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Artist Showcase: Terry Mellway

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A well-thought-out gift can be a powerful force in a young child’s life. Like a goldfish given to teach responsibility. Or, a 10,000-piece puzzle for developing patience. Or maybe it’s a grow-your-own-garden kit to teach all of the above, plus the added bonus of good work ethic, if you’re lucky. 

They aren’t typically the gifts that the kids rub in their school friend’s faces. In fact, they’re often the ones that end up in unlit corners of damp, unfinished basements. However, when the trendy toys and “must have” electronics wear out, or the boxes they came in break, these gifts almost certainly resurface. And, if you’re lucky, they strike a chord in a young child’s heart that resonates throughout their entire life.

That’s precisely what happened when Terry Mellway’s parents gave her and her two sisters a Learn to Draw Kit by Jon Gnagy. Terry was hooked.

Terry was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Between the cold winters and the lack of electronic distractions at the time, Terry was encouraged to fully explore her passion for art. She and her sisters would spend hours drawing and coloring, especially around the holidays, when they would celebrate by creating festive window adornments for their home. 

Terry’s passion for art continued into her early teens when she started oil painting. Every cent of her allowance went to buying art supplies, and what she couldn’t afford on her own she asked for as Christmas and birthday presents. Then, at 14 years old, Terry discovered boys—a discovery that halted her burgeoning artistic career. 

After her departure from art, Terry couldn’t seem to regain the momentum she had lost in high school. At 18 she became a hairstylist and would occasionally sketch her clients, but marriage, the birth of children, and the workweek further hindered her return to art. Then, about seven years ago, with the encouragement of her family, Terry resolved to get back to her artwork.

She started by experimenting with watercolor for a few years and then returned to her first love—sketching. Graphite pencils gave her the control and detail that she couldn’t find in watercolor, but graphite lacked the vividness she appreciated about watercolor painting. To remedy to this problem, Terry turned to colored pencils—which brings us to today.

As of May of this year, Terry is retired and enjoying life as a wife, mother, and grandmother. Much of her artistic energy is spent on colored-pencil drawings, but she occasionally works in acrylics as well. She has come to realize that, although she loves drawing and painting, it's necessary for her to schedule in time during the day to work on her art. If not, the bustle of daily life keeps her from getting anything done. Her philosophy is that even “if you only get a half an hour a day, it’s more than you had, and half an hour closer to becoming a better artist.”

 

If you would like to see more of Terry's artwork, or get to know her more, feel free to check out her profile at  the 5-Pencil Method Community.

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