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. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Abstract in Melaland - Art, Fashion, and Jewelry

Melasdesign Abstract Intro

As I write, it's the end of October, and while ghosts and ghouls are still on my mind, I'm finding time on this chilly, dreary day to reflect on the non-Halloween work of the last while. After a concentrated period of illustration work on the Dream Series (Society6 / RedBubble), I needed to cut loose and explore my abstract inclinations. Here I'm featuring work in two areas: artwork as compositions for wall art, also to be used for fashion, home decor, bags, and tech, and then handmade metal clay jewelry, which is of abstract sculptural nature. 

Since the opening of my art-to-product shops two years ago, I've regularly produced abstract photomanipulations, which is something I've enjoyed doing since the near advent of Photoshop. Now I'm taking things a step further, creating actual paintings and using them as is, or as a springboard for further digital images. In some cases the line between the two mediums is blurred. It's been very satisfying to get back to the organic aspect of "real" painting. 

Fashion by Melasdesign on RedBubble
Fashion by Melasdesign on RedBubble

Metal clay is a medium where I'm finally hitting my stride. I work with fine silver, copper, and bronze metals, and have found that my best work results in thinking sculpturally, rather than purely objectively. The examples below are my original work and can be found for sale in the Melasdesign Handmade Shop, along with original paintings and some fiber work. I concentrate on making pendants, because I do not have to think in such a way that the object be duplicated, as I would with earrings, which frees me to do more organic forms than otherwise (at this point in my development).


Here's an image that made a splash, so titled in reference to palette knife work. I'd love to see this made into a puzzle, but I am not that mean. ;) Irregular repetition makes a colorful treat for the eyes. This work is fun as wall art, but also looks great on fashion and home decor. It even makes a crazy phone case.

Knifed by Melasdesign

Blue Silver Melting Heart Pendant

This is a sculptural pendant piece of Fine Silver which is set off by copper wire and a bold 3mm leather cord. The blue-to-purple-to-yellow patina has been lacquered for permanency, so no worries about this piece getting tarnished. It will keep the lovely hues that formed so surprisingly in the patina process. It's a heart for those too cool to wear a heart pendant! ;)

Blue Silver Melting Heart Pendant by Melasdesign


As mentioned in the introduction, I've been doing a lot of painting lately. I've also been experimenting with broadening my palette. With this piece, I had fun with the best slices from the past few months. It is an eye-catching composition that has been popular both as is and as fashion design (on RedBubble). It reminds me of the ends of record album covers on a shelf. 

Stripped by Melasdesign

Vertebrate Object Fine Silver Pendant

Since it was nearing October when I made this pendant in Fine Silver, I got to thinking about monsters and aliens. I ended up with this design, which reminds me of the spine of a bug/vertebrate hybrid monster that could star in its own sci-fi/horror movie. The patina came out a spectacular silver-black. The pendant has been varnished to maintain the effect.

Vertebrate Object Pendant by Melasdesign

612 Lake View Terrace

This is the result of gaining access to better camera tech than I've had thus far. Pure and simple. The painting is in oil and measures about a foot square, and is from the early 2010's. I've uploaded the image to my art-to-product shops, so it may be found on many different products. The original is available in the Melasdesign Handmade Shop. The image created reminds me of an aerial view of a home with a terrace on a sunny day that's lakeside to Lake Michigan. Knife paintings seem to be very popular, so consider adding one to your collection. I believe they are a form of abstract art that is accessible to all, in that the process is easily understood.

612 Lake View Terrace by Melasdesign

Circle Wedges Fine Silver Pendant

Here's another hand-sculpted piece with black patina. It is hand-built of geometric shapes, set off by a ring that's organic in nature. The piece's bale is on the reverse side of the circle, so the pendant hangs in front of the neck wire and not below it. This was formed from my wish to combine typical geometric jewelry forms with an organic element.  

Circle Wedges Fine Silver Pendant by Melasdesign

Raw Emotion

Moody and colorful, with earth tones in contrast to bright colors, I called this one "Raw Emotion," because it brought to mind a visual of the inner-workings of someone who is conflicted, but leaning to the positive side of things. Colors crash like waves. This piece looks absolutely stunning on RedBubble fashion and also is served up nicely in a framed setting.

Abstract Emotion by Melasdesign

Organic Form Copper Pendant

This piece from metal clay is copper with a light patina on 3mm black leather cord. I'm so used to seeing geometrically based jewelry that I decided to explore more flowing, organic forms. It's an abstract shape for the sake of abstraction.

