Thursday, August 31, 2006


Here are some pics of the day and my view kinda cool if you ask me.

me and gagnon

Here is an awsome pic of me and Francis Gagnon, my friend for Quebec who worked one of the venders stalls during the busker fest. Salut mon amis.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

nothings is lost

Nothing is lost if nothing is gone, from gain to lose from lovers to foes: if it is all good and on course than its all good and the ducks are in a row. Robin one of my best friends is leaving for Alberta tomorrow. Tonight was the night to say so long and I will see you again. The queen of all pirate whore's will be missed and never replaced. I shoveled snow with her, got hammered, cried and shared secrets, my sister I love you. My family. I bid you all the best of luck in your new life. I will cry on a laundry day with no one to share a coffee with.
here are some progress pics and a farewell bbq


I got an awsome email from the boat builder Wyatt. Who taugh and built a Westport Skiff with a class this summer before I moved into the boat house. Hi Wyatt, he sent me an inspiring and quite fitting verse that will carry me throught todays task of getting back into my groove.

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah,my foes, and oh, my friends-
It gives a lovely light!

"First Fig" by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am going to try and make a lovely light today. Here is some pics of his work.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

this full house

My bedroom has turned into a naptime/playroom/work studio. I have a two year old in the house, so I am brushing off my negotiation tactics and using them to the fullest. Holy kids are such manipulators and good at it too. I watch this kid be a clever girl then play the infant card to get attention. I look at her and say sorry that doesn't work and she stops and is a little disappointed but know I won't be played. All at the same time I am working on a painting for the first prize for the pro mens storm surf classic competion. I am feeling the pressure because I am cramped in a small space. Which is fine, I am just getting adjusted to how It will be like living in Toronto. I will be back on the waterfront tomorrow and hopefully back into my routine. I am feeling lost and scattered. I miss my girl. I had to put all my canvases up so they would not get damaged while the house is in chaos. here is my office and a few of my favorite things. most of it is work by other artist from around the world and here. I just started listening to a band called Le Tigre and I really like them they are part of my daily rotation.

Monday, August 28, 2006

down sized

I have moved my life into a room. I am going crazy not carving. I hopefully will be on the waterfront from tomorrow on straight throught till the 15th. I am very confident on finishing the carving on time. The hardest part will be coming up when I am doing her face and then all the detail. Here is a pic of my room and all the stuff in my apartment that has been moved into it. Now the great purge will begin. Getting rid of everything...blahhhh. Anyone want some porcelain sculptures of whale vertabrea.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

slow days

Saturday was the slowest day in all history at the farmers market. I have never seen it so dead before. I usually get my coffee at the fair trade booth near Tiffanies glasswear at around 8ish in the morning. Usually, there is a long line at Mary's Bread Basket and it was dead. That was a sign that it was going to be a slow day. I had made $4.00 by 11 am. I think that after the Busket fest a lot of people went on vacation for the last two weeks of summer. I predict this week and the next to be pretty slow. Now mind you frosh week is next week, But they tend to stay up town.
So while I was carving on the waterfront yesterday afternoon These two girls are scream on the waterfront to run and get out of the way. I was a bit startling, they were freaking out, then I figure out what they are yelling. "Everybody Run Zombies" and after them is a parade on emo's dresssed as Zombies dragging themselves in a zombie (not cool) parade. I felt sorry for them, it was hard to watch. The mermaid is coming along here are pics of my new space and some of the little lady. I finished her back tail and almost done her back so I am right on track. I have new roomates moving into my apartment this week and I am compacting my stuff from the whole apartment into one room. It is great to cleanse but it it hectic because I have so much on my plate. I think I am not working for the next two days so that I can get all my stuff organized and moved into my new room. I am losing hair with all this stress.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

day off

I took two days off and relaxed with my best friend Jackie who is in from Toronto. Yesterday we went Peggys Cove and Crystal Creasent Beach. The water was freezing. I went in but I was in pain. It was like all my muscles froze up. I don't like to swear too much but this experience called for it. Big hugs and thanks to the amazing Trevor for driving us around and hanging out with us. Okay, I am off to get my day started.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

