Look Up – To turn one’s gaze or attention from something else, often by literally lifting one’s head or turning one’s eyes upward.

It’s very difficult to look up when you’re drowning in the fear of uncertainty. I think most of the world can attest to that right now. Fear and all of its manifestations became my closest friend when I made the decision to own a 9,000 sq. ft., 130 year old building. By myself. With the unpredictable income, or not much of an income at all, that coincides with making one’s living as an artist. It’s an understatement to say that I had to learn a whole new way of thinking. I’ve finally discovered how to conquer fear……I embrace challenge. That means all challenges, whether mental, physical, emotional or psychological. Because something can go wrong, and will go wrong, no matter who you are or how you live your life. That’s for certain. When you truly understand this, and embrace it instead of fearing it, you have gained ultimate freedom. And that’s when your life begins.

So the next time you find your gaze directed downwards, reading the news on your computer screen…….look up instead. And get up.

This is what I see when I look up. The simplicity of it takes my breath away. Each. And. Every. Time.

The Great Room Design Haus. The challenge that will never end. Fortunately, it’s a creativity-inducing challenge. On a good day.


This is the start of a monumental paint job.



As an artist, it’s natural to be an out-of-the-box thinker. I would like to write about something a little different…..out-of-the-wall thinking. I’m using this phrase as an adjective, a type of creative thinking which breaks down our walls so that we can step outward to the freedom on the other side. Easier said than done, that’s for sure. It’s possible, with a little time and effort (okay, ALOT of time and effort) to use creativity as a tool to penetrate the walls we build around us. The flow of inspiration that abounds without the entrapment of enclosure is truly endless.

As a visual example, my out-of-the-wall thinking morphed into this off-the-wall idea. Meet Ariel, one of three mannequins I purchased when a local department store went out of business. I painted her with the same color palette that I’m using on the interior walls of the Great Room.


My intent was to paint her to look as if she’s stepping out of an enormous wall, which matches the enormity of the window next to her. The window represents opportunity. I left the cobwebs in the lower left-hand corner of the window. Cobwebs are allowed. They will appear from time to time.


I love picking words apart.

Fear – An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Unknown – Not known or familiar.

Let me introduce myself.
My name is Melissa, and I’m an artist.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Starving Artist”?
Yup, that used to be me.
Been there.
Done that.
Yet, oddly enough, the reason why I’m no longer a starving artist is because I’ve become a master conqueror of the above, Fear of the Unknown. But don’t get me wrong. I am by no means a millionaire. Not. Even. Close. In fact, my sole method of making a living off my art has been put on hold for at least the next four months. But you know what? The amount of gratitude I feel because I can power through is beyond measure. That gratitude overpowers my fear. It feeds my creativity. It did not happen overnight, it’s been a journey. I am thriving.
So. I’d like to share the variety of artistic endeavors I pursue on a day-to-day basis. I draw my greatest ideas and inspiration from the unfolding of the process once I have a starting point. This is my starting point. I have no idea where it will go.

I’ll begin with the Great Room Design Haus. It took me 14 years to get up the nerve to paint these walls.

14-1/2’ tall Fan Shelf. I had the fan collection, built the shelves to accommodate the different sized fans, backed with xtra corrugated metal that I had laying around.