Posts Tagged ‘art prints’



5 days a week.

I wake up everyday thinking about the next day’s melissaAnne Color and Inspiration email.  Where will I find the inspiration today?  Will it start with color?  Inspiring words?  I never quite know where the idea will come from.  And, maybe more importantly, when.  Will I get it early or will I be up at midnight still seeking the right inspiration for my readers.  Today, while eating breakfast I decided to catch up on the DVR and indulge in some guilty pleasure “design time” with The Nate Berkus Show.  I had a few episodes available (yes, I’m quite behind…), and chose the Ellen Pompeo “Gray” episode. 

Guilty:  I should be working…

Pleasure:  Forget work…OH!  That room!  Those grays!  That PILLOW!!

WAIT! WHAT?  Did he just say what I think he said? 

Rewind…BONUS:  Guilt gone.  I’m working!  Nate just gave me the inspiration for melissaAnne Color and Inspiration No. 81.

“Pink and gray, arguably one of the most beautiful design combinations on earth.”   ~Nate Berkus


Pink!  ………………….  Gray!  ………………….  Together! 


Approved and endorsed by Nate Berkus

Can this day GET any better?  I’m excited about the prevalence of gray in fashion and home this season.  I love gray, always have.  Not sure why really, but I do and I love it even more with pink.  To me the combination of gray and pink says strong and confident, yet soft and sensitive.   So, when I heard these beautiful words by Nate my mind immediately went to Water Colors Diva, part of the melissaAnne Colors Collection.  I knew immediately that it was the “color” for the next melissaAnne Color and Inspiration email.

Water Colors Diva ©Melissa McClain


Every day, try and discover something that informs you, inspires you or makes your life better. You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.  ~Nate Berkus

Water Colors Diva inspired me to discover something new, and challenge myself to try something different.  When I downloaded and finished editing the original image I was excited by its great texture and colors.  The background was a great textured display of shades of gray.  The whimsical lines in pink gave it a feeling of feminine fun.  I knew the name had to be strong, yet feminine…thus Diva.  My next thought was “…bag.  I want a bag with this print”.  Not just any bag, I had an immediate vision of the bag I would someday carry in Diva.  It looked something like a Louis Vuitton Noé, the iconic  drawstring bag. 

Louis Vuitton Inspiring melissaAnne Colors Diva Handbag

The trim and  strap for my Diva bag would be leather in a complementary gray tone.  The drawstring would be made of  beautiful braided textiles in shades of pink and gray.  The bag would be functional, elegant, and unique. 

Then there was the inside.  If you know me and have ever shopped with me, you’ve heard my famous phrase (probably loudly, in the middle of a store, in an octave higher than my normal voice, that made you want to hide inside one of the racks…) “It has a hidden color palette!”  You know, that special surprise of colors or shapes (or both) on the inside of a bag or a coat.  A little something extra.  A surprise.  An unexpected gift, secretly hiding inside.  The final touch.  Like this amazing coat worn by Hillary Clinton.

Hillary's Hidden Color Palette

The inside fabric for my bag would be a beautiful satin in a brilliant pink, gray, and yellow geometric or stripe pattern that makes the inside of the bag as special as the outside (and hopefully creating loud outbursts from customers in retail stores and friends seeking cover). 

The vision led to the question, “Can I do that?”  Fast forward through research on custom textile printing, successful melissaAnne Colors Collection prints on fabric, prototype pillows, and a fabric bag made during  a sewing class last year…Sure, I can do that!  I can do anything I put my mind to. 

Watching Nate this morning, thinking of Diva, and remembering my bag vision brought back the inspiration and passion I get from textiles and designs and finding new and exciting ways to share the melissaAnne Colors Collections images with others. 

I’m putting my mind back to it!  Someday you’ll see me walking down the street with melissaAnne Colors Diva over my shoulder.  Or, maybe I’ll see you…

Thanks for the color…and inspiration, Nate!

Moments of Inspiration

Boats. There is just something about them.  Old ones.  New ones.  In the water.  Out of the water.  They inspire me, all of them.  So, I’m going to a boat show!  What better place to hang out and find inspiration!  If you are going to the Ft Lauderdale Boat show this weekend, stop by Ingham Engineering at booth 406/407 and see Water Colors Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.  Leave your card and you could win the framed print!  Follow me at the new melissaAnne Colors on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.  Say hi if you’re at the show!


