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Artist Biography

Magenta and vermilion clouds suspended in a turquoise sky above the Pismo Pier, a honey colored furry friend lounging in the sun, a massive clumsy creature inching it’s way over the craggy rocks above Cambria to rendezvous with his fellow elephant seals, rustic historical buildings scattered across the golden landscapes of California, and a weathered monumental bridge suspended above a cement channel which was once the meandering grass lined banks of the Los Angeles River. The common link between this random variety of subjects is that they are all things of beauty when seen through the eyes of artist Gay Melody Sullivan and they all became models to be lovingly captured with the use of paint and paper.

In the late 1980’s, while on a fly-fishing trip to the San Juan River in New Mexico, Gay Melody, for the first time in her life, entered an art gallery located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After that experience, she went into every gallery she could find, including the galleries of Taos.

This unexpected encounter nourished a deep, dormant desire to learn this magical process of painting, and started Gay Melody on a path that would lead her to an entirely new world. She marveled at those fleeting moments of life, frozen in time and paint, created by artists from centuries ago. The mystery of how it was possible to transcend the boundaries of time to provide the viewer with a vision of their world. Most intriguing of all was the ability to create a feeling of life and the 3-dimensional world of light, shadow, depth and perspective using paint and attaching it to a flat surface. It seemed like pure magic.

Equipped with an aptitude for creativity and hard work, she began the challenge of a lifetime. Many of her natural skills were in a completely different and, for many years, Gay Melody owned her own business in Whittier, California, where she produced wedding gowns and formal evening attire for which she is still remembered by former clients from all over the So Cal area and beyond.

As soon as she began to paint, Gay Melody had the realization that to improve her painting skills she would need to be educated. Fortunately, her metropolitan location gave her access to many outstanding teachers such as Timothy J Clark, Roger Folk, and Ken Auster. Finally, after years of study, she acquired enough knowledge to work comfortably in many mediums and create art that covered a wide variety of subjects.

Gay Melody began painting works of the Central Coast long before she became a resident in January of 2002. The scope of subjects she has painted from this vast area is as varied as SLO County itself. For a while now, she has felt a sense of urgency to capture the rapidly changing landscapes and small town quaintness of SLO County before it disappears. Having witnessed the orange and avocado groves and the undeveloped ocean bluffs and farm fields of Orange County become completely buried under cement and asphalt in less than 20 years, she realized how quickly the beauty of nature and the fragile historic buildings can be lost. Like the California Impressionist painters of a century ago, Gay Melody follows their tradition of recording the beauty that surrounds us all, before it vanishes forever.

Gay Melody hopes her paintings are a current window into our enchanting and beautiful world, which we can so often take for granted as we rush through life. Those numerous pieces of her art adorn the walls of a huge variety of folks from all over SLO county and the world. She is always honored whenever anyone buys even the smallest print and puts it up in their homes as a reminder of a favorite hotel they love to visit, a stroll along Moonstone Beach at dusk, a little café they love to drop by for a favorite treat, or a soothing Avila sunset.

Most of all, Gay Melody Sullivan hopes that her pictorial representations of the world we share will in some way inspire us to always appreciate the splendor and beauty of our enchanting surroundings.

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