Thursday, January 25, 2007


Well than article had some major errors. I would like to apologize to The Canadian Forces,The Maritime Museum and the Abilities Foundation for these errors. I am appalled and very dissapointed in the article and asked for corrections to be published. First correction. It stated I am doing paintings FOR the Canadian Military. Wrong! I am doing a series of painting called Canadian Issue, I am painting the guns and vehicles currently issued to the Forces.
For example I just painted the COYOTE a LAV RECCE vehicle used by the Armour unit of the forces. I will not be painting the COUGAR vehicle because it is not being used anymore, the gun is not accurate and its a tin can. They call it a Pumpkin gun.
I was very clear on this project. It is not funded by anyone but myself and I am doing it as a body of work.
When I called the paper and complained to the editor the kept on asking me "but, For who?" Who are you painting it for?"
Let me make this clear. For me. I am doing a body of work for a show, for my own selfish creativity, because I want to. Why did I carve a mermaid in the summer, because I am an artist and it is what I do.
The reporter Joel Jacobson that interviewed me was at the fundraiser for the Abilities Foundation and asked to interview me as an artist. I said Okay. He knew very well my carving was separate from the unveiling. I asked him on the phone yesterday why he made it sound like my carving was the one for the Abilities. He said 'Oh I guess it looks that way, I was just trying to make a link between the Abilities and the Museum and yourself. He could have said this " During the unveiling Gala of the Abilities Foundations Figurehead Melissa Ryan put her wooden carving of a mermaid up for auction to raise funds for the foundation. She carved the mermaid last summer at The Maritime Museum as their Artist in Residence. She will return during the Tall Ships to paint one the Abilities foundation's Figureheads for the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. there are plenty more small errors but I wont get into it. I am very nervous about talking to reporters now and I wonder how much you read in the paper is correct.

Article in the Halifax Herald (Mail Star) Wed jan 24 2007

The business of being an artist

THE OOHS AND AAHS fill the room as the cover comes off a piece of art everyone has been waiting to see.
It’s Mai Lynn, a mermaid, carved from wood by artist Melissa Ryan.
Mai Lynn is a ship’s figurehead, the first of dozens that will be created as part of Guardians of the Sea, a public art project of the Abilities Foundation of Nova Scotia.
Two years ago, a foundation project titled Lobsters in the City created quite a buzz around Halifax as more than 30 fiberglass lobsters in different poses were sponsored by local businesses. The two- metre crustaceans were brightly painted by local artists and displayed on street fronts through the summer. Later they were auctioned at a gala dinner, completing a project that raised $ 200,000 for the foundation to support children and adults with physical disabilities in their pursuit of a better quality of life.
Mai Lynn’s image came to Melissa in a dream a year ago. “ She would haunt me," says Melissa, who was born and educated in Montreal. She lived in Halifax and was a street artist in the city for many years.
“ Most of my visions come early in the morning. I dreamed I was in a home that had massive paintings in gilded frames. The wealthy owner wanted a painting of a mermaid on a shoreline and I kept thinking of an old ship with a mermaid masthead.
My brain zoomed in and I saw details of the face and tail."
Melissa, now working on a major art project at Camp Gagetown in Oromocto, N. B., approached the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax and suggested she create the figurehead on its wharf as a way to attract people to the museum’s exhibits.
Melissa became the museum’s first artist- in- residence. Last summer, she created her mermaid from a 113- kilogram piece of pine.
The chipping and chiselling took three months, starting from the day she used a chainsaw to “ get her to the size I wanted. I guess my ability with the chainsaw is why Mai Lynn’s boobs are so small," Melissa laughs.
The 32- year- old artist has grandiose ideas and a head for marketing that, she says, many artists don’t have. She studied sculpture and ceramics at Concordia University and has sold her wares, including painting in acrylics, wood carving and sculpture in various media, on the street, in galleries, at markets and by word of mouth.
Melissa sips her coffee, her portfolio open in front of her. “ I always wanted to be a professional artist. I did my first sculpture when I was 16, Robo- Jesus, made of metal materials. It was the first time I used a rivet gun and I thought that was ambitious for that age. I started carving wood at 21."
A few years ago, Melissa was laid off from a job at at a furniture shop.
“ I took a business course at Henson College so I could better develop and shape my product and create some income consistency."
Even as an artist, she thought about an artists’ image, with a marketing bent. “ I always wore dresses when I worked on the museum’s wharf. There were a lot of people watching, and I felt working in a dress showed a level of professionalism."
She carefully chooses her words.
“ I’ve discovered you don’t have to be in a gallery. There’s a whole world out there. There’s an urban art community ( in late December, she wrapped up a successful three months working at Spadina and Queen in Toronto) but I don’t see my peers there. I’m out there every day but don’t see many others in my age group."
She says street sales provide an advantage. “ In Toronto, I talk to artists every day, find out what they’re doing, what materials they’re using, about how to make money.
You have to evolve in art. You can’t show the same things over and over, but must push the envelope of your creativity, and feel you have a sense of accomplishment. I guess everyone has a different way of approaching their career as an artist."
She’s settled at Gagetown now, probably until May, painting a show called Canadian Issue, based on military vehicles such as personnel and light armoured vehicles and silhouettes of soldiers with their vehicles.
“ Everyone here has been very co- operative in helping me get the visuals I need. Eventually, I’d like this display to be shown at the Canadian War Museum ( in Ottawa). Past military artists have worked on ships and other craft from earlier wars but there’s not a lot of documentation on vehicles."
After May? Back to Toronto’s streets, then to Halifax to work on another masthead for the museum and the Abilities Foundation during a tall ships event in July.
Melissa laughs. “ My mind is always going and I’ll always create, but when I grow up, I want to engage students on how different artists have approached their careers.
Bright Spot appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Be sure to read Great Kids in The Sunday Herald.
Contact Joel Jacobson via e- mail at jjacobson@, or fax at 426- 1158, or phone 902- 426- 0128.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Coyote Finished