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The Making of a melissaAnne Water Colors Image

When I tell people that my photos are from the bottoms of boats it often results in funny looks and the following:  “THAT’S a bottom…of a BOAT?  How do you do that?”  If you are  part of my network of amazingly supportive friends, you fully understand the looks and the questions because you’ve shared my work and you’ve experienced the same reactions. Let’s face it, it’s weird.  It’s not quite “normal”.  Most people don’t spend their vacations in amazing places like St Maarten or Martha’s Vineyard climbing through weeds in boat yards taking photos.  They don’t drag their friends out to “bond” amid the dirt and cobwebs of boat “graveyards” and graffiti laden walls.  But, if you are among the few who have joined me in one of these adventures…well, you get it.  Sorta….

For the rest of you,  I’m about to give you some insight into those popular questions, “THAT’s a bottom…of a BOAT?”  and “How do you do that?” using one of my favorite melissaAnne Colors Water Colors images.

 December 29, 2008

I was in Texas visiting family for the holidays.  December 29th, my mom’s birthday and how did we celebrate it?  Driving aimlessly around Lake Lewisville searching for boat yards of course (yes, my mom is a saint).  I was still new to the melissaAnne Colors Water Colors process, this only the second time I’d gone on a boat yard mission.  We drove around most of the day, with me crawling around “the yards” looking for just the right boat, colors, angles, textures, patterns.  It’s about ALL of that!  We stopped at one marina with power boats and sailboats and I snapped away and wandered around for a while.  In the back, among the tall grass and weeds I discovered this. 

The bottom of a boat.....

This, in my world, is a goldmine!  I know, weird.  Those questions marks are floating over your head.  “This is a goldmine?” you’re saying.   Just wait…..

From this dirty old boat came this colorful but somewhat dull image.

© Melissa McClain

With a little photo software magic I brightened the colors (most Water Colors images are the original colors, simply enhanced) and got this.

©Melissa McClain

But it wasn’t done.  One of the things I love most about the melissaAnne Colors Collection is the versatility.  There was one more thing to do, rotate.  Before I finalize an image, I rotate it left, right, 180 degrees to find a story that speaks to me.  At 180 degrees, this one was done.  


© Melissa McClain

I immediately saw a shoe.  A red shoe.  A red HIGH HEEL shoe.  It said “woman”, “power”, “celebration”, and “confidence”.  I pictured an elegant evening of dancing in red high heel shoes. 

That’s where I stopped and it became Water Colors Elegance, a popular print among strong women!

Although, I didn’t truly stop there…see what else that boat gave us.

©Melissa McClain

 Water Colors Red No. 10

©Melissa McClain

  Water Colors Hope


THAT’s a bottom…of a BOAT?  Yes. 

 Final Water Colors  images shown above are available for purchase at melissaAnne Colors   

Moments of Inspiration

I attended Apartment Therapy Offline Meetup this week!  The guest speaker was rug and textile designer Madeline Weinrib.  Her designs are unique and beautiful.  I found her story truly inspiring and a reminder that it’s OK to be different, stay true to your vision, and follow your passion and you will realize your dream.  Thank you Madeline and Apartment Therapy!  You can also see Madeline’s designs at one of MY favorite places, ABC Home in NYC.  

 Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon  

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Play has been man’s most useful preoccupation.  ~Frank Caplan


It’s 9:00 on Monday night as I’m starting this post.  I’m wondering:  Where did my day go?  Didn’t I just wake up?  Oh, right that was 5 am.  So, what exactly happened since then?  My day just wasted away…

Oh…wait…where is that message coming from?  Do you know what I did most of the day?  I worked on new Urban Colors images from Boston.  I “goofed off and played” is the message I sent myself most of the day.  Funny how that happens, those messages dominate.        

Newsflash to me…”Working on images is not considered play.”      

Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.  ~Abraham Maslow

Thanks, Maslow.  I always did like you.  Must be that colorful pyramid you created.     

So since I spent yesterday at “purposeful play” I should share some of the frivolity with you.  We made it through Monday, after all.  I’m sure we can all use a little frivolity today.      

Come on, let’s COLOR!

These melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection images were captured around Boston a few weekends ago.  I REALLY like Boston and enjoyed walking around Newbury Street and taking in all the colors, architecture, fashion, and people.  I think I’ll visit again soon…   

Urban Colors Hue © Melissa McClain

    Soothe me with some BLUE!   



Urban Colors Opulence © Melissa McClain

 You’ll never guess what this was!  Pretty energetic, huh?  Are you awake now?  Ready to tackle the world?  I thought so!       



© Melissa McClain

  The sun is shining today…      


Urban Colors Meadow © Melissa McClain


…on the garden in my mind.  Full of Lavender. 


