Thursday, May 30, 2013

"This Little Piggy" - A Figurative Painting by Melissa Adams

"This Little Piggy"     5" x 7"     Acrylic on Museum Quality Claybord
$90
If you want to purchase this painting, email me here!

I just love little baby toes, don't you? I couldn't resist painting Owen's sweet little feet when I stumbled across this shot I took of him as a newborn the other day. Have a great one, my friends!  =)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Fresh Catch" - A Miniature Owl Painting

"Fresh Catch"     2" x 2"     Acrylic on Canvas
 SOLD

Here's one of the commissions I've been working on lately and just finished up this last week. It's a sequel to my painting "Flying Through the Snow," and is one of the 3 owl paintings that were commissioned to make up a miniature series. I LOVED painting this! And I'm having a blast on the final one as well. I seriously cannot wait to post a picture of the entire series! =D

Below I've included some images to show you what it looks like in real life. On the right it's featured on a miniature black easel (the easels come in black, white or natural pine), and on the left it rests gently in my hand. Kinda helps to give you a better sense of perspective, huh? =)


If you're ever interested in commissioning an original painting from me, whether you want one on a much larger scale or you want a sweet little miniature like this one, I would love to paint it for you if I can. Original paintings, no matter what size, make wonderful gifts, especially for those "hard to please" people in your life who don't seem to need anything and won't ever tell you what they want. Why not surprise them with an original work of art? These little miniatures make some of the sweetest, most thoughtful gifts ever, and they're quite affordable too! They make the perfect gift for people who you don't actually know that well but you still have to buy gifts for, like a boss, a co-worker, or a cousin. And all you need to know is a few little tidbits about them, such as their favorite food, favorite animal, or favorite vacation spot. For instance, if you know where they spent their honeymoon or of a place where they've always wanted to visit, I could paint a picture of that special place for them. If it's Hawaii, then a gorgeous sunset with palm trees silhouetted against the sky would be a lovely token from you, and if they like camping, a mountain lake or view from Half Dome would be exquisite. What a sweet and thoughtful gift, right?! So if you're interested, why not email me or send me a message via Facebook so I can get started on it right away?!  

Make an impression this year by ordering a commission today!  =D

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fun Facts about Paint Colors

Remember back when I asked you to "Guess. That. Texture!"? You have to read that last sentence real dorky-like, okay? Haha - It's just part of the rules, okay...? lol  So ANYWAYS! Well, I've got another one for you today my friend, and I'm truly hoping it's a little more difficult this time. Go ahead, give it a shot! After all, if it's anything like last time you'll get it immediately... Sooo lame on my part, I know, I know! LOL! =P

"Guess. That. Texture!" for May 2012
 Just leave your comment stating what you think it is and I'll let you know if you're right.  =)
 
So I've been trying to make the most of my current predicament by researching colors and tools of the trade via Dick Blick's online store. I've spent days working on an order, as I've found myself lost, in the best of ways, in all the information and expansive range of products available on their site. I have to say, I was really, really wanting to study color theory by buying a book on Amazon, but I'm not sure if I'll need to after I place this order! Lol

I probably will still eventually buy a book, but for now, I'm content on reading all that Dick Blick has to say about the colors they offer. Did you know they have specs and descriptions of the origins, make-up, history, toxicity, and properties of each of their pigments, and they break down each color by the pigments it uses so you know exactly what you're buying? I never knew how invaluable this info could be until now, nor how interesting! I mean, listen to this example. Did you know that when you use lamp black "in oil paints, it is one of the slowest drying pigments, and should not be used in underpainting or applied in layers underneath other colors." Because I sure had no clue about that! And did you know that "Lamp Black is a carbon based black traditionally produced by collecting soot (known as lampblack) from oil lamps. It has been used as a pigment since prehistoric times. It is the black found in Egyptian murals and tomb decorations and was the most popular black for fresco painting until the development of Mars Black." That's pretty awesome!

And this next little tidbit's quite fascinating too:
"The name for this pigment [Ultramarine Blue] comes from the Middle Latin ultra, meaning beyond, and mare, meaning sea, because it was imported from Asia to Europe by sea. It is a prominent component of lapis lazuli and was used on Asian temples starting in the 6th century. It was one of the most expensive pigments in 16th century Europe, worth twice its weight in gold, and so was used sparingly and when commissions were larger. Ultramarine is currently imitated by a process invented in France in 1826 by Jean Baptiste Guimet, making blue affordable to artists and extending the range of colors on their palettes. "
I'm really enjoying this little shopping/schooling adventure I have going on here. I've always had an intensely scholastic flare in me, well, other than in my uber-rebellious and regrettable high school years. But yeah, aside from those I've always loved to learn as much as I can about the things I love and it seems the inner Honors student in me has come out to play again, and with paint and color theory this time. How fun! You should really go check it out sometime if you have a minute. It's really fascinating if you care to know more about color in general, including what colors combine to make up other colors so that you can try to mix them yourself. And it's an added bonus to learn how these colors were found and created. Here's the link if you want to go and check it out. I have it open to the color pigment section of Payne's Grey made by Golden Artist Colors, Inc., where all the info listed above came from, and if you want to see more colors you can just click the "Back To" Golden Fluid Acrylics link at the top of the page and then click on the item number on the far right side of whatever color you'd like to see. They include different tabs for color swatches, specs and descriptions so you can flip between these if you're so inclined.  I'd love to hear about any of the new things you've learned about or discovered lately in the world of art, whether from this site or another. Leave a comment below if you have any fun or interesting facts - I just love to eat this stuff up! Nom, nom, nom.... =)

