Saturday, December 31, 2011

"The James Library" 8.5x11 watercolor on cold press paper

I hope you all had a great holiday and happy New Year.
It was great for me to have my girls home, however brief.
I did this painting over the course of the week, at my kitchen counter- like I used to do when they were little girls, still home. I miss those days sometimes. I didn't realize it so much then- such is life and motherhood.
This is my piece for this month's girls just wanna paint challenge- the theme is "local landmarks" and although the James was already a theme for October I felt like painting it. My mom was a librarian there for many years and I took the girls for piano lessons every Thursday. It was a special time.
I had fun painting this!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas the Night before Christmas....

My oldest daughter and I made this angel tree topper from a kit many years ago- our family tradition is to all be together when we don the tree with her. At this point its all pretty much done and the fun begins. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas , Hanukkah and new years!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


The winter solstice is this week for us in the northern hemisphere. After the winter solstice, the days will get longer. Celebration time!
Heres my offering....

Monday, December 19, 2011



I fell a little bad- I realized that I never actually said this was a contest- I hope you don't feel betrayed!
It was so nice to hear from all of you. I hope y'all are enjoying the season- I appreciate you guys so much.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


If you want this little guy ( 8"x8" acrylic with resin finish) send me an email!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cool Article about- me!

I usually cringe at the thought of me being in the paper but I know that when any opportunity arises it's smart to show up!
This is in this weeks Marshfield Mariner...

Sally Dean creates 15th Marshfield commemorative holiday ornament


Wicked Local photo by Mary Jane Hanron

Sally Dean in her art studio


By Mary Jane Hanron
Posted Dec 14, 2011 @ 08:28 AM
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In a cozy barn turned studio behind her home, Sally Dean Mello finds peace and inspiration daily for her projects and artistic creations. Appointed with warm and functional vintage furniture, storage units and eclectic collectibles, the room evokes imagination, originality and a passion for local surroundings.
While ensconced in various tasks Mello reflected on her passion, current endeavors and inspirations.
“I have found that this area is full of subjects to paint, moments to be captured and visions worthy of being painted. What a joyful thing to have this purpose to accomplish something like this every day. Something like flowers is a symbol of creativity and beauty that is fleeting. It is something that should be captured,” she said.
Her artwork is her career, her pastime and her salvation and she spends time each day contributing to her craft with expertise, discipline and zeal.
“I often challenge myself to create something according to a schedule,” she said. “I find it helps me with a rhythm and challenges me to look everywhere for subject matter, causing me to see things that may be small and intricate but very beautiful or fascinating. It is a professional and personal experiment that can be highly rewarding.”
Dean is known locally for creating ornaments portraying area landmarks. This holiday season, she created the annual collectible ornament depicting the historic Winslow House blacksmith’s shop.
Now in its 15th year, the collection had humble beginnings. When Dean’s daughter was in kindergarten the school she attended was searching for a way to raise funds.  Dean offered to create an ornament during the holiday season, which mothers then carried in a basket and sold door to door.
“It did surprisingly well,” Dean said. “We were happy with the results and it began my tradition of creating one each year for a charity or nonprofit organization.”
Now residents and collectors anticipate her annual creation from which proceeds are donated to charity. She was scheduled to appear this past Sunday at the Marcia Thomas House to present a lecture about the newest addition to her series.
Previous designs Dean include the Winslow House, Webster Estate, Veterans’ Memorial Park, newly renovated Seth Ventress Building, various area churches, Brant Rock Fish Market and the Marshfield Hills General Store (see page 4 for more information on the Marshfield Hills General Store ornaments). Organizations sell the items and donate the proceeds to a selected charity.
Originally, Dean created each ornament from inspiration to completion, signing and numbering each one. As her collection and reputation expanded, more units were required and a museum art company now manufactures the pieces. Dean designs the original and sends it to be manufactured. The pieces are then returned for her approval after which she adorns each one with sparkles, then signs and numbers them. Ornaments are still limited and collections never exceed 500 items.
“It has become a tradition each year to create one for a Marshfield landmark or organization,” Dean said. “I especially love the first steps which are the most creative part. I am always thinking ahead of what I will do next. I have no desire to mass market these or become a major manufacturer or retailer of these ornaments. I like the idea of keeping the projects philanthropic. To me it represents a way I can use my creativity to give back to the community. That is how I see creativity; as something to be shared for the pleasure and benefit of others in the world.”
Dean was selected in 2008 to create an ornament for the White House Christmas tree by Congressman Bill Delahunt at the request of First Lady Laura Bush. The project initiated by Mrs. Bush compiles a collection to represent each congressional district in the nation. Dean traveled to Washington that year to represent Massachusetts’s 10th district.
In addition to her ornament series, Dean maintains a blog featuring almost daily artwork. “By motivating myself to accomplish certain things, I establish a routine and the blog holds me accountable,” she said.
She has tackled various challenges including a successful attempt to create images of 365 flowers. “It was fun to do,” she said. “In addition to looking for various blossoms, I studied certain patterns and fabrics and found flowers in lots of unexpected places.”
She is active at the North River Arts Association, which she considers a source of inspiration, fun and camaraderie. “It began as a simple community gathering,” she said. “It has grown into a place where there are classes and social events. We also have opportunities for people to explore their creativity. It is not intimidating, but fun and supportive. Anyone interested in trying out various things can have a good time.”
In 2012, Dean said the Association plans to have community dances. “It will be like a wedding but without the ceremony,” she said. “There will be good music, a chance for some great exercise and a good time with friends and neighbors.”
Considering the South Shore and Marshfield a deep-rooted artist’s colony, Dean is grateful for 20 happy years in her North Marshfield home. Growing up in Norwell, she ventured to Boston and then California for a time but eventually returned to her roots in the area. She credits her artistic passion to the generations of artists in her family and is pleased her two grown daughters, Marklin and Madeline also have been blessed with creativity and an affinity for the artistic world.
‘There is something about this area that is inspiring,” she said. “There is so much beauty that surrounds us; it is no wonder artists of all sorts are attracted to live here. It is not necessarily a widely known area for artists but that keeps it natural, quiet and authentic. Even if I don’t see a real picture or subject I can imagine it.”
To illustrate her technique of interpreting thoughts and scenes Dean pointed to paintings on the barn wall of deer and birds in the woods, a series she had completed recently.
“Some things are so beautiful and fleeting it is almost as though you have imagined them anyway,” she said. “Appreciating and capturing small and intricate images or sights that people might relate to, but not have realized how rare and lovely they are, is something I love to do and share with others.”
To learn about Sally Dean’s artwork and ornaments, contact or visit her blog at

