Art of Isa Amalee

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“To Meryl Or Not To Meryl” An Amalee Original

“To Meryl Or Not To Meryl” An Amalee Original.

I started “To Meryl Or Not To Meryl” as a 12 inche X 12 inche painting, and turned into a 4 feet X4 feet Painting.   When I saw Sophie’s Choice in the theater many years ago, I remember thinking how I loved her confession in blue light.  The colors in her face while she confessed her choice made an impression I wanted to paint.

Sometimes After I finish a painting like “Toulouse and Egon Frolicking”, I find it difficult to start another painting.  A painting that surpasses my expectation of myself makes it difficult to start a new one.  I started small and realized I had to overcome my fear and go big.

After Meryl made her speech at the Golden Globes Awards, I remembered her blue confession.  As I started painting her blue portrait from Sophie’s Choice, I came up with the words “To Meryl Or Not To Meryl”, which made me laugh.  I realized it might not be funny but as an artist I decided it didn’t matter, I liked it.

I used  the comic look of “Toulouse and Egon Frolicking” on the big beautiful face of Meryl.  The comic look works well with the beautiful depth of colors.  The words ‘To Meryl or not to Meryl”  are written across her face adding another layer and relates to the style of my other paintings.   Here is a sample of these paintings:








Looking at these images together I see that Meryl is different but I like it.  While some paintings take on a better or at least equal quality in photographing them, Meryl is more beautiful in person.  I think the bigness of her face makes it hard to appreciate the size and beauty of this painting.

Art show , Rosenblum Cellars, Oakland CA, January 2017


Isa Amalee, Featured Artist , Rosenblum Cellars, Oakland CA, January 2017

I am very excited to be the featured artist at Rosenblum Cellars for the month of January.  It was fun figuring out which originals I wanted to display so I came up with the musicians.  I decided  to try and stick with a theme because as an artist, I resist painting with a recognizable style.  I am proud that “Patty Smith” and “Johnny Cash” are making their public debut in this show.

Come enjoy a delicious glass of wine and check out these beautiful paintings any day Rosenblum Cellars are open.  Join us at the Artist reception, January 28, 2017 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Meet the artist and there will be art tiles and prints available to purchase.

Join Isa Amalee as January’s Featured Artist at Rosenblum Cellars, January 28th, 3 to 6 p.m.

“Toulouse and Egon Frolicking” An Amalee Original

%22toulouse-and-egon-frolicking%22“Toulouse and Egon, Frolicking In Bed, As Women” An Amalee Original.

I started this painting with the desire to paint another soft beautiful painting but something went haywire.  I somehow ended up on this time strand where a horrible entertainer became president.  So instead of feeling cozy, it made me want to be ironic.  I realize it might only be funny to me but as I continue to grabble with loving myself, thats good enough. Thats Good Enough!

As a person, who is a painter, I gets to do what I wants.  My favorite painters this week are Toulouse Lautrec and Egon Schiele.   The painting was already started as a man and a woman in bed (how boring).  So when the unthinkable happened, I realized I was still painting for the approval of other people and had to stop.   I changed my favorite painters into women frolicking in bed.  I used a self portrait of Egon for the blue headed woman and his drawing style.  The red headed woman’s face and boots are from self portraits of Toulouse, and I shortened his lower legs.  The perspective is mine or maybe from a picture from the internet, who can say for sure.

The style is kinda a new one and yet pulls elements from my Working Women Series.  This series is darker humor with a more calculated criticism of society. While I love this series and I think it is brilliant, it is also a bit too depressing to always be critical. Here is a sampling of that series.


“The Wellfare Woman” 1991 An Amalee Original


"The Prostitute" 1990 An Amalee Original

“The Prostitute” 1990 An Amalee Original


"The Housewife Mother" 1990 An Amalee original"

“The Housewife Mother” 1990 An Amalee original”

I think “Toulouse and Egon Frolicking” is fun and funny while at the same time loving the freedom.  Freedom to choose your gender, freedom to be in love with a woman or a man, freedom to paint what makes me laugh.

“The Kiss, Hotel Rawanda” an Amalee Original

"The Kiss, Hotel Rawanda" An amalee original

“The Kiss, Hotel Rawanda”
An amalee original

A beautiful Amalee Orignal “The Kiss, Hotel Rawanda”

I started this painting when Donald Trump supposedly won the 2016 U.S.  presidential election.  I was in shock that enough people in the United States of America supposedly voted for a racist, sexist, homophobic hater that it soothed me to paint a love scene from the movie Hotel Rawanda. The idea that jumping off a roof with your children was better than your children seeing you killed by the militia seemed fitting to idea of Donald Trump as president.

Plus I love the colors in his skin. While I painted this painting, I had to face one of my biggest and most familiar personal demons. The demon of being myself. Recently I realized that I have always depended on the people around me to set the parameter that I adapt to.  Art was the one place I could be who I am, until I became a professional artist.

I use to paint “the rebellion” of everything I held in to fit into the acceptable parameter.   For the past few years I have tried to do crafts of my work and make my work more appealing.  While painting this painting I faced my pleaser and rebeller, and kicked their asses. Or at least I won a battle. It is a strange thought that there is ground between pleasing and rebelling and its called being. Wow it is kinda mind blowing to be.