Urban Colors Tapestry No. 4 © Melissa McClain

    Boston’s Edgy Side     


Urban Colors Wildflower © Melissa McClain

      Wild Beauty.  I love the BOLD color!  A door, just a random door in Boston.  Beauty is everywhere, you just have to look.  


So, I think I’ll “play” some more today.  Maybe I will put a few of these new images up on my website.  Maybe I’ll create a gallery for a new series I’m calling Reflection Colors.  You know, just “goof off”, with purpose of course.

Do you have messages?  Are you listening to them?  Are they holding you back?        


Moments of Inspiration

I have a special inspiration update today.  I am launching a daily inspiration newsletter soon with images, quotes, things to think about, and steps to take to reach your dream.  All you need to do is go over to my website, click on the newsletter tab and sign up.  It’s that easy!  Really!!  What are you waiting for?  Go!  Let’s get inspired.  


Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon


 Enter your email address above to get my blog delivered straight to  your emails. 

Blog subscribers get the updates first!  Don’t you want to be in the know?



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It felt like Spring today in New York City. It was beautiful!  I love Spring and Summer in the city because I get to spend time on the stoop Brooklyn-style with Alex.  He loves being outside and watching city life pass by.  I enjoy watching the kids run up and down the street and catching up with neighbors as they pass by.         

Sweet Alex - King of the Stoop

If you’d walked by today, however, you would not have found us out on the stoop.  I don’t really know what Alex did today…but it probably involved the couch, the window ledge and the bed with closed eyes.  I didn’t get to enjoy much of the great weather today either.  But, I’m not complaining!  I spent the day at the Arch Digest Home Show at Pier 94 in Manhattan.  I was hanging out with D. Bryant Archie of D. BRYANT ARCHIE T E X T I L E S.   Being surrounded by her passion and beautiful designs and the excitement of the show made for a really great day.  I’ll be at the show again tomorrow and will write more about it in an upcoming post.  But, I’ll say that it completely inspired me and I can’t wait to get my collection out!  Maybe next year you’ll see melissaAnne at the show!  Until then, we’ll continue the journey here and I’ll keep sharing my images and updates.    

We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It’s just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn’t have expected.  ~ Ben Okri

I was in DUMBO a few weekends ago to meet a friend for lunch and talk about a book I’m working on.   Before lunch we took a little walk through the streets in search of a fence my camera and I had discovered a few weeks before.  I wasn’t done with it yet, knew there was more it wanted to give me.             

I started out walking down the street I had been on before, capturing some new perspectives of the colors and textures as I went.  Then, I turned the corner and discovered that this same fence continued on for another block.  Same fence, but a completely new perspective and color palette.  It was full of exciting possibilities.  I spent a lot of time with this new section of the fence.  I let it guide me and speak to me as my friend waiting patiently.  My camera was moving at all different angles and I was in the zone.  It was exhilarating!  My excitement increasing with every capture.  I couldn’t wait to get home, download the images and see what was there.   

Here are 3 of my favorite pictures from the “new” side of the wall.   


Urban Colors Collection © Melissa McClain


Urban Colors Collection © Melissa McClain


Urban Colors Collection © Melissa McClain

I love the blue and rust colors in these image.  The swirls give such movement and a sense of grace.  I like how each image is slightly different in direction and color, yet they evoke a similar feeling and energy.  I think I can see textile designs in these images.    

I was sending a sneak peek of these to a friend and put them into a collage for easy viewing.   This would really make a fun wall hanging as separate pieces or three prints in a collage frame.  

melissaAnne Urban Colors Collage In Blue



Moments of Inspiration  

I have been anticipating the Arch Digest Home Show all week!   There was so much inspiration there!  It was really amazing to see so many designers networking and helping each other make connections.  There were so many young, female designers from Brooklyn who are doing great things.  I’m looking forward to meeting more people tomorrow and sharing some of my experiences with you in a future post.     

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon          

Next post…I have no idea what the topic will be.  I guess I’ll be just as surprised as you!!  Until then…    

I’ll keep moving forward and I hope you will too!


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Last weekend I went to one of my favorite neighborhoods, DUMBO.  I always feel really alive and creative when I visit DUMBO.  Maybe it’s the majestic bridges watching over me when I’m there.  Maybe it’s the skyline of Manhattan.  Whatever it is, I’m always happy when I get a chance to spend some time there with my camera. 

© Melissa McClain Brooklyn Bridge - NYC

© Melissa McClain Manhattan Bridge - NYC

Did you know DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass? 

I found some great new Urban Color images as I walked around the icy streets of DUMBO.  Until recently, I had a preference for the Water Colors Collection.  Now, well, I’m equally as inspired by the colors and energy both Collections exude! 

