Wednesday, September 17, 2014

El Molino

Here's a photo I took last year of El Molino. It's a renovated very old mill, surrounded by olive groves, about an hour up into the hills from the coastal town of Malaga. There is a beautiful courtyard in the center where meals are served, and a large patio and pool at the back. This is where the magic happens during Flavour of Spain art holidays!
















This quote happened to cross my path by email yesterday, in a newsletter I subscribe to

"Have you ever felt shivers on the back of your neck and goose bumps on your arms when you hear an idea that makes you want to follow it? Or felt as though something is laying a path for you?" - Elizabeth Gilbert

Carpe Diem

Oh my…As we turn the corner, heading into fall,  the year ahead is already coming into view.
It's time to sign up for Spain, people!  In fact, the course/holiday is about half full already!  If you'd like to come, now is the time to decide to take the plunge…carpe diem! Book your spot, and block out MAY 2-10, 2015 in your calendar. If travel, art, photography, food, flamenco, rest and laughter sounds like your kind of fun, I'm fairly certain you'll be glad you did…
Last year was such an awesome experience, both relaxing and stimulating at the same time. Being with a group of people gathered for a common purpose is pretty inspiring, especially with cameras and sketchbooks out. There is no pressure, just pure encouragement to create. Also….a hugely wonderful part of each Flavour of Spain creative adventure is FLAVOUR!  Except for when we're out and about on excursions, lunches and dinners are lovingly and expertly prepared by hosts Mike and Hilary Powell. I love to cook and was thrilled to discover flavors that were totally new and delicious. Their food is up there with best I've ever had.  I was also blown away by the olive oil and the wines! 
If you’ve been longing to indulge your inner artist, 8 nights and 9 days among the olive groves of southern Spain, in the season of wildflowers oughta do it. Many who came last year said it was the trip of a lifetime.
Artist Gail Short and I have created a really unique course especially for Spain 2015. It combines sketching, painting and photography (sometimes all at the same time!- you'll see). Whether you're coming with no experience or a lot, we feel sure you'll enjoy and grow from the discussions and exercises we have planned. 

In addition to instruction, the whole package includes comfortable accommodation, unforgettable gourmet cuisine and Spanish wines, an evening out to see an intimate, professional flamenco performance, and day trips to explore traditional whitewashed villages, with sketchbooks and cameras in hand of course. Space is limited…so carpe diem!  You only need to put down $250 to hold your spot. The holiday is organized by Flavour of Spain. The total cost is $3690 excluding air fair. Reservations are made by contacting their travel agent Cindy Horton at Travel Concepts in Vancouver: 1-800-661-7176 or (604) 926-8511. 
Feel free to contact me for any additional information about our course, or Cindy for additional information about the trip overall.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Artcraft is open, it must be Summer…

Greetings, on a fine June day.
Our local artists' showcase, Artcraft, opens this evening for the summer season!
Each year, artists come out of the woodwork to share new creations with the public from June to September,  and during the winter holidays. Artcraft happens in beautiful Mahon Hall, directly across from Ganges Harbour, in the heart of Ganges, on Salt Spring Island.
Oh…and while you're there, if you enjoy coffee, DEFINITELY try the cappuccino at the little green box, that is Salt Spring's own Mt. Maxwell Roasters, right out front. Mamma mia, they make a fabulous coffee.
Here's a sneak peek at my offerings this year. I decided to continue my miniatures series for the second year in a row. Later in the summer, I plan to bring out a few brand new surprises as well…still tinkering, which is more than half the fun.








About the Work:

The series of images I’m showing at Artcraft this year are 3x3 inch miniatures. They are a collection of fleeting moments in time.  Each one represents a pause, a silent -but not small- “wow”.

When I have a camera with me, or even my phone, I sometimes feel compelled to record, for all time, something that feels like more than the beautiful scene I in front of me. As much as anything, they are capsules of celebration. In each of the instants shown in the small white frames, I have felt the kindness of a gift received. I have often stood in awe,  curiosity and wonder,  and for sure – gratitude.
The collection started as a series of images that I saw as a sort of strand of  “why-I-love-Salt Spring”  pearls, and has been growing from there.

