Art of Isa Amalee

Featured Products

David Bowie: Ground control to majortom

“David Bowie-Ground control to majortom” aka “Goodbye my pleaser, goodbye

A new Amalee Original

“The art world takes great comfort in a classification, linear thought and some kind of theme and that ain’t me. My art comes from what I feel. I am most successful when I explore the collision between the loud voice of my head and the quiet beat of my heart.”

Who the hell said that? As I read “my words” I find it difficult to believe a pleaser would write those words. Yet I did, I did, I did, I did. Yep, yep I did! Every once and a while I have the words to express whats in my sole despite my desire to be liked. The injury in my childhood makes me want to be liked so much that I hide behind emotional armor.

As a result I often hold invisible swords in the beginning, middle and end of any relationship. I had no idea that I was holding them or how to put them down. Often I scared away any nice people and was familiar with critical people. Therefore I continued to be the pleaser, who did not have my best interest at heart. It was a strange Catch 22 situation that continued unconsciously until therapy.

I believe that therapy without drugs is unbelievable helpful! Learning what I was use to, and how my behavior continued to attract selfish people, who I had to please has been unbelievably mind blowing. Learning how to hear my own voice, my own desires and how talented I am is inspiring.

Become a patron today! Show your support for my new painting “David Bowie-Ground Control to majortom” and my transformation. Click the button below and become an extremely important patron.

David Bowie-Ground control to majortom

David Bowie-the man who fell to earth: Great new painting by Isa Amalee

The man who fell into a Klimt painting…An Amalee original

Great new Amalee orginal of David Bowie-The man who fell to earth. Captures the androgynous intensity of a futuristic man of the past.

I relate…

“Angela”-A new Amalee Original!

"Angee" the most phenomenal human alive today!

“Angela” Who knew paint on wood could be so beautiful!






“Angela” a new Amalee Orginal.

The one thing I can say about “Angela” my new painting, is that it is of the most phenomenal human being who is alive today.  I think of “Angela” as having the quintessential sole of the United States.  At this point I should probably tell you who “Angela” is, however that would not satisfy me.  I believe my audience knows who “Angela” is, and therefore I can just celebrate the wood and paint.  Or am I just a chicken who is afraid to be a white artist portraying one of the most amazing humans who is black.
There is a good reason for this chickification.    I am going to bring up a conversation I had yesterday with a friend after showing her the image.  In this conversation I told her I was sad because “Angela” did not get into a show I entered the painting in.  She said “Well its kinda controversial that you are white, I mean what about black artists.”  On the one hand I completely understand this when I look at our culture.  I think about black musicians influence on music as compared to the amount of money some of the greats received for their talent. The perfect example is Leadbelly, who made modest money as a jazz musician but his influence on popular music is outstanding.   Kurt Cobain often often gave tribute to Leadbelly”s influence on him.
While I do not want to underestimate white privilege, because it is clearly an intrinsic part of our culture. I want to paint humans I think are outstanding regardless of “our temporary age, race and gender assignments”.  I am quoting  Carolyn Casey of the Visionary Activist Show on K.P.F.A.  “Angee” is based on a human who is literally my pick for one of the most phenomenal human alive today.  So I am downplaying the political and social issues and focusing on the paint, wood and texture
I used the last large piece of wood that I found at my dumpster.  My fairy goddess dumpster provided me with a bunch of great wood for painting.  I have often pondered my fairy goddess dumpster and how I manifest things from it. This wood was the best, it was in large pieces and had the most amazing texture.  I love texture.

This painting celebrates the texture.  Not only in her face where it adds depth both emotionally and dimensionally, but in her hair.  Where I accentuated the grain of the wood by drawing bits of it.  I find myself in awe of myself when I just enjoy the beauty of this painting.

The only problem when finishing a painting like this is starting another piece.  Luckily I now do live painting every Saturday at Spressa coffee Bar in San Francisco, which takes the pressure off creating.  It was extremely uncomfortable at first too, but after two months it has become more enjoyable.