 OH YEAH, I ALMOST FORGOT! I wanted to remind you about this month's contest. It's got some pretty amazing prizes and it's going to have 3 winners and multiple ways to boost your chances, so you have an even better shot at WINNING a PRIZE!
  
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS MONTH'S CONTEST - MAY 2013:

I'm not gonna lie. I don't like signing up for mailing lists. In fact, I rather hate it. Most of them are super annoying and hound my email with something nearly EVERY DAY of the week, which makes me feel like half my time is taken up deleting email's that I neither want nor need. I don't want that - it drives me nuts. Who want's that!?! HOWEVER, I do like keeping in touch with people, and I like places that send out only the good stuff - great coupons, great ideas, great incentives and fun news - and that don't send it out so often as to fill up my whole inbox within a week. What I like are the little notes telling me about what's going on with them, personally and business-wise, and I love getting reminders and coupons that tell me about amazing deals and events so I don't miss out. I love that. I love that when I sign up to follow someone's mailing lists, and I like that as a rule for my own.

I'm sure you can see where this month's contest is headed. It's mailing list time! And what I said I liked above, well, that's how I'm gonna do this. No worries - I'm not going to hound anyone. I don't have the time to - remember? I have two boys. TWO. BOYS!!! Two boys who are 3 and 1. Both in diapers. Both very social and energetic and fun and cuddly and needy. And even though they both walk, one of them still likes to be carried ALL THE TIME! Cough, cough.... Owen... Yeah, I'm a busy girl. And I know you're busy too. =)

My hope for my own mailing list is to send out updates once a month or once every few months (I'm sure the latter is more how it will be) letting you know any fun and exciting updates with me personally and business-wise, and telling you about any deals or contests or incentives that I have going on at the moment. I imagine some months will be busier than others, and therefore easier to fill up the page with than others, but no matter what, I will do my hardest to make them interesting and worth your while. They will be fun and informative, and sometimes there will be AMAZING deals in them that only people who sign up for my newsletters will be eligible to receive. I hope to include things like blasts from the past, where we take a look back at my older works of art, which I'm sure will make you all laugh, as well as interviews, poems, photos, and upcoming events. I will include news about my business, upcoming workshops, classes and more. These newsletters will go out via email, though I will occasionally want to send out an actual physical mailer every once in a while with either a coupon, a flier, a business card a note or even just a sweet little postcard that you can put up on display. And to top it off, every once and a while I will pick someone from my contact list to send a gift to in the mail, as a way of expressing my gratitude for following me. But I sure won't be filling up any of your mailboxes with a ton of wasted paper or time, so don't worry about that! I know how busy everyone is these days, and I don't want to waste your time any more than I want to waste my own. But this should be fun and I truly hope you can join in this new and exciting adventure with me!

So if you are interested in hearing fun and exciting updates on the weird and creative life of Melissa Adams, then join along with me and show your support: EMAIL ME HERE or send me a PRIVATE MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK HERE, my friends! What I would love at the very least is for you to include a link to your email address so I can put it down in my contact log, which will grant you two tickets towards winning this months prize. And like I said before, if you're interested in occasionally receiving additional coupons or even possibly a free, unexpected gift through the mail, not to mention frameable postcards of my work, then you can include your mailing address as well, which will buy you two extra tickets as well. Any other forms of communication would be great, like your blogs and phone number, personal FACEBOOK page or fanpage, even letting me know whether you are an artist or not, and if so, what you do - well,  each one of these will earn you one more chance to win! HOWEVER, in order for you to earn any points you have to send me your email, and in order for you to win more than 2 points, you have to include BOTH your email and your mailing address, as those are the two most important means (and perhaps the only means) of communication I will use. PLUS... If you publicly follow my blog (whether you've been doing it all along or just signed up today by filling out the form when you click the term "Join this Site" on the righthand sidebar of this page), and if you've "Liked" my Facebook Fan Page (again, no matter when you do or have), then you will earn 2 more points for each one. So the more contact info you give, the more ticket's you'll earn towards winning a prize!