Well that took some time. I just finished the coyote painting and it was draining. It turned out okay, I will probably do a few more paintings of that vehicle before winters end. Tomorrow I am starting some LAVIII vehicle paintings.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Snow Tanks

I got bored of painting the COYOTE so I made some snow tanks, hehehe.

Sharks and danger

Here part of the song 'Sharks and Danger' by Alexisonfire.
I'm sure this is all gonna sound really ridiculous and uh... I don't exactly expect anyone to believe all this. Uh... for the last little while I've been kinda keeping correspondance with my sanity, and uhh… I really get the feeling that I’m starting to lose interest in the letter writing process. The pieces of the letters, they just get progressively shorter and shorter until it’s not even a reply. I uhh... the whole thing makes me really nervous. I just wish I could show you what a huge problem this is.
well i am still working on the coyote, it is taking sometime. I'll put in another five hour In today. It's snowing pretty heave so I get to shovel yeah...wo.ho.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Coyote about

What is a coyote? It is a Light armoured vehicle and it can be used as a reconnaissance (LAV-Recce) it is used by the armour regiment in the canadian forces. The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association (Cavalry) comprised of 21 regular and reserve force units of the corps. One of the other vehicles is the Cougar. I will be doing the Cougar next.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I finished another C13 and I started on the Coyote (of course) I am playing with perspective on this piece and I made the thingy magigy on the top a little longer. Haha. Here is a pic of the work in progress. So I am trying to meet people in this town, which is kinda hard, for me. There is a book club meeting at the local Librabry so I am going to attend that and see what people are reading. I just finished Devil Wears Prada. Wow that book makes you want to crave a pair of Jimmy Choo. My comments on the book. It was only the span of a year so why didn't she put dates on the parts she was talking about like in the book Bridget Jones Diary. Sometime the next chapter was that afternoon or four months later. The author ended a relationship that I felt needed better closure. I wanted to know how Andy felt about Christian in the end. When he laughed at her curcumstances did that put her off. Did he stop calling her because she was no longer the assistant, does he bother all the assistants? Whatever, she was only 23, really young for a serious relations with Alex or to be responsible in her job. I thought it was a bad choice to leave Paris. Hello, if my best friend is going to do stupid things then I'll get there when I get there. I guess thats why I chose not to have stupid friends. When I think abut her job and tasks I wouldn't be so bitter about what she had to do. In my opinion if I am paying you I don't need to say please and thank you if your job is to run around and get me stuff. I am starting the book Eragon ( I know chessy.. but well written so far) whatever... leave me alone..I am sure some of you out there have read some crap. I am on the hunt for Carol Shields biography of Jane Austin.
So Trevor is in the field again this week...I am all alone for days..boohooo. not to mention today there was a wind chill warning of thats cold to be sleeping in a tent and being outside for days. brrrr.
The songs and bands I like this week are. "The Funeral" By Band of Horses, "Skin and Bones" by Foo Fighters, "In The Morning" by Junior Boys, "Ohio is for Lovers" by Hawthorn Heights, "I will follow you into the Dark" By Death Cab For Cutie
