Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy 2014!

Family Dogs Greet the New Year 
Calendars are such a fun way to bring art into your office and kitchen and into your everyday. My family loved these personalized gifts, each with their favorite pup.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have Yourself a Yummy Little Christmas

Traditional International Cookies - Soon to disappear among smiling family 
Although I love a colorfully frosted sugar cookie, these traditional treats melt in your mouth with vibrant flavors of lemon or almond and sugar and butter and delicious goodness. Mom and I took a community ed class to master these Rosettes (aka Krollettes), Norwegian Krumkakes, Italian Pizzelles, and Scandinavian Sandbackles.

I hope this Christmas finds you surrounded by family, friends, laughter, joy, warm bellies, full hearts and peace.

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Merry ChrisMoose!

Merry ChrisMoose!

Watch out. It's a moose with mistletoe!

Meet Valfrid the ChrisMoose!

Valfrid dressed for the holiday in his favorite scarf. If he's like me, he received this classy creation from a talented knitter sister or aunt.

The name Valfrid means a Powerful Peace. I think that is perfect for the holidays and a fitting name for an 8 ft giant with a tender heart.

By the way, if you invite Valfrid to your party, he'll be there with bells on!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Read Me a Story

CBIG Art on Display!
Want a fun, free outing with the kids this weekend? Visit the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts in Fridley, MN for a book reading of local artists.

This Saturday, December 7th from 10am to noon you'll hears the stories about some of the artwork surrounding you on the gallery walls.

Tis the season for sharing. So why not share a story with someone you love.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fa La La Literary Tree

Oh Tannenbaum Tomes!
Should I decorate this tree with book lights?

You know you're a book lover when you build a Christmas tree out of old encyclopedias. These outdated books will eventually get ripped apart for crafty purposes (maybe greeting cards or jewelry), but I think they make for a distinctive Christmas tree today.

Thank you Pinterest. I find such good ideas there. 2014 resolution is to do more of those fun Pinterest ideas and bring more of that inspiration into my paintings.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Every Friday is Black Friday

So much fun stuff delivered right to your door!
The Holiday Store is now open!

I've added several of my watercolor characters to some amazing products at CafePress. Through the end of December, you can purchase Bird & Bear on a bib, a dragon on a t-shirt, or a horse on a new wallet.

Why not keep the store up all of time?

Well, I want to keep it fresh. I also want to stay true to myself as a fine artist and focus on the choices that make for the best paintings and not worry about what will sell to the most people.

So you'll only find my watercolors in the CafePress store for a limited time. I'll let you know in the blog when I've opened a new pop-up store. Of course, you can always contact me if you have any custom product or artwork requests.

By the way, every friday is Black Friday when your last name is Black. Some of you may grumble at that joke. You should. It was awful.

Others of you may grumble about Black Friday being a dark day of people behaving badly and rushing to the stores before the sun rises. The truth is that Black Friday is when most retailers get "in the Black" for the year, meaning they show a profit, as opposed to being "in the Red" or in debt.

So a Happy and Fruitful Black Friday to All!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble Gobble Gobble

Wild Turkeys Unaware of Thanksgiving Dinner Plans

Things I'm thankful for this year... sunlight, laughter, family, friends, furry friends, watercolors, and the internet as a way to connect with people. And as I'm discovering (learning... I'm also thankful for learning) the internet is a great way to share my artwork with new people.

My dad took this picture of turkeys invading his yard. The dog stayed inside, but he kept a very close eye on the birds, which was difficult with so many of them!

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Love For Sale (but only in the best way)!

canvas wraps, framed art
Family friendly art for any room!
Oh the internet... now the entire world is my gallery and everyone gets the opportunity to take home a little piece of my heart.

In other words, I now have an online store at Imagekind to sell Fine Art Prints, Gallery Framed Art, or a Canvas Wrap of my watercolors.

These images can be printed up to a massive 55 inches -- that's over 4 feet long! So, I'm working to get the cleanest and highest resolution shots of my artwork. I'm starting slow.

You can get to the Imagekind store at anytime from this blog with the tab at the top of the page labeled "The Fine Image Shop"

You may notice that I'm calling the shop "Designomel" as in Design-of-Melissa. Eventually, I'll showcase children's art, animal art, floral art, and (dare I be so bold) fine art.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fine, Fun Art & Friends

Thanks to all who attended the Children's Book Illustrators Guild gallery opening. The show is open through December 21st so stop by the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts and pick up a one-of-kind gift for the holidays.

These artists have a delightful sense of humor that really shines through in all of their playful art. Who knew that sea turtles, emus, collies and kids could share a space so joyfully.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Snack Happy Schnauzer

Bailey Schimel, Snack Happy Schnauzer
Christmas warning! Act surprised if this painting shows up under your tree.

Any food that enters Bailey's house will be his. Including that seven-month-old peppermint in the bottom of your purse.