I have also fallen in love with the paint pens.  I used them to create the background with the gold, yellow and black.  While painting “Angela” I was listening to Terrance McKenna on youtube.  There was this beautiful visual on that video that particular day.   I was inspired by it and kinda based the circular spirals on that image.  However since that day, I have not been able to find that video.  It is as if it was only there that day or was it a dream.

I have begun to glimpse a self confidence that I am an artist, a person and a soul.  I do not just take up space, I actively interact with creating my reality.   While I have heard this several thousand times, I am enjoying the glimpse of understanding.  While I have not figured out exactly how I have begun to glimpse, I think it has to do with confidence.  Confidence to be myself as an artist and as a person.

I will have new products of “Angela” available soon.  I am beginning to realize I need to make original art products that are art in and of themselves.  While I am still pondering how to do this, you can purchase art tiles online, at Spressa Coffee Bar, and Wonderland in San Francisco.

“Angela” the Amalee Original will be on display at Spressa Coffee Bar starting May 8th, 2018.  The reception for this show is May 10th, 2018 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Come check my new work and buy or win some handmade products.   There will be a raffle, You might win a small art tile, a large art tile, or a 12″ X12″ giclee print of your choice. 




“Cash”, “Janis” and “Prince” Amalee originals now on display at PianoFight.

Check out the Amalee Originals at PianoFight in San Francisco, now until March 8, 2018.

“Prince” an Amalee Original

“cash” An Amalee Original












These Amalee Original paintings are now on display at PianoFlight in the Tenderlion of San Francisco until March 8th, 2018.

It is difficult to be a woman artist because it has always been difficult to play by the linear rules of the art world.  The question I have to ask myself every time I write a kinda cray cray post is “is this professional?” My true answer to this question is “yes, and no!”  While I do not want to overstep the professional boundaries of the different venues I apply to show my art at, I would like to be thought provoking. I would like to question everything I question in my own life.

I believe there is a middle road, where I can say everything that comes into my brain, however profesionalize it.  I see a puzzled look on your face. Consider subscription. Yes, it is the perfect answer to all my hopes and dreams. I get to ramble on about life, paint and reality, and yet stay professional on my website. To get the complete ramblings of my brain you will have to subscribe. So I need to figure out how to do set it up and wah-la, we have a perfect system.

After visiting PianoFight, please purchase these handmade art tiles: “Cash”, “Prince” and “Janis”.

Original Amalee paintings of rock legends of Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty

Rock legends Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty painted by Bay Area expressionist artist Isa Amalee.

On November 28, 2017,  I was live painting at an Art Span art reception, when my friend commissioned two paintings.  He wanted two paintings of the rock legions Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty singing “Stop Dragging My Heart Around“.  He sent me a link to the youtube video and needed them by the 23th and 28th of December.

I suppose at this point, I should admit to the fact that this was a challenge that I was happy to accept.  A challenge because he want two of the same paintings, a smaller size then I am use to, and with a deadline.  My biggest lesson in life is that pushing myself out of my comfort zone is rewarding. Rewarding not only because I  actually made money for painting but in the fact that I learned I can do it.

"Stop dragging my heart around"

Rock legends Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks collage by bay area artist Isa Amalee

So I usually start with a collage I make from photos I get off of the internet.  This is the first idea:

However I started out timidly and wanting to please my friend. The teeth were way to visible and stiff to use this photo of Tom.  So I went back to the video and got more stills from it. Still painting timidly and out of a desire to please I was unsatisfied but because I had to paint two of them I started the next one.

I had four days until he picked up the first one and I said “fuck it” I cannot see these out in the world.  So while I liked Tom, now Stevie’s mouth was bugging me and the whole painting was lacking.  I have never know what makes a painting done until I know it is done.  I went back to the video and found more images of Stevie.

These are the final paintings of the rock legends Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks singing “Stop Dragging My heart Around”.  Thank you Adam for the challenge. It was fun!

"Stop Dragging My Heart Around"

One of two original paintings of Rock Legends Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks by Bay area artist Isa Amalee.

"Stop Dragging My Heart Around"

The other of two paintings of rock legends of Stevie Nicks and Tom petty by Bay Area artist Isa Amalee.


