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.

Melissa Ayr – Artist – Taught by student of Pablo Picasso

David Russo News Article - Student of Picasso

David Russo News Article – Student of Picasso

Gratta Wines – Art Reception – Jazz Festival

Melissa Ayr at Gratta Wines

Melissa Ayr at Gratta Wines

Artist Melissa Ayr will be showing at Gratta Wines during the 3rd Annual Butchertown Jazz Festival.
Join Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Howard Willey, Destiny Muhammad and Melissa Ayr at the event.

Gratta Wines
5273 3RD ST, San Francisco, California 94124

Schedule · Sunday, October 14, 2018

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Destiny Muhammad

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Howard Wiley & Extra Happy

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers

Melissa Ayr Exhibits at Art Takes SoHo

Melissa Ayr Exhibits at Art Takes SoHo

Ayr Exhibition at Art Takes Soho 2018

Melissa Ayr Joins in Art Battle San Francisco

Melissa Ayr Joins in Art Battle San Francisco


Silicon Valley Open Studios – Talk Art Interview

Abstract painter Melissa Ayr describes her very colorful art and demonstrates how to paint with air using a leaf blower. She also builds her own canvases. She discusses the role of the Juror in competitions she has judged and her experience as a gallery owner.

“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.

“Chaos” unleashed from the Ayr Vault!

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“Chaos” Oil on Canvas 60″ x 48″ x 1½”

Melissa Ayr unleashes “Chaos” into the New Year of 2012.  Pulled from the Ayr vault, this painting borrows from the embodiment of confusion and disorder that represents our current state of affairs.  With passive betrayal and irrational exuberance behind us “Chaos” is a beacon of color that shows the future the path towards organization.  This oil original was created out of the raw emotion and exacerbation of our political offering.  Showcased for the first time this unique work from the Fire Rainbow Series scores the beginning of the Ayr signature style.

To learn more about the artist or this available painting please contact Ayr Art.




Contemporary Artist Debuts Wearable Art New Fashion Luxury Lifestyle Brand


Harris Bevier


Melissa Ayr Launches ‘Wearable Art’ with One of a Kind Painted Designer Jeans

DALLAS, TEXAS, February 2011 – Melissa Ayr – Contemporary Art Abstract Painter – today announces her new brand, Ayr Wear™, which will design, market and sell various lifestyle products. The new fashion luxury lifestyle brand made its official debut in December 2010 at Art Basel Miami Beach.  First to launch in the exclusive Ayr Wear line are the Wearable Art Painted Jeans collection.  The clothing features colorful contemporary artwork directly on the fabric of premium designer jeans and jeggings, in a painting style for which Melissa Ayr is famous.

Melissa Ayr, born in New York, is an international contemporary abstract artist.  Melissa Ayr was nationally recognized and was selected as one of ten artists represented at Art Basel Miami Beach by Ruinart Champagne, a brand of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey.  Her art is on the cutting edge of color with bold flowing blends of light and dark. Her style is colorful, vibrant and full of texture. She incorporates high energy, fluidity, growth and life.  Melissa Ayr is known for her rich vibrant color and the ability to create dimension on a flat canvas.  Melissa paints through an expressive process she calls “Pure Creativity” and carries this creativity into her Ayr Wear™ clothing.

The initial line consists of a collection known as Elegant Creativity – luxury designer jeans embellished with one of a kind art work in Melissa’s own signature style.  Ayr Wear™ uses a proprietary process to paint clothing that can endure everyday use.  The Elegant Creativity collection will be available in several boutiques around Dallas in the next month.

Melissa also offer’s an exclusive service to provide one of a kind Ayr Art on your favorite pair of denim’s.  This premium service will provides the ultimate fit, including your choice of colors, style, leg(s) and placement.  Melissa has painted on several famous designer brands including Seven for All Mankind, True Religion, Lucky Jeans, Joe’s Jeans, Dylan George, Citizens of Humanity, Stitch’s Jeans, Calvin Klein and many others.

Ayr Wear will kick-start the business with various jeans collections and will soon expand into dresses, purses and shoes to serve as a full fashion luxury lifestyle brand.

The Ayr Wear™ line will be available at high-end retailers and online. Retailers interested in carrying the line can call 646.360.0297 or send an e-mail to

For more information, art work, media inquiries and interviews please contact Harris Bevier at 646.360.0297 or

Melissa Ayr
Melissa Ayr, born in New York, is a contemporary abstract painter.  Ayr Wear™ is a fashion luxury lifestyle brand started in 2010 by Melissa Ayr.  Ayr Wear™ painted clothing is a subsidiary of Art Art, Inc.

Melissa Ayr joins Advisory Board for International Child Art Foundation

Contemporary Abstract Artist Melissa Ayr joins the Advisory Board for International Child Art Foundation.  Melissa Ayr joins with artist Chuck Close and Dr. Cathy Malchiodi, Founder, International Art Therapy Organization.
The International Child Art Foundation’s mission is to integrate the arts with science, sport and technology for the development of children’s innate creativity and intrinsic empathy – preconditions for a more just, prosperous and nonviolent world.