I would love to see and hear more about your life as well, so including your own blogs, Facebook pages, and more will be icing on the cake. With so many chances, I hope all my friends will do this with me so I can keep in better touch with you all and so I can let you in to see a little more about what's going on in my life and my career, and the places I hope to go with it. And don't forget, you CAN win more than once! Just ask Rene - Lol! So go ahead, what are you waiting for? Sign up to get great deals, exciting news and a deeper look into what's going on over here in a more comprehensive and exciting way than ever before! This is going to be GREAT!!!  =D

"Ahhhh, wait a second..." you may be asking. "We've only talked about what we have to do and what we can expect from you in regards to your newsletters and mailers. What about the contest? What do we GET if we win this month's contest?"  Hmmm.... Well, I think this time I'll make it a little more interesting. With all these points to earn, why not have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner? And to mix it up a bit more, I'm going to let the winners choose their gift from the options I've listed below. There are two categories:  "1st Place Options," and "2nd and 3rd Place Options." As the winners, you will have the wonderful opportunity to be able to choose whichever prize you wish from your category. It's YOU who gets the choice. This is going to be a VERY Fun Contest!!! =)

If you win FIRST place, YOU may choose ANY single ONE of these "1st Place Options:"
  1. Any available original painting that is 5" x 7" or smaller, unframed
  2. A print of any of my original paintings or fine art photographs, in any of these sizes: 5" x 7",  8" x 10" or 11" x 14", unframed
  3. A miniature painting, 2" x 2", complete with easel. You may choose from any of these subjects: natural landscape (no buildings), animal (fictional or not, as long as it's not copyrighted), abstract or still life. All the details, including color choices and lighting, will be up to you as well, if that's what you want.
  4.  An ACEO complete with frame card and frame. You may choose from any of these subjects: natural landscape (no buildings), animal (fictional or not, as long as it's not copyrighted), abstract or still life. All the details, including color choices and lighting, will be up to you as well, if that's what you want. 
  5. Two sets of 5 notecards, with a phrase written on it (ie: Thank you!, I Miss You, In Deepest Sympathy, On Your Birthday..., Happy Birthday!) on the front as well as any image of my paintings (you can pick two different images or keep them all the same) chosen by you. The insides are blank.
  6. A calendar for either 2013 or 2014 with all of your favorite paintings in it.
  7. A mug with your favorite painting printed upon it. 
  8. A hand painted round ornament with an optional phrase written upon it and either a natural landscape (no buildings) or an animal (fictional or not, as long as it's not copyrighted) for the subject. The ornament itself will be plastic, so that if you have pets or little ones, you won't have to worry about it breaking, though if you really prefer glass I can see what I can do. =)
If you've won 2nd or 3rd place, you may choose any ONE of these "2nd and 3rd Place Options:"
  1. A 5" x 7" print of any of my original paintings or fine art photographs, unframed.
  2. Two notecards with any of the phrases above of any one or two paintings. The insides are blank
  3. An ACEO with frame card, unframed. You may choose from any of these subjects: natural landscape (no buildings), animal, abstract or still life. All the details, including color choices and lighting, will be up to you as well, if that's what you want. 
So good luck! =D

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Windswept" - A Portrait Drawing in All It's Stages =)

"Windswept"     5" x 5.5"     Graphite on Paper

I started this drawing years ago, back in 2009 while I was taking a drawing class at LMC, the community college in my area. Our teacher had us create 3 finished works every week in our sketchbooks, trying to get us to really get into the habit of drawing, as well as proving to us that the more you draw the better you get. I loved that practice, and honestly I don't know why I haven't kept it up. After all, your drawing skills or lack thereof can be critically important when you're trying to paint things realistically, and like most things, and as I said before, the more you practice the better you get!

With my pain mounting and growing more and more intense each and every day, painting just hasn't quite been in the works for me these last few weeks. I felt a bit better earlier today, but by tonight things had taken a turn for the worse. My pain level is back in the 8-9 range, albeit sporadically, waxing and waning, growing more intense and then loosening up. It's honestly quite terrifying for me and my family, as we just don't want to face another full blown flare right now. I thought I'd be better by June. I thought my pain would go down so quickly as the weather warmed up that I would feel pretty amazing right now, and would be able to live with less intense drugs to ease my pain. But not only are my hopes shattered, I am actually facing what might be the beginning of another miserable flare, and I'm scared. I'm just so scared.

So in an attempt to get my mind off of how much I hurt and how much I fear what is going on in my body and how it's taking such a deep toll on my life and my family, I decided to pick this drawing back up and start making some changes to it in order to make it more realistic. The finished version is the one at the top, and I included two different stages below in order to capture the progression of it from start to finish. The funny thing is that I actually like how it looks in each stage it went through, and I love the fact that even though there's only one original drawing, I can still make prints of the others if I so desire, or if someone wants to purchase one. That's pretty stinkin' awesome

So here's how it looked back in 2009, in a much more simplified style. I was attempting to create a feeling of mystery within this piece, and I just love her piercing eyes, though they are far from perfect. Apparently my skills have increased since then, which is a bit odd since I haven't drawn much in the time between then and now. I guess that painting increases your skills in drawing in the same way that drawing improves your paintings. I never knew it worked like that, but it's pretty remarkable how that works. =)

Although she is flawed, I still like the overall feeling of this piece. Mysterious, filled with longing, and quite intense.
 

