Painting at the Kidspace Museum

I was invited by the California Art Club to do a plein air painting demo with a group of kids at the Kidspace Museum in Pasadena. As I've said before, besides teaching college my next favorite group to teach is kids! The challenge is keeping them interested, but acting goofy helps!

5th Ave & 57 Street

8"x10" oil on masonite board.
This is the last piece from the group of five 8x10 paintings I listed on eBay.
It's 5th Ave & 57 Street at 3am in the morning on a rainy night.

McSorley's Old Ale House

" McSorley's Old Ale House -II"
8x10. Oil on hardboard panel.
A while ago I’ve done a large commissioned painting with the famous McSorley's Old Ale House (here)
This is a fragment of it I made as a study for colors and some details.

3D Street Painting for FRINGEMK

Just returned from a great trip to the UK where I painted for a new 3D street painting event in Milton Keynes. This 3D pavement art event took place along side several festivals called 'Urban Games' which included the Midsummer Place Painting Prize, Pavement Art Festival, Photon Reaction, and Fools Journey. Also taken place in Milton Keynes was the 'IF' festival which featured an international group of performers and interactive exhibitions including acrobats and carousels. So the city was alive with arts and culture.

Westbery Farms Artist Studios was kind enough to host 8 street painters for the duration of the event. Westbery has a long history in Milton Keynes dating back to the 1600's. It's a beautiful & historic brick farmhouse with most of its rooms dedicated to the creation of art. All surrounded but large fruit trees and even a mote! What more could you ask for.

For the 3D pavement art exhibition I created this anamorphic painting titled 'Special Delivery, ' featuring a showgirl/ dental assistant in the mouth of a hippo. The entire painting was done in soft pastel and included dental floss, which I painted black, for the balloon strings. It was a really fun piece to paint and spectators seemed to enjoy its humor ;)

photo by 'Legge'

Love Made of Heart by Teresa LeYung Ryan

My friend Teresa LeYung Ryan (left in center photo, and to right of me at top) wrote the exquisite fictionalized memoir, Love Made of Heart. At a point in our friendship, she commissioned me to paint my interpretation of her book, inspired by the cover, on her book shelves (photo above). To see reviews of her book, click on photo of back cover.

I so enjoyed Teresa's book, that I have read and re-read it, and I have given it as a gift to several friends. There is profound authenticity here; there is so much well written story about the author, and about her world. It is a coming of age tale in the vein of the best of those written. Also, what can be said of her work is that there is transcendence, renewal, faith, and hope. Teresa, and her book are an inspiration. From her website, which I encourage you to visit and re-visit:

Teresa LeYung Ryan
Career Coach for Writers
Manuscript Consultant
  • polish your manuscript by identifying the themes and archetypes;
  • market yourself to agents and publishers;
  • map out your career.
Teresa edits women’s fiction, mainstream fiction, memoirs, children’s and young adults’ fiction, and short stories.
Some comments from her clients:
Teresa is not only a lovely writer and a wonderful person, but also an enthusiastic, inspiring, and thorough mentor. Her far-reaching knowledge, networking expertise, and organization ensure that an aspiring writer will have the strongest foundation possible to launch him/herself on a successful career.Pat Windom
Teresa, . . because of you, the story has grown. You make me dig deeper and it brings more life to the story. E. Hartshorn
Teresa, . . . I even see myself succeeding and being put into print and making money with my writing ability. I am so grateful to you. D.Warner

Teresa LeYung Ryan is:
  • Member-at-Large at Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter;
  • Past Co-Chair of Group Mentoring at California Writers Club-San Francisco Peninsula Branch;
  • Past President of California Writers Club-San Francisco Peninsula Branch;
  • a 2004 recipient of the Jack London Award for her services to California Writers Club;
  • Speaker and instructor.
Teresa LeYung Ryan uses her mother-daughter novel Love Made of Heart to advocate compassion for mental illness and to help survivors of family violence find their own voices.
In Love Made of Heart, protagonist Ruby Lin is forced to look into her past when her mother shuts down her own painful world. The story explores the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, the choices we make when our hearts are broken, and the choices we make when our hearts are healed.
  • archived at the San Francisco History Center;
  • recommended by the California School Library Association;
  • recommended by the California Reading Association;
  • used in Advanced Composition English-as-a-Second-Language classes.

teton idyll

Coming back from the amazing beauty of Wyoming, I was inspired to revisit this painting and try to recover from the previous disaster. I did most of this on Painting the Town yesterday but the show wasn't able to stream live, I think they'll post the replay of the show soon... This is a painting of a sliver of paradise, an arcadian idyll, hope for recovery. oil on canvas, 24 by 36

"Bleecker's Corner"

"Bleecker's Corner"
8x10. Oil on hardboard panel.
This is Bleecker street in Greenwich Village NYC.

the view from Yamashiro's

Last night there was a fancy farmer's market at Yamashiro's in the Hollywood Hills. I hadn't been there in ages but fell in love all over again! That view is incredible! You need a 20 foot long canvas because it is 180 degrees from Griffith Park Observatory to the ocean. because of the event I got to paint in a place that would otherwise be off limits which is the most fun part about these 'live' painting gigs. I had an awkward canvas for such a panoramic scene, but here's a sliver of it over Hollywood towards Century City in the distance. This is a 24 by 30 that I blocked in and then scraped off. It really feels Bonnard-y, I kinda like it!