Kindly read about ICAF and join us. You can help alleviate suffering through Healing Arts Programs, end violence through Peace through Art Program, and grow imagination through the Arts Olympiad. Then come celebrate the next generation at the World Children’s Festival 2011.

More on our Vision…

Abstract Painter Melissa Ayr on “The Linnda Durre’ Show”

Abstract Painter Melissa Ayr on “The Linnda Durre’ Show” May 3rd, 2010.

Hear the interview.

Linnda Durré is a radio and TV talk show host, journalist, author, writer, and business and
corporate consultant; an Internet, magazine and newspaper columnist; and an award winning filmmaker. She was admitted to WGA when she sold a TV series to Aaron Spelling, and she has written and hosted for the Disney Channel.

She has hosted and produced two TV shows (one national) and this is the third radio show she has hosted and produced. She has appeared on Oprah, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Daytime, Good Morning America, The O’Reilly Factor (twice), and the local and/or national news programs on ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, PBS, CW, and Fox.

The New York Optimist – Melissa Ayr

Artist Melissa Ayr’s baby grand piano featured in the New York Optimist.

Arts Editor: Stephan Fowlkes
Curator: Alexander Viscio

Sneak Peak Video – Contemporary Artist Melissa Ayr Paints a Baby Grand Piano

Melissa Ayr – Featured on Woman Anew

Melissa Ayr is interviewed by Ania Zegan, co-founder and CEO of the Woman Anew Internet TV Network and host of “Ordinary Women Extraordinary Lives”show.

Woman Anew focuses on key issues that impact women and their families including: relationship, family, business and career, education, building and maintaining financial security, situational awareness, health and well-being, politics, social values, legal issues, and daily routines.

Melissa Ayr – Interview with Kellie Frazier

Getting to know contemporary abstract artist Melissa Ayr.

Hear the Interview.

Liverpool Biennial

Melissa Ayr has received professional accreditation from the Liverpool Biennial.  The 6th International Liverpool Biennial is “Touched”.

Liverpool Biennial

“Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest as well as one of the most exciting contemporary visual arts events, and with 960,000 visits in 2008, it is one of the best attended in the world.”

Thanks Biennial team

Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest as well as one of the most exciting contemporary visual arts events, and with 960,000 visits in 2008, it is one of the best attended in the world.

LVMH – Ruinart Champagne selects Melissa Ayr for Art Basel

Recently, Melissa Ayr was approached and selected for an original artwork for Champagne Ruinart.

Ruinart Champagne

Ruinart Champagne Melissa Ayr Art Basel

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 group, the world leader in luxury items.

LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton

LVMH Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy-

Ruinart’s team has created a public relations campaign around Contemporary Art. Ten artists have been selected from New York, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas and Santa Fe to create ten specially-commissioned art pieces. Each artist will have his own creation presented, individually, by a Ruinart party in the artist’s respective city.

The presentation of Melissa’s piece concerning this event will happen during the Ayr Art Transformation Tour at the Piano Gallery on August 21st, 2010.

During Art Basel/Miami Beach in December 2010, Champagne Ruinart and Whitewall magazine will create a ”pop-up gallery/champagne gallery” to present the 10 pieces together to the public. An auction will also be organized for the sale of those pieces, and 100 % of the proceeds will be donated to the Education programs of the Museum of Art & Design in New York.

Melissa Ayr Presents “Wild Thing” Painting to The Wild Foundation

Please support Wild9 – The Wild Foundation World Wilderness Congress (WWC).

Melissa Ayr Wild Thing Banner Artist The Wild Foundation

The WWC is the best-known and most effective platform for debating and acting on wilderness issues. They provide a balanced approach, taking on highly charged issues in a constructive manner, and most importantly helping to broker solutions.

WWCs launch numerous wilderness and wildlife protection organizations and networks including: the Wilderness Action Group (South Africa), The Cheetah Conservation Fund (Namibia), the Wilderness Associazione Italiana (Italian Wilderness Association), the Kissama Foundation (Angola), the International League of Conservation Photographers, the Native Lands and Wilderness Council, the Government Network of Wilderness Professionals

Jane Goodall Wild9 Melissa Ayr Artist

World Renowned primatologist, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace.  In July 1960, a 26-year-old Jane Goodall began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania under the mentorship of famed anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey.

Dr. Goodall will deliver a keynote address and personally lead a special workshop on Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the Jane Goodall Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program, for all WILD9 delegates who wish to attend.

Melissa Ayr has donated the Painting “Wild Thing” to support The Wild Foundation to keep the wilderness wild.

Melissa Ayr Art Wild Thing Wild9

“Wild Thing” is available for sale and the proceeds will go 100% towards supporting The Wild Foundation.  Please contact Melissa Ayr for more information about supporting Wild and purchasing this work of art.

For more information and to donate to The Wild Foundation please go to  Support WILD! You can help make a real difference. WILD depends on the support of people like you for the majority of its funding.

Donate Directly Here