As I went along with my drawing, I wanted to add in more features that make it seem more life-like. All the little subtleties of soft highlights and gentle shadows that make up the smooth surface of a woman's face. Her eyes grew dark in this version somehow, making her a bit too daunting and formidable for my taste, as if she hungers for revenge. Or rather than revenge, perhaps she is filled with sorrow, her eyes cloudy and filled with anguish. She looks as though she is holding back as much as possible, but despite her efforts, she is barely keeping in her tears. Soon they will overflow into great pools of sorrow. I love the open-ended story here. I'm sure you can come up with your own.



I am glad my Ty pointed out how aggressive her eyes appeared to be in this one, so that I could soften them up and try to retain some of the mystery and gentle intensity. I know that's quite the oxymoron, but it works. I saw it immediately after he said it, and had he not pointed it out for me, this one would have been THE final product. I love how Ty is my greatest critic. He's so truthful and sometimes painfully honest, and if I handle his critiques well and use his advise to help me grow as an artist, I always end up with a better piece in the end. Like I've said before on here, sometimes you just need an extra set of eyes to show you what you're missing.

I would love if you could pray for me and my family right now. If this flare ends up REALLY flaring up, I just don't know how we'll all handle it. I suppose we'll get through it one day at a time, but I would love to spare my boys the hurt that they experienced during my last flare when it looked like mommy didn't love them because I was so crippled I couldn't play with them or even hold them because of how my nerve receptors were over-firing whenever anyone touched me, producing screaming pain that left me weeping. Please pray for wisdom for my doctor tomorrow, who I'm hoping to get an urgent appointment with to get a pain relieving shot. It's one of the only methods that actually kicks my pain down enough for me to function. And I would love if you could pray for wisdom for our family too, as we will be struggling to figure everything out if things go south.

God willing, this will pass before it gets any worse. Thank you, my friends, for caring and praying and just all that you do to support me through this. Even just the fact that you are there, listening to me vent and open up my heart to you means more to me than you could possibly imagine. So thank you. Thank you for everything. =)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Weary" - A Portrait Drawing


"Weary"     4" x 5.25"     Graphite on Paper

After all this time of having a blog, I can't believe I've never posted even one of my drawings! Truth is, I absolutely love to draw! In fact, some of my favorite memories revolve around drawing. Like when I was just a little girl and my mom bought me a sketchbook -I loved to spend my afternoons curled up with it in my lap or laying on the ground in front of me while I would lay tummy-side down on the floor with my feet dangling up in the air, as most little girls like to do, and I would fill it up with drawing after drawing. Placing my hopes and dreams on the pages - imaginations of different worlds and fairytale lands, as well as observations of our own world around me.

I'm still a sucker for a brand new sketchbook, and I know I always will be. To me they are filled with all the possibility in the world wrapped up so neatly in their clean, crisp pages. I love the smell, the feel, the weight of it in my hands. I love running my fingers over the untouched pages, dreaming up ways to fill it with life. Perhaps over the next few weeks I can share some of my imaginations with you, in order to give you an idea of how I like to express myself with this lovely medium. I truly hope you will enjoy this different aspect of my artistry. =)

And I won't lie, part of the reason I want to post my drawings right now is simply because of how awful I've been feeling. I've been trying so hard to get myself into the studio lately, but I just can't do it. My fibro has taken another turn for the worse these last few weeks, and it's been especially hard on me and my family. My days are filled with exhaustion, where no matter how much I sleep at night, which lately has been in the 12-14 hr. range, I still fall asleep multiple times a day, drifting off immediately when I sit down, and almost dozing off even while I'm standing. My poor husband has been left having to carry the load all by himself all over again, and it hurts me to see him struggle so as a result of my sickness. I've had a significant and steady increase in my pain as well, which means that my work is for naught - my meds need to be going back up. Worst of all is that fact that I've had a greatly lessened ability to watch and play with my boys. It breaks my heart!!! And it scares me so very, very much. I don't want this for my life. No one would.

I honestly thought I'd be so much better by now, but these last few weeks have been such a hard punch to my own perception of how things are. I finally realized that I've been in denial - which manifested itself mostly in my attempts to lower my medications because I believed I was finally doing okay. But I really wasn't. In fact, I've been far from okay. I've only been capable of watching my boys two full days a week, and I pay for it so badly that the next week Grandma has to watch them for me because I have to recover. And now we've had two weeks in a row that I haven't been able to care for them. It's awful! So I hope you can understand why I haven't been around much these last few weeks, neigh, these last few months. I keep thinking I'm doing so well, but in truth, I'm just not. But I will not give in to hopelessness or despair! I know God has a plan for me even in this - that He is teaching me what love and long suffering and patience truly are. He is also trying to teach me gratitude, and how to be encouraging and graceful to others, even if I'm feeling at my worst. I have so very much more to learn, but I know with God's strength He will lead me in the path of righteousness. Now all I have to do is follow.

