After we left Los Angeles, we drove inland to go camp in the Sierra Nevada mountain range (Inyo National Forest and Yosemite National Park). We were a little upset that we didn't get to see the California coast, but we'll just have to come back! I love camping, and the mountains/deserts/lakes were stunning. I couldn't believe the variety in landscape that we saw in such a short amount of time. I was reading some brochures about Yosemite, and was struck by a quote:

"When a visitor asked a Yosemite ranger what he would do if he had only a day to visit the park, the ranger answered, 'I'd weep.'" 

It almost made me weep reading this quote because we did only have one day within the park! We must return one day!

I set up my easel in Yosemite National Park for a very short amount of time. People walking by seemed interested, but their priority was to take in the nature, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a means of promotion. Someone asked me why I was painting there, and were wondering if the landscape inspired me in any way. I responded by saying that my main purpose was to question the idea of a work space. I have to finish these paintings one way or another, but why do I always have to be cramped up in my studio? It is much more pleasant painting outside in our nation's "playground"! 


The view from our campsite at Convict Lake in Inyo National Forest (our deer friend!)


I set up and worked on a painting for a little bit in Yosemite National Park! I venture to say that this is the first house cat painted within the park :)


After we drove through Yosemite, we stayed with my family in San Jose that night and headed into San Francisco the next day. We both LOVED San Francisco. I guess I'm a stereotypical San Francisco tourist because I didn't bring a jacket, and it was cold! One woman described San Francisco as comaprable to being on a boat in the middle of the ocean because it's almost completely surrounded by water. The first day in San Francisco, I set up my easel at Dolores Park. It was suggested to me because there are generally a lot of people hanging out there. It wasn't necessarily my demographic, but we enjoyed the time to relax in the park. I found out later that there's another part of Dolores Park where people bring their dogs (oops!). 


We stayed with a friend in Oakland, which as we learned is quickly becoming a haven for young people escaping the high rents in downtown San Francisco. Our friend is training to be an herboligist, which I find incredibly interesting! She and her classmates often go on "field trips" into California's national parks to forage for herbs, and there are what seems like hundreds of bottles of tinctures and herbs around her apartment. When she described her classes it reminded me of Harry Potter's potions and herbology classes at Hogwarts. So cool! She also has an adorable pit bull named, Seqouia, who was the biggest sweetheart.


On my second day in San Francisco, I set up my easel for a few hours in the front window of an awesome pet boutique in Pacific Heights called, "George." This store was incredibly cute! I don't even own a pet but I wanted to buy everything in the store! They also make their own dog beds (check out their website to see). They had a stage in their front window... it was almost as if it was made for me! I handed out a bunch of cards and talked to some very interested potential customers. 


A passerby's view of me painting in the front window.


My "stage" within George's storefront


Part of Geroge's adorable display!

Samir and I both really loved San Francisco and we know we'll be back! 

I really really liked LA. This was my first visit here and I know it won't be my last!

July 17:
After we left La Jolla we started heading up to Los Angeles. We saw hot air balloons on the way. Once again we were stunned by the beauty in this state. We got to my cousin and her boyfriend's house in West Hollywood and soon learned how great her location was (lots of thrift stores that was perfect for Samir). My cousin owns a cat named, "Achilles," who was once the star of "My Cat From Hell." He can be nice... sometimes :) Here is a painting I did of him awhile back that's hanging in her home:

I love the graffitti in LA:

I also love seeing all of the interesting business they have... including this hot dog/lamp shop:

July 18:
In the morning we met up with my old friend from high school who is now a budding filmmaker and her boyfriend who is an actor (check out his super hilarious mini-series, Golden California) for lunch. We left right after lunch to head down to Long Beach to go to an event I set up with Pussy & Pooch at the Long Beach Museum of Art. The museum has a super cool exhibit right now called, "Architecture for Dogs", which is a curated collection of designs created with specific breeds in mind. Pussy & Pooch set up a "pop-up" shop in the museum gift shop to go along with the exhibit and every month Pussy & Pooch hosts a "yappy hour" on the green next to the museum. There are replicas of the exhibit designs for dogs to play with and "hors d'oeuvres" for the dogs. There was another pet business called, "Doggy Luxe," featuring their jewel-studded dog collars, set up alongside me as well. I worked on a painting of Izzy there for a few hours right out on the ocean and mingled with some pets and their owners. It was a lot of and I'm so grateful for the opportunity :)

