I completed six paintings for my show so far, but I've decided to move the date up to Monday because I'm doing a web page for the shows.
I'm exhausted today. I've had a cold and it makes me really tired.
I found out why my tomatoes have big holes in them. They are being eaten by squirrels! I thought those holes were to big for bugs to be eating. I went out there today and surprised a squirrel in the act of taking a big bite! I did not know that they ate tomatoes but I have seen the evidence.
Friday, September 19, 2008
I completed six paintings for my show so far, but I've decided to move the date up to Monday because I'm doing a web page for the shows.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
I was born and raised in California, and I grew up eating smoothies.
What is a smoothie anyway? In many restaurants they are merely a fruit milkshake, no healthier than having an ice cream sundae with strawberry topping. To me a smoothie is a healthy food, made from yogurt, milk, frozen fruit and sweetener. They are an important part of my diet. I love starting summer mornings with a delicious sweet and creamy treat that is healthy and low in calories.
Here's how I make smoothies.
First of all, it's important to have a good blender. I bought this one about eight years ago and it's still going strong.
I gather together all my ingredients. I use milk and plain yogurt, either non-fat or low fat. I use frozen fruit, which I usually buy frozen. I use flavorings like cinnamon and vanilla, and I use a sweetener, usually splenda. In this case, I'll be making one of my favorites which is a peach and cinnamon flavor.
I don't have set amounts of ingredients that I use. I just eyeball them. First add the frozen fruit, then a few serving spoons full of yogurt, then the milk, sweetener and flavoring. Blend! You may need to add a little more milk if your smoothie is hard to blend.
For this smoothie I used the following (amounts are approximate)
3/4 cup frozen peaches – 50 calories
½ cup nonfat yogurt – 55 calories
1 cup 1% milk – 110 calories
That adds up to just 215 calories!
Some people use ice in their smoothies, I do not. If you use ice make sure that you have a very powerful blender.
Sometimes I add cereal to my smoothie. After it's done I pour it into a bowl instead of a glass and I top it with grape nuts and eat it with a spoon.
Another thing I add sometimes is bran or psyllium to get extra fiber. It's pretty hard to tell if psyllium fiber is added. The bran definitely adds texture to it and takes away from the creamy deliciousness of it. I usually only do this if I will be eating it with cereal, in which case I don't notice the bran at all.
Many people add dates to smoothies; in fact my parents did this. I don't like dates in general and I don't like the texture they give smoothies but if you like dates that is something to try.
There are a wide variety of fruit combinations to use in smoothies. Almost any type of berry makes a great one, especially strawberries. You can get bags of blends of fruits, usually tropical blend or a mix of berries.
I find that a little vanilla, the same bottled kind that is used for baking, really enhances my smoothies. On some fruits like peaches and pumpkin, cinnamon adds a great flavor.
Pumpkin smoothies are unexpectedly good. I freeze canned pumpkin in plastic bags. Just make sure to freeze it in small enough chunks that it can be blended. Pumpkin pie spice is great with this, or just use cinnamon.
I’ve been meaning to try this with butternut squash too.
Bananas are one fruit that you never find frozen, but it’s quite easy to freeze them yourself. Just peel them, break into chunks, pop them into a plastic bag and freeze. This is good to do with over-ripe bananas. I frequently freeze and use in smoothies bananas that I would never eat by themselves. Bananas are great with tropical fruits or strawberries.
Smoothies are quick to make in the morning when you have all of the ingredients on hand. You can even have one on the way to work, just put it in a travel mug. That is a lot healthier than stopping for a donut.
They are not just for breakfast either. Sometimes I like to eat one as a desert.
If you have any great smoothie recipes, hints or suggestions please leave them in the comments, I would love to hear about them.
This is a paining I finished last night. It's 11x14 and done with watercolor, acrylic and ink on watercolor paper.
I started this painting when I was doing the Art on the Porches festival. For some reason I had the idea to do a painting with a woman's face, a guitar and a cat. The painting was going to be kind of serious and somber and have darker colors in it.
