July Message from Melissa’s Studio

Was that me whining for more sun? OK, I’m over it now.  Robert teases me about my 5-degree comfort range, but it’s harder to be obsessive about my new direction when the studio is baking in 100 degrees.  But obsessive I am and have been for weeks. This is new. I’m  painting every spare minute, not worrying about results. (Hey, if you do 40 paintings a week, SOME of them are bound to turn out!)
Floral Trio BeforeFloral Trio After

Here’s the technique which has me so excited: I’ve been working ‘round to this for years.  The first step in most of these paintings involves the pouring on of either bottled acrylic paint, or if you’re on a budget use the bottle craft paint.  I’ve been using it a lot and enjoy the play between the more transparent colors and the opaques. They aren’t archival, but then I still haven’t heard from the Metropolitan Art Museum, so it’s probably ok. 

The pouring on can be analogous colors or some triad on the wheel or just earthtones.  The first picture shows only this first step. I make some swoops and circles and straight lines then start pulling paint in interesting directions using a large palette knife or even a plastic glazing tool from the hardware store.  Actually an artist named Ron Rogers bought scraping tools for the whole class. Check out his wonderful art at: Ron Rogers Art

There’s a primitive part of me that wants to outline things & I had fun with Sharpies and watercolor pencils. But now, I have rediscovered the liner brush. Once my large swathes have dried I just start in a corner and dance my way around the edges of the canvas or paper,
 turning as I go.

The created shapes in the colors are just the starting point as I join and define areas. The brush can be very thin and light and then be instantly bold and demanding with just a little more pressure. Corners are a blast and scrolls and flourishes just seem
 to show up.
It’s so fun and freeing!

To see more of these "Definition Paintings"
please click on the Definition Gallery above.

Melissa's Studio


Buy the DVD

Also check out more of my earlier work and bio @

Art Lesson #1 – Getting Started:
Don’t be Scared!

Art Lesson #2 – Art Journaling:
Are we having Fun Yet?

Art Lesson #3 – A "Grid" Time
Will be Had by All

Art Lesson #4 –
The Yellow Line Project

We now have the ability to show your travel journal pages or your own sun designs in our guest book.

 If you have a digital camera, it's easy to share.

 Also many of the sun designs seen here are available to buy as sturdy travel mugs.

Just click on  Special and scroll down a bit.