So if you don't see me around much in the next few weeks, I am truly sorry - trust me, I wish with all my heart that I could feel well enough to paint and keep up with my blog. I will try my hardest though to push through this little flare and to get back up on my feet. And until then, I shall draw. =)

And just so you know, I do commissions! If you're interested in purchasing an original portrait from me of you, your family, or your sweet little baby, why not email me and let me know. They make wonderful presents for loved ones, whether for an anniversary, a wedding, a birthday, and for just about any occasion or celebration you can think of. And I love making them, so you know I will put plenty of time and love and attention into it, creating the perfect piece for you, whether it's intended to be a gift for someone you love or a gift for yourself. =)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"The Marshlands of Italy" - A Landscape Painting In Oils for the Virtual Paintout

"The Marshlands of Italy"     4" x 5"     Oils and Acrylic on Archival Canvas Board
$65
Click Here to Buy from my Daily Paintworks Gallery

Important info regarding this work:
My signature on this piece will soon be glazed over with a darker
 green once the paint dries a bit so that it doesn't stand out quite so 
much. Also, the original underpainting of this piece was done in 
acrylics, though it is completely covered over now with oil paints.

With so little going on in my life that I can control in the last few years, I've been searching and searching for anything, no matter how small, that I CAN control. Things have been harder than I want to admit lately. My pain and ability to move and function improved so dramatically at first that I felt like everything should be clear and normal by May, but it's not. I'm still in shock a little, thinking that I still have yet to watch the boys two weeks in a row, and by that I really only mean 2-3 days a week, as I still can't handle a full week yet. I can only really handle one single full day and a half day on my own with the boys without causing a massive flare, and even with that ridiculously light schedule, I'm still not able to do it two weeks in a row, which is beyond frustrating! I honestly thought I'd be almost weaned down completely from the Morphine to Norco, but my pain is still far too intense to make the adjustments in the way I wanted to. It's taking way too long in my book, and I am left feeling hopeless and helpless, not to mention weak and disheartened as well. All of this is one of the major reason's I haven't been able to paint very much lately, why it's so hard for me to get up the energy to pick up a paintbrush, let alone publish a post. It's extremely difficult to set your mind to a matter only to have your hopes and expectations dashed to the wind, and to be stuck in a sort of limbo in regards to healing, where you plateau and no matter how hard you try you just can't seem to get any better past that certain point.

Please don't get me wrong - I praise God for how far He's gotten me and taken me in regards to this all. I praise Him for what He has and is teaching me, and I am trying my hardest to realize that this is all still a matter of grace and trust and patience. After all, this may be as healed as God ever wants me to be. I can only do so much - it is by God's grace that I am as capable as I am in the first place, and I thank Him mightily for every little moment where I can play with my boys, and love on them and cuddle them pain free. I treasure every single moment! But my desire is and has always been to be like the Proverbs 31 woman - a goal far too lofty for me to ever attain now, which causes such deep pain and loss for me as I am unable to be the wife and mother and friend and well, anything, that I know God would want me to be. Trying to find joy and focus on what I do have has been rough for me, and I won't deny that at times it's been all but impossible, but still I will journey on in this new adventure God has set for me, trying to make the most of it and be Holy and Blameless and Beautiful in all I say and do.

And so it is with great joy that I bring you this painting today, a completed work for the Virtual Paintout this month (which was hosted in Lido di Jesolo) created by me in OILS for the first time in so many years that I am actually embarrassed to say how long, though no matter how long it took, it's an enormous obstacle overcome by me none-the-less! I am soooo beyond thrilled to be working in oils again!!! I've been aching to try them out again and to overcome this fear deep within me that I feel whenever I think about using them. I get so upset about it that when I first decided to actually try them out for real yesterday, I had to overcome my own fear and trembling just to get the paints out of their tubes and onto the palette. For the last few years I have been so afraid that if I tried to use my oils that I would mess everything up, so afraid of doing things wrong for so many years that I was almost positive that my paints were all dried up and spoiled by now. But they weren't, which was a huge relief, that was not only amazing but thrilling as well as I started to loosen up and realize that the worst thing that really CAN happen is that my painting doesn't turn out, which of course IS what happened. But you know what - it was NO BIG DEAL! Seriously! No big deal what so ever!!! What on earth was I afraid of?! I can't believe I waited so long to get up the courage to play with these again, though at least I finally did it. Why are we as artists so afraid to try something new or different when the only thing that really can happen is a lost canvas and some wasted paint, while we have so much more to gain from it like freedom and wisdom and both knowledge of our own capabilities and of our craft.