Organice Form Copper Pendant by Melasdesign

Fall is Fading

This digital abstract was made as a reaction to the #metoo campaign ignited in response to Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations. I wussed out and titled it "Fall is Fading" for longevity's sake, instead of "Me Too," as I had considered. Fall *is* fading, so the title fits, BUT the real energy behind the painting had to do with past experiences and the sickening feeling of seeing how many friends and colleagues also said "me too." Sexual harassment, to abuse and violence by strangers, even to familial sexual abuse are *NOT* uncommon things, although many victims (and the public) are led to believe so in an attempt to silence them (or told they will have no power in court, or that nobody will believe them, or, or, or,....). I've done a lot of research, and the statistics are horrifying. Even in the midst of the #metoo campaign, I ran into people who said "well, you know, it's not that common." It is distressingly common, and few are being held accountable. Something's gotta give. May there one day be results from strength in numbers.

Fall is Fading by Melasdesign

Crescent Moon Pendant

In the same way I made a non-stereotypical heart above, with this pendant I chose to explore the crescent moon. It is made of copper, and the slight cracking that occurred in firing add to the organic feel of the piece. This one is for the mystics!

Crescent Moon Pendant by Melasdesign

Hot Hot Hot

This is another original knife painting in oil on canvas which measures 12x12. It was originally made for a gallery show having to do with images dealing with fire. The reds and yellows are offset by streaks of gold-toned paint. I made the motion of the palette knife make flame-like shapes out of the raised paint. The title is borrowed from a song by the Cure. The original painting is still available. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing it. Otherwise, it is also available on a wide variety of merch in the following shops:

Hot Hot Hot by Melasdesign

Fall Cat Pattern

The last two graphics are actually patterns, but there are quite a few abstract cats if you look closely. The cats and swirls create a complex pattern reminiscent of damask. I prefer it on home decor! My pup is shown modeling a pillow below. 

Fall Cat Pattern by Melasdesign

There Are Cats Pattern

A reworking of the above graphic with a decidedly different color scheme.

There Are Cats Pattern by Melasdesign

Elsa the Wonder Dog

What better than a black beauty to set off a lovely fall colored pattern?

All the News

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Halloween Collection 2017

Halloween Collection 2017 Melasdesign Preview
A Partial Preview of Melasdesign Creepiness for 2017 - Read On For Fashion, Home Decor and More!

It's officially Fall, or Autumn if you will. As the days grow shorter, things start getting colorful towards the warm end of the spectrum, and things start getting spooky. It's getting to be my favorite time of year! As is my habit, I go full force into Halloween designs and love every second of it, be it moody and macabre, or light hearted and whimsical. I appreciate both extremes. Halloween holds a special place in my heart, because it's a great time for kids to get to simply be kids. It is an occasion for the imagination to run wild. Is that shadow a ghost, or is my neighbor a wicked witch? Maybe so. Everything is possible on October 31. For the more serious Halloween celebrants, I have created art to adorn your wardrobe at your favorite gathering, or macabre images to decorate your home. Read onwards and enter the Halloween World of Melasdesign.

Complete Melasdesign Halloween Collection 2017

Halloween Dream Town

I'll start things off with a design that serves both as cute Halloween and is also a design from the Dream Series (see my last two blog posts for more Dream Series art): "On a trip to the country we come upon a place with grave warnings of danger and trespass, but a glimpse through the darkness shows a warm glow. The town is awash in twilight and flames of bonfires and crescent moons illuminate the area. It is always Halloween here. We will be welcome." This is about as cute as I ever get, but this is one season where I don't even mind it. The landscape was definitely inspired by trips to West Virginia. You can even see a haunted mine. The dream was so wonderful - the kind where you wake up with a smile. I had to keep it in my head for months until I drew this. I hope the town offers an enjoyable experience for you too!

Halloween Dream Town by Melasdesign

Halloween Dream Town Mug by Melasdesign

Ravens and Crows

The next piece is a product of being a bit of an artwork hoarder. I have many pieces that I make, but don't use. I tend to save them, because there's always a possibility I can made something better out of them when I feel so inspired. That was exactly the case with a lowly raven painting on canvas board that I had done as an experiment in the early 2000's. Fast forward 15+ years later, and it found new life with the help of photo editing software. This piece is a knockout on home decor (best on Society6) and fashion (on RedBubble)! I think it's a knock-out, because it found me doing a little happy dance when I saw it on the products. I am happy to say that was the case for each design this year!

Ravens and Crows by Melasdesign

Ravens and Crows by Melasdesign
Ravens and Crows by Melasdesign

Roses Black Widow

This contrasty graphic was a long time coming and is catching people's eyes from USA to Europe. It started as a photomanipulation with roses, web, and an iron cross ring, all in black and white, again from the early 2000's. A bit of editing and the perfect spider, and the piece gains a whole new life. What do you think? Suitably romantic? ;) Decidedly Victorian. I've turned into a fashion designer!