Balthazar Bakery

................................................. sold
"Croissants & Baguettes"
Oil on linen.
I never tired painting the Balthazar-trendy French Bistro in the Soho NYC.This is my third painting of it and in the largest size - 18x24. But this time it depicts the fa├žade of the Balthazar’s bakery part.I hope you can smell the fresh bread coming from opened door.

Wyoming part 3

This is my favorite of the bunch. I really feel the sunshine in this one! It's a shot across the Hobart River of the barn at Spotted Horse Ranch with Beaver Mountain the the background. That was painted over a failed urban scene of downtown Jackson and it's MUCH better than that underpainting. alkyd on canvas panel, 12 by 16

portrait of Isabella

I got a quick portrait job when I got back from Wyoming, I finished it yesterday. It is the daughter of someone I met at the Get:Art Project Angelfood fundraiser. More good karma! This was painted from a photo she e-mailed me so it wasn't exactly a 20 minute portrait, with a photo you can slow down and really get into the likeness. It was a good photo with nice, soft lighting so I think the painting came out great!

Downtown - NYC

8x10. Oil on hardboard panel.
This is my second painting from 8x10 group I’m planning to list on eBay. These two buildings are located on Church street in downtown NY, just one block away from Canal street and Broadway.

wyoming part 2

The second day of painting was a failure, I did a flop in the morning and a flop in the afternoon which Scraped off completely in order to paint something else on to of later. This is the second or third success I had. It's a painting of Granite Falls. I drove there with my mom, who like to paint plein air as well. Nine miles on the highway, and 10 miles of dirt road but the journey was worth it, such a beautiful place! alkyd on canvas, 18 by 14

"Rain and Broken Glass"

8x10. Oil on hardboard panel.
“Rain and Broken Glass “ is the first of five 8x10 paintings to be listed on eBay.


I spend the past week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on a family trip. There was fishing and horses and endless beautiful landscape! I brought my most portable art supplies with me and four canvases. I did six paintings, but two were flops and I painted over them, but of the four I kept I really liked three. I'll post them over the next few days. I brought alkyd paint with me which is oil based but dries in about 6 hours. This is the first painting I did of the afternoon light on Beaver Mountain. alkyd on canvas, 11 by 14

Lombardi's Pizza

"Best on the Planet"
Oil on linen

The weather is so hot here in New York that it's hard to focus on painting but stay on the beach. Anyway I managed to finish some new paintings. Three of them are in a large format and five are 8x10. I decided to experiment a little and use hardboard panel at this time. It was a quite a different experience, but I like the results and I’m planning to continue to use hardboards for smaller paintings. I'll put up all five 8x10 paintings covering a variety of New York scenes on eBay starting Monday at 9pm est.

If you are interested in purchasing click here

30 Journals 30 Days

Hi Y'all. The fabulous Connie Hozvicka from Dirty Footprints Studio recently asked me to participate in her 30 Journals in 30 Days project. Each day for the month of July a new art journal artist will be showcased on her blog. Tune in on July 30th at 3:30 PST to read my Q & A and see some never before shown, brand spankin' new journal pages of mine. :)

See you there!

Caffe Reggio -NYC

.......................................... Sold
20x20 Oil on linen.

I'm back with one of my favorite subject – storefronts.

Summer Street Painting Events

The summer has started and my street painting season is well under way. I have an amazing schedule of events over the next few months and created a calendar at to keep up to date on when and where I'll be painting.

My last event was the La Jolla Festival of the Arts where I created an anamorphic, or 3Dstreet painting titled, "The Emergence of Art."

Here's an interview I did with the local news channel...

I'm excited about the next few events at which I'll be creating 3D/anamorphic and XLarge collaborative Street Paintings. I've completed the designs and am ready to paint. This press release is for the Expressions in Chalk Street Painting Festival in London, Canada which I will do following FRINGE UK and The Porches and Verandas Festival in Ridgetown Ontario.

"Melanie and two local London artists will create the central painting (15’by30’) and the public will be encouraged to share their stories and leave chalk tributes in the hundreds of small squares (1’by1’) that will make up the road of hope that will curve through the festival. This event will culminate Sunday evening in a ceremony where the public will be invited to light candles of healing, hope and remembrance for themselves and loved ones whose lives have been touched by cancer."

Painting the Town! #19

Last night was another exciting show with Toni Czechorosky as our model and Bri Gerber having fun with music! I painted over the first sitting with Toni, recomposing/redrawing the portrait and making the move from black and white to color. I really enjoyed the hour, and love how the painting came out!
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Poets and Artists (August 2010)

I'm in the new issue of Poets and Artists magazine online now, and available in print form from Amazon and Barnes and Nobel. It's a really neat e-magazine, the layout of the website is great! I'm excited to be profiled: Also letting folks know there is one week left for my show of paintings at the Must wine bar. Lots of beautiful interiors from this series. Working a deal with the owner Julie Rico, prices have been lowered and we are motivated to get these paintings into the hands of people who love them!

Feel the Velvet! 1980

I finally made a few precise moves and I'm happy with painting, another one in the Playboy series. I have it at for sale at the Hive Gallery. Come check it out, come buy it! It's even more exciting in person!! I got some mention on Kollectible Kulture's website, click here to see their post about this painting. oil on canvas, 48 by 36


Rick G. saw me painting 20 minute portraits at the Project Angelfood fundraiser and contacted me about painting him. So he came for a studio visit and painted 2 portraits in about 2 hours. The outdoor color was beautiful and challenging and the whole experience was fun! oil on canvas, 14 by 11

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