With just a few exceptions, these images are of  Salt Spring, taken during the course of day to day life throughout the year.  The  location is noted on the back of each  piece.
I have included some images taken in other locations beyond Salt Spring, however,  because the spirit in which they came about, makes them so compatible. Those locations are also noted on the pieces.  
Lastly, included for the same reasons, are a few black and white images worked from photographs found in antique stores. That information is noted on the backs as well.

What all of the images share in common, I believe, is that they are each a small window onto the world that surrounds us. Even by the tiniest glimpse, we may be reminded that each moment holds unique and boundless magnificence.

Each image is an archival pigment print on fine are cotton paper, sealed several times for protection, then mounted to birch wood panels and finally trimmed in hand made frames.

Most of the color pieces are also hand-painted with acrylics. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bon Voyage Maya Angelou


"But still, like air, I’ll rise.…"


























For Maya Angelou. April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014.

Her words, like seeds, will travel far and forever, planting deeply, as they have always done, into the hearts and minds of all the souls they reach.

Here's the full text of Maya Angelou's poem Still I RiseAnd a wonderful clip of an interview with her here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Diamonds Everywhere




















New Year’s greetings from the studio!
This part of the world is cool and grey today. But the palette is
vibrant and complex, and elegant lines etch a poem into the whole landscape.
On still days like today, the scene is animated mostly by birds.
And there are diamonds. They are strewn everywhere.
A bead of rainwater held in place, temporarily, by two thorns reminded me
of a gem in it's setting.

Since my last post, I’ve been across the world and back again!
The quiet winter months are perfect for processing
images and thoughts gathered along the way. 
You will be the first to see my favorites, as I post them here on my blog.

For now, I'd just like to share these vitamins for our creative souls ~ They're photos from my walk on Saturday, of nature wearing her winter jewels. 

May 2014 be excellent, and may you be inspired every single day.

For now,
Amy

































Thursday, August 8, 2013

Camera, Paintbrush, Pencil, Pen

Once I read a beautiful quote..I believe it comes from ancient China and goes something like, Hand, eye, heart, two won't do.
Sometimes I think of that when I work because of my constant desire to keep my hands and my eyes and my heart in my pictures.


I'm excited about the fact that the sister worlds of photography and painting & drawing will meet and play together, this fall in Spain!

I recently went to Vancouver to visit with the Flavour of Spain workshop hosts, Mike and Hilary Powell, and Gail Short, who will be teaching alongside me the same week.  Gail and I were so happy to finally meet one another, and talk about our upcoming workshops.

We have decided to act on inspiration and create a format in which our participants (and the two of us) will be able to enjoy the best of each of our worlds- photography and painting & sketching! 
We plan to organize our days so that everyone will be have opportunities to learn from both Gail and me, and/or focus on their preferred medium intensively.

Gail will be teaching small format pen, pencil and paint techniques for participants with any and all levels of experience. She is a lively and lovely, fun person. I am so looking forward to working with her. I totally marveled at Gail's tiny pouch of materials, in which she keeps all the tools she needs to create her amazing beautiful sketchbook journals, like the one she shared with us over lunch. I'm inspired!
Here is a link to Gails website. http://www.gailshort.com/


If you’ve still been considering coming to Spain, jump in -you’re not too late. There are 2 spots left, last I checked.  Call Cindy Horton as soon as possible, if you’re interested. She’s the agent for Flavor of Spain. She can answer any questions or help you book your flight. October 7-16. It’s sure to be a lot of fun.
Cindy Tel: 604-926-8511

Toll Free: 1-800-661-7176





































Above: Me and Gail Short, Gail unpacking her little bag of magic, 
our incredibly wonderful hosts of Flavour of Spain, Mike and Hilary Powell.
I've learned that they really know Spain! And I can tell that they truly love art, people, and travel, going about all of it with great humour, constant enthusiasm, and delicious food and wine.
























Gails beautiful sketchbook and exceedingly portable supplies!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Amazing

Greetings!