and the best of all "This could be anywhere in the world" by Alexisonfire (the best band ever)
'The line up seems endless underneath the salvation army sign....I stand in amazement I can't believe this is where I live'. that line reminds me of Montreal, Halifax and Toronto all in one. Okay on a final note the most amazing paint color is (drum roll please) Gold Green, heavy body, by Liquitex series 4 mmmmmm..purrrdy

Monday, January 15, 2007

One Down 44 to Go

Well here is the begining of the series. Today I am doing the smaller C13 painting and starting on a 48 by 16 canvas of troops running, I can describe whats in my head but you will see at some piont this week. yesterday was a curry night. I had fun deep frying the pappadums to go with the madras chicken curry and we watched a movie that my sister said was good "match point" the worst movie ever. I had to fastforward the last half hour just to get to the end. Just terrible, Woody Allen you did it again.

Friday, January 12, 2007

In progress

I have to shoot the camera on an angel so that I don't get a glare. Thats how apt I am with technology. Anyways here is the painting in progress. It has been a busy day playing house. Cleaning, tyding up, doing laundry. I even showered and for people who know me they know I hate it. I do it but I hate it. I like to be clean don't get me wrong but I just don't like the whole process. As you can tell I am not high maintenance. Trevor has been teaching in the field for four days it been nice to get my studio and all my things settled but I miss my soldier. boohooo. Well he is going to be home any minute now weee. I hope he is up for chicken wings and beer and not passing out with exhaustion. He might pass out, I don't think he has slept a whole lot and its been friggin cold out there.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

C 13 Grenade

So today I am working on the C13 Small hand grenade. It is the same as the M67 American version, but Canadian manufacturers so there are diffrences. I have no idea I am far from an expert, and I think they may or may not still use it. I saw the image on the Canadian Forces website and It is an Ode to My sister Moe. A spitfire of a temper, she can explode. and her birthday is on October 13th. As I was growing up I shared a room with her for, 16 years or so. Everything in her life appear with the number 13, from locker numbers, locker combinations, all sorts of coincidences. So here is the C13. Had to do it I just love the number 3. Here is a pic of the first layer of the base coat. I hate the new blogger it was switched to Goggle and the pic are a huge size when you open them. I want my old blog program back.....whaaaa

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"I Will Follow You Into The Dark"

I love that song by "Death Cab For Cutie". Well another day in my studio and I worked on and finished this painting. I love doing this piece its so meditative for me to draw the lines. Then as it gets more detailed the tension and concentration escalates, all I am thinking is the lines and the connections and "Don't screw up" goes throught my head over and over again. And then I finish and I just look at it, and feel calm and relaxed, joy pure joy. Oh how selfish I am. Here is a quote that I devoured years ago and lead me on this journey of being an artist, living as an artist and never giving up. I think my relentless stubborness helped and support from so many people. Anyways it is from Yann Martel In the Authors Notes in the book "Life Of Pi"
"If we Citizens, do not support our artist, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams."

