Here, in a short Q&A via email, Melanie writes on how Brittany compares to Cornwall, her artistic techniques and how some of the characters of the coast are transferred to canvas.
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Craig McGinty: How have you ended up in Brittany?
Melanie McDonald: Good question. I've lived mostly in Cornwall and first travelled over to Brittany in 2000 to visit friends, I fell in love with it instantly.
Many people say that Brittany is like Cornwall was years ago. It's always felt somehow familiar and yet invitingly different. The dream was to buy an old farm with land on the north coast near Locquirec, which is what we've done.
The old farmhouse kitchen is my make-shift studio, it's great. The five year plan is to build my dream studio where the old hanger is.
CM: What are the main differences between painting in the UK and painting in France?
MM: The painting process is the same, except that in France I have a bigger studio space to work in. I take a lot of photos and make sketches when I travel - in fact I often work on paintings of Cornwall and Scotland in my studio in France.
CM: The light and the sea are clearly very important in your work, how difficult and what techniques do you use to capture them?
MM: Yes, many people say they love how I use light in my paintings, and I'm fascinated by light and shadow. I try not to consciously think about it, just enjoy it and absorb the vibe. I work with my canvases flat on the floor using many thin layers of colour.
CM:Who are some of the people you've met whilst working on the beach and have they been captured in later work?
MM: Family and friends feature in my paintings. Not in a portrait style, mostly in silhouette or walking in the distance.
I also use unknown figures in the surfer and kitesurfer paintings. The piece is dictated by the shape of the figure and movement of the wave - I'm waiting for someone to come along and say 'Hey, that's me'.
CM: What has the internet and services like Twitter brought to your work?
MM: I'd find it difficult to live in rural Brittany (or anywhere) without the internet. There's the obvious business side, I have an online shop selling prints all over the world.
But I also use the internet for research into trends such as leisure activities on the coast. I enjoy Twitter, it's incredible to connect with artists and writers in far flung lands.
I'm involved with #TwitterArtExhibit which fundraises for small charities - artists donate art postcards which are then sold. The next show will take place in L.A. in February.
CM: Where next for your art, what other countries or styles appeal?
MM: I've just started working on a new project based on the wild coast of Finistere, but I can't really divulge too much except that it involves lighthouses.
The Celtic coast of Spain and Outer Hebrides of Scotland are planned painting destinations for 2013.
Website: Melanie McDonald