Skulls Purple Rouge

Since I was so excited about the last artwork, I decided to take the goth inclined Halloween pattern design further. I have a good time telling folks that I've designed skull artwork. This inevitably is met with indifferent and bored reactions. When I show them this, they tend to exclaim something along the lines of surprise and amazement. For me, it's almost like a filagree pattern, but if you look closely, it is made up exclusively of skulls, coffins and bats. I could imagine this in any vampire's den! The notebook is only from RedBubble.

Skulls Purple Rouge by Melasdesign

Skulls Purple Rouge by Melasdesign

Skulls Purple Rouge by Melasdesign

Skull Coffin, Bat

So, this is actually the end product of the acrylic painting that Skull Purple Rouge (see above) was taken from. It's quite the Expressionist celebration of darkness, while actaully being pretty bright. The original painting is available in the Melasdesign Handmade Shop. It's available on all the usual merch on my art-to-product sites, with my favorite items shown. It is available in straight wall art form too. 

Skull Coffin Bat by Melasdesign

Skull Coffin Bat by Melasdesign

Glowing Green Skeleton Dream

Now let's swing the style pendulum back in the direction of cute. Meant to be more humorous than kitschy, it's still on the whimsical side. It's another entry for the Dream Series. "I awake with a shriek as I sense that I am not alone in the room. There are two illuminated skeletons, glowing depression glass green. I am too scared to look, until I realize they are just tricksters. It is Grandma and Granddad popped in for a visit. I laugh." Yes, it happened! 

Glowing Green Skeleton Dream by Melasdesign

Glowing Green Skeleton Dream by Melasdesign

Night Sky in Autumn

Taking a break from ghosts and goblins, here's a celebration of the autumnal night sky, highlighted with Halloween and Fall colors. Full moon Halloweens are always the most atmospheric, but there are plenty with a crescent moon. I was in New Orleans once in October and did actually see a red crescent moon. Very special. This art is for those who celebrate Halloween a bit differently. A midnight moon is a special thing.

Night Sky in Autumn by Melasdesign

Ghosts Emerging

The next haunting pattern was drawn from a painting (see Ghosts and Shadow People). Can you guess what the painting looks like? This design is slightly art-deco in my mind. Makes decidedly gruesome decor, or frightening fashion. See how many spirits you can count! I wanted to design clothing that would go with black and be dark too. After this it's back to bright colors!

Ghosts Emerging by Melasdesign

Ghosts Emerging by Melasdesign

Ghosts Emerging by Melasdesign

Moon Stars Ornate Pattern

As was the case last Halloween, I chose to do some straight pattern work again. The design below is made up of crescent moons and stars. It's a bit damask and definitely complex. A wonderful piece on all home decor and fashion, perfectly suitable for any witch. Journals and iPhones are fun too! A non-Halloween color scheme, for those who need an alternative.

Moon Stars Ornate Pattern by Melasdesign

Ghosts and Shadow People

And now, the final painting from which the "Ghosts Emerging" (see above) is derived. It creeps *me* out when viewed at original size. It is probably the most expressionistic painting I have ever done. Shadow figures turn into ghosts' eye holes, into more shadows....  The original acrylic on gessoed paper is available in the Melasdesign Handmade Shop. It's creepy on the whole range of usual merch, with T's from both stores, scarves and fashion from RedBubble. I am not even going to expand upon how morbid the rug on S6 looks!

Ghosts and Shadow People by Melasdesign

Ghosts and Shadow People by Melasdesign

Ghosts and Shadow People by Melasdesign

Ghost Upholstery

 I edited this variation on "Ghosts and Shadow People" heavily, so there is lots of detail not to visible in small pictures.  Look at as big of a graphic as you can on the shop sites. Even without the eye-glass, this art reminds me so much of a pattern you might have seen a carpetbagger in the time of the Reconstruction use, so I named it "Ghost Upholstery." It's a complete exit from my usual colorful tendencies, but I think the muted color tones also serve to give the pattern a more textile-like feel. Oh, and by the way, the iPhone 10 and 8x cases are available for order on both shop sites!

Ghost Upholstery by Melasdesign

Crescent Moon Stars Pattern

And finally, a reworked version of the pattern posted above. It's so interesting to me how coloration changes the life of a design. This version has much more obvious colors for the Halloween season, and could make a magical top on October 31! Fun as fashion or home decor.

Crescent Moon Stars Pattern by Melasdesign

Okay. That's been a pretty intense few weeks of design. I hope you'll make some of this artwork part of your Halloween celebration! There may be even more to come...... Stay tuned. Have a happy and safe Halloweentime. 

Want more Halloween? 

Then see last year's collection: click here.

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