Welcome to my Blog. My adventure in 21st century. - Melanie Hickerson

Thursday, December 24, 2015


These chicken wishbone roasted, then boiled twice, they still have a faint odor of chicken. I know. They are collar bones. I saved chicken wishbones for the walk down memory lane of "make a wish" and trying with parents, brothers, sisters, friends and children.

 Noticing their cantilever and beauty, I glued them together. Now I am drawing them and priming a couple of canvases. What will they become? What will a child's game begin?

Monday, December 14, 2015


I sketched while driving. O-o-o- Dangerous! Worse than texting? I had a commute to South Austin to a 6:30 PM class. That's over, now. Nevertheless, I discovered a calming practice when the alleged traffic was more like "parking". Little doodles or sketches. It works to pass the time when waiting - in line, your turn, at the bank, etc.


Sunday, December 6, 2015


At Thanksgiving this year, we sang grace as taught by my Mom. It was a commercial from the Fred Waring Radio Show, daytime radio from the 1930's then later into the 1950's. I don't know who the sponsor was, who authored the song.

"Good health and wealth and joy about,
Whenever we gather to eat
And all the family gathered around
And on our table's meat,
Protein, Protein
and other good things to eat."
followed by
"We gather together
To ask the Lord's Blessing

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


"You paint!? That must be so relaxing!" and I think, "No, I paint so that I can cuss."

 Maybe I've said that outloud but the idea of painting in order to relax is bizarre, just bizarre. Making art falls into the same category as bungi-jumping or sky-diving, at least, except it is more risky.  "Safe risk taking" is what Morse Peckham (ART AND MAN'S RAGE FOR CHAOS) called it. I do cuss in my studio. In frustration. In fury. In grief. Someday, someday I'll get better, figure this problem out. Yes, sometimes it is glorious. Tiny moments when something dances inside and out. Blows the top of my head off and I was there. Present to witness a making of something.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015


The cricket tiny paintings, refrigerator magnets, big cricket and the new version of the big honey bee have all been popular at the exhibit at Imagine Art. Thursday the plan is to rearrange, get ready for the last week-end of the exhibit.


BEE 20 X 16

GRACKLE refrigerator magnet

CRICKET #64 Tiny Art


Sunday, November 15, 2015


The walls are supposed to be painted white this week so all work down then put up again. 


Oh My! I sold one , well, Olivia made the sale. Plus some hand painted cards so they go.


Monday, November 9, 2015


LOVE acrylic on handmade paper

Exhibiting teaches. Or maybe it is deadlines that are such good teachers. I found some paintings on handmade paper, I had forgotten. I have learned about varnish on acrylic. I never did such a thing but when using acrylic on a hard surface like canvasboard, varnish seems to protect the painting from scratches. I still don't like it. I wrote in my journal - "Note to self - Don't Use Varnish"!

SUNNY SISTERS acrylic on canvasboard

Monday, November 2, 2015


Yesterday I had a wonderful discussion with my friend, Liana, a recent graduate of ArtistsINC. run by the City of Austin. She reports it was very good. Some she already knew, of course, but marketing opportunities and laws change. Constantly in flux in this rapidly changing culture.  Once upon a time, the Church paid for art. And kings, queens and a variety of governments. Now the power is the Marketplace, consumers. Print lives on, of course. Books, newspapers, magazines survive the onslaught of digital media. So what is an artist to do. A unique object for sale to pay the artist's living expenses. It is a peculiar conundrum. The unique characteristics of the one and only object is drowned in the sea of market.


BIRDS and bees, too
Melanie Hickerson
at Imagine Art
2830 Real St., Austin, TX 78722
(one block behind Flat Bed Press)
for E.A.S.T.
Sat., 11/14, 11AM to 6PM - Sun., Nov. 15, Noon to 5PM
Sat., 11/ 21, 11AM to 6PM - Sun., Nov. 22, Noon to 5PM

Please Join Melanie Hickerson for this
Ms Hickerson has 15 paintings on exhibit and for sale
with other Austin Area Artists, galleries, museums and art organizations in
Birds and bees and flowers, too, are the subject of my acrylic paintings this year at E.A.S.T. Small like 4" x 4” up to 22” x 28".

