Responding to the call of the sea, artist Mel Reidy moved to the Eurobodalla in 2017. "I call it paradise", she says. "There is something so 'magical' about the light here."
A painter and printmaker, Mel joined Creative Arts Batemans Bay Incorporated (CABBI) not long after arriving in the Bay and her artworks are now prominently displayed at The Gallery in Mogo.
Her canvases feature water, light and sky - the ebb and flow of the sea, the ever-changing movement of the waves, the vastness of blue skies and that wonderful Batemans Bay light.
"As an artist my interest is in the changing relationship of sky and sea combined," she said. "For me the pattern the sky creates with each and every dawn and dusk is as individual and unique as each and every human being."
Mel prefers the softer, more muted colours of the sea, the blues and the teals.
Currently at The Gallery is a painting of crashing waves displaying Mel's love of the sea as well a series of paintings of white yachts shimmering against a swatch of sea colours.
But sometimes she is tempted by the brighter colours. In her painting Water Spirit rainbow colours applied vertically travel sinuously across the canvas.
She has dabbled in acrylics but has always returned to oils because, she says, their fluidity and vibrancy suit her style of painting.
At times her artworks veer towards the abstract and at others images emerge - it is a form of abstraction combined with expressionism.
"I put myself into the canvas. When I am painting there are no time barriers, there is freedom, passion and the flight of imagination - it's beyond words."
Mel grew up on the west coast of Victoria with weekends and holidays spent surfing and time in the water.
As a young woman she followed her parents' advice and studied to be a teacher of art and - like many a teacher - she found that while she loved the creativity and openness of children, and developing their artistic abilities, she was left with little time or energy to develop her own.
Being of a quiet but adventurous nature, Mel has taught all over the South Pacific and the Philippines, in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, inner city Melbourne and Sydney and outback NSW.
Ten years ago the illness of a relative in need of support led Mel to Dubbo where she stayed for the next 10 years prior to moving to the Bay.
"With the demands of teaching behind me I now have the luxury of painting for myself - I am just delighted and feel very fortunate and blessed."
Mel's work can also be found at Mossy Point Cafe and Deli on Perry.
The Gallery is a retail exhibition space for members of CABBI, a society open to local arts and crafts practitioners. People interested in finding out more about CABBI should drop in to The Gallery, Mogo, phone 02 4474 2243 or visit our website www.creativeartsbatemansbay.com.au.