July 19:
The owner of Pussy & Pooch was nice enough to put me in contact with another great pet shop in LA called, "Three Dog Bakery," in Farmers Market (next to the "Grove"). Farmers Market is a super cool permanent market or outdoor mall with all sorts of goodies (fruit vendors, candy shops, hat makers, etc). Three Dog Bakery is an awesome little store that actually functioned as a bakery for dogs. I set up out front and painted for a little over an hour and then the manager alerted me that the Farmers Market management was not keen on having me paint in the market. It was really disappointing and while we tried to configure my stuff so that my sign wasn't visible and my easel was more inside the store, the definitive answer was, "no." This is the first time I have come across this issue and I have a feeling it won't be the last, but at least I was able to do it for a little bit.Since this event, I've been a little more careful about where I set up. I don't want to anger anyone! Everyone walking by seemed to really enjoy watching me paint and I believe it added something special to the atmosphere. The manager of the store was super apologetic and confused, but it was out of her control. The management said that if other artists saw me painting in the mall they may consider it a free-for-all and set up other easels as well (remind me why this is a bad thing?). Oh well, I guess I understand! This brings me back to my undergraduate law class on first amendment rights... Aren't malls considered a public forum for free speech? I could be totally wrong, but I will look into this further!

July 20:
Based on some recommendations on places to set up in LA, Samir and I drove over to Santa Monica in the morning. I set up my easel right in the grassy area next to the Santa Monica Pier. It was probably one of my best live painting events I've ever had. So many people walked by and laughed out loud about my business name and asked for cards. After about an hour of painting, a dance troop set up near me and monopolized the attention of the crowd, but I am perfectly happy with the amount of people who saw me painting that day. 


After a few hours, I packed up my painting gear and headed over to downtown LA for my final live painting event in LA. I set up my easel and sample paintings outside of Pussy & PoochSarah Donner of "Catster" also happened to be performing her music at the store, and concurrently there was a cat adoption event run by Luxe Paws. It only seemed appropriate to work on a painting of a cat! One of my Instagram followers showed up to the event, which was very exciting :)  It was a super fun event and Sarah and I spoke about maybe doing future events together on the East Coast!



I really enjoyed my time here in LA and I would love to come back and spend some more time here in the near future!


AuthorMelissa King
CategoriesOn Tour

We landed in Las Vegas late Saturday night! We spent a little time on the strip (Samir's never been) and we played one game of black jack and one game of roulette, but being overly cautious helped us to know the right time to walk away and we made a little profit :) I have a lot of family in Vegas and it was great to see them all! My cousin owns a popular restaurant called, "Egg Works," and I arranged a live painting event there for Sunday Breakfast. It was a lot of fun! I talked to a lot of people and I think everyone really enjoyed having me there while they waited for their tables. My cousin expressed interest in maybe having other local artists set up in his restaurants in the future. It's great because it benefits both the artist and the venue... So I hope it catches on! We left Vegas yesterday and drove down to San Diego. It was a beautiful drive going through the desert with tons of Joshua trees and mountain ranges. We stopped in the Mojave desert and it was HOT! San Diego seems super cool so far! We're here for such a short time so we're trying to squeeze in the sights but I'm here primarily to promote my art so I will be setting up my easel tonight on the Ocean Beach Dog beach (from 5-7) and tomorrow in La Jolla at Muttropolis from 2:30-6:30 then we're off to LA! I'll try my best to keep updating this as often as I can!

Live painting at Egg Works

A "pop-up" wedding chapel on the strip that offers pet marriages. 

We stopped into "Peggy's Diner" on the way to San Diego from Las Vegas.

In the Mojave Desert (this is a rest stop reproduction but nonetheless it looks cool!)

Here I am with my beautiful 92-year-old grandma, Winnie! It's always great to see family :)


AuthorMelissa King
CategoriesOn Tour

If you've ever read my bio you will know that I am pursuing a career in art conservation. If you don't know what that is, maybe you've heard about art restoration (definitely not the same thing, but slightly similar). Art conservation is a fascinating career that requires an in-depth knowledge about the science of materials and the methodology for preserving cultural heritage. 

Very few people know about this field, but it is much more diverse than you probably can imagine. It requires in depth knowledge of chemistry, art history, and studio art. In my training so far I have worked on many artifacts. I have treated a great array of archaeological objects (ancient coins, marble sculptures, ancient ceramic pots, Etruscan coffins, and even a child's sandal from ancient Egypt). I have worked on newer objects too, such as a vase that came from John Adam's home, and even contemporary outdoor sculptures. I have worked within historic homes, and cleaned large murals within historic buildings. It is an incredibly fascinating field and I am so grateful to have found my way into it. 

(Here I am working with other conservators from the National Park Service on a sculpture of William Prescott in front of the Bunker Hill Monument)

Pawblo Picasso has been a wonderful venture thus far. In about 2.5 years I have painted over 350 paintings (more than most people can do in a lifetime!). I am so fortunate to have such an amazing career. I love to paint and I especially love to make portraits of your beloved animals.

