Announcing :: Painting by Heart Online (Acrylics Edition)

I am so happy and proud to announce that my Painting by Heart Online class (acrylics edition) is now officially open! Here's the link that you can use to enroll. Thank you to the team that helped me get this from concept to reality and for all the humans who have encouraged me and shown patience with me during this process. I'm very proud of the quality of this product and hope you enjoy it and find it beneficial to your painting journey. If you want to.

With gratitude,


August 14, 2018

634 Having Read the Book

Framed634 Having Read the Book
9x12 inches :: oil on glass
Click here to buy
I painted the portrait on glass, backed it with vintage ledger paper and then encased it all into an old frame.

I saw a film today, oh boy
The English Army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
But I just had to look
Having read the book ...

August 13, 2018

633 Harmoni

She633 Harmoni
9x12 inches :: oil on gessobord
Click here to Buy


I referenced an image of Harmoni as captured by Nick Holmes for this work.

August 07, 2018

632 Three Muses

India632 Three Muses
20x20 inches :: original acrylic on stretched canvas
Click here to Buy


This is my demo painting from today's private session. I referenced an image of Kara Neko @indianpython and channeled both Michael Carson @mcarson1999 and Christos Tsimaris @tsimaris to paint and destroy the work.

August 06, 2018

631 Let Us Agree

Flowers631 Let Us Agree
18x24 inches :: original acrylic on stretched canvas
Click here to buy


This is the best sentence that ever came out of my mouth. It is the sentence that I have in my studio for all to see, so that bad attitudes can be nipped in the bud.

630 All I Need is Less

Less630 All I Need Is Less
18x24 inches
Acrylic on stretched canvas


August 02, 2018

Yes We (Still) Can


I just finished reading this book: Yes We (Still) Can by Dan Pfeiffer and I can't recommend it enough. There are so many things I learned, things I realized again, and a few times I got teared up (in a good way) about the existence of American humans who are truly the salt of the earth.
One important thing in terms of moving forward that I got from Pfeiffer is that it's a false choice for we Democrats to choose either a strategy about tolerance or a strategy about the economy. We can embrace both.
The other point important point by Pfeiffer is that as we embrace both, our strategy must be about getting out the vote. Particularly the millenial vote. And that won't happen unless we are able to inspire that vote with sound policies, standing up against Trumpism and not backing down from calling out lies from the Republican party and its propaganda machine (FOX).
For the first time in a long time I feel fired up and ready to go.

July 31, 2018

Melissa Monroe :: Studio Crescendoh :: April 13-14 2019

Silly Serious Figures
2-dayWorkshop :: April 13-14, 2019
with Melissa Monroe

207 N. Broadway Street, Suite L
Santa Ana, CA 92701



In this two day workshop Melissa will take you through her process of painting “silly serious” figures using reference images and physical items. We will start by loosely painting the animals, people, objects and ephemera that inspire us. Melissa will demonstrate how to turn these figures into meaningfully playful paintings by giving our figures expression through her brush and pencil layering technique. 

Melissa encourages us to let go of details and to strengthen our imagination. She will show us how to add simple details to capture a serious expression while still allowing the environment to be fun and silly. By using her layer building and color composition methods, you’ll learn that there is no such thing as a mistake! As a self-taught artist, we’ll learn that you don’t need to be a traditionally trained painter to create a piece with meaningful expression. Sharing her own inspiration throughout the creative process, we will create paintings that bring laughter and tears!"

www.melissamonroeart.comInstagram: @melissamonroeart


SUPPLY LIST: Each participant is asked to bring the following to the workshop:

