Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Thinking Pink

This year served up a big challenge for me. I had to make peace with pink. Time to get rosy, blushed, and even a little hot.

Thinking Pink Blog Header from Melasdesign

Ahhhhh, pink. A pleasant surprise from nature. A staple color in 1980's preppie style. A color identified traditionally with the feminine, but which, thankfully, has been less and less pigeonholed with time. The color of love. A godsend to folks like me with really pale complexions. A great accent color in its hotter versions. A positive color. 

Pink Addict
(a positive addiction)

As much as pink has going for it, it's not been one found overly often in my repertoire. It's definitely a personal thing. Maybe 80's prep is to blame (It was combined with pastel green, of course - No sweaters around the shoulders for this anti-gal!). Maybe it was having a pink little girl's room a tad too long (and sheeeez, what a mind-bogglingly unsettling hue!). Maybe it was an irrational fear that it would make me look soft and delicate (which is not a fault, of course, but not the image an on-and-off-again goth-waver desires to instill - modern pastel goths are lucky in that aspect - would've suited me better!). And maybe, but really truly, one too many comparisons to Molly Ringwald in "Pretty in Pink" (which I now see were probably not meant thaaaaat badly). Who knows. I avoided the color.

Then at some point I really started liking hot pink. Pastel was still a huge stretch, but I discovered the fun of the shocking hot color, often times even more potent than red. I was seeing interiors with key hot pink accents. Flamingos are always beautiful (*a* hot pink of hot pinks). Siouxsie Sioux had rocked some great hot pink lipstick at times. Nina Hagen visuals through the years also made a "hey, pink can be different" impression.....   And so it began. Maybe they would even get the spirit behind the abstract art above. 

I went with it, and made pink-based artwork by and by. I've assembled it into two collections in my art merch shops on Society6 and RedBubble (for art prints, home decor, t-shirts and fashion, bags, tech and student gear). These are highlighted below. Grouped in time for (shhhhhh!) Valentine's Day.

Melasdesign Collections for Folks Who Love Pink
(or need a Valentine's Day gift!!)

The All About Love Collection from Melasdesign on Society6

The All About Love Collection on Society6

The All About Love (and Pink!) Collection on RedBubble from Melasdesign

Adventures in Felt with Melasdesign

Then the unthinkable happened..... Word got out that I'm felting again, and I got a big order for vases in prep for Valentine's Day..... in pink. The challenge was on. No more occasional ventures into the direction of pink. I had to face it head on! 

Bouquet from Thomas Yard with Melasdesign Felted Vase

So I got my nerve up and collected together all that pink roving I had stashed, thinking in terms of accents. Time to get busy! 

Materials used by Melasdesign for Wet Felting

The order was to cover collectible mason jars, from jelly jar and beverage size to very big in their scheme of things. I had such fun seeing the jars, their stamps, and thinking about what might've been in them, and days where they were standard on store shelves. There was quite a collection of names and stamped designs: Ball, Kerr, Atlas, and my favorite (of course!) Magic.

The All About Love Nuno-felt Mason Jar Vase from Melasdesign
The "All About Love" Nuno-felted Vase from Melasdesign as seen in Thomas Yard.
And I felted.... and felted.... and felted, until I had all this, my first Valentine's Day vase collection:

Mason Jar Vases from Valentines Day Collection by Melasdesign

A big thanks to the folks at Florist and Artisan Gift Shop Thomas Yard for peddling my wares! Be sure to get in touch if you're interested in getting one of these for yourself. CLICK THIS for a handy way to get in touch with me regarding any of the vases. I've included close-up shots of my favorites out of the collection below. Read on to the end.

But for now, some "lovely" art and art merch. 

Only Love

All that pink is making me think of love, and thinking of love makes me think of real life. I've never been one for romantic comedies, soaps, or love stories (except for the Princess Bride, and Wings Over Berlin! - Everyone has a weak spot!). Love can be an overwhelming emotion, something trying to fight through in an unhappy world. This is a throwback painting I did the background of which I made right before I met my husband. I learned of true love, but the world (at least from what the news and media shows) remained pretty icky and loveless on so many levels. I reached for things to build me up; my husband, my dog, my friends, music, art.... and one song was in heavy rotation, "Only Love" after which I finished this painting, including the song title.  