As for my painting, I realized far too late that you really don't need to add so much Linseed Oil (or whatever Oil you may choose to paint with - I've heard Walnut Oil is fantastic as well) to the paints, unless you want it to be a very slick and oily mess that takes forever to dry. So, a few Kleenex's full of paint later, and I was ready to paint on the same board as before, only with not so much oil this time around. Oh man, it was like riding on a bicycle after years and years of it being in the shed. At first, things were very rough, painful even, and extraordinarily uncomfortable, but it didn't take too long before I started remembering some of the old tricks, like using thick, less oily paints for the bottom layers, so that I can use lighter and more liquidy paints on top, as you need contrasting thicknesses for your paints in order for them to stick to one another.

I am so glad I tried to conquer this silly little demon yesterday, so glad that I was able to find joy and peace in something I had been afraid of for far too long. This lie had been telling me for years that I wasn't capable of creating beauty with this medium - it tore me down and said I wasn't good enough, not good enough to paint this way, not good enough to be successful with it. That anything I tried to make would be a hideous flop. BUT IT'S JUST NOT TRUE!!! Like I said before, it was simply a lie, and a silly one at that! After all, I was actually taught how to paint using oils in the first place, so why did I believe the lie that said I couldn't use them?

I think that part of the reason why it's so easy for us artists to listen to the lies about ourselves and our work and give in to our fears is because of the fact that when we do listen to them we aren't required to try, since we think we "know" what will happen. We seem to find solace in knowing that at least if I don't try I won't have the risk of failing, which means I really might be able to do it after all. But if I DO try, I'll know for certain that I can't do it, or at least that's how the logic goes. Well, it's just NOT TRUE! We need to be done with these lies, these stupid, silly little lies that hold us back and keep us from becoming all that we can truly can be! They are wrong! You can do this, and even if the first time you don't succeed, you at least have gained some knowledge as to how to do whatever you were struggling with before. After all, practice truly does make perfect.

It's not like the Great Masters of painting actually got where they were by chance - they had to work for their skills, and work HARD. Success doesn't just fall in your lap - you have to take risks, to recognize the lies and fight back against them so that you can conquer them. Do you have any lies that you are dealing with right now? Perhaps one that you've been battling with for some time now, that you know in your heart of hearts that it just isn't true? If you do, please feel free to open up and let me know what lies you struggle with, and if you've conquered any of them before, let us know what they were and how you did it. For me, yesterday was all about giving up my worries to the Lord and ask Him for His help. I also had to ask Him for HIS confidence, since I was so lacking in mine and always have been. He helped me. Immensely. And He can help you too. All you need to do is ask.

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11)

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." (1 John 5:14)

Now this is not meant to be a name it and claim it type of thing. I don't believe that it is God's plan for us to do that, and I don't believe we should treat God like a genie in a bottle. But for those things that God wants us to have, the things that He wants to use in you to bring Him praise and Glory, and that help us to draw closer to Him and bring others closer to Him as well, well it's those things that I believe He will give us if we simply look up to Him and ask. Right now, my greatest prayer for myself is for wisdom. Wisdom affects every single area of your life: your relationships, your money, how you handle your time and resources, how you speak to others and how you respond to every singe situation, no matter how big or how small, that happens in your life.

But I digress. If there are any lies you know you have bought "hook, line and sinker" about yourself or your art, or really about any other aspect of your life, please feel free to let me know in the comment section below. You'd be surprised how easy it is to accept as truth lies about yourself that if you had ever thought of towards another person you'd be repulsed, and yet they are okay to believe in regards to you. It's quite sad, honestly. And it's unnecessary! You can throw off the chains today, my friends, and enter into the truth about who you truly are. Like I've said before and I will say over and over again until I die, all you need to do is ASK!

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:7-12)

I am learning just how important in my own life my own personal "self-talk" is. I would never even dream of saying half of the awful things I say to myself to others, or of calling others half the things I call myself. They are awful! And this lie was just one more brick on the pile, which made my conquering of it rather exhilarating, leaving me with the feeling of empowerment to tackle more and more of the lies and issues that lay deep within my soul. How I hope and pray that you, too, will take this journey with me by telling me in the comments below what lies you suffer from, and which one's you want to work your hardest on to overcome! Perhaps we can do it together, my friends! =) God bless!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Announcing The Contest for May 2013 : My Funnest Contest Yet!!!

So I'm doing Leslie Saeta's "30 Marketing Ideas in 30 Days" and one of the things she wanted us to do was to post a link to one of our favorite available paintings. I immediately knew which one to choose - "Montana Sunset." This is one of my favorites of all time, and it's only $90 with a double matted frame. It's quite exquisite as a whole, and since it's an original work of art, it's truly a fantastic deal. So if you are interested in purchasing this one of a kind work of art, follow the link below. Trust me, you won't regret it!

