Contemporary Abstract Ayr Art

Evolution of a Painting, “The Long and Winding Road”

The evolution of a Painting begins with the concept; what would you like to paint. In Graduate school they make you go to the Library and look through various Art books at get ideas from the Masters. There are assignments where you have to paint the Masters to gain your artistic chops. In doing so you are recreating their own special techniques. For instance to make a straight line with a loaded paint brush, you need to roll it in your fingers as you drag it across the page. This is a technique used by Monet.


Once you begin painting your ideas begin to flow more fluidly. The painting begins with a blank canvas. The one that I created is 7 feet by 5 feet. I nailed the canvas to the wall and began to gesso the canvas on the wall. Gessoing the canvas allows the fibers to become closed. Imagine filling in the holes on a sponge until the sponge has no more holes and its completely covered so that no water will go through the surface. You need to apply 2 coats. Some people in Graduate school use Rabbit Skin Glue first then gesso. I found the smell too much and found really no big difference with or with out it, so I choose not to use it.  After I had gessoed the canvas I apply texture to the canvas, in this case I used sand. The sand that I collected was from San Francisco next to the Golden Gate Bridge. I waited for it to completely dry before I did anything else to it. 


Next I apply the Paint. Oil or Acrylic or Watercolor- Paint to me is all the same. If you have learned how to use each then you know the basic principals on how to create with each type of paint.  I spread the paint onto the canvas with my hands. Which is a No No because you can get sick with toxic chemicals that are in the paints and in the turpentine. Many artist die from bathing in turpentine, which I did. In graduate school I got sick from the metals in the Oil paint. I had a mini nervous break down and had to stop painting with my hands.

After I applied a layer of color to the canvas, the juices began to flow and the concept then turns in to the creation of the painting.  A splash of color over here, a dab or color and tiny red dot or a large arm movement mark of color over there. This continues on until I feel another presence join me. I began to step back and look at my image from another point of view.  Being able to stand back and take in the painting as a whole is very critical. Knowing when to STOP is what an experienced artist knows how to do.  Over the years, I have learned by trial and error when to put the brush down and call it completed.

I work on large scale images up close with my paintings, so its hard to see the whole thing at once. I create something on the canvas. This was my first attempt at creating the image in my head. I think it’s good for now, but not exactly what I was looking for. I next added more color and began to find a subject matter in the swirl of color. I drew something in the foreground and something in the background. I began to see an image of what my mind sees, it is beginning to take on a form on the canvas itself.

I turned the radio up loud and sing with the music, a step over here and a turn over there. I began to dance as I paint. I saw the music and paint the colors of the notes that I hear onto the canvas.  I lose myslef in my work as I began to play with my imagination and let go of what I am holding onto from my day to day incongruousness… to my hidden shadows from my past. Both light and dark dance along with me as I get lost along the way.  I began to figure out where I was going and what comes next in my imagination. Some days roll into night and some nights roll back into days. Time is an illusion, as my muse amuses me to continue on. I saw something in the corner of my eye and I begin to flesh it out. I saw the ocean and something else in the distance. When I put the painting away for the evening and take it out the next day I sometimes might see another image. This time I see mountains in the distance. The colors become vivid and the details begin to show. I conjured up what comes next as I step back and look at what I have created thus far. Each painting takes hours to come to it’s completion. It’s an intimate dance that pulls one direction and pushes another. Each Artist has their own experience of what they may go through with their painting.

 “The Long and Winding Road”, the title of the image above came from a concert I recently went to, Paul McCartney.

The painting takes a turn and I noticed that it needed something else. I saw a golden pathway that leads from the bottom right hand corner (indicates your past) to the top of the purple mountain( the future).  A Long and Winding Road. One of my Professors said that it was the road to enlightenment, perhaps? or a Road less Traveled, well I like to use Piraja Fisken best shoes for travel. Or a Spiritual Journey with lots of twists and turns along the way; basically my life. Each painting is a reflection of what the artist may be going through in their life.  A diary. Blood, sweat and tears go into my art. Blood from my hands dealing with the applied texture of sand turns the canvas into sandpaper. Sweat from the hours I put into it. Tears from the moments when I have felt that I have lost all hope and I have ruined what my imagination has created and what my eyes see before me when they are not aligned with each other. Once I am able to see what my imagination sees and what I am creating to be alike I continued on.