Only Love by Melasdesign

Only Love
S6 / RB

The Hearts Mantra

Then I made something directly Valentine's Day inspired. I wanted something fluffy, something soft and floaty. My other pink designs of the season were fairly direct and abstract artsy. It was time to go ahead and use the heart motif. It's pretty challenging, because it's been made into such a stereotype. I thought of paper valentines I made growing up. I *loved* stacking and layering the hearts. I also was often provided with a doily to use as background. Going from this idea, I came up with a hearty, but not *so* traditional rendering. I even used my wool from above to help in a way that's my secret! ;)

The Hearts Mantra - Melasdesign on S6

The Hearts Mantra

The Hearts Mantra - Melasdesign on RedBubble

Ultimate Pink Pattern

And finally, the last pink design for now, harder edged, more abstract, but in a pattern. 
Ultimate Pink Pattern - RedBubble, from Prints to Fashion

Ultimate Pink Pattern - Fashion from Melasdesign on RedBubble

Ultimate Pink Pattern - Society6 from Home Decor to Prints

Ultimate Pink Pattern Curtains from Melasdesign on Society6

Ultimate Pink Pattern Mugs from Melasdesign on Society6

Once again, from the top!

Pink Addict (cont'd)

(Meant only in the best way! - I know some who just can't live without it.)
Pink Addict - Fashion from Melasdesign on RedBubble

That's it for merch from my shops on RedBubble and Society6. Now, as promised, close-ups of my favorite vases from the Valentine's Day collection. There were just too many to show!

My Faves from the Valentine's Day Vase Collection 

Mason Jar Vases from Valentines Day Collection by Melasdesign

The Swirls of Pink Vase, The All About Love Vase, and The So, So Fine Vase

Mason Jar Vases from Valentines Day Collection by Melasdesign

The Two Hearts Vase and The Artsy Ripples Vase

I am tickled pink to have introduced my foray into the world of rosa, rosado, rose, roze. I've come to think it's okay in any language! Be sure to share with your peeps of pink. 

Until next time, check the column to the left for subscription info and social media updates. Be kind to one another and keep appreciating art. Best!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Snow, Spring, New 80s, Twin Peaks, Potatoes, and Mars

Welcome to the new year, when thoughts of the Polar Vortex and Winter Storms are on the East Coast's mind. I hope you are all safe inside, or are enjoying snow like a kid! Since we're all thinking about it anyway, the theme of the first part of this Melasdesign / Design of Life blog entry is weather. 

Melasdesign Artist Blog January 2018

Through the pictures and links below, you should get a pretty good overview of the products each Melasdesign shop offers. Some items overlap - art prints, phone cases, iPad cases/skins, t-shirts, tapestry, mugs, hoodies, stickers, throw pillows, and comforters. I hope I didn't sound like the guy on Forrest Gump talking about shrimp! Fashion and Student Gear is more unique to RedBubble. Society6 has a further selection of home decor. Don't forget the CafePress shop either - fewer designs, but a totally different range of products.

Mela's Sense of Snow

What follows is my first pattern of the year - one inspired by the beautiful snowscapes I've experienced and greatly enjoyed. Yes, I am a snow lover. I am a cold weather lover. My teeth don't start chattering until about 8 degrees Fahrenheit (provided I have a good coat). Above that you can generally find me lifting shouts of joy, with face and arms up to greet the snow. 'Mela's Sense of Snow' is featured in Melasdesign shops on Society6 and RedBubble

While we're still on the subject of cold, let me wish you all a happy new year! Did anyone even go outside? Brrrrrrr.

2017 was the biggest year yet for Melasdesign, with much love shown to my shops, along with many opportunities to hone my artistic skills further, including lovely folks who entrusted me to capture their fur babies' likenesses in drawings. You took me into new areas of exploring pop culture references and looked on excitedly as I painted abstract images in acrylic. I am *extremely* grateful for all the love and support I've had over the past year; from customers, social media followers, and all the people far and wide who have given me such positive input. I couldn't do it without you. It has spurred me on and let me focus on getting even better! 

Melasdesign Thanks 2018

I've also got plenty on my plate already for 2018! Stay tuned for the return of hand-crafted felt items, more pet portraits (so popular during the holidays!), plus more abstract art, illustrations and patterns as only "Mela" can! 

Since I've concentrated on the extreme cold we're experiencing as of late, let's move on to weather that is more popular with some: Sunshine and Spring Temps.

Flowers Float by Ladybug Stream

This is available on many products in both RedBubble, CafePress, and Society6 shops from Melasdesign. The image is from an oil painting I did in the mid 00's. I think it is such a happy design and would be highly suited for nature and flower lovers, ladybug fans, and even nursery decor. It's decidedly warm and cheery! Bask in the sunny glow.