The cat and the guitar turned out good but the woman's face turned out horrible. I wish I had taken a before picture of this painting! When I took it out and started working on it again I painted over the woman's face with green and white. Do you see the part in the middle with yellow paint and copper colored stripes with the sunflower in the bottom part? That was part of her hair.
I like how it ended up but of course it's not somber at all. I can never seem to paint things that don't look happy and bursting with good cheer.
Anyway I put it on etsy:
Summer Fragments painting on Etsy.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
This is a new mixed media painting I just finished. It has acrylic paint, ink, pencil, postage stamps, and a picture of my cat Oliver and a water tower in Syracuse. I put it on my livejournal and it sold right away!
I have had a lot of business on Etsy lately - including this latest one I have had four sales in the past week. I'm working on some more paintings now too.
I have clear envelopes and stiff acid free paperboard backing for my paintings now and they look so nice and professional when I send them out.
I'm going to California a week from tomorrow. Kind of excited about it, kind of numb. Mostly I want to get it over with so I can settle down and get a job. I'm not really a traveller and I don't want to go to California really. I am going because I need to see my family and I need to get some stuff that I have had in storage in the Mojave desert for a long time.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
These are signs on wood that I did for my craft fair. Only one of the new things I did just for the fair sold! But at least I have lots of stuff now. I am moving into another direction and I don't think I will keep doing these so if you were thinking of buying one of my welcome signs now would be a good time.
It's the strangest thing, one of the pictures comes out sideways when I load it on blogger but it is normal on my computer and on Etsy. So I'm not just being careless but I also am busy today and don't have time to mess with it.
I've been working a lot on my exercise. I set a personal speed record walking downtown. 38 minutes to walk 2.9 miles on a warm day. I've also been taking yoga and pilates classes and working out in the gym and on cardio equipment. I'm trying to eat better too. That is the hard part. I have come up with some good recipes though. I am working on writing a blog entry about my favorite invention, breakfast ice cream. Actually it's a smoothie that is so thick you eat it with a spoon. So very good.
Melsky Art on etsy
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
It's 93 degrees and very humid. Yuck. Can we have winter back now, please?
I bought a chaise lounge so I can go in the basement where it is cool and read. We don't have air conditioning. Our windows won't fit an air conditioner!
This morning I went to yoga and now I have been busy painting all day. These are indoor/outdoor paintings on wood. They have a protective varnish on them. I think they would be fun on a porch, especially the welcome sign ones of course. But since I am doing the Art on the Porches festival next weekend I think these are very appropriate.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Also known as weeds! I got these from my back yard. This is a like an abstract floral painting, except it's a photograph.
I'm getting ready to do my street fair in one week. I'm very excited. I have a lot of new paintings. They are indoor/outdoor paintings/signs on wood. Some of them say welcome.
Tomorrow I'm going to yoga early in the morning and the rest of the day I'm staying at home and painting. I also need to design some business cards and promotional materials.
Friday, May 30, 2008
I've finished a new painting. I decided to paint with acrylics today and see what happened. This is the result and I'm very happy with it.
This one is 8x10 on watercolor paper.
Summer Night Sky Cat painting for sale
I'm going to be doing the Art on the Porches festival on June 14th. It's really exciting to be doing a festival again, I have not done one in a long time. I hope the weather is good.
That's one thing I miss about California, the certainty that it would not rain on festival days. It doesn't rain in the Summer in most of California. I do like that it rains in the summer here in New York, it's just that I would like to be able to choose the days!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
A new painting. This one is a watercolor and ink, but with brighter colors.
I've listed it on etsy:
Summer Day Watercolor Painting for sale
I've been working a lot with my Wacom tablet. That's a method of using a pen to draw digitally on a big tablet so you can do drawings that will show up in an illustration program. It's hard to get used to drawing and painting with it but I am getting better.
I plan on starting a new watercolor soon, something with a cityscape theme I think.