© Melissa McClain melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection

© Melissa McClain melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection

© Melissa McClain melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection

© Melissa McClain melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection

This weekend I took an impromptu walk down 4th Avenue in Park Slope with a friend, looked longingly at buildings with artist studios, met a wonderful resource for product production at Flirt, and found some fun new images!! 

© Melissa McClain Brooklyn Neon

© Melissa McClain Brooklyn Market

© Melissa McClain Color and Texture....Oh My!

I was also treated to a few Urban Color treasures on the side streets off 4th Avenue. 

© Melissa McClain melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection

© Melissa McClain melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection

© Melissa McClain melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection

I’m really getting into these Urban Colors!  

I guess I didn’t get enough yesterday, so today I took a walk down around the Gowanus Canal and I found more inspiration. 

© Melissa McClain Gowanus Color and Lines

Gowanus Bridge

© Melissa McClain Gowanus Bridge

© Melissa McClain Gowanus Tracks

Gowanus Canal

© Melissa McClain Gowanus Canal

© Melissa McClain Gowanus Industrial

And then, I found these AMAZING Urban Colors along the canal.  These colors give me so much energy and joy.  How can you not be happy with these colors around? 

© Melissa McClain melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection

© Melissa McClain melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection

© Melissa McClain melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope the colors make you happy and give you energy and joy to start the week. 


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I spent last weekend in Naples, Florida. I packed my swimsuit, short sleeves, and flip-flops and headed south. The weather was balmy, a big change from the Winter weather back home in NYC.    

© Melissa McClain - A restful day at Barefoot Beach....barefoot and feeling free and inspired!

© Melissa McClain - Barefoot Beach Friend

© Melissa McClain - Ding Darling Delights

 It was a vacation from the cold, and a whole lot more. It was my second Group Vision Day with executive coaches Debbie Phillips and Rob Berkley. I met Debbie almost a year ago when I attended my first Women on Fire Tea Party in NYC. Within minutes I was struck by how genuine and warm she was and over the last year my respect and admiration for her has grown as I’ve seen the work she does to support women and their dreams. I met her business partner and husband Rob Berkley in September when I attended my first Group Vision Day Martha’s Vineyard. (Check out my posts about my first vision day and Martha’s Vineyard!  I LOVE me some MV!!)  I was just as impressed with the kindness and compassion Rob gives to all around him.  Together these two are on a mission and are doing an amazing job to make their difference in the world.  The last 5 months of my life are proof of that.  I couldn’t be more thankful for their guidance and support in the pursuit of my dream!      

© Melissa McClain - Rob took us all on a sunset photo shoot after Group Vision Day. This is one of my favorite shots. I felt as golden as the surf.

© Melissa McClain - Delnor Wiggins State Park

© Melissa McClain - Delnor Wiggins State Park

I went into my first Group Vision Day in September feeling lost and uncertain about where my life was going.  I was struggling against a transition I wanted in my heart but was resisting in my head.  I felt like I had lost direction and my self-confidence was completely shot!  Fast forward to the end of that first Group Vision Day and I was connected to my soul and purpose like I had never felt before!  By the end of December I had accomplished one of my 3 major goals (a solo art show) and was well on my way to another (launching melissaAnne textile products). I was motivated. I was energized. I had the support and inspiration left by Debbie, Rob and the other Group Vision Day participants as well as my support network to carry me through.   

I decided to attend a second Group Vision Day this month.  That vision I crafted in Martha’s Vineyard, the certainty and desire that still burns inside, wanted more.  I was ready for new goals and bold new steps.  But could this Vision Day deliver in the same way?   

© Melissa McClain - The Sky's the Limit: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

You bet!! It was another amazing experience, yet different from the first one because I was different. I’d spent 5 months working on my vision and taking action almost every day towards my dream.  I had grown as a person and had a new outlook and new priorities.  I believed this was a chance to take my vision to a new level.  And, it delivered!  On the second day, the vision moved beyond me and I shared my complete vision for melissaAnne for the first time.   I was ready.  It was exhilarating!  It feels even more real now that the amazing group of people in that room allowed me to fully share my dream.    They became part of this journey and I couldn’t have asked for a more inspiring and compassionate group to be a part of.  Each of them had a big impact on my Vision weekend and on me.

So what is the vision?  I’m so glad you asked!   

