Friday, January 25, 2008

My Mediums of Choice

People always ask me what medium I use in my paintings. The answer is all types of mixed media.

When choosing a medium I consider whatever concept I want to express. For instance, in the painting "Whats your Point" I used watercolor and metallic inks. Watercolor lends a softness to the ballerinas along with the pointillistic style. Also the transparent color embellished with metallic ink give it a dream like luminosity.

My next work I might choose oil or acrylic. It all depends on the mood. Sometimes it is just what I call a happy accident. A goof or a splat that needs covering. Most often, I try to think it through.

I love experimentation where I often end up with a totally different look than my original vision. I always ask my self does it have good composition? Composition is the bones of the work. I then make sure the painting has impact, a main subject, and then most important pleasing color harmony. It is also fun to use maybe four colors and only use them together or when combined to make another color. "Drama Queen" was done with Analagous colors (they reside next to each other on the color wheel. "Woman of Color" was done with complimentary colors which are opposite of each other on the color wheel.

My future may include discussions on mediums and thought processes that go into each subject.

What do you think would be fun? Do you have any creative ideas to add?

Monday, January 14, 2008

For The Love of Sharon

I recently returned from a trip to London to attend an Indian Sikh wedding of a very close friend of Alan & mine.
The traditions and rituals went on for a whole week. I was personally so touched by the outpouring of love from all the families involved. It is hard to describe the visuals, as they were overwhelming. The entire congregation in the temple was filled with a sea of color by the attendees. The women were dressed in traditional Indian dress, every color imaginable. The groom rode to the temple on a white stallion dressed in gold brocade and a red turbin to receive his bride totally bejeweled in red. They met under a raspberry canopy.
I guess the point of my comments is that the entire experience inspired me so much that immediately upon my return I went to work totally exhausted to record my interpretation of my personal experience. I created a new piece called For The Love of Sharon . I represented the event with even more over the top color.
I am very proud to have these beautiful people in my family of friends. I hope I do them justice in representing their proud and ancient culture. I am richer for them including me in their lives.
Describe an event that colored your life.

Balancing Act:

Balancing Act is my signature painting. It addresses the obstacles women have faced throughout history by displaying the many challenges and dilemmas along the path of our complicated lives.

The choices we have are endless! Is it possible to do it all and still maintain stability while we multi-task?

The idea for this piece was inspired by a conversation with another woman artist. We spoke at length about the difficulties of fulfilling our potential in art while balancing the daily needs of our family obligations and careers.

As women it seems as though, personal goals have always taken a back seat.

At what point do we try to fulfill our own potential or are we working our way into an obligatory corner?

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I have always loved the intensity of the colors orange and raspberry.

I use these colors to express the complexity of a woman’s personality.

The green blue against the red and orange symbolizes the contrast that exists in all women.

Due to our multi-faceted nature men will never understand the women in their lives.

Our diversity creates the beautiful and mysterious creatures that we are.

We can be both loving and indifferent, we can be assertive or timid.

We can be decision makers or we can follow.

We can be courageous or we can be fearful.

We are capable of being both erotic and unapproachable at the same time.

How can this painting encourage you to explore your complex nature?

The Veil

Women often feel vulnerable and hide behind many types of veils.

Veils can take the form of makeup, clothing, jewelry, expression or behavior.

Will I be admired?

Will I be liked?

Will my true thoughts be exposed?

Most important, will I be accepted?

Do you think that plastic surgery is the veil of our time?

Woman of Color

As you can see this painting was fun to create.

It represents all the beautiful women I have met through my travels.

How rich my life is to experience different races, cultures and religions.

However, the specific catalyst for this work was a lady I met in Tel Aviv.

She was the wife of a cobbler who designed his shoes with the most vibrant colors.

She too was dressed outrageously and adorned with colorful bangles and beads.

Have you ever met anyone that exuded such confidence and boldness?


This is the first piece I created with the intent of developing a style recognizable as a “Melanie.”

It expresses a feeling of an epiphany. It is the letting go of old habits and exploring new ideas.

I began by combining memories of past world travels and meeting multi-cultural women along the way.

I also tried to incorporate the stained glass windows of my traditional Catholic-Judeo upbringing and the windows found in various houses of religious worship.

Do you think this painting can assist other women to interpret their own spirituality?

Pissed Off!

This painting was inspired by the challenge Alan presented to me.

His comments were that I really could never consider myself as a serious artist until I developed a unique style and theme recognizable as a “Melanie.”

I became extremely angry and hurt. “Pissed Off” even!

After I indulged myself in self-pity, I came to the conclusion that he was right.

I needed to prove him wrong as well as fulfill an obligation to myself.

Born from resolve and determination, my paintings have become a form of self expression and a personal point of view.

What really pisses you off?

Day Dreams

This is a playful look on how women can pass the day indulging their selves in thought.

We can journey off to a safe and distant place, we can imagine ourselves achieving remarkable goals or we can dream of having the perfect romance.

What is in your dreams that makes you think that anything is possible?


When I began this painting I was faced with many challenges.

What colors should I choose?
Should it be abstract or realistic?

Will I embrace expressionism or impressionism?

The feeling of spinning and turning kept repeating in my head.

Our lives are such a kaleidoscope of possibilities.

Which path will you choose to explore?

Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang is a symbol that represents the continuous movement of two opposing and yet unified energies.

It is the underlying principal of Chinese philosophy and medicine.
Good heath is believed to come from a balance of Yin which is negative, dark and feminine and Yang which is positive, bright and masculine.

This painting is a play on the opposite forces in our lives.

Isn’t it imperative that we have balance?


As women we are challenged with the difficulties of multi-tasking.

Which direction do we go?

Whose needs do we meet first?

