendence to a higher level.

To see more birds, please visit my Fine Art Gallery and my Studio Store! See the Shopify Merkaba in Commissions.

The Crow Takes Centre Stage

Wall art, public art, urban art or street art has evolved! It started as an underground movement linked to the hip-hop culture. At one time, it may have been called illegal art, graffiti art and even wall therapy.

Now, it’s international festivals in many major cities (Montreal, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Dallas, Lima, Buenos Aires and more), with artists who have fine-arts degrees. Google’s Art Project has dedicated a web site to Street Art. When the festivals are over, they leave behind revitalized neighbourhoods, more tourism and increased access to art in an engaging, open-air museum.

I have created a number of large-scale, street-art creations on walls in both Montreal an Miami both individually and collaboratively.

In 2015, I was humbled to be chosen as one of only 10 Quebec artists to participate in Montreal’s Mural International Art Festival. Another 10 artists were international talents. St-Laurent Blvd. was closed between Sherbrooke Street and Mount Royal Avenue for a record 11 days, as artists produced their works.

I chose to paint The Crow. I’ve been fascinated by crows since I was a child. They’re often regarded as evil omens, messengers of prophecy or even birds of death — I was trying to take that all away so people could see how amazingly beautiful crows really are. Hopefully, by allowing The Crow’s beauty to shine in happy, positive light and color, all our childhood fears would fall by the wayside. Then people might not be so negative about crows.

Thousands of visitors, aided by a site map (3522 St. Dominique, Montreal), admired the progress of the wall-works. They walked on their own or as part of guided tours that included films as well as visits to market stalls and street art galleries. Many Montrealers were introduced to my work and became fans. They captured The Crow on their phones and cameras and tweeted or re-tweeted it, facebooked it, blogged it or instagramed it. Carle Bernier-Genest, well-known blogger on his site, “C’est toi ma Ville”, writes about the City of Montreal – its beauty, pleasures, diversity and future. He said,”Le Corbeau de Melissa Del Pinto (MURAL 2015) est un véritable bijou. Elle réussit à nous faire admirer cet oiseau, qui autrement nous laisse indifférent, sinon craintif. Une œuvre, qui réussit à nous faire sortir du ‘cadre’ social habituel, est une œuvre importante.”

Many people stopped by personally to tell me how much they admired my work. On June 14, 2015 Bono was one of them. Bono is the lead vocalist of the rock band U2 as well as a singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman and internationally-renowned philanthropist.

Mural 2

Please visit my Street Art Gallery to see more!

“Fattal” Attraction

The Chromatic Festival was conceived as an annual Montréal arts party/festival designed to showcase art and artists. It organizes special events and takes art out of traditional spaces and introduces it into places that one might not expect.

In the summer of 2015, part of the Festival was held in Saint Henri area, near the Fattal lofts. The lofts are home to a variety of Montreal artists, many of those within the punk community and others hoping to preserve an alternative lifestyle.

I was invited to do a mural. Unfortunately, the festival organizers had not cleared the painting-over of the wall that was assigned to me. So, when I started prepping for my artwork, some people were understandably upset. Understandably, some local residents saw me as not respecting the art of the graffiti artist. The unwritten rule of graffiti artists is not to touch or vandalize public artwork.

I went ahead with my art piece and completed my Montreal Pigeon, a bird that is the standard in all major cities. The pigeon is in flight, raising the hopes, dreams and spirits of the Fattal community.

Sharing the Space

I noticed, a few months later, that the graffiti art had partly made its way back to the bottom of the wall. I am ok with that. The unknown graffiti artist repainted his art but also respected my pigeon. I see it as sharing the wall-space.

 

Please see more pictures by visiting my Street-Art Gallery.

Art Basel Miami 2012

Since 1970, Art Basel has highlighted great international art in Basel, Hong Kong and Miami where leading galleries show significant work of established and emerging stars. It is the most prestigious art show in the Americas.

In 2012, 65,000 people attended Art Basel in Miami, where I exhibited artwork at the Déja vu Decor Gallery as well as at the grand opening of the Del Toro Shoe Boutique, located in The Wynwood Building.

De Toro makes great footwear that also looks great. In just a few years, it established itself as the place to go for unique footwear that you won’t find anywhere else. If you go, you may see people from the fashion industry, athletes and actors. The store in the Wynwood Building was their first brick-and-mortar shop. It had gallery-like space to display the shoes but also large-scale paintings from local artists Evoca1, Hoxxoh, and GG.

The Del Toro exdeltoro2012hibit was crazy fun. Del Toro commissioned over thirty local and international artists, including Curtis Kulig, En Masse and Alec Monopoly, to express their art on Del Toro signature shoes.

They displayed each shoe as an “installation” during their grand opening event. In the end, there were some beautiful shoe designs created. Can you guess which shoe was my submission?

Please visit my Exhibitions page to see a video of the Del Toro event.

Judith Liegeois Designs & Gallery

Some pieces from my WANDERLUST collection are available at the Judith Liegeois Designs & Gallery at 363 12th Ave S. in Naples, Florida.

Judith Liegeois Designs offers design consulting services including space planning, lighting, color study, fabrics, upholstery, home styling and furniture design.

Judith and her team are masterful at helping anyone use natural decorations, artistic one-of-a-kind pieces, patterned pillows and accenting them with various tints and shades of blues and greens  to transform your home into a coastal retreat.

www.judithliegeoisdesigns.com

Judith Liegeois Designs & Gallery is located at 363 12th Ave S, Naples, Florida

Phone: +1 239-430-6811

My Studio My Art

Artists’ studios are as varied as their art but they are always sacred places dedicated to creating. The studio can be a rented space, a back yard, a movable location that changes from time to time, a location under a willow by the pond, a corner room or a corner of the bedroom or – my re-purposed solarium.

I am lucky that my studio is in my home. Once my other life’s work is under control, I retreat to my studio, a re-purposed solarium, to execute my art. It’s my sanctuary where I can lose myself in my work.

It’s a light-filled space that brightens up my soul. All my supplies are close at hand. I have a place to hang up my inspirations and Carmen Rizzo’s electronic music to listen to.

I don’t have the luxury of time – or peace and quiet for that matter, so meditation for inspiration is not how it “comes to me” as it may for most artists!

Visualization is key for me. Before I begin a painting, I have to see it as a completely finished piece in my mind. I have established the subject, the layout, the colors and the size… I even sometimes see it hung in a particular setting or establishment. My visualization happens while I’m busy doing everyday mundane stuff. Then, when I can, I retreat to my studio.

I know it doesn’t sound very rock and roll, spiritual or romantically poetic – but it’s real.

To see more of my art, please visit my Fine Art Gallery . To buy my art, please visit my Studio Store.