Monday, December 16, 2013

The Tree is Up!

Here is this years Christmas tree.  Very nice, if I do say so myself.
Now, if I could just finish everything else.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Tomie dePaola Award

Here is my entry for the 2014 SCBWI Tomie dePaola Award.  I decided to try a cut paper, since I enjoyed it so much at my Highlights workshop.  So here is is.  If I win you will all hear about it.
Our assignment was to illustrate this poem.

A Sneeze
is a breeze

Wish me luck!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Show

It's that time of year again, for me.  I have for the past 5 years done a holiday art show, in downtown Albany, Oregon.  The past 3 years it has taken place at a wonderful restaurant called Sybris.  If you have never eaten there you are really missing out.  Anyway, here is a little sample and I mean little, of some of my paintings.  I have a total of 60 paintings for this show.  48 of which are brand new.  So, if you live near Albany Oregon come by and take a peek.
Oh, these paintings are all done with acrylic paint on canvas, and they range in size from 6x6 up to 60x60.

Friday, November 22, 2013

New Little Artwork

Here is a new piece of art I just finished.  I was told at my workshop this past summer that I didn't need to use ink in my illustrations.  But, as you can see I did on this little piece.  The reason is that a good friend of mine asked me to do a little ink and watercolor drawing of his granddaughter.  So, since he asked me to do it this way, how can I say no?  The really good news is he is a paying customer.  So there you have it.  I had to use some ink.
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  I will be painting my little heart out.  I have a big art show coming up in December.  Must get more paintings completed!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Little Paniting

Here is a little painting I just finished for the gallery.  Oh, I don't think I told people about the gallery.  I now belong to a co-op gallery called Gallery Calapooia.  It's fun and keeps me painting.
You can take a peek at

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I just hope I get a few trick or treaters this year, or else my back side will look a lot like this ladies.

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Studio

Someone asked me last week why I have never shown a picture of my studio on my blog.  I thought to myself, because it's a mess!  But, then I thought, who cares.  Probably lots of artists have messy studios.  At least I hope they do.  Anyway, here is a picture of my workspace, I did tidy up a bit.
I have a big bay window that my art table sits in front of.  So, I have lots of nice light when I'm painting or drawing.  I have a desk because I have to act like a business owner sometimes.  I own a small greeting card company called Melissa's Art Inc.  Then behind my desk is my computer and printer.  Oh, and I have books, lots and lots of books.  I love books!
 That quilt hanging on the wall is one that I made.  I'm very proud of it.  That's why it's on the wall.

Have a nice weekend everyone!  M.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Lets go to the Pumpkin Patch

Here is a little painting of my daughter on a visit to the pumpkin patch.  She is 27 now, so this was a long time ago.  But, in my mind I can go back to this time any time  I want.  Which is kind of nice for me.
This was done in watercolor on 140 lb paper.  I also used my new wonderful brushes.  Boy, I really needed those.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Highlights Workshop

I just got home from a beyond wonderful workshop, put on by the Highlights Foundation in Honesdale PA.  The workshops are mostly writing workshops.  But, I was lucky enough to get accepted into The Advanced Illustration Workshop, Highlights was offering.  I'm still kind of on a high from the whole experience.  Really, it was worth every penny.
We had wonderful little cabins to stay in. Located in the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania.  Meals were delicious and the wine flowed freely in the evening, if you wanted to take part.  Which I did.
Our instructors were, E.B. Lewis, Matt Tavares and Joy Chu.  All were so interesting and all of them taught me new things and new ways to look at things.  The whole workshop was really designed to open us up and push our boundaries, which it did ten fold.  If you ever get a chance to take one of their workshops I highly recommend it.  Here are a few photos of my time there.
This is our group of illustrators, along with our teachers and our den mother Cindy Smith.  I kind of fell in love with all these people.
This is a cut paper project that Joy Chu had us work on.  Our task was to come up with a character and them illustrate it in cut paper.  We needed to make a flap so the head would open up and then show what that character was thinking about.  I loved doing this.  Here is what was inside my lions head.
He went to the big city!  I think he might have a date!  I now, love working with cut paper.  Who would have thought?
Here I am working hard.  I think it was getting pretty late, but who cares, it was fun, fun, fun!

You can find out more about the workshops Highlights has to offer at their web site.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Bike

I have a new bike.  Yes, I ride around town on a bike.  What's not to love about cruising along on a summers day.  If I could make Lois sit in a basket and ride with me, it would be perfect.  She wants nothing to do with bike riding.  I think she prefers wandering around the back yard, smelling the grass.

