American Kestrel original Watercolor

Standing In Front Of The Closed Food Bank I Knew I Had To Take Control

Artistic process, Domestic Abuse Survivor

am a domestic abuse survivor and I support myself and my son through sales of my Art work.

I have kept the fact I experienced domestic abuse very private until now.  I always knew that I would share my story. I thought it would be after I re-conquered the world and I was back on top of my game, but something happened last week that changed my mind.

Last September I moved 1500 miles, with my eight year old son, to start a new life with a man I had known for 7 years. I had dated on and off for that time. The off time was mainly due to the fact he had moved to upstate New York.  I lived in Florida. I didn’t want to move and I was busy tending my career selling luxury watches. But then I quit my job to focus on my Art career. He asked me to move, he said it would be the perfect opportunity to grown my Art business. It sounded good to me, after all I though I knew him.

Once I got up there things took a turn I could never have imagined. He was controlling, jealous relationship with my son. Things went from bad to worse until it was an abusive situation. My mother didn’t bring me up like that so I fled. I left with my car full of my belonging, my dog and my son and barely any money in my pocket.

Someone how I made it all the way back down to Florida. I immediately started looking for a regular job but I am an Artist and I kept my son and myself afloat with sales from my two online shops, Aldana Paintings for my paintings and prints and Aldana Decorative Art for my mason jar goodies and vases.

I spend a few hours a day filling out job applications and 4-6 hours a day promoting my shop. With my sales I was able to cover my car payment, insurance and my cell phone. I was lucky to be staying with an friend who understood I wanted to contribute the household but couldn’t. Then the sales stopped.  I kept waiting and waiting for a sale any sale, usually I sold something every day. No sale came. I waited until there was almost no food in the fridge and no gas in my car  for the sale I was sure was coming.

I was terrified with no money, no food and seeming no prospects, I had my son to feed. It was time to reach out. I called the Domestic Abuse

organization in my area, there was only one listed. They reminded me of the credit card company when you call. They transferred me around and once the found out I had a safe place to stay seemed to have little interest in helping. They did give me two numbers for food pantries, one turned out to be another organization called No More Tears and  God bless the founder Somy, the number they gave me was her cell phone. She was on vacation and took the time to make some calls and organized a $50 gift card from the supermarket for me. It came from an origination I had seen on TV Neighbors for Neighbors. She also gave me number of a local food bank. I now that the number to two food banks I called both, one didn’t return my call the other said they were open Saturday in the morning. I wouldn’t get the gift card until Saturday afternoon two days away but I made it work.

With my car fuel gauge on “E” I drove out to the food bank with my fingers crossed I wouldn’t run out of gas, it was 8 miles round trip. It was at a church, when I got there they casually told me there was no food bank, I had gotten the wrong information on the phone and the food bank would be open  the first Saturday in March, 3 weeks away. I was furious, not at them they didn’t owe me anything, but at myself for getting into this position.

Blue Bird painted as Thanks

Blue Bird I painted as a Thank You

I would have to take control and made a way for myself. When I got that supermarket gift card I was so grateful. I painted a sweet little blue bird for the person who sent to me as thanks and popped it in the mail.

I had kept the fact that I was a domestic abuse survivor to myself. I guess I was embarrassed. I was afraid of looking like a fool. I have talent as an Artist, I decided I was doing to knock on every door send a message to everyone and knew and let them know I am an Artist, a Domestic Abuse survivor and I support myself and my son through my Art.

If you want to help  please share my story so that those people who are interested in

Octopus in Blue original Watercolor

Octopus in Blue original Watercolor

my work can  buy it. That is all I am asking for people share my story and in turn my Art. Share this page on Facebook, twitter the usual places and unusual places.  I want to make my way with the sweat of my brow not by someone giving me something because they feel sorry for me. I was raised to work for what you want.

Please contact me at if you have any questions or want me to make a piece of Art for you.

Thank You Melissa

Original Watercolor Painting Snowy Owl

Pay what you want for My Art

Artistic process, Pay what you want for My Art

I am going to do a little experiment. As an Artist I know what  think my art is work, a million dollars each, of course. Back in reality I try to base the prices of my Art on the amount of time it takes me, the skill involved and how similar works are priced. But what is it worth to someone out there? What they are willing to pay?

I was also inspired by a guy out there that is a web consultant and has people pay him what they think the job is worth. Inspiring, so this is the experiment I am willing to sell my original pieces of Art for what someone out there thinks its worth. There are a few details. Pick out an Art piece make and make an offer. I only ask that the offer be reasonable with a sincere intent to purchase if the offer is accepted.  If I accept the offer the piece is yours. I will adjust the price to reflect the offer and you can  purchase.

This offer applies only to my original peices.

Depending how this works. I might continue to sell my original pieces like this. I think its a great way to start a conversation between Artist and clients. If you think its a great idea please share it. Click on the images below to check out my shop.