How do we balance our jobs and our family obligations?

When do we change direction to complete the next task?

How do we prioritize what is the most important?

At times we feel like shattered pieces of glass that need to be reassembled.

This cycle repeats on a daily basis.

Don’t Look Back

This is my statement created to motivate all of us to continue to move forward despite all obstacles.

Remembering the biblical story in Genesis 19:23 when Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt I wanted to advise all women to not look back.

We all suffer pain and loss throughout life.

However, we must continue to keep our goals in focus and not allow ourselves to be frozen in our past.

Our triumphs and set backs are just building blocks to become a better you.
What obstacles have you overcome?

Shabbat Shalom

The name of this painting in Hebrew means “welcome sabbath” which can apply to any religion. I used a stained glass effect to represent my Judeo-Christian life influences.

Her bowed head represents humility.
All the colors used are common in all religions; the red in Buddhism, white in Hinduism, blue in Kabbalah and Judaism, gold in Sikhism, and many of the colors of Christianity.

I am fortunate enough to have personal relationships with people of all these faiths.

I celebrate them all.

So, Shabbot Shalom; welcome sabbath.

What rituals does your family have to welcome the Sabbath?

Lost in the 60s

This painting is a retrospective of the 1960s and the “Age of Aquarius.”

The music from “Hair” kept going through my mind as I painted.
Her headpiece and clothing symbolize the hope and naivety of the era.

At that time we really believed that we could change the world with peaceful protest, demonstrations and love.

How I long to be lost in the 60s.

What era do you long for?

Drama Queen

This expresses the intensity of emotions that are displayed by all women in the span of their lives.

Often the theatrics we display can have a cathartic effect.

I think we should be proud of our performances. It illustrates the creative human beings that we are and will continue to be.

I used analogous colors so that no individual color distracts from the impact of the composition.

What drama have you created and what were you trying to accomplish with the theatrics?

Catching Moonbeams

My daughter Deborah was the inspiration for this work.

She is a beautiful young lady, but aside from that, she has a spirituality that is larger than life.

She embraces every moment with gusto; catching every moonbeam along the way. To watch her is like viewing a private performance of an exquisite ballet.

Although she is a woman; she has not lost the wonder and playfulness of a child.

If you are fortunate enough to meet her, you will behold a living work of art.

Who in your life is capable of "Catching Moonbeams?"


Women possess a primal nature.

I surrounded my subject with feathers because they are soft and flexible.

I revealed only her lips and eyes to show a vulnerable sensitivity and helplessness.

However, at a moments notice she can display an almost predator like nature.

Who is she?

What is she capable of?

If I capture her, will she perish?

Or, will she just fly away?

Do you ever exhibit a primal nature?

What’s Your Point

As young girls we love to dance.
Music and motion takes us to far away lands of fantasy and imagination.

Our graceful movements are beautiful interpretations of our dreams.

However, now that I am entering my sixtieth year my once beautiful and graceful body has become a caricature of ‘once was’.

Graceful fingers and toes are now becoming arthritic. We have limbs that can no longer leap or glide through the air to the beautiful rhythms and sounds.

At least we still have our memories.

So, what’s your point?

Happy Thai

I had the magical experience of spending a month in Thailand.

Everywhere we went we encountered industrious women who went about their lives working with a joyous spirit.

These people believe that they can continue to evolve to a higher plane each time they are reborn. What a lovely concept! Perhaps this is why, in the face of a terrible tragedy such as the tsunami, they still demonstrated hope and a beautiful spirit.

I have never experienced a more joyous culture than from the “land of smiles.”
I left Thailand with a renewed spirit.

Are you optimistic that one day we will all evolve to a more loving world?

Mucha and Me

One of the artists that most influenced me is Czech artist Alfonse Mucha.

He lived from 1860 to 1939 and painted in the Art Nouveau style.
His works are mostly illustrative in nature and are embellished with delicate details.

I have always identified with the voluptuous woman and the subtle nature of their lovely facial expressions.

This is a tribute to him with my own personal twist.

Isn't she more sexy than the anorexic standards of today?

The Gift

The Gift

The inspiration for this painting was at a wonderful time in my life.

My daughter Rachel just announced her pregnancy and our family months later was blessed by the arrival of our first grandchild.

I used a pointillistic painting style to express the inner-glow of motherhood. The many thousands of points of paint represent the infinitesimal cells of life.

The reality was that my daughter had a work of art developing within her womb as will her daughter and her daughter’s daughter.

As women we are born to create. We hold within us the ability to create the most beautiful peace of art.

It is the gift of life!

What gift has someone given you?

Whirls, Swirls & Curls

Whirls, Swirls and Curls

I come from a nomadic theatrical and musical family. My father and many of my relatives are accomplished professional Jazz musicians.

This creativity dominated my life causing me to have a vivid and unique imagination.

In my dreams I was often on a stage performing with colorful set designs.

While I paint I have nurturing memories of beautiful sounds and rhythms influencing my brush strokes and color palette.

This explains my preoccupation with curves, movement and femininity.

What are some of your preoccupations?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pearly Girl

Pearly Girl

This is symbolic of the physical changes in a woman’s life.

It is when she finally embraces her sensuality.

As a teen, although we may possess beauty, we are unaware, awkward and filled with self-doubt.

Eventually, if we are lucky we become aware of our gift and explore our provocative nature.

This is a celebration of our inner sexpot.

How do you use your gift?



Rachel is my beloved first daughter who is a kind and gentle spirit with an enormous soul.

Her goals in life are centered on giving of herself and leaving the world a better place.

My interpretation of Rachel has a dream like quality representing my hope for my daughter and grandchildren to live in a more more peaceful world.

Who do you know that will help better the world just by living in it?