My vision centers around melissaAnne , a home decor line from my abstract photography.  A line that will begin with custom textiles made into colorful pillows.  melissaAnne will share the energy of color and the inspiration of creativity with others.  But there’s more.  Much more.  There is an important purpose behind melissaAnne, one that goes beyond my creations.  One that inspires and empowers.  I was really inspired in December by an article on Kate Spade’s relationship with the organization Women for Women International.  I hope to some day work with organizations like this to help make a difference in the lives of women, families, and communities through production of the melissaAnne line.  I want the people who help to create and share my dream of melissaAnne to be supported and encouraged to grow and expand, empowered to take care of their families and give back to their communities, and encouraged to create their own dreams and follow them.     


A post-vision day melissaAnne Photography Urban Colors Collection photo day in DUMBO Brooklyn for new pillow design inspiration   

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain


It’s a perfect vision, for me.  I get to do what I love; take pictures and share them with the world.  Build new relationships.  Empower and inspire.  Make a difference in the world.   

It’s a big vision.  It’s a big dream.  I plan to have a big life.  And, I won’t give up.  I can’t give up.  You see it’s not just about me any more.  It’s about the people I’ve met along the way and those still to come.  It’s about the difference I want to make in the lives of others.  It’s about a purpose.   



If I give up I’ll never know whose life I might change.  Or whose life might change mine.    

I’m grateful for this opportunity.  But before I get too far beyond my Group Vision Day weekend, I’m taking another big step.  A process in this journey to my vision and to the life I have planned.  Something I need to do to be the best me I can be and live the biggest life I can lead; a life with no fear and no regrets.  I’m giving thanks to someone I haven’t shown gratitude to in a long time.  Deep appreciation for the gifts I’ve been given:  A passion for photography.  A passion for a simple boat.  For the language that is created when my camera and a boat intersect.  The flutter it leaves in my heart and an opportunity to carry that passion forward and do something good in this world.    


melissaAnne Photography Water Colors Collection Boat Photography   

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain


A passion I recently discovered came from my father.  Thank you for giving me a gift that connects me to the world, allows me to build special relationships and touch others, and ultimately makes me who I am.   


Who I Am (Photo by Rob Berkley)


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It’s been really cold in New York City this weekend!  Leaving me mostly tucked inside my house counting the hours until my trip to Southwest Florida this week.  Hurry Wednesday, hurry!!!  

Tired of the cold, snow, and wintery weather?  I sure am!  Let’s warm up with some Water Color and Urban Color images!     

Grab your sunscreen, sit down with a fruity drink (put an umbrella in it even!), stretch a beach towel across your chair, and let’s get warm along the shore!  

© Melissa McClain

 Sit on the beach and watch the waves crash along the shoreline.   

© Melissa McClain

Go out sailing on a beautiful summer day.  

© Melissa McClain

 Play in the warm, refreshing water and look back at the golden sand beach……

© Melissa McClain

melissaAnne Water Colors Digital Collage “Lexi’s Day At the Beach”

as the kids enjoy playing in the fresh air.

© Melissa McClain

  Water Colors Ferry To Martha’s Vineyard has the right idea!  Take a vacation to one of my favorite places!    

© Melissa McClain

 Windsurf as the breeze blows through your hair.  

© Melissa McClain

Read a book and relax by the lake.  


Are you warm yet?  I’m getting there!  Let’s go enjoy the great outdoors, no messy sand in our shoes, and take a drive. 


© Melissa McClain

 Pass fields of golden hops on a warm Spring day.   

© Melissa McClain

Walk through fields of lilacs and enjoy their scent on the breeze.  

© Melissa McClain

Stop at the zoo and see the peacocks spreading their tail feathers in a rainbow of colors.

© Melissa McClain

Enjoy the return of colorful flowers like these delicate lillies.  

© Melissa McClain

     Watch the birds as they soar above.  

© Melissa McClain

Enjoy the mountains as the snow melts from their peaks.  

© Melissa McClain

Stop by the farmer’s market and pick up some strawberries picked fresh this morning.   

© Melissa McClain

Find a peaceful meadow…..  

© Melissa McClain

 melissaAnne Water Colors Digital Collage “Izzy’s Picnic”

 and stop for an afternoon picnic with the kids.  Don’t forget the cupcakes!!


Return home warm and relaxed after a full day.

© Melissa McClain

 Sit on the back porch… 

© Melissa McClain

 melissaAnne Water Colors Digital Collage “Cami In the Garden”

as your daughter tends to her garden. 

© Melissa McClain

Go for a run after the sun sets, because it’s too hot during the day! 


It will get warm again, really it will!  Until then, feel free to check back in here and dream about all the fun things you’ll do on that first really warm, nice day.  Let us know your plans.  Maybe we’ll join you!  



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