  • 3-5 substrates 10" x 10" - 14" x 18" (instructor will be using wood panels however you can use paper or canvas if you prefer)
  • Palette
  • White China Pencil
  • Assortment of Colored Pencils including Red and Black
  • 6-10 acrylic paints including: White, Black, Blue, Yellow, Red (Melissa uses a mix of Basic, Golden and Blick Acrylics.)
  • Paint Brushes Including 1in chip brush for background painting, Fan brush and a variety of smaller flat brushes
  • paper towels and/or rags
  • Pictures on your phone or printed out of some of your favorite items, images or animals. Example: childhood stuffed animal, vintage trinkets, vintage photos, patterns and textures. Melissa will have a bunch of images and items to use as reference if you'd like so don't stress if your not sure.
  • Arrive & Settle: 9:00 :: Time for students to arrive, settle in.
  • Class Segment A: 9:30-12:00 :: Class time with Melissa who will demonstrate and guide the 1st part of class.
  • Lunch & Stroll: 12:00 PM :: You can choose to brown bag it or take a stroll to one of the many hip and artsy eateries in the historic Artist's Village in Santa Ana, like Chapter One, and The Gypsy Den.
  • Class Segment B: 1:30-4:30 PM :: Class time with Melissa who will guide the 2nd part of class.
  • Clean-Up & Depart: 4:30-5:00 PM


  • Due to limited class size, the spot for this class is transferable but payment is non-refundable. Please read about this policy in our Studio Policies.

Please read class policies for Studio CRESCENDOh here. By purchasing this class, you are agreeing to abide by the class policies.

APRIL 13-14, 2019
Price :: 280

July 23, 2018

629 And So I Sing

One629 Emily

18x 24 inches :: original acrylic on stretched canvas
Click here to Buy

"I had a terror ... and so I sing."
Emily Dickinson

July 21, 2018

To Fight for the Now

KareemThere are so many parts of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's book: Coach Wooden and Me have deeply touched me. I want to talk about them all. But maybe I'll talk just about a couple and how they connect to other dots floating in my mind.

Like when Jabbar explains that when he was a young player, he felt a desire to find meaning in the game, and the fact that he was playing this game galled basketball: "I wanted the game to make sense in my life beyond just having a skill set."

Jabbar also explains that practices with Coach Wooden were highly structured because rather than just running familiar drills from a list, Coach spent hours preparing for each practice, making sure he was coaching per the uniqueness of each player: "... he [Coach] realized that a particular player was not the same player one day that he had been the day before ..." Like Heraclitus who said: You can never step in the same river twice.

I think Wooden knew that the player, like the river was always evolving, always becoming and that a good coach needed to be aware of that.

My favorite podcast as of late is ThinkAgain. Every episode is so packed with interesting info that I often listen to it twice. The latest episode is with Jason Heller whose insights really enriched my appreciation for David Bowie ... and how in his quest to be "inauthentic" and arguably disconnected from community ... with startling and almost non-sensical invocation of scifi fantastic into his music ... that his work became authentic and connected. Free jazz.

Heller also wonders if artistic authenticity is even possible, given that the artist (like the basketball player) changes and evolves ... almost immediately after the art is made. After the play is played. Like the river. Always the same. Never the same.

In Celeste Ng's Everything I never Told You, the character Lydia dies. That fact is not a spoiler alert as it's the first thing we learn. How she dies is a spoiler alert so don't read on if you don't want the spoiler.

So Lydia decides to enter the body of water even though she doesn't know how to swim. She is in that moment who she is and she does what she feels is right in the moment.

Having lost my brother to suicide, I often wonder if in the middle of the act he changed his mind but couldn't take it back. That's the one thing that really bothers me. What if in the middle of Lydia's decent into the water she evolves and changes but can't take it back?

It makes me think about the delicate balance of life. To be in the moment and have the courage to step in that water, knowing we will change and the water will change tomorrow.

But isn't that also true with other choices we make? Like to fall in love? To say yes? To walk away? To say no? To fight for the now?

Coach Wooden lived to be ninety nine ... who said about the game, which applies to life and death: "Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time."

Kareem2 Three

628 Pyrex Milk

Pyrex628 Pyrex Milk
6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord
Click here to Buy
I poured a cup of  milk into my Pyrex measuring cup and referenced it for this painting. Though I thought about using the milk to bake a cake, I just poured it out. It's too hot to bake. Almost too hot to paint.

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