portrait of Chantelle

I was live painting at a nightclub last night called Ruin... I was thinking to paint the scene or I brought a photograph of elegant painter Chantelle Dinkel I was more excited to paint Chantelle so here's how that came out. The light in the nightclub was very dark and red and I really couldn't see the colors I was painting, only values. But that was a fun stumbling block and when I woke up today to see the painting in daylight, I was happily surprised and pleased... I read that William Turner was often in the practice of starting his paintings in almost total darkness, he probably felt the same abandon and excitement as I did! oil on canvas, 40 by 30 inches

The Little Mermaid

I was so privileged to be able to see Sarah Van Patten dance the title role in The Little Mermaid and Garen Scribner dance the part of the Sea Witch in the San Francisco Ballet production of choreographer, scenic, costume, and lighting designer John Neumeier.
While this was modern ballet at it's finest, and while consummate artists are at the core of every aspect of the tour de force that is The Little Mermaid, it must be stressed that Sarah Van Patten could not have taken on a greater role to express her artistry (at least for this moment in time). Beyond the obvious talent and athletic ability of the artist, the dancer Van Patten exactly embodies the tragedy of sacrifice for love both specific to the story, and more generalized, along with the tormented darkness of the rejection of that love to which all has been lost. Suffice it to say that it is nothing short of a miracle how she is able to show us the anguish of simultaneous flight from her own oceanic world and the grace of her every movement there, to transformation of her body: accompanying legs for the first time, the crippling pain thereof, her balletic expressivity of the gracelessness of foreign new limbs. Her social world too has been sacrificed; this new heavy, earthly world of gravity and human hierarchy is totally alien to her. The mermaid's tongue has been cut out for the beautiful voice contained therein by the Sea Witch, the evil exchange that ultimately alienates the mermaid. She cannot even tell her story, nor explain to the object of her love that she saved him from drowning, and that is how she came to love him.

The original star of the story of course is Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote the story two-hundred years ago. As a child I swam in the bathtub, pools, and oceans of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Venice, California pretending that I was a little mermaid, while I read Andersen's tale over and over. Let's just finish this little piece with the understanding that in too many ways Disney mangles every story it gets it's hands on. The best way for children to learn of the real tragedy of life (and all about life, as preparation for growing and development) is to read the original literature, and to see the greatest art that has been spun from the original.

Central Park Carriage ride

............................... "Central Park Carriage Ride"
................................................ oil

Here is the painting with Central park and Plaza Hotel scene. The inspiration for it was the art of G. Harvey. I tried to create atmosphere similar to his works with light reflected on wet streets giving some warmth and romantic feeling to the cold evening . The central park Carriage ride may be short and limited and available year round.

Painting the Town! episode 7

An exciting new episode of Painting the Town!! Amazingly flexible Amanda Jane was our guest, a yoga, pilates, fitness instructor. visit her website at http://malamotion.com/ Enjoy the show! (p.s.there were a couple power failures at the end of the show which is why the end is mixed up)

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Art District NYC-No.4

................................. "Art District NYC No.4"
............................................ 16x20
....................................... oil on linen
click here for a larger view and purchase info.

Art District NYC No.3

"Art District NYC No.3"
oil on linen

I just finished 5 new paintings.
This is the first one and I’ll post the rest of them on Friday and Saturday.

portrait serendipity fun!

It started out as a portrait of my friend Rod painted with his grandkid Luciano and ended up all over the place! A good time was had by all. ^_^ oil on canvas, 22 by 28

Title Page, and Bones of the Artist

Photos by Author and Eric Sahlin means only that E.S. came into my studio to photograph some of the artwork in my studio. It actually happened at some website or another that E.S. was given credit for the artwork. Someone did not understand the difference between photos and artwork in a book featuring sculpture, painting and installation fine art. Reminds me somehow of a student (no excuse for ignorance) journalist who saw my graduate exhibition at the Union Gallery on the campus of San Jose State University. She believed that poems on the wall, which I had posted by my work, which I had clearly attributed to Shelley, Keats, Byron, Sidwell, Dickinson, etc. were my poems. She actually criticized these masters, because she thought their work mine, and she had not bothered to read carefully enough to read the quotation attributions. And while my ever-voluminous work covered an area of about 1,000 square feet in the gallery, and she clearly was not happy with my work, she saved her most scathing criticism for the opening foyer of the gallery featuring obvious Guatemalan folk art, starkly not mine, which she also believed to be mine.

erotic art school!

this past Saturday was Erotic Art School! in Hollywood. Chock full of beautiful people willing to pose! I was one of two artists allowed to paint live, and here are a couple paintings I ended up with. It was a super fun night, I was needless to say very excited to be there! oil on canvas, 24 by 36 and 36 by 18


A Slight Detour From The Book, Me at About 8 or 9 Months (?)

