Michelle Bellamy grew up in Nelson and is a second generation New Zealander with Central/Northern European grandparents who were both artists. Spare time involved heated drawing competitions between family members and expeditions into the outdoors. Michelle is mainly self-taught, although both parents are artists, her mother an illustrator and father a painter and photographer so she gained valuable knowledge and critiques of her paintings from them as her skills developed over the years.
By 16 years old, Bellamy was represented by the Rutherford Gallery and at 17 she started painting full-time. After two very successful solo exhibitions in 2007 and 2008, she has now established herself as a highly regarded and sought after artist throughout New Zealand. She has been painting full-time now for over 7 years.
The surrounding countryside of Nelson and further south were inspiring landscapes for Bellamy. She had extensively explored the Boulder Bank Baches and based two exhibitions around them, as she enjoys the originality and rustic appeal. Although she now resides in the central North Island her eye is still drawn coastward and the body of work she is currently working on is based around coastal baches and boatsheds.
Bellamy has worked in all mediums but has a great love for the special qualities that acrylic paint offers. Her way of working with acrylics is a dance between heavy textural layering and fine transparent, almost water colour like application. Acrylics suit her temperament and particular way of working with paint. She paints on boards, canvas, canvas boards and linen boards. She has a realistic contemporary style, but always portrays old subject matter. The majority of the subjects she chooses are under dispute whether to terminate them or not. Therefore, throughout her work she is always looking to record a small part of New Zealand history.
Over the past few years Bellamy has enjoyed working abroad in such inspiring places as Switzerland, Italy and whilst travelling across Canada. However the beauty of New Zealand draws her back and she has a deep personal bias for New Zealand vistas.
Bellamy is a young artist, however her works are held in private collections worldwide and she has just completed a number of large commissions, the latest one to date was for the foyer of the Forsyth Barr building in Auckland. Demand for her original paintings often mean there are none available to purchase, but her beautiful, high quality limited edition giclee prints are filling part of this void. See below...