I also went horseback riding last weekend which I enjoyed a lot, and to a picnic.
I did some gardening, mostly pulling up weeds. I'm not sure if I'm going to have any sunflowers in my garden though. I found a lot of sunflower hulls where I had planted them. In related news the birds and squirrels around here are looking fat and happy. Maybe I should try again and bury them deeper.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Spring even makes me happy, grouchy old lover of winter that I am. But I am enjoying doing some gardening. Most of what I planted is seeds and I can't wait until they come up. I planted four varieties of sunflowers, dill, marjoram, basil, cilantro, chives, mint, cosmos, and a a bunch of packets of mixed flower seeds.
I've also been doing more watercolors. They are coming out great, I'm very happy with them. This one is for sale - Spring Makes People Happy Painting for sale on etsy. It's an 11x14 watercolor.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I just finished another painting. It's good to be back to painting again!
Orange Sunflower painting
I've cleaned up my studio too, so it's a lot more pleasant to paint in here.
Today I was walking to the library and I walked into a branch on the sidewalk and it punctured the top of my foot. That really hurt! So now I am trying to stay off it and I will go to the doctor tomorrow if it doesn't get better.
Oh and I quit my job, if I didn't mention that already.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
This is my first new painting for quite a while. I started and finished it this weekend.
It is watercolor over pencil and I didn't do any ink lines on it. I wanted to do a familiar subject but with new materials and style.
I have been accused of laying watercolor on with a trowel. Yes, I know that watercolor is supposed to be much more watery, but this is the way I do them.
I tried doing my tumbleweeds in a new style. They look just like cabbages! Little desert cabbages. That's a funny image.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
But at least I'm painting!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I've been in kind of a funk lately, about painting. I've been finding it hard to get motivated and paint every day. So I decided to work in some other formats. At first I did some collage/assemblage pieces, and they were ok, but I still wasn't feeling excited about the art.
Then I got out my watercolors and I'm really enjoying them. This first painting turned out very well. I've decided to do a series of spring themed watercolors.
I've already completed another painting in the series but it's not scanning well. It has a lot of variations in the coloring, and these are not coming out in the scan, it's showing up at a much higher contrast than it should be. I may have to use photographs, which will be hard to set up. But anyway, I'm happy that the paintings are coming out well.
This painting shows up very badly in this blog, click on the picture to see it larger.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I also got this Dutch Oven , which I picked out myself. I really love cast iron.
This morning I found that I had sold something on Etsy which I was very pleased about.
The snow has mostly melted, but I did manage to go skiing twice this weekend before the dreaded rain started.
Today I will be taking a long walk, part of which will be to the post office to mail my etsy sale.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
This is great for a cold winter day.
Melsky's Crock Pot Black Bean Soup or Dip
All amounts are approximate; it’s a good recipe to experiment with
3 15oz cans beans
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
3 stalks celery
2 large carrots
1/3 cup olive oil
Slice red pepper and put in crock pot with cumin, red pepper flakes and olive oil
Slice and add onions, carrots, garlic and celery
Cook on high for at least an hour, preferably two. Stir every half hour or so.
Add 2 ½ cans beans and cook for several hours
With a hand blender, blend until soup is smooth, adding water if needed
Add the remaining beans.
If you want to make bean dip instead, just don't add water. If it's too liquid, cook it for a while with the top off.
You can also make it chunky style, just don't blend it.
Friday, February 08, 2008
This is a painting I started in 2003 or 2004. I remember I was still living in the desert. I've been going through and finishing up a bunch of my half finished work.
I like doing this, sometimes it's as if the painting was started by someone else.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
I went on a long walk yesterday, from downtown Syracuse up Erie street to Eastwood. It takes an hour. The snow was melting and there were rivers of water everywhere. I was glad I was wearing my waterproof snow boots.
I really wish it would snow though, I want to go skiing in the park. I should have bought water skis instead of cross country. It's supposed to snow for the next few days so hopefully it will.