The 2013 workshops season is nearing its end, and it has been truly amazing.
The images, the fun, kind people, the creative synergy - - wow.
I am eager to share a recap, and some pictures with you, and will find a quiet moment to do that soon.
This Thursday and Friday, the final Salt Spring workshop is happening!
There is still time to jump in, if you're wanting to stir up your photographic art life, or just retreat to a creative space for a day or two.

On Thursday, July 25th, we'll be working on photographs with dry pastels and pencils.
On Friday, July 26th, we'll paint all day using acrylics. Come to both days, or just one.
Each session is $135. All materials are included. No experience is necessary to participate. You will be have the opportunity to complete finished artworks to take home.

*I'm offering a summer gift discount for the remaining seats in this season's end workshop. If you've been curious about hand painting photographs, you're in luck. This is it.

To register, or for additional info: Phone 250-537-6120.


Monday, May 6, 2013

2013 Workshops Brochure Release


Greetings, and Voila!

A new season of workshops is coming right up, and the catalog is ready.
I have enjoyed the meditative process of deciding what might be fun to offer this year, while at the same time being most likely to be of real and lasting benefit to you.
All of the sessions will be very small groups, so be sure to let me know soon if you'd like to save a spot in any of this seasons workshops!

Also, there are still a few spots left for the grand Spain adventure in October as well!
If you're feeling creatively curious, jump on in. These courses are for you - to nourish your creativity, in a totally dedicated way, in a beautiful place, and in the synergy created in good company.

I hope you are all loving the beautiful beginnings of May, wherever you are.
Amy

Click on the image below to download the full pdf catalog


Click on the image below to visit the Flavour of Spain
website for more details





Wednesday, May 1, 2013

For the Love of Dandelions


Okay, so there's Paris...and stars, and big oak trees and 30lb salmon. Amazing.
And things that need our attention in a big way - like our families, farming, proposed pipelines. All the while, at our feet every day, there are volunteer ambassadors of Awesome to show us how it's done.

Dandelions are like calling cards scattered by the sun.
Wherever you live, work, walk, park or play, I bet you can find one-or more likely, many! They are so common, in fact, that they are often overlooked, even battled as "weeds". 

I think they're phenomenal. Not only are they hardy edibles, they always catch my eye for their beautiful design.  Their ultra vivacious yellow can barely contain itself in the delicate petals that are laid out in perfect symmetry. 
And this is all before they become little wish factories. Way to bring it dandelions!

I like to pick one and bring it in to look at it throughout the whole week. The single dandelion, in it's modest glory, reminds us that it has as much to be and give as any bouquet, or zebra, or you, or me.

On the infinite list of scenic wonders in this world, I would seriously put dandelions right up there with Paris, France.  

See, there's my muse for this post!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Echoes in Design

I'm starting to look through pictures from my time in California. I love that photos make it so easy to revisit an experience. Through images, fleeting moments are suspended in time, making it possible for us to appreciate them all over again, and often in new ways.
Came across this pair of magpies on a misty January day, while out walking with  family. I am amazed at how similar their elegant markings are to those of the southern resident orca whales.


photo of orca: swimmingfree.wordpress.com

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Where I've Been




I’ve just returned to Salt Spring Island after a long visit to gorgeous northern California.  What started out as holidays with the family, ended up being a four month adventure - including an entire one fourth of 2013!

My good intentions to share the experience along the way, via my blog, went wayside. I'm not as up to speed as my insta-gramming daughters! 
Instead, I nearly abandoned the computer, and like a honeybee in a clover field, I buzzed around from place to place, giving my whole attention, at any given moment, to family, friends, trees, flowers, whale spotting, stars, rest, exploration, art, audiobooks, …. I guess I needed that. 2012, after all, was a big year.

Then, sure enough, coinciding with the arrival of wildflowers and the eager new grass, my batteries began to feel re-charged, my soul inspired, and my compass pointed north toward my studio.  

When I turned the key and opened the door to my little studio on Salt Spring a few days ago, I felt the kindness of the warm welcome by an old friend. And, that’s a feeling I am fortunate to say I know well. Love to all of you who opened your hearts and homes to me during the past amazing four months!
 
Here’s a postcard sampling of a few of the beautiful things I saw. They're almost in 
chronological order...