“Janis” An Amalee Original

Dexlesic termagant paints without spell check

This Amalee Original Oil Painting “Janis” is now on display at PianoFight in San Francisco. It will be here until March 13, 2018.

The question is did I spell termagant wrong on purpose?


Where did the words “Ride the wave, tarmagant. The only time is now.” come from?

“Janis” An Amalee Original is part of a series of painting of iconic rock stars with similar elements: size, big hands in the foreground, and my own words in the background. I had the unfinished image with the hand  when I had a conversation with a friend.


Check out the handmade “Janis” Art Tiles for sale today.

Bill Murray- “I’m a god, not “thee” god.” an Amalee Original

Bill Murray -” I”m a god, not thee god” an Amalee original oil painting.

Bill Murray is brilliant in Groundhog day, he captures the complete ordinariness of facing the same day over and over again, of being a god, not the god.

The thing about the movie “Groundhog Day” is sometimes I wish I could have a redo and there are times I think am in a continuous redo.  Maybe these two things are true for us at the same time. Possibly if we do not examine the way we see the world and how we participate in it, we will continuously be in our own redo.   It would be so much easier to figure it out if we got ten years to redo the same day.

While it seems getting the girl is the thing that stops the redo in Groundhog day, he also develops many relationships, helps people, learns to play jazz piano.  He basically starts to question his place in the world, why he exists at all.

After thinking about my redo, I am beginning to  glimpse how I create my life.  In therapy I learned that I have to go through the hard scary feelings instead of avoiding them.  I feel like this is beginning to reset my neuro pathways and  will eventually free me from my redo.

I do want good relationships.   Not only with my lover, but with my friends, family and myself.  I want to paint paintings that make me feel satisfied. Maybe that is the point of Groundhog day, its about understanding how to be in the moment.  If we had ten years of the same day it would be easier to realize how our injuries create our vision which affects how we manifest our reality.  wowzer bowzer! I mean I heard that twenty thousand times but it is exciting to possibly almost understand it.

Check out the Bill Murray art tiles at  They make great gifts for Groundhog Day fans.

“Prince, Purple Rain” An Amalee Original

"Prince" Rock and roll art

“Prince, Purple Rain” Hair and cufflinks coming off the canvas

“Prince, Purple Rain” An Amalee Original.

I painted this painting in August 2016, but I now find myself thinking about him more.  Prince was more than comfortable being seen while I would rather stay hidden.  He seemed to be so seen as who he really was and yet he seemed to die lonely and sad.  Possibly one losses themselves several times in a lifetime or maybe the purpose of life is to continuously adapt to change and uncertainty.

Most of my life I have been a judgmental non conformist.  I mean I have never valued the “accepted forms of being”, in fact I have been so against everything in regular American culture that I have missed out on so many wonderful things.  Luckily I had children so I could do some of the stuff “for my kids” but I have recently realized I stayed outside because I believe I didn’t deserve to be part of it.

Not liking to be seen seems to be opposite to “Prince” who loved to be seen. He was talented and beautiful and he loved not only being seen but showing his amazingness. And while I am really talking out of my ass because I do not know his inner workings at all.  It now seems that there was a hidden part of him that he could not express.

He could express gender ambiguity, amazing talent, and seemed to be so himself.  To be an artist who makes money from my talent, I have to be seen.  I started painting as a way of accessing parts of myself that were unaccessible.  For whatever reason I got really comfortable in the hidden world of my imagination, even when I painted it was for me.  The lesson I have to learn from Prince is to be seen.  Celebrate my talent, sell my paintings.

Buy “Prince, Purple Rain” An Amalee Original Today!

“Ive Been Klimted” An Amalee Original now on display at Spressa Coffee Bar, San Francisco

Recently I had the funniest conversation with my lover.  I told him that I wanted to have higher standards and if he liked me, he would encourage me not to see him anymore.

This has actually nothing to do with this painting but it is a female way of saying the famous Groucho Marx Quote ”


It’s the yin to Groucho Marx’s yang.