"Montana Sunset"     5" x 7"     Acrylic on Museum Quality Claybord     $90 Framed

Here is another one of my favorite smaller works. It's an ACEO called "Mint, Anyone?" Oh how I loved painting the packaging - trying to capture the glint and the glimmer of the wrapper as it shone in the light. Such a delightful experience. If you're interested in purchasing this original piece for only $25, you can follow the link below as well. It's sweet and delicate, and sure to charm your guests. =)

"Mint, Anyone?"     2.5" x 3.5"    Acrylic on Canvas Paper (ACEO)     $25 with Frame Card

Yesterday's challenge was to add 20 people to your mailing list. Haha, ummm... hmmm... I don't HAVE a mailing list. "So," I thought to myself, "perhaps I should start there..." =P   Considering the fact that it's already a new month again, that means we're due for another contest right about now. I'm pretty sure you can see where I going with this. Well, here goes nothing...


INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CONTEST FOR MAY 2013

I'm not gonna lie. I don't like signing up for mailing lists. In fact, I rather hate it. Most of them are super annoying and hound my email with something nearly EVERY DAY of the week, which makes me feel like half my time is taken up deleting email's that I neither want nor need. I don't want that - it drives me nuts. Who want's that!?! HOWEVER, I do like keeping in touch with people, and I like places that send out only the good stuff - great coupons, great ideas, great incentives and fun news - and that don't send it out too often. You know, like telling me about fun events they have planned or explaining how certain things went, or warning me of amazing deals so I don't miss out. I like that. I like that when I sign up for something, and I like that as a rule for myself.

So that's how I'm gonna do this. No worries - I'm not going to hound anyone. I don't have the time to - remember? I have two boys. TWO. BOYS!!! Two boys who are 3 and 1. Both in diapers. Both very social and energetic and fun and cuddly and needy. And even though they both walk, one of them still likes to be carried ALL THE TIME! Cough, cough.... Owen... Yeah, I'm a busy girl. And I know you are busy too. Plus, when you throw in all that I still have to deal with because of my fibro, such as weekly appointments, exhaustion and ridiculous amounts of pain and forgetfullness, well, frankly I don't have much time to waste. I can promise you that! =)

I will only be sending out updates every couple months, and at the very most, monthly, though it will be a while before I do them monthly, if I ever do. I imagine some months will be busier and easier to fill up than others. BUT no matter what, I will make them worth your while. They will be fun, and interesting and sometimes there will be AMAZING deals in them that only people who sign up for them will be eligible for. I hope to include things like blasts from the past - looking back at my older works of art, interviews, poems, photos, and upcoming events, as well as news about my business, upcoming workshops, classes and more. These newsletters will go out via email, though I will occasionally want to send out an actual physical mailer every once in a while with either a coupon, a flier, a business card or even a postcard that you can put up on display. And to top it off, every once and a while I will pick someone from my contact list to send a gift to in the mail, as a way of expressing my gratitude for following my are. But I sure won't be filling up your mailboxes with a ton of wasted paper or wasted time, so don't worry about that! I know how busy everyone is these days, and I don't want to waste your time any more than I want to waste mine.

So if you are interested in hearing fun and exciting updates on the weird and creative life of Melissa Adams, then join along with me and show your support: EMAIL ME HERE or send me a PRIVATE MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK HERE, my friends! What I would love at the very least is for you to include a link to your email address so I can put it down in my contact log, which will grant you two tickets towards winning this months prize. And like I said before, if you're interested in occasionally receiving additional coupons or even possibly a free, unexpected gift through the mail, not to mention frameable postcards of my work, then you can include your mailing address as well, which will buy you two extra tickets as well. Any other forms of communication would be great, like your blogs and phone number, personal FACEBOOK page or fanpage, even letting me know whether you are an artist or not, and if so, what you do - well,  each one of these will earn you one more chance to win! HOWEVER, in order for you to earn any points you have to send me your email, and in order for you to win more than 2 points, you have to include BOTH your email and your mailing address, as those are the two most important means (and perhaps the only means) of communication I will use. PLUS... If you publicly follow my blog (whether you've been doing it all along or just signed up today by filling out the form when you click the term "Join this Site" on the righthand sidebar of this page), and if you've "Liked" my Facebook Fan Page (again, no matter when you do or have), then you will earn 2 more points for each one. So the more contact info you give, the more ticket's you'll earn towards winning a prize!