I haven't been doing too much creative the past few days except for photography.
Monday, February 04, 2008
This is an Artist Trading Card (atc). It's the same size as a baseball card. It's my first painting of Syracuse. I don't know what happened with the scan. It's kind of blurry.
I'm happy to be painting some more local things. I started this last fall.
I drove for the first time the other day. It felt very natural and easy, I forgot that I hadn't driven for three whole years. I just need to schedule the actual driving part of the test and take it and I will have my license.
Friday, February 01, 2008
These were so good! They were also very easy. I used this recipe, but I used whole wheat flour. I did use the whole can of pumpkin like she did. They are incredibly moist. I didn't add the sugar/cinnamon mixture on top. I think they would be good as cupcakes with frosting on top. Next time I make them I plan on adding walnuts, which I meant to do this time but forgot.
They are not good when warm, they were a bit gooey at first but when they cooled they reached a perfect moist yet firm texture. It's a little bit like pumpkin pie, with the large amount of pumpkin and the two eggs.
Instead of pumpkin pie spice called for in the recipe I used a quarter tablespoon each of powdered ginger, cloves and nutmeg, and a tablespoon of cinnamon.
Melsky's Pumpkin Muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup bran
1 tsp baking powder
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.25 cups sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F.
Generously butter a 12 cup muffin tin, or use paper liners
Whisk together flour, bran and baking powder in a small bowl.
Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, spices, vanilla, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then stir in dry mixture until just combined. Do not over mix, that can make muffins too dense.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups
Bake until muffin springs back when touched, 25 to 30 minutes.
These are best eaten when cool, because they are slightly mushy when you first take them out of the oven. If you would like to eat them warm, I recommend slicing them in half and toasting them.
Variation: Add ½ cup walnuts, dried cranberries or raisins if desired
You can also omit the bran and just use another half cup wheat flour.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
This is a mirror I just finished and put up on etsy
Sky Fish mirror.
I passed my written drivers test this morning on my first try with 100 percent correct. Now I have to take driving classes and then the driving part of the test.
I already know how to drive, I learned when I was 16 and drove for 20 years, so I'm not worried about it.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
This is a new painting, another one in the Sky Fish series. All of the other Sky Fish have sold so far. It's kind of like the Pieces symbol too, so I'm hoping someone might buy it for that.
I have a few more things I've put up lately that I haven't blogged. Oh dear, I am being lazy on my blogging!
This is one of them, a collaged card with Frida Kahlo and a deer.
This is a magnet called CALL ME
Recently I had thought about going back to selling on Ebay. Well, I just read that Ebay lowered their listing fees and now gallery is free. Great! So am I going to sell on Ebay now? No, because they raised their final value fees (that's what they call their commission off the final price) and you can no longer leave negative feedback for buyers, and paypal won't release your money until you get positive feedback! So, no way. My big fear is that ebay will buy etsy. Shudder!
Last week I took a lot of photos of downtown Syracuse and now I'm thinking about painting something based on them. I'm excited about the new project and I hope it will spur me into getting some offline exposure.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I've made another item with that same picture. This is made in the lid of a paint can. The color around the rim matches my bedroom walls. It's kind of a steampunk look - that is something that has a Victorian or Edwardian kind of aesthetic mixed with a kind of machine age modernism.
Miss Gabrielle Ray magnet for sale on Etsy
Sunday, January 20, 2008
This is a greeting card I made with a photo of the Edwardian actress Miss Gabrielle Ray (a lot of her photos say Miss Gabrielle Ray on them, so I always put the Miss in there because that's how I think of her.)
She was a very popular actress and postcard model. There are hundreds of postcards of her, if you Google her name you will see lots of them.
The border and background is hand painted.
Miss Gabrielle Ray card for sale
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I'm working on some collage/assemblage multimedia mirror frames. I haven't done this type of work in a long time. I'm also finishing up my Sky Fish series. Pictured is the Sky Fish mirror and a Pisces heart painting. I'm working on a two canvas day and night Sky Fish painting that is not pictured.
