As you know, if you’re following this blog, I’ve been into sketching. First thanks to Adam Long who I initially took beginning drawing lessons from with my grade school best friend, Susan (niece of Brother Mel) And for true inspiration to Brother Brian, when I attended his Ring in Spring workshop. I’ve been obsessed since. (It got me to exercise, because I won’t allow myself to draw until I exercise. Did I ever tell you that I hate to exercise?)
Brother Mel passed away about six months ago, but he was Brother Brian’s mentor where they both created art at Marianst Gallery. Sadly, the gallery is closing in a few months, so you may want to check it out, if for no other reason than to see the beautiful artwork—most is for sale.
Luckily, the book was published before Brother Mel passed away. There are signed copies for sale at the gallery, but Brother Brian generously gave me some unsigned books to pass on to those who would appreciate the book. If you have an interest, leave a comment or just your name so you can be entered in the drawing for this book. Check back in a week for the winner.
I grew up around Brother Mel’s artwork, not fully understanding his artistic talent nor did I really know anything about art, period. Where Susan grew up, there were walls full of Mel’s art. I’ve always admired it all. My favorite as a kid was this huge concrete piece that was almost floor to ceiling big, with huge sunflowers on it. At least that’s how I remembered it.
When I rented Susan’s house after my second divorce, it was the same house that Brother Mel grew up in. There was a sculpture in the yard that he had done for his mother—a rooster/hen. The base/body of the rooster was a huge, heavy industrial spring and it’d sway back and forth with a little push, making it look like the rooster was pecking for food on the ground. That too, was a favorite of mine.
When I rented another house from another niece of Mel’s, as she was moving all her things out, she asked, “Do you want this?” It was a piece of artwork Mel created.
“What? Are you kidding?”
“No. You can have it if you want it."
“Yes, I’d love it.” That was a no brainer. I had always wanted a piece of Mel’s art, but didn't feel I could ask for any. I didn’t know you could purchase his work. Dur. Being a Brother, I thought he just created everything for the Marianist’s or his family. Remember, I didn’t know much about the art world.-->
Paper sculpture, looks much better than photo
I have other pieces now that I’ve purchased, or received as a gift.
Metal sculpture, guitar
Metal sculpture, mask
Metal sculpture, Susan gave me for my 50th birthday.
I’m sorry I didn’t understand what greatness I was around at that time. Mel was so incredibly humble, I always felt I was with someone ordinary. I don’t mean that as an insult—quite the opposite. He loved what he was doing and he made the world a brighter and better place, just like Brother Brian is doing in his footsteps, only with his own unique artistic quality.
Don’t forget, leave your name if you’re interested in Brother Mel’s book.