Flowers Float by Ladybug Stream - Melasdesign on Society6

Flowers Float by Ladybug Stream - Melasdesign on RedBubble

Flowers Float by Ladybug Stream - Melasdesign on RedBubble

Windows to Red Planet

From weather to astronomy, and perhaps even astrology: This is what happens when old paintings get resurrected into something new, aka abstract photomanipulation. It was created in a more or less stream-of-consciousness manner, but when I took a step back and looked at it, it somehow reminded me of the apartment in David Lynch's cult film "Eraserhead." ..... I can't tell you why! It's like being in a bizarre flat-walled building looking out a window, and seeing a vast, empty red organic surface - the red planet! It doesn't make a bit of sense, BUT many say that about David Lynch's work too! That's why people love it, and discuss it, watching it time and again. Keep reading for even more Lynch-inspired fun!

Windows to Red Planet - Melasdesign on RedBubble

Windows to Red Planet - Melasdesign

Windows to Red Planet - Melasdesign on Society6

Signs 17

And now a continuation from last month of New 80's inspired design work. I love this so much! I'm not generally so outspoken about my own preferences, but turning this old graphic into a reworked pattern just gets me excited! It's made up symbols, from European traffic signs to danger warnings of the atomic ilk. It reminds me of 80's graphic design. I have it featured on all fashion on RedBubble and it looks great on the home decor selection at Society6. Tech, Tees and Student Gear are rocking it too!

Signs 17 Graphic T-shirt from Melasdesign on RedBubble

Signs 17 Spiral Notebook from Melasdesign on RedBubble

Signs 17 from Melasdesign on Society6

In closing, a gem for you David Lynch fans who held out this far. I am such a fan of the new Twin Peaks! I loved that it was both very creepy, fascinatingly vague, and also very, very funny. The end made me shudder, and I'm a seasoned horror movie fan. Wow. So scary. 

Dougie for Congress

How could I resist making a tribute to the character Dougie Jones? Here he is running for Congress. Yes, Congress. Not the House, not the Senate. At this point that bunch is so down and out that he would fit into either like a charm! Don't you think? Unfortunately, although they are a bunch of bumbling nincompoops at the time, they haven't so far had the uncanny ability to save the day in the end anyway, like Dougie. Maybe we really do need him in office. 

Dougie for Congress on Society6

This is a digital drawing from scratch, by hand. It is not a photomanipulation or reworked photo. I combined Dougie's ironic persona with a background that suggests the Black Lodge, and added then the requisite campaign motifs to wrap it all up. This one's only on Society6. Be sure to click the link for a close-up image. 

Has anybody other than me noticed that Lynch has an uncanny knack for using potatoes in many different ways? Hmmmmm.... Let's see. Someone else thinks so too! Food, planets, characters, textures, and more? Some day I'll promote a drinking game called "Spot the Potato." It kills me! I love the creativity.

If you didn't catch David Lynch himself in the wonderful epic final film from Harry Dean Staunton, "Lucky," by all means check it out! There couldn't have been any finer send-off for such a fine, all encompassing American actor.

That's all for the beginning of 2018. Here's wishing you all the best! Stay tuned for more Mela and please join my mailing list (in the lefthand column) if you would like to be notified when new blogs are posted. Depending on how the Net Neutrality fiasco boils down, that might be the best way to get the latest news. We'll see. Hang tight, and we'll see if 2018 is as wild a ride as '17 was. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Something Original for the Season

Welcome to my blog for the beginning of holiday shopping season (in my mind at least!). Bravo to you, if you've been an early shopper, but let me show you my work for the season thus far. Melasdesign guarantees unique art gifts, because I stick to my guns with originality. In my admittedly idealistic mind, the purpose of art is to convey the notions of the artist himself, and not what is determined by marketing trends. Keep reading if you value an original artistic vision. 

Gifty, Gifty, Nifty, Nifty

As it's the holiday season, the sites I sell through as Melasdesign (Society6 and RedBubble) will be having sales too numerous to mention. Trust me on this one! :) I encourage you to click through, because *something* with this artwork on it *will* be on sale through most of the end of November through early January. This includes art prints, home decor, fashion, tech, and Notebooks / Stickers. A lot of times, every single product will be on sale, with free worldwide shipping at times! Please click the links. The sales are announced at the top of each product linked page, or by the product price, as a rule. Be sure to check out the savings.

Dream Series,

(Because You Should Know About the Dream Series)

Original #1: A piece about childhood. A piece about moms. A piece about dreams that are goals, and dreams that are a part of sleep. From a series of illustrations including very personal subjects that folks seem to relate to, so I'm adding it to the "would make a great gift" roster. This drawing is available on many items in my shops, some with text, some without. 

Look! IT'S ME!!!!!!!! :) As selfie-shy as I am, I have depicted myself in various works from the Dream Series. Here I am at a tender age, at the playground in the field where buttercups grew en masse. I always wanted to climb high and show how strong I was. Unfortunately in this case, getting down was a terrifying, much more difficult process!! Mom was not amused. Read here for other Dream Series posts.

