Mel Casey is a locally renowned artist, popular for her work with bird life. she was invited to collaborate with the newly opened Latin Loafer and define their back wall with her mark, FOCUS catches up with Mel about the inspiration behind her work …
How did this collaboration with the Latin Loafer come about?
Simon Leigh from the Latin Loafer approached me about doing a mural on the back wall in the restaurant. His inspiration and vision was to establish an area of the restaurant that people could feel surrounded by a piece of art; we achieved this by spanning the artwork over two large walls.
How did the setting and vibe of the establishment affect the way you designed and applied your art?
The effect of this painting was achieved by using real copper pigment paint to accompany other copper accents throughout the establishment. We were drawn to using peacock feathers due to the organic beauty and flow of their nature.
What was the inspiration behind the design?
I’ve used a few different inspirations, one being that of the Art Deco era, coupled with fine dot definition. The painting was applied completely freehand, allowing for a flowing effect. I had peacock feathers with me while I painted, to remind me of their natural beauty and to inspire me. Using the medium of copper paint allowed for creative inspiration along with the use of the lighting and ambience of the Latin Loafer itself; I was mostly painting at dusk, so the use of the stunning Hastings River Sunset that the Latin Loafer provides, adding an extra sense of warmth to the room.
Last time we spoke to you, your current theme of works was primarily centred around birdlife. Tell us about some of the other pieces you’ve been working on and how your style has progressed since …
I have been experimenting painting on vintage fabrics and wood panels, with a combination of mediums, using watercolour, oils, pastels and spray paint in one painting. I am enjoying create new textures and layers of colour, giving definition and detail. I also have been more drawn to bigger pieces of work, allowing more freedom, flow and colour.
I have been finding a lot of creative expression with portraits; the faces I tend to paint are of strong features with the eyes still being the central part of engagement within the painting.
I have been also enjoying drawing more, using pen and adding colour with ink and watercolours; I am finding the birds I do in this area have more room to grow, and I am looking forward to how they progress.
I think my style has progressed in how I approach art. The mood of the pieces are set with more contemplation, from an emotional state of expression; I feel more relaxed in how I wish to express myself using art, and I am enjoying what I learn about myself through art expression.
I would love bigger art pieces and love the idea of doing more murals. I hope art becomes more then something you hang on your wall and becomes part of the environment that we work and live in.
What are some of the other art forms you’re passionate about and dabble in?
I have also been getting back into photography. I have been exploring the love of this art medium and taking photos at music events and festivals.
Where can our readers view or purchase your works?
My work can be followed and purchased through my Facebook page Melinda Casey and Instagram page MELCASEY_78, and Arthouse Industries, in Murray st, Port Macquarie, and of course at the Latin Loafer. If you are interested in custom orders, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I have an exhibition coming up called One Line with the talented Juan Cosgayon, early November at the Sunset Gallery; date and times to be confirmed.