I have put over 100 hours into this image. Various Professors watched my process of this painting and have said, “Oh try this or maybe what if you would try that.” I would ask them to show me on the canvas what they were thinking about and many a professors at Graduate school have added their own hand to it.  Once they added their hand into the paint, it added a whole new direction to the painting. It was both an added touch of inspiration and also rewrite of what my intention initially was. By the end of the painting it turned into something with added flares to it that I did not expect. Art has a voice, it called out to another artist to dip their paint brush into their own soul and touch my canvas with their own light, their own heightened vibration, their own imagination sang along with the painting so it needed to be added. I am happy with the finished product and all the hands that went into its process of being birthed while at graduate Art school.

The evolution of a painting sometimes takes other hands to help it find its way home.

“Buttergirl” 3D Body Art by Melissa Ayr

Melissa Ayr releases “Buttergirl” a contemporary 3D painting on a mannequin torso.  Obsession with the perfect butt is embodied by the youthful structure used to sell the next hot product.  Buttergirl originally comes out of a Sears display from a store that was closed down in 2011.  Sears Roebuck and Co. has been a staple of the American dream and is fading, as is, the sticks of home sweet home.  Consumerism has changed and the colorful faceless girl of America remains beautiful despite her flaws.

Melissa Ayr Buttergirl Butt 3D Contemporary Art Melissa Ayr Buttergirl Front 3D Contemporary Art

3D Acrylic on Mannequin
17″ x 10″ x 14″

Buttergirl will be featured during the month of March and will be showcased at a Gala Champagne Reception on Thursday, MARCH 8, 2012. 6:00-8:00 pm in Chelsea.  511 West 25th Street #406, New York, NY 10001.

Plight of the Ball

Melissa Ayr Art Plight of the Ball

“Plight of the Ball”
Mixed Media Painting on Canvas
48″ x 96″ x 3″

“Plight of the Ball” is the latest painting produced by contemporary abstract artist Melissa Ayr. The artwork has a focus around conflict and represents the ephemeral and ever present battle for the ball.  Pastel undertones are supplanted by the blitz of primary colors under the essence of a scrimmage line.

“Plight of the Ball” employs several techniques and media and is created on a custom made hand stretched red cotton duct canvas.  The paint contains a special blend of medium including sand and sawdust. While creating this painting Melissa hurled a football covered in paint against the canvas to make this extraordinary artwork. The background was created by Melissa only using her body and signature “release” painting method.

China vs Google

Melissa Ayr Art China vs Google

“China vs Google”
Acrylic on Canvas
16″ x 20″ x 3″

“China vs Google” was inspired by the significant interactions between Google and China during March 2010.  This painting was painted at the beginning of April 2010 and represents the divide between technology and the awakening of the world to propagate freedom of speech.

Google China launched in January 2006 in the belief that the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed the discomfort of Google agreeing to censor some results.  In March 2010, Google puts a halt to its China search engine, redirecting the site to its search site based in Hong Kong which is uncensored. (1)

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 to Liu Xiaobo for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.  According to the Nobel Committee, “China’s new status must entail increased responsibility. China is in breach of several international agreements to which it is a signatory, as well as of its own provisions concerning political rights. Article 35 of China’s constitution lays down that “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration”. In practice, these freedoms have proved to be distinctly curtailed for China’s citizens.” (2)


Ruinart Selects Ten Artists For Exhibition at The Betsy Hotel South Beach

NOVEMBER 23, 2010 – The Betsy South Beach will be playing host to the works of ten artists, commissioned by Ruinart, the first established champagne House in 1729.  On December 2, 2010, the exhibition will kick off during Art Basel in Miami Beach highlighting a commitment to the arts from both organizations.   The works were produced using classic and avant-garde techniques, in a variety of mediums, including photography, paint and sculpture.  Artist’s were inspired by many facets of this pioneering Champagne, from the unique bottle shape to the history of its creator Dom Ruinart, all producing unique works that will ultimately be auctioned in New York to benefit the non-profit organization The Art of Elysium .

Official – Ruinart Event Program

This November, the pieces will travel to Miami to form a pop-up gallery at The Betsy located on Ocean Drive.  The pop-up gallery will be located in the lobby bar, where Ruinart Blanc de Blancs (100% Premier Crus Chardonnay) will be available for sale to guests wanting to sip fine champagne while browsing the exhibit, enhancing the total experience.

The artists who have been inspired by Ruinart and will be showcased at the exhibition are:  Melissa Ayr, Elijah Blue, Isaac Fortoul, Mark Leibowitz, Pascal Pierme, Johnny Robles, Dane Storrusten, Carrie Sunday, Kiki Valdes, and Trish Williams.

