ULTIMATE HAPPINESS is the story of my search for the true self, or what some call enlightenment. It is also a moving love story about the three women who transform my world, told through 100 entertaining stories that are gritty, intimate, and often hilariously funny. You’ll laugh along with me as I dive into the exotic world of yoga, meditation, healing, and personal growth; you’ll cry along with me as I experience the loss of those I love most in the world; you’ll meet some remarkably wise spiritual teachers and be introduced to a radical new paradigm for happiness.
My first book was on a virtually unknown French Renaissance painter named Jean Clouet, who was court painter to King Francis I. I spent three years researching the book for my doctoral thesis, unearthing documents in musty French chateaux, poking through the archives in Paris and London, and meeting with curators at the Louvre. Little by little, I pieced together enough evidence to establish a definitive group of paintings, miniatures, and drawings by this artist. After completing my thesis, I got a call from the prestigious Phaidon Press in London saying they wanted to publish it. The book appeared as Jean Clouet: The Complete Edition. It was also published in French by the Flammarion Press in Paris. I didn’t make a dime, but as a starry-eyed young professor, who cared?
“Professor Mellen has done us a true service in bringing out this reasoned, useful, and handsome book.”
– Apollo Magazine
When Canada’s largest publisher, McClelland & Stewart, asked me to write a book on The Group of Seven, a group of artists who went off to paint the pristine wilderness in the early twentieth century, I had no idea what was in store for me. The book became a Canadian best seller and one of the most successful art books ever published in Canada, selling over 40,000 copies. It is a story filled with all kinds of adventures–one of the artists (a dark and handsome loner) mysteriously dies in a canoe accident; another outfits a boxcar so they can go far into the Northland to paint the fall colors; others have their paintings criticized as too modern by an angry public.
“If Peter Mellen’s creative accomplishments amounted to little more that the production of The Group of Seven, he could still boast of having made a worthwhile contribution to the world of Canadian art.”
– The Albertan
After the success of The Group of Seven, my publisher asked me to do a book that would bring together some of the most celebrated paintings and sculptures in the history of Canadian Art. The book appeared as Landmarks of Canadian Art, and was Gift Book of the Year in 1979. It gave a sweeping history of three thousand years of Canadian art, from pre-historic times to the present. It was also published in a limited edition with an original lithograph, weighing in at twenty pounds.
“Landmarks of Canadian Art is a work of art in itself–meant to be read, viewed, meditated upon and enjoyed.”
– Kingston Whig Standard