“I’ve been Klimted” an Amalee Original is not in the style of Klimt but I was kinda fascinated by his style while I was painting this painting.  I took some photos at a day party in San Francisco.  I captured this woman with this expression.  She looked so relaxedly happy.  I had to use this intriguing face and thats when I thought of Klimt. Patterns surrounding a beautiful face.  While googling Klimt I found another painting that I have not found again but it was a girl in a chair with patterns.  So I borrowed some from it, some from my own paintings with arms up and the face from this dance party. The diamond pattern in the background was also from my photo with the intriguing face, it was a chainlink fence.

“I’ve Been Klimted” An Amalee original now on display at Spressa Coffee Bar, 51 Cambon Dr. San Francisco. Come check it out with a cappuccino.





Current Amalee Originals at Spressa Coffee Bar until May 16th

These Amalee Originals are on display at Spressa Coffee Bar until May 16th. 




The story behind the couple of couples.  I was at a bar at Burning Man and the first couple was standing next to me. They were so beautiful and so sensual. I took about 7 photos of them. They were so soft and tender to each other. I end up losing my camera before the end of burning man.  About 4 months after I return I contact burning man head quarters and get my camera back. At which point I am extremely excited to see my couple.  I open the photos and low and behold the second couple is on the other side of the bar and in every photo.  I call the second couple “the happy couple” because they are so free and fun.  That is the story of the couple of couples. If you want to see these originals get to Spressa before May 16th.

“The Writer” is a conceptual piece. I was getting into the texture of painting. I was in the Filmore of San Francisco at a coffee shop before work and I drew myself feeling kinda wacky.  As I have always
had a big hand thing, I made her writing hand big.  The first attempt I made it backwards so I had to change it along with the legs.  I put the legs in and made the table round to make it more interesting.  Come check out this painting before the 16th of  May.



These Amalee Originals are on display at Spressa Coffee Bar in San Francisco until May 16th, Come check them out!


“Tracy Chapman” An Amalee Original Painting

Beautiful Painting of "Tracy Chapman" An Amalee Original

“Tracy Chapman” An Amalee Original

“Tracy Chapman ” An Amalee Original.

To be completely honest I never know anything for sure.  I am never sure whether I am a talented artist or just a person who needs to paint.  There is part of me that believes those are one and the same and yet there is the same amount of me that believes the opposite.  I suppose this might be due to the fact that as a child I never learned to trust myself.  I am not blaming my family for I had, for the most part, a wonderful family. However my brother died at the age of four of an aneurism.  After pleading with my parents that I was actually sick and he was faking it, he went off to Sunday school and I never saw him again.  

I never saw him again dead or alive. While me and my family survived this trauma, I did not get therapy until  this year.  I banished a part of myself when he died and this left me unable to trust anything including myself.  So while I love this painting, I question why I cannot have one style.

Is it true talent that I have to paint whatever I need to paint the way I feel it or is it just A.D.D. And does it matter.  If it satisfies me, what do I care if  I satisfy the fucking “Art World”!

While I find undefinable satisfaction  in painting, I want monetary compensation.  I refuse to believe the starving artist myth.  It might be a reality for me at this moment but I think it is crap.  I am going to do everything in my power to make some money.  You can help me.  Buy my art products online and at the different events around the Bay Area.  You cannot find these products in the big chain stores.  Thank you for your support.

 “Tracy Chapman” An Amalee Original is comic fine art.”



“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


“Egon and Toulouse Frolicking”

“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 not 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” an Amalee Original is a beautiful portrait of a rock n Roll icon and a wonderful man.  This Painting is now on display at PianoFight in San Francisco, until March 8th, 2018.

I love the famous photo of Johnny Cash in Folsom prison, giving the finger.  So I painted that image and used the words “I’m recalibrating my inner sanctimonium!”. I came up with these words when I realized  there are times I feel like an outsider because society does not accept me or maybe it is because I don’t accept society. Either way when I am on the outside looking in, Johnny Cash is my hero.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!

Check out the Johnny Cash Art Tiles today, they make perfect gifts for Johnny Cash fans.