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"Botanical Treasures" by Melissa Bell

I originally studied art and learnt to paint with oils during my GCE A (Advanced) Level Art Painting course in England in the 1970’s. I was tutored for several years by Yorkshire Landscape Artist, Peter Brook. I had not painted since the late 1970s until I took early retirement from a career in Information Technology, which gave me the time to start painting again – a gap of almost 40 years.

In early 2017, I attended my first painting class at the Estuary Art Centre in Orewa, re-awakening my love of painting, now with acrylic paints and mediums. I have taken classes at Kumeu Arts Centre and recently joined a group of acrylic painters at Reyburn House in Whangarei.

In August 2018, I was awarded the Estuary Arts Centre Student Merit Award for my Garden Tui painting in acrylics. In August 2019, I was awarded the People’s Choice Award (as voted by visitors to the exhibition) in the Estuary Arts 2019 Annual Awards Event.

In May 2019, I started tutoring the Creative Acrylics Painting Class (an advanced acrylic painting class for mature students) at the Estuary Arts Centre. My classes encourage students to build on the basics of acrylic painting through the completion of a number of painting projects. Each project was given a theme that provided students with the opportunity to use a variety of techniques and styles, while incorporating different colours, theories and composition concepts. Students were encouraged to perform their own research to prepare their artwork subject prior to class and to think outside the box to create individual artistic effects.
My classes have been very well received and both of the last two terms were over-subscribed.

My paintings are predominantly inspired by nature and I enjoy capturing as much detail as I can to obtain a realistic life-like result. I have exhibited at galleries across Auckland and Northland and have sold many artworks, including several commissions. This exhibition presents a selection of my recent paintings showing a selection of nature’s amazing floral creations. I love being challenged by the colours, shapes and textures that our botanical world has to offer. I hope you will enjoy viewing my artwork, all of which is for sale.

Awards:
2018 Estuary Art Centre Student Merit Award
2019 Estuary Art Centre People’s Choice Award

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