Don't let the distinquished beard fool you. This hungry hound once crawled onto a Thanksgiving table and devoured an entire stick of butter. He looked awful proud of himself, until his tummy taught him that the best treats should be enjoyed in moderation. Lesson learned.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Curious Collie Mix

Sassy Black, Curious Collie Mix
Caution. Do not open until Christmas. To: my family. From: the artist.

One ear up.
One ear down.
Eyebrow up.
Eyebrow down.

Don't you just love a dog with such an expressive face?

Sassy is well known throughout her neighborhood for herding small children, stubborn cats, and noisy squirrels away from the street. She's also quite famous for her uncanny ability to know when someone opens a bag of baby carrots, and for her amazingly acrobatic eyebrows.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Art Gallery Show

Art Gallery Postcard 
Enjoy nibbles and knock-out artwork while meeting the artists this Saturday, 11/16 in Fridley, MN.
Energetic traditional and digital artists working with a variety of subjects create an eclectic show. Everyone in the family will find art to fall in love with. (There's a particularly handsome purple dragon that's sure to draw a crowd.)

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts is open 10am-4pm, Tuesday - Saturday.
6666 East River Road, Fridley, MN 55432
Contact (763)574-1850 or for questions or purchases.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tales of a 4th Grade Author

About the Author page from The Old Trunk
Self-publishing, old school style, with genuine wallpaper and Elmer's Glue covers! 

Surprisingly, the author bio still holds up. Although, I'm a little behind on all of Nancy's adventures these days.

This beautifully hand-illustrated book comes from my career as a 4th grade student in Mrs. Shell's classroom #113 at Loon Lake Elementary in Walled Lake, Michigan.

You can see the early influence of Garfield illustrator, Jim Davis, on my drawing. Look at that cat’s eyes. You just know he’s up to something.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wile E. Westie

White Dog
Emma Schimel, Wile E. Westie

Warning! Family members should NOT view this picture or it may spoil your Christmas surprise.

That furry lump on the couch might look sweet and calm, but Emma never fully outgrew her puppihood. Open a door and she's ready to sniff out an adventure.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Boxer Beauty

wet nose, gentle smile, protecter
Bella Mott, Boxer Beauty 
Warning! Family members should NOT look at this painting, as it may be your Christmas present. Please act surprised.

Bella, the boxer, happily protects and plays with her best friend, little Sophie. She occasionally struts about town in snazzy clothes, but you'll most often see her in her lovely, natural fur coat.

Monday, November 4, 2013

70 Colors & Unlimited Possibilities!

Old Palette, Blank Palette, Art Bin Full of Color
Fresh Palette and Color Guide
Oh to be a watercolor palette. Just add water and your colors look vibrant for years and years. 

I love my old palette, but is that red Alizarin Crimson or Perylene Maroon? That dollop of Antwerp Blue, was that Winsor & Newton or Daniel Smith? Over 60 color on this old palette, but only one shade of orange?

Yes, a true artist only needs three primary colors on their palette, but wouldn't it be great to collect all of the colors! With my new palette and color guide I will not fear running out of a color. I will know its name and its maker and I will keep its place full within my family of color!

I never met a color I didn't like. (Dale Chihuly)

Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet. (Paul Klee)

Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. (Claude Monet)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Charley Brown Black

Rebel Riding Retriever Mix
Did you say bike ride?
Whatever you do. 
(Eat steak, scratch a belly, throw a ball)
Wherever you go.
(To the park, on a walk, to the kitchen)
I'll be right by your side.
(Especially if you have food, or toys, or my leash, or food)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dog on a Bike

Charley the Bike Riding Dog
My Dad, Jim, builds these amazing bikes and he lives with this amazing dog, Charley.

The bikes can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. So can Charley.

To see more pictures of Charley and for info about the bikes visit

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Innovator

The Crow and the Water Pitcher
This smart crow knows how to get what she wants. Stories about animals and birds using tools always make me smile. Clever creatures!

I didn't count all of those rocks as I painted them, but I suspect it would take considerable patience for that crow to gather all of those pebbles. A refreshing drink of water will prove to be a a well earned reward.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Artomel Website is Live!
Published my new website.
Check it out and let me know what you think!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Circle in Purple

Circle in Purple
Bonnie loved purple. Cindy loves flowers. I love the miraculous beauty of the sphere. Three generations captured in one fleeting flower.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Patriotic Pony

Patriotic Pony
Savanna LOVES horses.  She just turned 8.  This pony isn't purple, or a unicorn, and she does not answer to the name Princess, but I hope Savanna will still enjoy her classic American beauty.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bunny ready for the sun

California Dreamin'
Bunny may have overpacked.  All he really needs is a great pair of sunglasses!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Butterfly Book Effect

The Butterfly Book Effect
While reading in my garden, a bright butterfly came to visit.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bear Talks

Bear has something to say
Bear expresses a little angst.

Valiant Reader

Valiant Reader

Watch out dragons!  This little reader has been doing her research.