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!

Through the Eyes of a Child

My sculptured frames on mirrors or chair or as part of paintings are really a fusion of painting and sculpture. I believe that they defy categorization.

I use rare finds and eclectic troves from our collective past – toy dinosaurs and soldiers, collected shells from seaside family vacations and the silk flowers from grandma’s house. I use retro toys and keepsakes from our childhood memory box, things that your parents and mine put aside because they meant something to us when we were kids.

These small treasures are meticulously pulled together in a kind of arranged marriage that hopefully evokes in us those safe, reassuring memories of our childhood. When these sculptures follow the contours of a mirror, I am hoping that it evokes in us or forces us to reflect on those forgotten emotions.

To see more sculptures, please visit my Fine Art Gallery and my Studio Store!

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.