the Florentines vs. the Venetians

Yesterday on the Alex Schaefer Hour it was all talk. I think it was an interesting discussion of two very different philosophies to the art of painting. It was all in response to the painting I had in the Tel Art Phone show which in nearly every way was a repudiation of the Robert Williams painting which started the chain of images/artists I was involved in. Click here to listen to the show. During the show I put more paint on this new piece which I need to let dry for a bit after a good amount of focused activity... oil on canvas, 36 by 36

chase freedom

This painting has been many paintings but none of them have stuck so it continues to evolve and transform. Its getting heavy and developing a rich surface texture, which of course only makes it better. It started out as an underpainting for this image. Then last week I painted this odd Temptation of St. Anthony as a monkey over it while doing the Alex Schaefer Hour on

Then today I decided to revisit this previous study and blocked in a new "chase bank: cabernet beer bongs" faux advertisement over the whole thing. Geez I'm getting to the point where I'm simply taking pleasure in the redirection of a previous picture! Its the sexiest part of painting to me, the total overwhelming of one painting with another! Oil on canvas, 36 by 36

Brooklyn Bridge Cafe

"Brooklyn Bridge Cafe-V"
available here

cupcake portraits

I painted a couple little still lives of some cupcakes yesterday that I thought came out looking delicious! Oil on canvas, 7 by 5

Paris Cafe

                                         "PARIS CAFE"
                                             Oil on linen.
A piece of old New York.

available here

Fuck the 80's

I gave this painting another alla prima coat of paint at a late night private party at the hive gallery. This "fuck the 80's" series is proving to be more provocative than I thought when I first started painting them. Everyone has an opinion! Here a work progress shot of number three in the series. 48 by 36, oil on canvas

Mark your calendars! Tel Art Phone artist walkthru

This Sunday June 26th from 1pm to 4pm at the Beacon Arts Building, 808 N. La Brea Ave Inglewood 90302, I'll be participating in the curator/artist walk through and art talk for the artist chain I was involved in. The painting that started off the chain was Robert Williams and then I am the next artist. I'm not sure if Robert Williams is going to show up but I will be there for sure! There to talk about the show, my contribution and what it means, and painting in general! It should be really lively. I sold the painting I did for this show so I'm super excited about the entire event and looking forward to meeting the other artists and fans of the Tel Art Phone...

Verrazano Bridge

                                 "Verrazano Bridge"
                                       oil on canvas
It's my new painting.
I live just couple blocks away from Verrazano bridge and I just realized it’s never been a subject in my work until now. Here comes the first one.

available here

The Alex Schaefer hour, June 15th

The last episode of the Alex Schaefer hour was great! Our guest was the self-proclaimed "fat, naked guy" Michael Q. Schmidt who provided interesting conversation as well as artistic nudity. My goal was to cover my 36 by 48 canvas with a nice, bold lay-in and I think I was successful! I believe if I were to give this painting a fancy title it'd be "the Drunkenness of Silenus". We didn't have any callers but lots of guests drawing and painting along live at the Hive Gallery. Mike Street brought delicious homemade brownies! Kim Zsebe brought her paints! The time just flew by. Click here to listen to the show. And go to for all you modern art needs

Street Paintings by Melanie Stimmell Van Latum

The wonderful "Art of Day" has featured several of my traditional Street Paintings including the image that won me Street Paintings highest honor...a Gold Medal in the Maestro Category at the International Madonnari Festival in Italy.

Street Painting Workshops

   In the last few months I've been spending a lot of time in Orange County Schools teaching Italian Street Painting Workshops via the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.  I love doing this because it is really a new experience for most children.  There's something about being able to sit down on your actual canvas and create something vibrant and larger then life.  Here are a few images that I loved from recent workshops...

   Here are 4 pics of the wonderful work the k-7th grade students did during my 2 day visit to 'Our Lady Queen of Angels' Elementary.  I drew the initial sketch for them and they painted them in beautifully.

   And here are 3 large collaboratives from 'Harbour View' Elementary who chose a Patriotic theme for their Workshop imagery.  They did a really beautiful job with some really iconic images...Statue of Liberty, Presidential Seal, and Uncle Sam with the Liberty Bell.   These are each about 20 feet on the longest side. 

I teach workshops all over Southern California via the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and Nationally / Internationally via The Street Painting Academy.  If interested don't hesitate to contact me.

To book School Workshops in Orange or Riverside Counties please  INQUIRE NOW.
To book Workshops in Los Angeles County, other States, or Internationally please  Email Me at S.P.A. 

Breakfast at Tommys

Wasn't that a movie with Audry Hepburn? I got a last minute request, well actually I missed the invite on facebook but was reminded by my friend at an art show Saturday, to paint a cityscape for the I Still Heart LA show at Monkeyhouse Toys and gallery in Silverlake opening this Saturday June 15th from 5 to 9pm, 2874 Rowena Ave 90039. The work submitted all has to be no longer than 12 inches on a side so this is a 1 foot square canvas of Tommys in Eagle Rock... one of my favorite places to paint! I wanted to catch the June Gloom light but it took a couple days because the low clouds kept burning off earler and earlier. This morning I was painting at 5:45 and it was bright sunshine by 8:30! But I finished it and I think the color effect is there. Painting smaller is something I don't do often, it has its own challenges, especially when you don't have any small brushes... I've had good luck with paintings of Tommy's, I've sold every one I've done!

Fuck the 80's!

This was a theme I started a short while back and it's going full steam again! Here's some shots of a couple new pieces. One is maybe done? And the other is definitely work in progress. I worked a little on one during artwalk in front of the Hive gallery, the piece elicited a lot of interesting responses! Both are 48 by 36, acrylic and oil

20 minute portraits

Last night was a big success at the getArt event. I painted five 20 minute portraits in a little over an hour and a half and made the charity a good sum! I hadn't painted 20 minute portraits in a while but I wasn't worried at all... in fact I felt like every one was a home run! Good times. I wasn't able to get good photos but a couple people helped out filming some video so here's some footage of the event and a couple of the portraits...

the HIVE gallery this Saturday June 4th!

Come out to the HIVE gallery, I'll have paintings for sale and it's going to be an amazing night of art, performance, and merriment! Circus Circus! I'll be painting 20 minute portraits raising money for Project Angelfood at an event called GETART until about 8:30pm, and then swarming back to the Hive at 9p! see you there...

wall st

After I was in Columbus, I went for a few days to New York City. I wasn't able to get my easel to NYC so it was just drawing supplies. One of the places I went and sketched was Wall St. I remember as a little kid going to the balcony and watching all the traders on the floor of the stock exchange, I thought it'd be fun to draw there again. But Wall St is very different, no one goes inside, and outside are barricades, cops with machine guns, and surveillance vans on the streets. So instead I sat on the steps of the building across the street and did a life drawing. On my flight back to LA I used the magic of perspective to make an aerial view of the same location which makes a nice view for a riot painting! It's further up than the other ones I've done, so I'm using the knowledge I got painting crowds at Rock oh the Range for this new perspective! During the Alex Schaefer Hour yesterday I blocked this in over a similar themed piece that wasn't happening. Much more interesting!! oil on canvas, 36 by 18

Blog Archive