What you may not realize is how much work it is to actually run a business like this. Although my boyfriend helps me out a lot, this is a one-woman business. I am not sitting in a studio painting all day long every day. I have to commit a lot of my time to answering emails, running my social media marketing campaigns, accounting, filing tax returns, ordering supplies, prepping my canvases, shipping and delivering my paintings, managing my merchandise, running my website, going to art shows, and running my "live painting" events (I hardly have a social life at this point). Sometimes I literally bring my easel and paints with me on vacations and work while I'm there. I plan on continuing with my art, but unfortunately I cannot commit the same amount of time towards this business if I am serious about pursuing art conservation. 

Recently, I have started to work with an art conservator on some very interesting projects. I plan on continuing my work with him through the fall, which means I definitely will not be able to commit as much time to Pawblo Picasso. There are also a lot of other opportunities that I want to explore with this business, such as the possiblity of publishing a book, and working on original art. I currently have a 4-month wait for my paintings, and that wait will continue to grow exponentially because I will be taking less orders per month from here on out, which brings me to my final piece of information....

If you look on my Indiegogo campaign you will see that I have listed 15 deposits for commissions (this will reserve your spot in my queue at 10% off of my current prices). I have also listed 10 6x6 custom paintings at a very low price of $90. I can guarantee these paintings in time for the holidays! If you’ve been thinking about ordering a painting from me, the time is now! You don’t have to know what photograph you’re going to use, what size painting you want (unless you get the 6x6), or even what animal(s) you want painted (you can decide on that later). This is only to reserve your spot! Once these commissions are all claimed, I will be able to give you a better idea of when your painting will be ready. I am in serious need of a break, so after these orders through Indiegogo, I will be taking a hiatus from taking new commissions until further notice.

If you haven't visited my campaign yet, I encourage you to do so ( There you will find a list of "perks" for your contributions (including the limited remaining commissions I am offering). My boyfriend and I are planning a lengthy road trip across the United States, and we need to raise some money to do so before we leave in the beginning of July. Aside from the commissions there are also some awesome other perks, so be sure to check them out and pass along the page! 

<3 Pawblo

AuthorMelissa King

The October HOWL-o-ween photo competition has come to the conclusion! All of the photos were so awesome :) 

The winner of the first place prize with 319 "likes" is.... Rigoletto! He wins a free 8x10 custom painting. Stay tuned to see how that turns out!



The second place prize goes to Rex, Cece, and Luke with 284 "likes"! Their owner gets 50% off of any size custom painting! 



Finally, the third place winner is Vito with 108 "likes"! His owner with get 25% off of any size custom painting!



Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who participated! Your efforts help make my business more visible and I sincerely appreciate it :) I look forward to working on these paintings! 

AuthorMelissa King

Earlier this Summer, an organization called, "Dogs for Conservation" reached out to me and asked me if I would be willing to donate a painting to them. I was thrilled at this idea because I had actually heard of dogs being used for conservation efforts and I thought it was a really amazing idea. I had heard a story of dogs that were trained to smell and track down whale feces floating in the ocean near Alaska. Conservationists and ecologists were looking for the whale feces in order to get a better understanding of the whale's diet and track their movements to try to pinpoint factors affecting their dwindling population. The dogs involved were psyched! Dogs have an amazing sense of smell and tracking down the whale feces is like a game for them. I love the idea that dogs can be used to help with the populations of endangered species. Check out the website for "Dogs for Conservation," find them on facebook, and support this cause! Here is a link to the blog they wrote about me on their website: Dogs for Conservation


This is the painting I did for them of their new dog being trained, "Bea." I'm pretty sure this is my favorite painting so far and now I'm thinking about getting a Springer Spaniel for myself when that day comes :)

I have decided to have a pet photo competition!  Enter your favorite photo of your pet on the promotions section of my facebook page for a chance to win a FREE 8x10 custom painting!  Hurry up--the entries for this competition are filling up quickly! Get on Facebook and VOTE!

Guess what?? featured Pawblo Picasso on their blog! is a really awesome website. The premise is similar to etsy but the art you find on the website is of a much higher caliber. They also offer the ability for people to post projects they want completed and artists on the website will bid to complete the project for you! I love that custom made products are trendy (obviously, because I've made a business around it). It's a really wonderful economic model where everybody wins. Yes, you may be paying more for a product in a society where mass production prevails, but you are paying for quality, and supporting an individual craftsman. You can also be sure that the work you recieve is entirely original because it is made specifically for you! Support the arts! Support custom made products!


AuthorMelissa King