Monday, March 10, 2014

It's All My Mom's Fault!

Many of you know that my mom taught me many things about watercolor and ink - but haven't had a chance to see her work. She is an amazing artist - and I'm so proud to be her daughter. Read below about our experiences collaborating on this talk.

You are invited!


Highbush Blueberry by Janet Klein
Brighamia insignis by Janet Klein

Date:               Sunday March 9th, 2014
Contact:          Melissa Klein

Re:                   It’s All My Mom’s Fault:
                        Our Creative Lives as Mother/Daughter Artists
Tuesday, March 18th     2-3pm
Free and open to the public

Join Melissa and Janet Klein, mother and daughter artists who share insights about art, creativity and the mother/daughter relationship. They will discuss secrets about both the differences and similarities in their creative approaches and offer tips to cultivate your inner creative self.

Melissa Klein is a Sequim-based artist and art teacher whose is concerned with mythology - invented and from traditional sources. As an artist, she works in a variety of mediums including a unique style of crackle-milk paint layered with mixed media that she created. Janet Klein illustrated plants from Panama to Hawaii and has taught botanical drawing in six institutions.

This has been such a joyful collaboration: we have laughed so hard that we cried! There were so many memories: from the pet brick to the imaginary friends, the toothbrush down the drain ‘by mistake,’ the flocked wallpaper…. And deeper things – how the shyness we shared as children led to vivid inner lives.

In the process of creating this talk, we have discovered so many elements we didn’t know about each other’s childhoods, creative process and the stories behind our works. Melissa shares, “You can know someone your whole life, and ‘think’ that you know her, and realize it’s just the tip of the iceberg. This collaboration has opened new avenues in our mother-daughter dialogue and has made us even closer.” 

Join us to explore ways to enhance your creativity and have a dialogue with your parent or family that is “outside the norm.”

Lost World by Melissa Klein

Lost World Towers by Melissa Klein

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Evolution Revolution

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I’m very pleased and happy to announce that I’m one of the featured artists at Whim Gallery this month. The opening is Friday March 7th from 6 to 8pm. 100 Winslow Way West, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. Come out for the Bainbridge First Friday Artwalk - it’s totally fab!

Here’s a picture of some of the fabulous pottery that they have on display… When I was dropping off my work, I had to keep telling myself “Back. Away. From the pottery!” Gorgeous stuff and very reasonable prices.

Click on link for map & directions,-122.5214529,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x54903eb7288f0fe3:0xe54fc22fb9d1ef81

Evolution Revolution
by Melissa Klein

Photo by Melissa Klein

Lately, it seems like so many of my friends, colleagues and students are having a hard time. Me too; the last few weeks have. kicked. my. ass. Both personally and professionally. I don’t know if it’s just the fact that January and February are still so…. dark or something deeper and also more global. The internet seems awash with speculation about how the world is shifting (duh) and how we are on the cusp of some new phase in our cosmic evolution. 

I think that one consequence of these shifts is that we are being forced to let go of things that we still want to cling onto… things that don’t work or are no longer relevant for our lives. 

Here is an example - when I came home, this was on the kitchen table:

Graphite iBook photo by Melissa Klein

My husband had dug out my old Graphite iBook from the closet. Its hard to believe that I wrote my Masters thesis on something that doesn't have as much power as the average smart phone. I bought it with the windfall from the sale of our grand piano, and even at the time it seemed a weird trade: a beautiful classical instrument for something that would so quickly become obsolete. No one in my family had played it in years, and it had a cracked sound board - an expensive professional repair we couldn’t afford. Still there was some ambivalence in letting this beautiful instrument that was a glorified dust catcher go.

The iBook helped me get my Masters. I enjoyed it every time I used it, but then it got slower… and slower… and the operating system wouldn’t work with most programs… and it was clearly time to get a new computer. 

But I hung onto this “just in case…” It’s obvious that it needs to be listed on eBay and/or Craigs List to be sold to a collector who will truly appreciate it or headed to the recycling program to be turned into something more useful.

"Captain’s World" - photo by Melissa Klein

Our dog, Captain has been struggling with an eye disorder these last several months that culminated in him having an operation to remove an eye. I initially felt really bad about it. To lose an eye is a horrible thing. And then I noticed that he had more energy and could now see better out of his remaining eye because it wasn’t being interfered with by the swelling in the bad eye. The lesson? Even something as precious as an eye can be a relief to let go of, if it isn’t working.
Evolutionary Tales by Melissa Klein 

Fossil records buried in the stone. Excavating our histories and how all species are entwined. There is a nod to how perhaps computers will become another phase in evolution.

I recently attended a lecture by the fabulous Ray Troll - he’s an artist who is an enthusiastic paleontologist. He talks shop with university museum paleontologists and is an enthusiastic promoter of little known extinct animals for example, a shark with with teeth that grow in a spiral - like a circular saw. The great thing about seeing all of these fossil remains and his recreations of the animals, was realizing how we are all sharing in evolution and what David Attenborough refers to as “the tapestry of life.” Evolution involves change and releasing of old forms so that new ones can arise.

My mom and I are working on a talk at the North West Center for Creative Aging this month - we excavated the old photo albums and it brought back many memories. We also laughed a lot about everything - and there lies the key - to let go with laughter. Here’s a totally goofy photo that was taken in Cape May of my family circa 1981? I have the parasol. We were all told not to smile so that it would be more like a real Victorian photograph - my dad just couldn’t help himself!

It’s March now, and I can see crocuses and snow drops and mini daffodils poking up. Clear the space so that the flowers can grow.

"Thank you Flowers" by Melissa Klein

Here’s to your highest evolution!

So - what do you need to let go of in order to evolve? Please post below...

Thanks for reading - and I hope to see you soon!

Best Wishes,


“Naissance" by Melissa Klein

 Right Brain Activities Solve Problems

A quick heads up - the Waterfront Park Community Center likes to have their registration for the classes at least five days in advance of the actual class. So - if you are considering taking either the ARTiculate class, now is the time to register.

I designed the classes so they can be taken either individually or as a series. For the greatest impact, it’s best to take them as a series, but if you can only make one - or simply want to try it out for one instead of making the commitment for the ‘whole enchilada’ that is OK.

I am also offering the opportunity that if you bring a friend, then the 2nd person gets half off - just mention it to the registrar on the phone and she will figure out the math.

Consider this - we are at the time of the year when many brilliant New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Reconnect to your creativity and put it at the heart of your day. Meet others who can support your growth. Learn new mindset tools and strategies for bringing your light into the world.

3 Easy Ways to Register
1. Online Register for classes with our WebTrac system, and submit credit card payment online. Registration is processed immediately, and you can print your confirmation form and receipt. For more info on online registration click here: registration is by far the best way of getting the classes you want! You will need your user name and password to register. If you can't remember them, call at least a day before registration begins! 842-2306 ext 118.

2. Drop Off Bring your completed registration form and payment to the Strawberry Hill Park District Office or the Aquatics Center. You will find a registration form in your printed brochure, or you can download a registration form here:

4. Phone In Give us a call at (206) 842-2306, ext 118. 

By the way - the Waterfront Park people are really wonderful and very friendly.


Click on map/link below for directions