The painting on the easel is something I started over a year ago and am going to finish now. Soon, I hope!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Originally uploaded by Melsky
I finished this today.
For this painting, I did two things I don't usually do. I scanned it in different stages of progress. It's also on a new material I'm trying out, it's a think piece of masonite with a textured coating that is supposed to be good for doing detail work. It was ok, but it's more expensive than the canvas I have been using and I don't like it as much.
I may try some new types of canvas, maybe some with a finer weave than I've been using.
Oddity City painting for sale
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I worked a little more on my painting today. It looks terrible, they always do at this point. It helps me to look at photos of my past works in progress so I don't get discouraged in this middle point.
I'm happy to say all the Christmas stuff is packed away and the tree has been recycled. I think they chop them up into mulch or something.
I'm working on painting the upstairs bedroom. It's a buttery yellow glaze. That means it's kind of streaky and uneven, a bit like parchment. I waver between liking it a lot and thinking it looks terrible.
Monday, January 07, 2008
This is a new painting in my Etsy Store, Crown Martini.
I'm still having my Melsky art 2008 New Years Sale
I just sold two paintings privately, both fish paintings to a very nice person who lives in England but went to my same high school, but different years.
I took a break from listing stuff on Etsy while I thought about where I was going artistically. I had though about not selling any more of the smaller paintings, to possibly do nothing smaller than an 8x10 on canvas. I was thinking about just doing larger, more expensive paintings and selling mainly prints in my etsy store. But I've decided not to do that, at least for the time being. I'm going to start doing larger, more complex expensive works and make prints from that. But I will also keep doing my smaller, simpler paintings of fish, cats, martinis and those sort of things. When I get ready to sell prints more complexly I may get a seperate etsy store for them, like Melsky Fine Art, so I will have a craft painting division and a fine art division.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
I marked down some things in my Etsy store, some by as much as 50 percent. Since it's the new year, I want to get some old stuff out and get new stuff in. I do have a lot of new paintings to put in and those should be going in over the next couple of days. I listed that red cat one today.
Sale will be going on at least until the end of the month.
Visit the SALE at MELSKY ART STORE
Saturday, January 05, 2008
This is a sketch of a new painting I'm working on. I'm going to scan it at various stages of it's completion and make an animation of it's progress.
It is on a new material I am trying out. It's white, not blue but it scans blue and shows every erase mark. It is a gesso mixture on top of wood.
I don't really like it so far. I was hoping that it would be very absorbent but it's not.
I'm trying to decide if I should go to California now or wait until the spring. I don't want to miss any skiing so I kind of want to wait until spring. Then again, the wildflowers will be blooming in the desert and I would love to see that. I'm so excited about walking around LA and taking photos.
I'm toying with the idea of doing a book blog. Yeah, I know i have a lot of blogs already. But this is the last one, I swear. I started using a site called Goodreads to catalog my books, but so many of the books I'm reading are odd old obscure things that are way out of print that don't even show up on the searches. It would be kind of cool if you could add images of your covers but you can't.
I've actually had this idea of the book blog for a long time now and need to find the reviews I wrote over a year ago. I wish I had started it when I was writing those reviews!
Friday, January 04, 2008
This is a multi media painting on a wooden block. The other side is painted too. I'm not sure whether to attatch a hanger in such a manner that it could be hung up with either side showing, or leave it as it is, a freestanding piece. I have a bunch of these that were started over a year ago. I have been looking for them for a while now, and it turns out they were in with my Christmas stuff. So I'll be finishing up a series of ten or so of these.
I'm planning on having a big sale in my Etsy store starting on Monday. Time to clear out a lot of stuff and put in new stuff.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
This is my first painting of the new year. I haven't put it up on Etsy yet. I'm not sure if I'm going to. I may stop selling the smaller works of art online and just sell larger paintings and then prints or greeting cards of them. I'm not sure where I'm going.