my hands are small I know

This weekend was another long one. The busker fest turned out to be a great success. I hung out with the chalk master and had an awesome time. During the busker fest he was set up next to the museum boat shop. It was great to see such a talent artist work and draw these amazing pictures (master pieces). I am adding a pic of my favorite piece he did this week. The only thing that sucked was that he played the same music very loud for ten days. I heard promiscuous by nelly furtado about ten time a day, Thanks Dave for driving me nuts. Met a lot of really cool people an had some awesome organic Pad Thai and super booster juice drinks, yummy.
My best friend Jackie is in town for the week, so we are gonna have an great time together. Oh yah and I got robbed, some punk stole two of my prints yesterday. Well they are worthless to him because I only sign my work when someone buys a piece. I saw him do it and I know what he looks like to so, yah will see if I see him again. I'll ask him what it feels like to steal from a street artist.
I am moving out to the waterfront on Monday. It is going to be awesome to be more in the traffic again. The first bonus is I will be in the shade all day so I won't burn out. The second bonus is I can store my carving in the boat house so it will dry slower. During the time it has been in the boat shop it has not cracked once. I think carving on the waterfront and in the sun and storing it in the museum loading bay cause it to check and crack the way it had. The boat shop has water underneath it and is very humid and had allowed my carving to dry and cure more evenly. Also if it is raining I can still have a place to carve so I will have the carving done on time. Everything is coming along great here are some pics.

Friday, August 18, 2006

a soul

I am feeling her soul. I think I have love for her. I just think about her and her shape and her being/existence and what I created and all I can say is I love her. there is something about creating a body/shape and being out of material that has a profound natural essence of pure love and the purity of creation. This carving will be hard to part with, I have put so many hours and so much work into it. I don't think anyone really has appreciated the amount of work and passsion I have put into this piece. Everyday I see supporters of my journey as an artist and the pride they have in my progression and the understanding of my passion and it grounds me. Tomorrow and this weekend her other arm and fins. These pics are to show you her arms, her wrists and hands. Look at that cute pinky. her little finger.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

here is the article

A work in progress
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has artist-in-residence who’s carving a ship’s figurehead

Melissa Ryan is literally chipping away at her work; more specifically, a 250-pound piece of solid pine.

The petite woman stands in the boat house behind the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, working away with her mallet and razor-sharp chisel, transforming the chunk of wood into a mermaid-shaped ship’s figurehead.

Ryan, 32, who grew up in Halifax, studied sculpture and ceramics at Concordia University. She is also the first-ever artist in residence at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Jasmine Marshall, spokeswoman for the museum, said the project was an idea of Ryan’s.

"Melissa approached us with a proposal for a project, and given that she wanted to carve a figurehead, we kind of jumped at it, because first of all, it was a way of engaging the waterfront. She’s a local artist, so it’s a nice way of getting involved in our community. But most importantly, this is something that actually fits in with the interpretive mandate of the museum. It’s a part of stories of the sea, of marine heritage."

Marshall said at first it was a bit of a surprise when Ryan told the museum about her plan, because there has never been an artist on staff before.

"I’ve wanted to carve a figurehead for a ship for six years now," said Ryan, "I never approached the museum because I didn’t have the vision."

But that all changed earlier this summer when Ryan had a dream about the mermaid, woke up and called the museum.

She began work on the figurehead in early July and plans to finish up in mid-September.

Marshall said she has heard only positive feedback from the public on the project, but many people are surprised to see a diminutive woman hacking away at the hefty piece of wood.

"She’s shorter, and she’s sitting there hacking away with a big mallet and stuff, carving, so the image of it is just so interesting right off the bat," Marshall said. "The best is when she was first starting and she had the big chainsaw out to cut off the major pieces. That was pretty funny."

So far, the figurehead is still in its primary stages, with only its lower half carved into a distinct shape.

But by the time Ryan is finished, she says the mermaid will be about the size of a child and polished with wax to a glass-like finish. She will also have invested 700 hours in the project.

"It’s a slow process," said Ryan, "It’s like peeling an onion, except without the tears."

And it isn’t always fun.

Ryan recalled one day when the temperature was about 28 C, and she was working outside wearing Kevlar pants. That day, she said, she lost six pounds in sweat alone.

But Ryan said she enjoys seeing families come by the check on her progress, and doesn’t even mind answering the questions that are continually lobbed at her from passersby.

To make her project a bit more special and to keep in touch with family members in Quebec, Ryan decided to set up a blog to track her progress and post photos.

As the artist in residence, Ryan isn’t paid to work on the waterfront. Rather, she says the experience will help her five-year journey to change from the status of emerging artist to artist.

"It’s all part of building credibility as an artist, saying that you can invest in the fact that I will complete a show in your gallery," said Ryan.

While she has become a fixture on the waterfront this summer because of her mermaid project, Ryan is also a familiar face at the Farmer’s Market. She sets up a booth every weekend to sell her paintings and prints, ranging from her cartoonish character, Bombgurl, to vivid cityscapes.