Contact: Melanie Hickerson
Debbie Kizer (512) 448-1840 <debbie@imagineart.net>

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Here is the new Golden Cheek Warbler photograph. Looks different on my computer. I got cards made from this.
Reproduction of paint to ink on paper is a mystery.


 For E.A.S.T., some toys! Refrigerator Magnets. I cut up a slab of magnet that was intended for some kind of therapy. The pieces I got weren't square, no 90 degree angles so my magnets  are a variety of shapes and sizes. About 2" or 3", in that neighborhood. The paint kept scratching so I varnished them too. That was messy but Texas weather allows outdoor activities.

Doves in Flight


Grackle Struts

Grackle Perched

White Wing Dove Flies

Saturday, October 17, 2015


AIDS VIRUS SHEDS PARTICLES ON T-CELL, 40“ x 29 ¾”, acrylic on canvas, shown at Art Lab (unfinished) then re-worked and completed July 1997; exh ACC CYP Fall 2015.

The TV was not in the original version. I exhibited it but the painting just wasn't right. Then my TV quit working and I got this brilliant idea of a broken TV in the painting to suggest a back story, human whatever. I found a golf club and broke the picture tube to see what it would look like. Very bad idea. Do Not ever smash a TV picture tube in a small apartment. Guess what. It's a vacuum. It exploded. I was cleaning up tiny glass shards for three days plus I had to wash clothes, towels, et al. Not to mention picking tiny glass shards out of my skin. I had my glasses on so I wasn't blinded. 

However the broken TV image definitely improved the painting

I pulled this painting out of storage last summer intending to paint over it. The stretcher bars are wonderful, hand-made (notice the odd size), Prime Douglas Fir. Lightweight and strong. But it looked pretty good. I asked Linda Haywood, Campus Manager at ACC Cypress Campus and she graciously allowed me to exhibit it this Fall Semester in their Hallway Gallery. I will bring it home in December. I will decide at that time whether or not to paint it out.

It has been lovely to have it out in the world. 

I do lust after those stretcher bars. Rolling it up is such a job. I don't mind stretching a new canvas. It's the rolling up part. I know. Lazy. Then I will just have another rolled up painting.
I'll think about it. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


WREN with the painting around the sides
Oh, Vanity! All is vanity! I still get such a kick out of getting photographs, good ones done! Christopher Zalesky Studios does my photographs.I still reduce the pixels before I post them on the big enormous internet. But even after I reduce them like crazy they are so much richer than what I can do. Of course everyone has a different screen for viewing, too. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015


 I did this bee painting in 2010 or so. It's 20" by 16".

 I love bees because they help me deal with arthritis in my hands, among other things like pollination and honey. This painting was part of a bee homage but so prosaic, despite it's size. Suddenly it occurred to me that I was avoiding the subject which is bee stings! So a new version, repainted, spruced up and called APITHERAPY! 

APITHERAPY, 20" x 16", acrylic on canvas

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


I have done tiny paintings before. Now I'm doing some on little magnets, suitable for refrigerators. These I am varnishing. I want to experiment with acrylic varnish. I have not varnished my paintings because I thought acrylic varnish cannot be removed for cleaning but it is such a hard surface. It might be preferable to the "soft" acrylic paint surface which can/does absorb dirt. These are about 2 inches by 3 inches.

White wing Dove

Mocking bird

Inca Dove

Golden Cheek Warbler

White wing dove

Monday, August 17, 2015


Mom loved to go watch the grackles flock for the night. We would find a location then at sunset or so, drive there and watch the raucous thousands descending on some poor shopping center. The roar and the acrobatic ballet, seemingly perfectly choreographed. In her growing dementia, she took joy in spotting birds by the roadside or in our yard. When she moved to the nursing home, my brother Riley installed two feeders outside her window which I fed daily. Mom's gone but I still feed the birds at the nursing home. Residents and staff wave and greet me. The sky dancers magically riding the wind, landing and leaving on telepathic cues. 
GOLDEN CHEEK WARBLER, 22" x 28", acrylic on canvas

GRACKLE, SUNFLOWER, BEES 4" x 4", acrylic on canvas