Colm Melly B.A.

Born in Lettermacaward, Colm was educated at Meenagowan National School before going to Strabane to sit his G.C.E's at Strabane High School, where he achieved an A Level in Art History. Colm then followed his facination with art and
furthered his career when he went to study Modern Art at the Open University, Milton Keynes, and graduated three years later with a Batchelor of Arts degree. During his time in university, Colm was impressed by the works of artists such as Monet, Manet, Pissaro and Van Gogh, who had made a name for themselves as "The Impressionists". To Colm their work had created a new concept of painting that presented more of an impression than a realistic depiction.

Colm has been running his own art gallery in Glenties since 1972. His particular interest is painting landscapes in oil and watercolours. Colm's painting's are to be found in private collections in many parts of the world.

At the moment Colm has taken on the challenge of writing his first book "Light in the Rosses", which is due for publication shortly. This book is a lively and vivid account of a way of life, and experience for many people in West Donegal immediately before, and after the Second World War.

It tells of customs, skills, pastimes and routines that were often frugal and simple yet self-sufficient and sustaining. Many people were compelled to travel to Scotland, England and even America in an effort to earn a living, and to possibly enrich their lives any way they could.

Life was often spartan and simple, however despite many hardships endured on occasion there was gaiety and laughter too. People made their own entertainment, songs, storytelling and music provided relief from the daily grind, and never ending toil. Materials and provisions were meagre, and often in short supply, therefore every single possible use was made of any available resource.

Home, church, and school had a major impact on young people growing up then, and they often carried the mark of these three wherever they travelled in the world. There are anecdotes and accounts of many events that reflect the flavour of life, as it was at that time!

Colm Melly, The Art Gallery, Main Street, Glenties, Co. Donegal.