“Relaxing Woman” an Amalee Original

A strong and vulnerable Amalee Original "Relaxing Woman"

A strong and vulnerable Amalee Original “Relaxing Woman”

The great thing about being an artist is that you are expected to break rules, or so you would think.  As an artist, I have been told several thousand times I need to have a style that is recognizable.  Brush stokes and subject matter matter. My “Johnny Cash” painting pretty much sums up my feelings about this idea.

johnny-cash-emoji As an artist I think style is bullshit!


While a style might make it easier for an audience to recognize your work, whats the fucking point, art world! Possibly not having a recognizable style is the new thing that art scholars will debate in the future.

One reason I choose a soft scene, with no hands showing was I simply liked the image. However as I am making this post to feature it, I realize my protective side wants to come out first.  Its amazing to me that I do not feel comfortable just being soft and vulnerable in a post.   Or maybe this is being soft and vulnerable!

Thank you, Johnny Cash, for being so truthful, so real!

Johnny cash at Folsom Prison

“Johnny Cash, I’m recalibrating my inner sanctimonium!”

There are times in life when I feel like this.

I am in the process of trying to change my emotional wiring. There is a part of me that wishes I could just download a new operating system. However, I am in the process of dredging my soul for the small and large injuries that created a wiring that I am finding unfulfilling.

As I dig around in the underbelly, I realize the instability of my foundation.   While survival is important, I look forward to enjoying life.

I love this painting because it is funny.  It captures the underground figure in my soul.  Sort of a love/hate reality with humanity.  On the one hand feeling superior and on the other feeling jealous, but not really feeling part of it.

 Thank you, Johnny Cash, for being so truthful, so real!


Amalee Originals at Adventure in Food and Wine

Amalee original oil paintings now displaying at Adventure in Food and Wine, 3331 24th street, San Francisco.

Come to Adventure in Food and Wine and check out the beautiful dining room displaying Amalee originals.  Enjoy some delicious food and an eclectic wine list amidst original art from local artists.

On most second and forth Fridays of every month, I will be selling art tiles here. You can also order tiles online and use coupon code “Adventure in Food and Wine” which will take off the shipping fee. This means you get to come by, pick up your tiles and have a glass of wine with me.

%22cobain%22-an-original-amalee %22fly-beneath-the-radar%22-an-amalee-original %22hendi%22-and-%22cobain%22-amalee-originals %22mardi-graz-man%22-an-amalee-original






“Patti Smith”An Amalee Original finished today 9/28/2016

Amalee Original Patti Smith

Amalee captures “Patti Smith”-the highly influential figure in the New York City punk rock scene

So I have $13.00 in my bag, and possibly another $3.00 in change (if I really dig around on my floor.)  I do have about $35.00 in food stamps so I am not gonna stave.  While I use to believe that this is what an artist’s life is “supposed” to be, I realize that is bullshit. I started out painting as an escape from reality and now, some twenty years later, it has become my profession. As you can see this painting of “Patti Smith.”

In November 2015, I lost my job as a massage therapist, and was left having to face my creative self.  While I needed to make this major life transition, it has been difficult.  It is my responsibility to speak for people, like me, who were forced out of a profession they loved.

I had been a massage therapist for the past twenty years. I lost my job because I lost my massage certification. This was  65 % due to the “government agency”  the California Massage Therapy Council, and  35% due to my inability to run in the same way on my hamster wheel.

First, we have to look at the major transition the massage industry has been undergoing in the past twenty years. When I started in the massage industry, I needed 100 hours of education.  I received a certification for 185 hours from the Shiatsu Institute in 1997. I was licensed by the city of San Francisco in 2004, because I did not need a license prior to that. San Francisco Massage licensing agency sent four notifications prior to re-licensing date and 2 after with a $25.00 late fee. In 2010, I was told by my company, it was better to receive a state certification. For an unknown amount of time, we would be grandfathered in if we did not have the required 500 hours.

The California Massage Therapy Council (CMTC) was founded in 2009. If you look at the CMTC’s website,  they appear to be a state licensing agency for massage therapists  However they are a non-profit organization that “certifies” massage therapists for the state of California.   I received my “certification” in 2011, which cost me $280.00, including  documentation and $150.00 to the CMTC for the certification.  They sent me no notification ( no email or letter) when I needed to re-certify and they sent no notification when my status changed from certified to non certified. So after 20 years of working as a massage therapist, I lost my certification without any notification.  I would now have to get 305 hours of massage training to be re-certified because both the city and the state now require 500 hours.

As a Californian there are questions that should be asked. How can a non profit run a state licensing agency with no standards? Where do they get their funding? Who’s interests do they represent? Certainly not massage therapists.

Then there is the 35% fault which is completely mine.  100 percent of this 35% is due to  my inability to run in the same direction on my assigned hamster wheel.   No matter how hard I try to run in the same direction, I don’t.  I run backwards, I skip, I like to stop and smell the roses, it is completely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, my fault.  For most of my live I have tried my best to run at the same speed and direction on my hamster wheel and finally I realize I don’t WANNA.  Granted I am a bit exaggerating my desire, but even without my desire, I did try. And finally, thanks to the CMTC, I am free.

Baby was a Black sheep. I am american, I am an artist. I am an American Artist. I love Patti Smith. She da Bomb!!!!!!!!!!!!!P.S. Could you please buy an art tile or two, thank you!