Monday, January 08, 2007

Oromocto the Model Town

Check out and see the website of the town. Prior to the Base of Gagetown residing here it was pretty much a gas station. Unlike the town of Gagetown which is up the road. So if you are in Fredricton heading south to Nova Scotia you will first hit Oromocto it is only 15 minutes south. That is where the base begins. About forty kilometers south and you will hit the end of the base and the town of Gagetown. The army base asked the town of Gagetown if they could build their base entrance and facilities and housing in their town and they said no. They felt the Boys on the base would be too rowdy, and all this sort of stuff. So they settled in Oromocto but kept the name Gagetown, which makes no sense, maybe the business cards and letterheads were already made. It is the second largest base in the commonweath and its vastness is 1100 square kilometer, giving great opportunities to run into bears. The population of the town is around 10,000 people and 70% are family and members of the military. I think it is better that the base is in Oromocto because Fredricton is so close. Well closer than Gagetown.
We have been doing a lot of cooking. We made Pad Thai, mind you it took weeks to get all the exact ingredients. Trying to find peanut oil was hell. Halifax is not that equipped and nor is Fredricton or Oromocto. I also made Bulgogi, and Tukbokki a rice cake hot sauce dish, Japanese garden rolls ( why didn't you say they were that easy), and scones. I never realized how important fresh coriander really was. We went for a run on the trails on base yesterday (which are beautiful) being that the weather was so beautiful with not a drop of snow anywhere. However, today there is a blanket of snow. So I am glad I was able to run before the weather finally changed to winter. Today I am going to work on two paintings. One is an orange version of my very popular Dusk painting and a triptic blue painting of bamboo.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Four Provinces In Two Weeks 50 hours of driving

Well I am permanently in Oromocto New brunswick the "Model Town" its near Fredericton which is pretty cool, we have been going in there to try and get the house in order.
From start to finish. I cleaned everything out of storage and dumped tremendous amounts of my life goods (some people would think garbage) old furniture, speakers, stereo, my bed, the walls I display my art on at the markets, the ugliest lamp on earth, it is too depressing to continue. I bought large rubbermaid bins enough to fit in the back of Trevors truck and took just what fit in them and in between them and a layer of paintings and a futon and more art. It was a crazy heavy load. My last week selling on Queen St. was awesome, crazy amazing time. Thanks to everyone I met, I am excited to work the street this coming summer. So I went to my Mom and Dads house for Xmas Holidays. They live in the laurentiens of Quebec. There was barely enough snow to go riding so I decided not to go. We couldn't even build an igloo this year. I got an Ipod from my brother (So Cool) I am doing a painting of the AVRO ARROW for him. Trevor got me the Kit Kat clock. soooooooo awesome. We played a lot of yahtzee, Settler of Catan and built a big puzzle. I am buying the expansion package for the game Settlers of Catan and Trevor wants to get the Knights of Catan. Holy cow what a cool game that is. Now we just need to find 2 friends in this town who like to play.
We drove to Oromocto and unloaded all my stuff and then we spent New Years with Trevors family in Cape Breton. Trevors Grandfather was not to happy watching me cheat while playing monopoly with his grandkids. But they need to learn that you have to cheat, swindle, make deals and play dirty if you want to win in monopoly. But, no one ever wins in monopoly. I had all the property on 3/4 ths of the board but Trevors nephew had the hotels and millions. Then we went to Halifax for one day to restock at Loomis. I bought over $600.00 worth of stock but I got a great discount. Then, finally we headed back to Home base. I tell yah it is nice to have a studio again, I feel grounded. well gonna chill out I and all hooked up now so I will be more detailed from now on.
Here is a pic of our living room. We needed a place to put all the books and DVDs but we wanted it to be below the height of the window and long. After hunting for a low long shelf which doesn't exist we bought two 8 foot long laminated 12 inch wide boards and 6 plain new paint cans the silver ones and ta da. It looks sweet. And it cost only 45 bucks.