Every day she sets up to work on the sculpture on the waterfront, Ryan lugs out bins of her canvases and framed prints and sets them up on the table, selling them throughout the day.

Art is now Ryan’s sole source of income. She went from working a fairly stable retail job to trying to support herself as an artist. And while the adjustment hasn’t been easy, Ryan is happy with her new lifestyle.

"I’m very relaxed and calm living a life of 100 per cent pure risk."

Ryan’s mermaid will be unveiled at the Harbourfront Festival on Sept. 15 and will then be auctioned off.


its all in the wrist

I found her wrist yesterday. It was exciting, I sometimes doupt myself and my talents as a carver. this piece has presented so many challenges. I am engaging with people all day and I am carving so my focus is not as cetred and all at the same time I am dealing with the major stressed of trying to make a living. A small living at that. So when I found the shape of her wrist it gave me a boost of confidence. I was in the paper yesterday with an awsome article and I was in color. I think that excited me the most. That I was in color.

I think you need to highlight the text of the site and copy and paste it on the web address box thingy
here is the link to my article tell me if it doesn't work.

Monday, August 14, 2006

need music

I am off this morning to buy an attachment for my ipod that will play music on any radio. I need some music in the boat house. mind you my taste of music is not that great and I tend to sing along and I can't hold a tune. A lot of people have metioned that. So yesterday I decided to take off a big chunk from the front. So I have the carving laying on the straps and like usual there is a croud of people in the boat house. On average there are 15 people in there. So someone says what are you doing. And it was a major chunk of the carving I am whacking off. It is a very aggressive move. And people are so surprised seeing a girl doing this. So I thought I would make a joke. I said " Oh no I am not the carver, he is in the bathroom, I just don't like him cause he won't return my calls." And I am wacking huge chunks off at the same time. Some people who saw my bio and pictures were laughing. Oh it was a hoot. The look of shock on some of the people faces. priceless.

slow sunday

It was slow but long day, I was open for 10 and a half hours and carved non stop for 7. I went into a zone. There were a lot of people but they were all on a strole. It was a good day for the ice cream venders. I am glad for the slowness, I was able to figure a lot out with the body. David Brooks came by to visit and I talked frank about the progress and the realities of the carving. A conversation I can only have with a fellow carver. He gave me a lot of confidence in the progression of my piece. here are some pics.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

great day

The farmers market was awsome it was busy and full of new people. I was so busy from the Buskers I had to stain frames while I was at the market and it worked to my advantage, pretty cool. I sold a painting to a person who is giving it as a wedding gift, that is very exciting. I love it when my work is given as a gift. The Chalk Master from Toronto is next to me outside of the boat house. Hello Hello Dave. Brilliant and talented artist beyond words. I just got in its past midinight and tomorrow is another killer. I had a full throttle drink, Like an energy drink, today when I thought I was getting tired and it made my heart go crazy. Not to sure I liked all that caffine. I don't think I will have that again. I'll have some pics tomorrow.

Friday, August 11, 2006


I rained this morning and it was a windy day. Inside of the boat house it was a little chilly I was craving a coffee to warm me up and I put a sign up to see what would happen. Too funny. This little kid just walked in and said ohh money and ripped it off and the mom was like lets go get her a coffee. The boy was so proud of himself, he told me he held the money the whole way to the coffee shop. absolutly adorable. The mom was like I was so happy to see that sign I have been trying to get them to walk to the Tim Hortons and they wanted to go the other way I was dying to get a coffee. haha. I closed the doors tonight t 10:30 pm. I am going right to bed then tomorrow will be killer. I have farmers market then the waterfront. wish me luck.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

first day of busker

Wow, thank dog I am in the boat house. It is chaos out on the waterfront, just a zoo. I am getting an excellent amount of traffic and since I am inside there is a invisible wall where when you enter the room a code of ethics comes into play. I am not getting the rude and joking comments that I got from passer bys as I did before outside. I am in a more professional environment so I see a little more respect. Basically people are better behaved. Kids are a little more shy and not as vocal, so I am not creating as much dialogue with kids as I did before. I miss that. The Amistad (pretent that is in italics) left today. I had a tear in my eye. I was sad to see it go. I think I will see it again. Good bye to Tod, I wish you all the best. Sorry there are no pics tonight my camera's batteries died I got new ones tonight at Staples. Oh and the staff at Staples laughed too hard at me tonight. They finally got my favorite paper in tonight and I sceamed. The floor manager Mike was like "I knew you would be happy when I saw them come in." Well really not eating as much as I should or as well as I should...Oh well...I am craving nectarines...someone bring me one. I closed up the shop tonight at 8pm so I could make it to Staples and I just finished working in my studio just now its 11:30. I am excited about this weekend it is going to be a Blast. I'll get some pics of the waterfront with all the tents up and all the people.
I did this painting/drawing for kicks a while back and I thought no one will like that. It was a pic of a cow with huge utters so it was like a vessel/cookie jar and it was called Nourisher. It is from an old celtic creation myth tale of the cow nourisher whose four teats pour milk or life which became the four rivers of the land in Ireland. As far as I can remember any one please correct me. Anyways people like the image and it is a strange feeling for me. I actually love it, but a lot of people out there think I have weird taste. So I put the image on a magnet and people like it. Tomorrow will be the first day I have ever matted the image and had it on display. It will be intersting what people think. Please don't drag my art to your desk top...that's stealing.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