The exhibit closes by February 2011, at which time these contemporary works of art will travel to New York to be auctioned in the Spring. All proceeds will go to The Art of Elysium, a non-profit organization founded in 1997 supporting the creativity of children battling serious medical conditions.

About Ruinart

In 1729, when Nicolas Ruinart laid the foundations of the very first champagne house, he was in fact realizing the ambition of his uncle, Dom Thierry Ruinart. A Benedictine monk, Dom Ruinart intuitively foresaw the fame and success champagne would enjoy by gauging the popularity of this new sparkling wine amongst his contemporaries in the court of Versailles.  The House of Ruinart was the first to use Gallo Roman chalk cellars to age its wines, and opened the American market as early as 1831. Since then, Ruinart has continued to develop its reputation as the sophisticated boutique champagne for discerning wine lovers.

Press Information for Ruinart

Dorothy Bakker, Brand Manager
Ruinart Champagne
T. (212) 251-8471

Jeffrey Pogash, Communications Director
Moët Hennessy USA
T. (212) 251-8337

Melissa Ayr Presents Painted Baby Grand Piano “Live Energy”

Melissa Ayr Art Painted Piano "Live Energy" Young Chang“Live Energy”
Acrylic on Baby Grand Piano
Young Chang


Piano Provided by the  Piano Gallery
"Piano Gallery"Images Courtesy of Skipping Stone Studio

Sign the Ayr Art Guest Book

See more about the making of the Painted Piano “Live Energy”
See a sneak peak Video of Melissa Ayr’s hands on process

Melissa Ayr Painting a Baby Grand Piano

Melissa Ayr working on the finishing touches of a baby grand piano as her latest work of art.

See a sneak peak Video of Melissa Ayr’s hands on process

Melissa Ayr and Bob Rosenthal with the Baby Grand Piano

Bob Rosenthal of the Piano Gallery in Dallas delivers the Baby Grand Piano.

Melissa Ayr - Piano - Hammers

Breaking it Down

Melissa Ayr - Piano - Disassemblage

Melissa Ayr – Baby Grand Piano – Disassemblage

Melissa Ayr - Baby Grand Piano - Protecting the Parts

Protecting the Parts.

Melissa Ayr Sanding a Young Chang Baby Grand Piano

Melissa Ayr Contemporary Abstract Artist sanding down a Baby Grand Piano in her Ayr Art Studio

Melissa Ayr Piano Sanding and prep completed

Sanding done

Melissa Ayr Piano Sanding and prep completed front

Sanding complete now ready for Primer.

Melissa Ayr - Paints her baby grand

Hours of preparations to get the Piano ready.

Melissa Ayr - Painted Baby Grand Piano

Piano is now taking shape and composition.

This Piano is my canvas

This Piano is my canvas.

Melissa Ayr - Painting a Baby Grand Piano Green

Melissa Ayr - Painting a Baby Grand Piano Half Way Done

Half way done…


Original Ayr Painting “Be Ruinart” Going to Art Basel Miami

Contemporary Abstract Artist Melissa Ayr has been selected as one of ten artists in the United States to be represented at Art Basel in Miami by Ruinart Champagne, a brand of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey.  Melissa Ayr and Ruinart champagne share the same fundamental values of authenticity, openness, refinement and quality.  Ruinart sponsored the opening night of the “Ayr Art Transformation Tour”, a national solo art exhibition featuring new and existing works of art created by Melissa Ayr.  Featured at the Dallas exhibition was a special toast of Ruinart Champagne to unveil the new painting by Melissa Ayr titled “Be Ruinart.”

Melissa Ayr Art "Be Ruinart" Painting

Melissa Ayr Unveils "Be Ruinart"

Melissa Ayr is a colorful contemporary abstract painter whose work incorporates high energy, fluidity, growth, and life.  Melissa Ayr’s art has hung in the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and her art resides in homes of high profile collectors.  Earlier this year, Melissa was featured with a solo exhibition “Ocean Drive” as part the Celebrity Super Bowl Charity Bash in Miami Beach.  Last year, Melissa was featured as the only American Artist at the 2009 World Wilderness Congress with her ground breaking “Wild Thing” painting that raised awareness and funding for the Wild Foundation and Jane Goodall.

The night the piece was unveiled Ms. Ayr shared thoughts about “Be Ruinart”.  “I was asked to create my interpretation of what Ruinart champagne would look like as a contemporary art piece. I was given a bottle to enjoy and sit alone with my thoughts.”  “The name Ruinart was something that caught my eye; ‘art’ being in the name of the champagne itself.  How could this champagne, art and the excitement built up within be combined and conveyed on a canvas?”  Ms. Ayr stated that as she opened the bottle, the Champagne cork popped and champagne spilled out.  Melissa took this into the studio and used paint tubes spilling out of the bottle onto the canvas to convey an explosion of art.