Here is a new painting I just finished.  I'm not sure if I love it or not.  Guess I'll think about it for a bit.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Nice day for a Ride

Well, it's a nice day for a ride on an elephant.  I wish.  Gosh, I do love elephants.   I have talked about this the past,  I have a very long relationship with an elephant named Packy who lives at the Washington Park Zoo.  He's my favorite.  I have loved him since I was 5 years old.  My parents would not buy him for me.  So, he had to stay at the zoo.  He seems happy enough.  I guess things turn out for the best.  I will just have to go visit him.  I wish those darn zoo keepers would let me inside his house.  But, they won't.   They say it's a safety thing.  Zoo keepers, you can't control them.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Out for a Walk

So sorry I have not posted anything for so long.  Very busy helping set up a co-op art gallery in my town.  If you get a chance stop by and see us or go take a look at our web site :

Anyway, here is a tiny little painting done in watercolor and ink.  The artwork is about 3 x 3 and then there is a frame.  It will be for sale at Gallery Calapooia soon!

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Just out for a Spin

This is a little illustration that has been kicking around in my head.  Finally put it down on paper.
The little guy seems pleased with his ride.  Can't say that I blame him.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Updated Webpage!

I just got my web page updated.  Very exciting.  Hope you will all go take a look and tell your friends.  I need work.
Here is the address:

Let me know what you think.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Just a little light reading

Doesn't that sound nice.  Now, if I could just get my hands on a elephant.  Preferably, a good mannered one.  You might not know this about me, but I love elephants.  Well, I like them a lot, anyway.  I have had a long term relationship with a nice elephant named Packy.  He lives in Portland at the zoo.  I tried to purchase him when I was five years old. But, my mother wouldn't let me.  Apparently, I threw a bit of a fit over the whole thing.  I'm still very disappointed.  But, sometimes things just don't work out the way you had hoped.
Here is a little drawing I whipped up this afternoon.  Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm off to Quilt Market!

Yes, you heard me right.  I'm off to Quilt Market.  That may seem like a strange thing for an illustrator to do.  But, it's not.  Illustrators design lot and lots of fabric.  I have been designing for fabric companies for several years.  But, this year I am shopping for a new company to work with.  Anyway, I hope it stops raining but if it doesn't, I'll just do some puddle stomping.
If anyone is reading this, thanks for stoping by.

Monday, May 6, 2013

At the Zoo

Another illustration maybe for fabric?  This was done in pen & ink and watercolor.  I love going to the zoo.  I live near the Portland Zoo, well I think it's called the Washington Park Zoo now.  It is the home of the wonderful Packy. He is the best elephant in the world.  If you have not been to see and meet him you are really missing out.  There is also a new baby elephant there now,  named Lily.

Now I have that Simon and Garfunkel song in my head.  Oh well, it's a good song.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Time for a Treat

Nothing like spending time with a good buddy and having a few treats.  I spend time with my girl Lois every day.  And those of you who know Lois, know she loves a treat or two.
Just another quick sketch with watercolor.  Now, I'm off to the Teen Art Show here in Albany!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Hey Baby!

Just a fast little sketch with a watercolor wash over the top.  I wonder what that dog is planning?
Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Here comes the Zoo Train

I always loved riding on the zoo train when I was a kid.  I still love it.  I think maybe I am a kid at heart.
So this is a new design I just finished.  The train of animals is all one painting then I used different layers of watercolor designs for the background.  Isn't Photoshop amazing?  I mostly like the alligator in his own personal tub.  What a way to travel.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Someone is Awake

Here is something new I just finished.  I just did it for fun.  Always working on my portfolio.  One of these days someone is going to let me illustrate a book for them.  So, until then, I will keep practicing my craft.
I think my son had striped pajamas like these and his hair was always a mess first thing in the morning. But, he was and still is wonderful.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Another Illustrated Name

Here is another illustrated name.  This time I drew my son Todd's name.
So, as you can see he is a fly fisherman.  A very good one from what I hear. He loves to read, has a nice dog named Tom and those are hiking boots sitting near the rainbow trout. He loves to ride his bike. Oh, and that is a big horned sheep that he hunted down a few years ago.  He has lots of other interests as well but, I thought this was enough stuff to put in.
Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Thanks for stopping in.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter!

What a busy week I am having.  But, it's almost Easter!  So I thought I would dig out some nice bunny art to share.  I had a pet rabbit when I was growing up. His name was Thumper, I know, how original.  Oh well.  To be truthful I had lots of pets when I was growing up.  My parents really liked me.  I had pet ducks one year, they flew away. They were named Daffy and Dilly.  My mother named them.  I did watch for them every spring but they didn't come back.  I had a horse.  His name was Prince.  He came to live with my family with that name already.  He was very gentle and loved to play hide and seek with me.  Of coarse I had cats and lot of dogs too. I have always had a dog following me around. Lucky for me my husband likes dogs too.  Oh, and my kids...well, don't even get me started.

Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

An Illustrated Name

So, I have been trying to figure out a fun way to make a little extra money with my illustrations.  Lucky me, I follow a wonderful blog by illustrator Will Terry.  He talked a lot about how much the illustration community has changed over the last 20 years.  Will talked about thinking outside the box and finding your place in the marketplace.  So, now I'm really getting into some deep thinking.  I thought well,  I really like to paint and draw fonts.  How about illustrating names? I know this has probably been done before, but not by me.   I'm practicing at the moment.  I have a daughter named Meg, she is the first name I illustrated.  Meg has a nice dog named Tucker she likes to quilt and read and cook and she has a cute husband too.  I am working on my son Todd's name next.  Anyway,I think it turned out pretty good.   I have to figure out an order form and price per letter. And then I have to find a way to get customers.  What do you all think?  Is this a good idea?

Here is Will's blog address if you would like to go be inspired as well.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Space Kids

Here is a drawing I did a little while ago.  I drew it with a black pen and then scanned into my computer.  Then I just dropped color into the drawing from Photoshop.  Kind of like a coloring book.
Well, it Friday.  I'm looking forward to a nice weekend at home.  Even though I have tons of laundry to do.  Maybe I'll run by Starbucks first.  I think a nice 16 oz mocha is calling me.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


No, this does not mean examine your zipper.  It stands for xylophone, yo yo and zebra.
Well, this is the end of my illustrated alphabet.  I hope you enjoyed it.

"Art is indeed not the bread but the wine of life"
                                                                       --Jean Paul Richter

Monday, March 11, 2013

W is for...

W is for, a wonderful whale with a lovely gold watch.
"Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter.  I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book.  If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for?"
                                                                                           --Alice Walker

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Letter V

Todays letter was illustrated with a vulture and a violin.  That should be some pretty interesting music?
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"
                                                                                            --Pablo Picasso

Thursday, March 7, 2013

U is for...

Well, you can figure it out.
"Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people"
                                                                                       --Leo Burnett

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

T is for...

Here is my illustrated letter t.  So, I decided to paint a turtle and a tomato.  He also has kind of cute toes.  Nothing like some turtle toes to cheer up your day.
"Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, the less the artist does the better"
                            --Andre' Gide

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Letter S

Todays letter is S.
As you can see, stands for skunk and strawberry.
"As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life"
                                                                             --John Lubbock

Monday, March 4, 2013

R is for....

R is for rabbit and ring.  Make that a diamond ring.
"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try"
                                                                                 --Dr. Seuss

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Letter Q

Todays letter is Q. Which stands for quail and quilt block.
"Art is an adventure that never seems to end"
                                                                            Los Cerros Middle School, 1999

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Letter P

For me, P is for pig and paintbrush.  I'm just making this up as I go.
"Art is the colors and textures of your imagination."
                                                                         Los Cerros Middle School, 1999

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

O is for...

O is for Owl and Orange.  Do owls like oranges?  I think they prefer mice. But, this young fellow might be a vegetarian.
"A picture is a poem without words"
                                                       -- Horace

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Letter N

Todays letter is N.  Which stands for newt and nut.

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see"
                                                                                  --Edgar Degas

Friday, February 22, 2013

M is for...

A monkey and his mouse.
"Art doesn't have to matter to a lot of people to matter a lot"
                                             --Jeb Dickerson

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An Illustrated L

L is for Lion and Ladybugs.  Now, you know.

"Creativity takes courage"
                               --Henri Matisse

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

K is for...

A kindly kangaroo with her wee one and her rather large key.  I wonder what that key is for?

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary"
-- Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Letter J

I'm sorry I didn't post anything on Monday.  Took the day off.  It was fun.  But, best of all I got a phone call from my cousin in South Carolina, who called to tell me her oldest daughter is expecting a baby!  I can think of nothing else.  Well, except what a wonderful mother she will be.  Isn't life great!

Oh, by the way, here is the quote of the day.

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time"
-- Thomas Merton

Friday, February 15, 2013

And it continues...

Introducing the illustrated letter i.

"You can't wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club"
                                                                       --Jack London

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Letter H

The next letter in the line up is....H.

I enjoyed posting a quote so much yesterday, I think I'll do it again today.  Have a wonderful day everyone.

"Creativity is contagious, pass it on"
                                             Albert Einstein

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Letter G

Today's letter is G.

I found this quote that I just love, so I'm sharing.  Enjoy.

"Art has the power to make any spot on earth the living center of the universe; and unlike science, which often gives us the illusion of understanding things we really do not understand, it helps us to know life in a way that still keeps before us the mystery of things.  It enhances the sense of wonder.  And wonder is respect for life."  -- William Steig, in his Caldecott Medal acceptance speech for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More letters

Here are a few more letters I have illustrated.  This is a fun illustration excercise to work on, if only to improve your painting skills.   It's also really fun to paint type face.  Well, it's fun for me, anyway.