I would love to see and hear more about your life as well, so including your own blogs, Facebook pages, and more will be icing on the cake. With so many chances. I hope all my friends will do this with me so I can keep in better touch with you and can let you in to see a little more about what's going on in my life and my career, and the places I hope to go with it. And don't forget, you CAN win more than once! So go ahead, what are you waiting for? Sign up to get great deals, fun news and a deeper look into what's going on over here in a more comprehensive and exciting way than ever before! This is going to be GREAT!!!  =D

"Ahhhh, wait a second..." you may be asking. "We've only talked about what we have to do and what we can expect from you in regards to your newsletters and mailers. What about the contest? What do we GET if we win this month's contest?"  Hmmm.... Well, I think this time I'll make it a little more interesting. With all these points to earn, why not have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner? And to mix it up a bit more, I'm going to let the winners choose their gift from the options. There are two categories:  "1st Place Options," and "2nd and 3rd Place Options." As the winners, you will have the wonderful opportunity to be able to choose whichever prize you wish from your category. It's YOU who gets the choice. This is going to be a VERY Fun Contest!!! =)

If you win FIRST place, YOU may choose ANY single ONE of these "1st Place Options:"
  1. Any available original painting that is 5" x 7" or smaller, unframed
  2. A print of any of my original paintings or fine art photographs, in any of these sizes: 5" x 7",  8" x 10" or 11" x 14", unframed
  3. A miniature painting, 2" x 2", complete with easel. You may choose from any of these subjects: natural landscape (no buildings), animal (fictional or not, as long as it's not copyrighted), abstract or still life. All the details, including color choices and lighting, will be up to you as well.
  4.  An ACEO complete with frame card and frame. You may choose from any of these subjects: natural landscape (no buildings), animal (fictional or not, as long as it's not copyrighted), abstract or still life. All the details, including color choices and lighting, will be up to you as well. 
  5. Two sets of 5 notecards, with the phrase (ie. Thank you!, I Miss You, In Deepest Sympathy, On Your Birthday..., Happy Birthday!) on the front as well as any image of my paintings (you can pick two different images or keep them all the same) chosen by you. The insides are blank.
  6. A calendar for either 2013 or 2014 with all of your favorite paintings in it.
  7. A mug with your favorite painting printed upon it. 
  8. A hand painted round ornament with an optional phrase written upon it and either a natural landscape (no buildings) or an animal (fictional or not, as long as it's not copyrighted) for the subject. The ornament itself will be plastic, so that if you have pets or little ones, you won't have to worry about it breaking, though if you really prefer glass I can see what I can do. =)
If you've won 2nd or 3rd place, you may choose any ONE of these "2nd and 3rd Place Options:"
  1. A 5" x 7" print of any of my original paintings or fine art photographs, unframed.
  2. Two notecards with any of the phrases above of any one or two paintings. The insides are blank
  3. An ACEO with frame card, unframed. You may choose from any of these subjects: natural landscape (no buildings), animal, abstract or still life. All the details, including color choices and lighting, will be up to you as well. 
So good luck my friends! I hope to hear from you soon! =D

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"Lingering Snow" and the Results for April's Contest

"Lingering Snow"     Acrylic on Claybord     8" x 10"
 $200
To Purchase this Painting from my Daily Paintworks Gallery, CLICK HERE

Oh man, I meant to post this much earlier but I got caught up in a few things I'm working on right now. But now...

DRUM ROLL please....... And the winner for our Contest for April of 2013 IS.....
RENE MICHAELS!!! 
AGAIN! You are quite the lucky one, my dear!  I was super shocked when I saw your name come up as the winner, thinking "Wow, what are the chances!?!" And then I realized that you've pretty much played along with me every month so far so you're bound to win something at least once, and now twice. Congratulations! A beautiful print of Lavendar Fields, your favorite painting of mine, will be on it's way soon. And I already have your address from when you were one of the winners back in February, so no need to email me. =D

"Lavender Fields"     Acrylic on Archival Canvas Board     5" x 7"
As for my new painting at the top of this post, well, it's my April submission for The Virtual Paintout, though I didn't quite get it in on time so I can't formally post it to the blog. Aghh - I missed it by only two hours. Gahh! Hahaa, oh well. =P I know I did it so that's all I really care about, well, that and the fact that I like how it turned out. =) You should have seen it before - it was a salvage piece, that's for sure. But I stuck with it, and it sure was worth it. Here's how it looked before the major overhaul where I stopped looking at the photo and just decided to go with my instincts and look to other artist's work and see how they do it:

 I really enjoyed our location this month, which was Bulgaria. It was absolutely beautiful, with lovely forests and so many beautiful places to stroll around and paint from. But I fell in love with this little creek full of rocks all mounded over with snow, lined with beautiful pines up and down it's shores. It was such a sweet and serene scene, and I found myself feeling as if I had stumbled upon something no one had ever seen before, like it was some untouched beauty made by God that was being discovered for the first time. Perhaps it was the crisp whiteness of the snow, or the way the trees are all huddled around the stones, protecting them and guarding them from any unkind visitors. It was just... Serene. And I loved it.

Stay Tuned for the Winner... =D

I'm so excited right now! It's time to tally up all the entries from last month's contest and choose a winner! Oh, and I have a new painting to post as well, though I need to go take pictures of it first. Stay tuned for the winner and for the new contest for May 2013...! =D

See you all soon I hope!
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