Must have been my Edward G. Robinson phase.

Gallery Street Painting

"Queens of Avant Garde"

Please join me at Rebecca Molayem Gallery

for my newest Exhibition during The Avenues

Art & Design Walk

In addition to my framed exhibition, I will be

creating an original canvas street painting on

the floor of the gallery during the Artwalk.

Friday, March 26th, 2010

12 - 5pm Live street painting demonstration

by Melanie Van Latum

6 - 8pm Cocktails

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

2 - 5pm Live street painting demonstration by

Melanie Van Latum

6 - 9pm Artist Reception

Couplings of the Written Words With Images

...And also interesting, the couplings and the pairings of people who go into it believing fervently in their mutual destiny, unwilling or unable to truly see into one another, or the future.

We were like Icarus, we flew too high, too close to the sun, our wings melted.
Mine grew back again, I guard them carefully, I know how delicate they are.

Studio Stories of Childhood and Crucified Barbie

Leonardo and The man of Perfect Proportions

Maybe Alberta

the Glendale Galleria

Yesterday a bunch of artists were invited to "live paint" at a gallery inside the Mall and I took the unique opportunity to paint some indoor plein air urban landscape! oil on canvas, 24 by 36

Angel's Flight

In downtown Los Angeles, the city re-opened the Angels Flight funicular railway after being shut down since 2001 I think. So I decided to commemorate that day with some plein air Painting the Town! oil on canvas, 24 by 18

Smoke Backwards

And please don't hang out in front of the building smoking. If you do the residents or workers will not have the option of opening their windows.

Painting the Town! episode 5

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It was a good show! I painted a color interpretation of a black and white print out of a famous old Farrah Fawcett poster and John painted a still life of honey bear! good times were had by all... oil on canvas, 36 by 24

painting the nickel

John Kilduff and I were downtown around 5th and Los Angeles St aka "the Nickle" aka skid row to do some "on location" plein air urban landscape and get some cool footage for our show Fridays at 7pm PST at unitedartscene.com! What a super view. My painting flew right off my easel and into the life of a gentleman who lives in the building I painted! How cool is that?? oil on canvas, 24 by 20

"Storm Warning No.2"

oil on linen

This is the last #9 painting from my 8x10 series.

Making Art for Myself

I'm sorry I've been such a bad blogger lately. When I have time I browse through my Google reader account and see so much beautiful inspiration on other blogs and wish that mine could be that way too. I honestly don't know where you all find the time to take and edit such wonderful photos of your day to day. I have been selfishly, guiltily, making art for myself lately. I feel guilty because I know I should be making Design team projects for Alpha Stamps, writing prompts for my Yahoo group or working on my classes. *sigh* I hate that I am so late getting those up but I have trouble being at the computer for more than a few hours a day lately. I get restless easily. I'm not sure what is going on. I love teaching but I don't love the hours it takes in front of the computer to make pdf's, edit photos, and edit video. I think teaching would be so much more fun in person... certainly a lot less editing time. ;)

Anyway, here are a few teaser shots for one of my upcoming classes. I don't have a start date yet but hopefully it will be out soon. I'm introducing a new series called Soul Journaling: Outside The Book. It's a series of classes that take journaling techniques out of your journals and incorporates them into other larger mixed media projects. There will be classes dealing with fabrics, stretched canvas pieces and more. Stay tuned.

the flight into egypt

I've been working more on the copy of Bassano's Flight into Egypt which I started on Painting the Town episode 3, fastforward to 22min. On the show I blocked in the painting with accurate color but total disregard for "drawing"... only trying to put the right color in generally the right place (something I discussed w/ regard to a van Gogh quote in episode 4, fastforward to 8min30sec) I let that dry but as it was doing so I carefully smoothed out the paint a bit using fan brushes and fingers and palette knives, etc knowing I was going to work more over it and didn't want too much impasto. Then I imposed a equal proportion grid over my print of the original and my painting copy and with a set of pastels, began to move the color shapes to their more "accurate" places (which is the first photograph) and then I gave the painting an entire second coat of oil corresponding to the new 'drawing'. It's a fun way of easing into detail without ever feeling choked up or stifled with the process. oil on canvas, 24 by 40

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