Cheers, Amy


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year
















Wishes of love and peace for all in this new year . Amy



Thursday, December 6, 2012

More about SPAIN in 2013!

Greetings ~
If you have been contemplating jumping in for the fun in Spain next October 7-15,  there is still time to claim a spot or two!  Mike and Hilary, hosts of the "Flavour of Spain" getaways sent some photos recently to offer a peek at what the experience looks like. They've just returned from Andalucia, after a great 2012 season- sounded amazing. I am so looking forward to next fall. Whenever a group of people gather together in the spirit of creativity, and in a beautiful place no less, the odds are in our favour  for an inspiring alchemy to occur, leading to exciting results.

I've made a little collage with some of the photos from my recent Salt Spring
workshops. It was an incredibly creative summer! I'll post again soon, sharing some details and images of the work we did together.









To Register for my workshop in Spain, October 7-15, 2013 contact:
Cindy Horton at Travel Concepts
Cindy Tel: 604-926-8511
Toll Free: 1-800-661-7176

Thursday, October 11, 2012

COME TO SPAIN!


If you are a lover of art, travel and food, join me for what’s sure to be an amazing week in Andalucia, Spain - October 7-15, 2013!

Each year, Mike and Hilary Powell, owners of “Flavour of Spain”, host a variety of creative learning vacations at a special place called “El Molino” (The Mill), in the hills above Malaga.  I’m pleased to announce that they’ve invited me to be one of their art instructors in 2013.


Here’s their website, where you can learn everything you’ll want to know about Mike, Hilary and El Molino. I met with them in  Vancouver, BC in August, and came away so excited about what they’ve created, and grateful for this opportunity!

And this is a link to the brochure detailing my workshop, and that of painter Gail Short, whose workshop will run simultaneously with mine.


This is a snapshot of what you’d be agreeing to, if you say YES to Spain 2013:

Feast for the soul-A week of pure creative focus and comraderie, in a relaxing and authentic rural Spanish setting.
Feast for the body- Genuine Spanish cuisine and tapas, prepared with care by our host daily, and served in the courtyard.  
Feast for the senses- visit to the vibrant Cordoba market. Take morning or evening strolls  among the olive trees.
Feast for the heart- excursion to witness the passion of a traditional Spanish Feria - Flamenco performance.

About my workshop:
I’m looking forward to having a full week to immerse with participants in a very approach-oriented exploration of the potential in every photograph to be much more than a record of what is seen. We’ll practice a workflow meant to capture and convey the essence of experience, transforming your photographs into personal works of art.
We’ll begin at the beginning- with inspiration, which will be easy to find!   

Other topic areas of the week include:

Seeing and being in the moment:“Deep noticing”.
Practicing awareness when composing a photograph.
When, and which, equipment matters, and does not matter – to you.
Telling a story with feeling, with one image or many. 
Adding spirit and personal style by hand-painting digital prints.
Developing a personal workflow that yields images that more truly convey your experience. 
Computer users will have the option to learn my favorite digital compositing techniques. 



* All levels welcome, however participants should come with working knowledge of their equipment.
* Knowledge of Spanish language is not necessary. All class time will be in English, and excursions led by English speaking hosts.
* Details about how to prepare, and what to bring, will be provided upon registration.

Price: CAD $3,390
Airfare is separate. See the brochure for more details.

Registrations are made through:


Cindy Horton at Travel Concepts in Vancouver, Canada:
Phone: (604) 926-8511, Toll-Free: 1-800-661-7176
Email: Cindy@trvlconcepts.com

* If you would like more information about the hosts, accommodations, food, Spain or travel arrangements, please contact Cindy Horton at Travel Concepts.

* If you would like more information about me, or the workshop, feel free to contact me directly: tel: 250-537-6120.



Amy Melious knows her stuff—she's a good teacher, and best of all she's a smart, caring person who's really easy to be around”. Nick Bantock


By participating in Amy’s workshops, I acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience. With her love for nature, Amy encourages us to see the beauty that surrounds us in a holistic way. The atmosphere in her workshops is relaxed yet goal-oriented; her gentle and generous leadership helped me overcome some of my own creational barriers and gain trust in my judgements and abilities.”
Denise Okan