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Artisans Center of Virginia

 Sally Mello

Hooked rugs are a great medium for expressing an artistic idea.

Artisans Center of Virginia Juried Artisan

My Life as an artist.

It seems I have always been on the art track. I was accused of adding too much to my drawings in 4th grade. I decorated all the dances in high school, and was recommended for art school by my art teacher. I was fortunate to attend Brown University and The Rhode Island School of Design. My degree was in art, emphasis on studio work.

It is interesting to me that we all enjoy a walk in the woods, artists however end their walk with a need to or indeed a compulsion to communicate to others something that caught their eye. This need to reveal an added meaning with your hands and a medium seems to drive one to create. It is a special treat to me that the walk is never over.

I was a member of the Fairfax Art League. I juried and hung the Courthouse show for years. I organized a group of artists who met monthly and had Leonard Maurer, a professor from American University give us monthly critiques. I entered paintings in many shows and won many awards, however I was not comfortable with going to shows. I prefer contact with people one on one and like to show my work where I can stand with it. I realize that the awards I won did help me to affirm my ability to communicate through my art, and gave me more strength to trust my vision.

My husband and I bought a farm and proceeded to make it into a working organic endeavor. We go to markets and hold workshops now that we are knowledgeable. We have also been part of the Airlie Foundation’s young farmer workshop. I found that the time this endeavor took let me to have less time for oil painting, so I turned to rug hooking which waits on the frame for you, and does not dry out as a painting would. I have always had a feeling for fabric design. I found my training in design helped so much in defining the rugs, as one needs to have a strong design element using light and dark to shape your “picture.” We now have a gallery at River District Arts that shows our work and we are enjoying the contacts with patrons.

I have had another pull in my art career as I now would like to show the difference in design, light, and color between an oil painting or pastel of an idea and the same idea as a rug. I plan to hang them side by side in the gallery so folks can see how the eye receives the image and the different depths of meaning as each medium has a special character.

Sally Mello

Member of Trail Networks:
Rappahannock County Artisan Trail, site # 26




12625 Lee Highway
Washington, VA 22747