So happy I could cry

Did 11 hours today. I am in the boat house, and it is awsome. My model came by today and helped in a big way. Thanks Elisa. The interview went well with the herald and the photo shoot, so will see how it all turns out. My fingers are crossed. I am finally putting up some pics of the carving, it is coming along. The cool things about the boat house are: it smells like wood in there and I am carving wood so it kinda goes well. Oh and it doesn't smell like the harbour, and I won't get rained on and I don't have to put my stuff away I just lock up at night. umm what else...well the environment is really cool and makes my art look more professional and there is lighting so I can work late. Tonight I closed up at 10pm. Oh there is so much more. I cleaned it up a lot today. I want it to look like and extention of the museum so that you can see all the boats and stuff in the environment and I want people to be able to walk in and enjoy the space. I think I am getting there. Since I am inside and it is cool a lot of people will be coming in to get out of the sun. I am just glad I am not in the sun anymore. From four oclock on I was always in the setting sun and it just tired me out. The sun drained me the most and made me a bit cranky. I don't feel as weathered right now and my art is not being blown away. Thanks to all the guys at the Museum "I love you all."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

need more time

It is twenty to one and I have a long day tomorrow and I am still not done all I need to do. I am going to bed and it has been a long one in the studio. I forgot to eat, again...oh well chug water.

rainy days are a blessing

Well I have beeen working nonstop since Friday and I am a zombie. From Saturday to Monday I think I put in 35 hours from the farmers market to the waterfront. I got up today and I had to take a nap after two paintings I had done. I was falling asleep in my cheast. I guess just exhaustion. I just attempted to restock my supplies, here is the frames I have stained so far. I am gong to do two more paintings tonight as well. I have been having weird images in my head and I am going to see if I can tap into them. The carving is progressing but not enough to take any photos yet, well not for me. I would like to say a big hello to Johnathan the fiddler from Montreal, your very charming. It was very entertaining to see all the girls falling all over you. Tomorrow the Cronicle Herald is coming down to the Museum and I am being inerviewed and having a photo shoot. The museum is very exciting and happy about all the good coverage we are getting. I am so excited for the next ten day I am moving into the boat house to do my carvings. It will have two huge boat doors open to the public and I will be less exposed to the elements. So rain or shine I am there...hmmmm...uh oh. Well anyway the busker feast is a mad house and I didn't want to be in the thick of it all. It would just be too exhausting. I am happy about the boat house because I can close the doors and go to the bathroom and not have to ask people to watch my stuff. well I am off to do more work.

Friday, August 04, 2006

rain yeah!!!!

After 10 days straight of working I am so happy to have a day off from the waterfront and work in my studio. Here is a pic of me in the local news paper, pretty cool. Well it looks like a sunny weekend so I am going to have a long night working. Here is a painting I did last night. My new color series is canary and lime.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Amistad America

There was a celebration tonight about the ship the Amistad America, it was great to see all the festivities and the gathering of a dream come true. A great speech was made linking the relationship between slavery and racism and within those terms there is great similarities and one had trancended from the other. In order to break this cycle we need to look into our history as a whole because we are all part of it we have a role in understanding and taking history into the front of society and reflecting on it. This is the way to truth, knowledge and awareness of how we interact as a whole. I worked in the teen center at the Community YMCA in Halifax on Gottingen street. It was a prodominately black cetre in a community that has had a history of fighting poverty, discrimination and racism. I was so proud to see two of the boys from the youth centre I worked at as members of the Amistad ship and sailed from the last port to here. Bravo to Shacaun on the right in red and Ryan on the far left. oh yah and I added a pic of me near the carving just to show you my new skirt...I love it...terrible pic of me but whatever.