Read more: Sally Dean creates 15th Marshfield commemorative holiday ornament - Marshfield, MA - Marshfield Mariner

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Moose, acrylic on panel 6"x8"

Only one moose here- I don't know what the plural of moose is.

Ok I just googled it and it is- moose.

I will be doing a give-away of one of my new animal series in a few days
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hingham square in summer 16"x20" acrylic on canvas

I am trying to finish up a bunch of unfinished work that's been laying around- this one I did "en plein air" in Hingham square ( hey that rhymes!) although I took a lot of liberties, it is what I was looking at on that lovely summer day this past June.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

MARCIA THOMAS HOUSE lecture 2 PM today

I am giving a talk and showing my work at the Marcia Thomas house in Marshfield today. I will focus on my ornaments that I've been creating since 1996.
This image is one of the first ornaments I designed

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Stephanie Roberts, the big BABY HEAD( Antonio Lopez Garcia), me and Patty DeYoung at the MFA.
It was amazing! Nancy Colella shot this photo of us. We saw the Degas show and watched The Clock.
I want to go back and take on small chunks of the museum at a time and do some in-depth studying.

Friday, December 9, 2011

North River Arts FUN!

Last night was another fun night of creating and being with great folks at the NRAS. Laura Harvey does a great job at making art accessible and fun for all- even those who have never picked up a brush.
She purchased plastic chargers plates and had them primed and ready to go- and tables laden with papers, glue, glitter, paint, scissors, gold leaf and other ephemera- we were like kids in kindergarten!
Heres a few from the evening....

                                            applying the gold leaf- the girls LOVED the gold!

                             this last one is mine- just paint and gold leaf and a little collage- Buddha!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's the most Wonderful time of the year

The holidays are here- shopping, cooking, decorating, creating ,wrapping! Anticipation, hope, deep spiritual feeling. It's a time for compassion and giving to those who have little or nothing.
I love Christmas, as did my Mom. This year I'm doing the little things with more intention and trying not to stress. It all gets done, but why be a mental case until then?
Here is my coping strategy. Hope you all enjoy this season, and beyond. Any moment can be the most wonderful time really- just have to notice it and be in it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

family 9'x12" acrylic

This painting was started at Kelley MacDonald's  Rhode island studio on Sunday- we had a spontaneous painting session together while my husband was watching the Pats game with his brother in Bristol. It was so fun ( and the Pats won!)
Kelly gave me everything to paint with as I was not prepared- thank you Kelley!
I finished it this morning.
People often ask where the imagery comes from in these wacky paintings- this one is from a sketch I did from an African sculpture at a recent MFA visit. I made up the rest.
Crazy stuff!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

orna mental and sorry about the double post

For some reason my post was published again yesterday- sorry! I think it was a typo I fixed and it republished ( and I am SO good at making typos!)
These are ornaments I am having so much fun painting and embellishing - join in the fun making these or decorate plates at the North River Arts society next Thursday- you do not need to be worried about whether or not you are an artist- its all about fun!
I will have glitter on hand, and all over me as well!
coming up....

December 8th     7 pm   at the GAR Hall 
a playdate for grownups!
Bring your creative spirit as we decoupage and paint plates to keep or to give as gifts.
These are heavy plastic "chargers', and will be sanded and primed for you ahead of time.
$5 donation to cover costs
We will provide materials for decorating, but if you have anything special, please feel free to share!
Snacks welcome. Please call Laura with questions, or to RSVP     781-837-8091 or

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Daily Paintworks Challenge

This weeks challenge was to paint in the style of your fave artist.
Of course I thought about doing Chagall, Kandinsky , Van Gogh or Thiebaud, but I saw a few on the DPW site that folks had done after Lawren Harris and they really inspired me- so I went for it!
This from a photo of Saquish this fall.

Daily Paintwoorks Challenge

This weeks challenge was to paint in the style of your fave artist.
Of course I thought about doing Chagall, Kandinsky , Van Gogh or Thiebaud, but I saw a few on the DPW site that folks had done after Lawren Harris and they really inspired me- so I went for it!
This from a photo of Saquish this fall.