Ms. Ayr was inspired to use paint tubes in “Be Ruinart” because of a story about Picasso.  While living in Lake Tahoe, Ms. Ayr had an opportunity to work with DA Russo, a student of Pablo Picasso.  He would speak of his time living with Picasso in France when he was a young boy.  According to DA Russo, Picasso was known for keeping the left over tubes of oil paints his students discarded.   He had a box near the door of the class where the students would dispose of them.  When the box was filled Picasso would snip off the ends of the tubes, butterfly the tubes and then use the remainder of the paint that was left inside for his own art.

“Be Ruinart” is a 3-dimensional multi media painting on hand stretched linen.  Melissa states, “In the painting, I have included over 40 opened tubes of paint I used myself and have butterflied open.  I have also included my own pallet, a pallet knife, a sable paint brush, a pencil sharper, oil paint medium, a bottle of Ruinart champagne, the Ruinart cork and wrapper, small speaks of clear plastic, and my signature monarch butterfly.  If you look closely you will find a Dragon, a symbol of creativity. “

“Be Ruinart” is a Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey commission with a mission.  “Be Ruinart” will be represented at Art Basel Miami in December 2010 and then auctioned off in New York in January 2011.  The painting will benefit the Museum of Arts & Design in New York with 100% of the proceeds donated to the Museum for their education programs.

To find out more about the “Ayr Art Transformation Tour” and artist Melissa Ayr visit

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About Artist Melissa Ayr:

Melissa Ayr’s mission is simple; create with passion, open the World’s mind to creativity and become the highest valued female artist of our time.  Melissa offers high end fine art using hand crafted custom made canvas, the finest quality paint and artist talent to make every original painting unique.  Melissa sells original abstract paintings in oil, acrylic and mixed media and keeps her indelible oath to grow her brand, maintain value and hold true to the trust that many collectors have placed in her.

About Ruinart:

Champagne Ruinart is the oldest French Champagne company, established in 1729. It is a very high-quality Champagne, and has recently been re-introduced to the U.S market. It is owned now by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey, the world leader in luxury items. ::

“Bee Bop”

Melissa Ayr Art Abstract Bee Bop

“Bee Bop”
Original Oil Painting on Canvas

“Bee Bop” was created in two phases.  The background was created first.  Then many months later Melissa came back to this painting to finish it.  Melissa used her hands to create the background and the overlay was painted with a brush using broad strokes.  The painting is done in oil on cotton duct canvas.  It took over 9 months to create this painting.  This painting represents joy at the present moment.  The title “Bee Bop” represents the happy bouncing movement that was coursing through the artist listening to Jazz music.  This painting is gallery wrapped and was created in the year 2009.  This painting was featured at Melissa’s exhibition Pure Creativity at the Goodrich Gallery in Dallas near the Heart of the Arts District.

Melissa Ayr Art Abstract Bee Bop Room

“Water Garden”

“Water Garden”

Melissa Ayr Oil Abstract Painting Art Artist Water Garden Monet Frankenthaler

“Water Garden”
Original Oil Painting on Canvas

“Water Garden” is a heavy textured original oil on canvas. This painting took over 9 months to create.  The artist used her hands to put down the texture over the cotton duct canvas.  This painting was formerly known as “Inferno” and was hung in the Galerie Blu’u inside the Montbleu Casino Resort in South Lake Tahoe.  “Inferno” was inspired by the Angora Fires around Lake Tahoe in 2007.  “Inferno” was painted outside as ash and soot fell over it and is embedded in the painting.  “Water Garden” was inspired by the impressionist painter Monet and is considered a transitional piece for Melissa’s career as an artist.

Melissa Ayr Oil Abstract Painting Art Artist Water Garden Detail

Detail View

“Pink Whip”

Melissa Ayr Original Art Painting Pink Whip

“Pink Whip”
Acrylic Painting on Canvas
48 x 36 x 1½

“Pink Whip” was created in 2009 and was the inspiration that led Melissa into creating “Wild Thing”.  This artwork was responsible for transitioning the cloud-like color blends Melissa had been focused on into a Jackson Pollock driven creative free for all.  Melissa maintains a robust presence of the color pink whilst orange and yellow tease the canvas with complementary style.  This artwork was recently sold to one of Dallas’ premiere art collectors.