Sneaky Art for the Holidays

This is as close as I am getting to Christmas-specific art this year. Look close, and you'll see it's the perfect art for folks who want seasonal colors, but unusual art. Mandalas are said to be a thing this season. I made this before the announcement came out! I was trendy without knowing it. The t-shirts are brand new posts. Attend that holiday party and stay in the "spirit," while doing something completely different. Tricky!

Shhhhhhhh.... this mandala is also available in other colors through the Pattern Collection

Calendars on RedBubble

Calendars are another popular gift item. Melasdesign on RedBubble offers four calendars with four completely different themes, all updated with the freshest artwork. The customer gets to specify the start date of the 12-month calendar, so it's flexible for folks who don't want the traditional year.

The first is a collection of pet portraiture, with my best cat illustrations. These are very special kitties from the US, all the way to Hong Kong, whose owners trusted me with their likeness. The calendar features kits of all shapes, colors and sizes, in varied settings - all adorable!

This calendar is drawn highly from my work of Octobers past. Although not limited to Halloween, the graphics are dark and magical in theme. From patterns, to abstract, to illustration, this calendar makes a great gift for fans of the Dark Arts.

So much of my work is abstract! I gathered my favorite abstracts into this very expressive calendar. Graphics vary from paintings to computer work. The pieces are full of movement and emotion. This is a great way to get "real" art into someone's life. 

Last, but not least, in the calendar feature is my collection of flower art. These range from patterns to illustrations - both hand drawn and photo-montages. This is as close as I come to having a green thumb! Give this to someone who does. :) 

Now back to general art, which happens to be posted new for holiday shopping.

To the Sun

I've been seeing a *lot* of work with triangular mountains making abstract art. I liked the geometry, but wasn't about to directly copy the style so many people are using. I traded distressed texture for gradients, blank sky for sun, and plain triangles for outlined shapes. So, yes, I took a theme and ran with it. It's a celebration of nature, of the outdoors, of sunlight (which is in short supply this time of year). With the exception of shower curtains and duffle bags (S6), all of the items shown are available in both shops. RedBubble offers both iPhone and Samsung Galaxy cases.

Retro - New 80's Fun.... 

Which brings me to more fun with geometric design: Because early MTV and New Wave was a shaping factor in my life and now folks are revisiting the genre, both visual and musical. 

The first design is taking jumbled geometric elements in pastel-to-neon jumbled style a la Memphis School, but adding a distinct op-art twist in the background, in black and white. Movement over fun movement! This design has gotten a lot of attention, so I hope you like it too.

Eighty Sixty

Color Forms

Taking the shape idea further, I was reminded of a game I had as a child called Color Forms. Once again, setting off the bright pastels, I chose a neutral background to fit many homes and outfits.

Just a Small Town Boy

Finally an ode to my favorite 80's art, inspired by album art from the band Bronski Beat. Simple, but  bold. The first two pics are from RB, the second two from S6. Get your retro on.

Salt Shaker Armageddon

What Was More 80's Than the Cold War?..... which supposedly ended for all time at the close of the decade? Yesssss, I went there. I call this political satire for your favorite foodie. This is a remake of a drawing I did in college, while daydreaming in the dining hall over a spilt salt shaker. The RedBubble versions are the simple drawing. S6 has merch with the black blocks of color on top of the white.

But this might be a comfort:

Back into pure modern day, these colors might soothe from that last concept..... Color Joy Village.

It's Chaos - Be Kind

This fiery typographic design inspired by wise words from journalist Michelle McNamara, the first wife (deceased) of comedian extraordinaire Patton Oswalt. As the story goes, per an Oswalt comedy special, this is what she would say when people wondered aloud if "[bad] things happen for a reason." This was her take as a true crime author who had reported on a few too many bad things happening to good people. She said to reign in the chaos, be kind. I'm including this in the holiday section, because kindness is of the utmost importance during the holiday season. In my mind, it's what makes the world go round.

Real is Beautiful

If you've made it this far, you've figured out I tackle issues in my own way. The following is for every girl who has taken a selfie and been insecure about her looks, or if she's acting cool, or even considered plastic surgery, because she feels what she has is not good enough. With holiday advertising going crazy with over-idealized images of air-brushed beauty and unrealistic materialism, it's a healthy reminder.....

Never Miss Out

That's it for now! I should have another post in early Decemeber with some great pattern and abstract releases. Subscribe to my blog to get updates on my artwork about once a month. It's the best way to not miss any "new releases" while also not having to be a slave to social media to catch my latest. The link is on the left. My style and topic varies greatly from work to work, so see it all here. I'd appreciate it!

Have a happy holiday season, whatever you celebrate.