One chicken is great Maybe two was better

Watercolor Painting Blue Bell Chicken study: the lovely Myrtle

paintings, watercolor

Watercolor Painting Blue Bell Chicken study.

Last year  I set eyes on a gorgeous chicken named myrtle. I came across her in a blog from The Garden Smallholder in a post called Chickens in the Garden, be sure to check that out. She was a blue bell chicken. I never heard of a blue bell chicken but I was in love. I knew I wanted to paint her.

I finally got around to painting her. I went through the same process I always do when I paint within the first few paint strokes I feel that the painting is pure rot and I should start over. I am used to that feeling and and I just ignore it and push ahead. The painting is fine but  don’t think it quiet does her justice. I will do some more studies. Somewhere in my storage are some watercolor pencils I think would be perfect to help me with my next painting.

Considering I bought my last watercolor set with Myrtle as the impetus she has been quite the inspiration.

The beautiful Myrtle passed away last year I hope that I am able to pay a fitting tribute to this beautiful little chicken. This study is available in my Society6 Shop. Stay tuned for more beautiful chicken studies.

The Lost Photographs


There was a time in my life when I always had a camera in my hand, for about 8 years.

That was the time of dark rooms, film and chemicals. I had my own enlarger to print my photographs in my tiny New York bathroom. I had my negatives and prints packed away as I moved from one place to the next I would come across them. Some of these aren’t bad I would think I need to get them in order and share them somehow. At the beginning that meant having them printed. Would I print them myself? For years I had everything I needed, the paper and all the supplies. If  I had them printed that would be an expensive undertaking and there was no guarantee they would be printed how I wanted. It seemed like such a big project. I keep putting the photographs away.

As the years went by and everything went digital the project changed completely I would have to have the negatives scanned and print them another big expensive project. The photographs go put away again. The two things happened when I was moving I found a cd I had scanned some of my images professionally close to 20 years ago. And I discovered Society6 a website that would print my photographs for me without me having to buy one piece of paper. I was able to bring those I had scanned back it one day. Click on the photographs to learn more about them. Now to get to the others.

Photograph Seagull in Key West

Photograph Seagull in Key West


Photograph Seagull in Key West

I love key west in Florida its my favorite place to be. I snapped this guy as he was coming in for a landing.

Photography Mummy going to church

Photograph Mummy going to church

photographs, portraits

Photograph Mummy going to church.

Photography Mummy going to church

Photography Mummy going to church

My mother was one of these women that dresses her best for church. I caught her walking down the stairs on her way, the light from our skylight hitting her hat like a halo. 
Check it out in my Society6 Shop.

Photograph Tulips at night

Photograph Tulips at night


Photograph Tulips at night

Photograph Tulips at night

Photograph Tulips at night

My mother had these fakes tulips that photographed beautifully,soft delicate and gentle. Completely unlike what they looked like in person, the photographs transformed them. Check it out in my Society6 Shop.

Some items in my society 6 Page

Setting up my Society 6 Shop

American Flag, portraits, sea creatures, watercolor

Making All kinds of wonderful things in my Society 6 shop. T-shirts, pillow and Ipod covers oh my! I am quite addicted to taking images I have  made and pretty much instantly turning it almost endless groovy products at Society 6. I am very partial to the throw pillows. Next just for fun I will make a fake living room with all my snazzy items. Doesn’t that sound like fun. In fact I think I’ll do that right after I post this. Check out my Society 6 page! And follow my blog so you can check out my living when it arrives.

Watercolor Portrait Katie's Hair

Watercolor Portrait Katie’s Hair

portraits, watercolor
Watercolor Portrait Katie's Hair

Watercolor Portrait Katie’s Hair

Watercolor Portrait Katie’s Hair; it’s always about the hair. When I was in college I made a painting very similar to this one. I left that painting at college intending to return and it but it was lost. She was lost years ago but has reminded sharp in my mind. I was trilled to paint her again in watercolor. I was very surprised she had been popular in my Shop because the composition is unusual with her face turned away, but it all about the hair. Check her out in my Shop.

Octopus Blue watercolor

I have been thinking

portraits, sea creatures, watercolor

I have been thinking, for months. What Art do I like to do what subject? Inspired by an unexpected source (which

Jellyfish watercolor

I’ll share later) I look up watercolor. Watercolor is a medium I have fought

Octopus Blue watercolor

with for over 25 years. I have been an Artist all my life. I have  painting and drawn easily all my life but when I tried watercolor I always ended up with a muddy mess. I decided to try again and admit to myself that it was a totally different medium and surrender to it and not try to force it into my regular techniques. I was finally about to get some good results.

I went back to my roots in college when I fist started to paint seriously. I fell in love with a deep blue called phalo

Marisol watercolor portrait
Marisol watercolor portrait

blue and hair I loved to paint hair. With a new a technique I went back to my old loves. Here are my results.

Jenifer watercolor portrait
Jenifer watercolor portrait