The High Point of 2015: The Big 500 Show


This winter I was invited again to show my work in the the Big 500 show in Portland, Oregon put on by Peoples Art of Portland .  It’s a yearly fundraising event benefiting the Oregon Food Bank.   Each artist is provided with  8″x 8″ panels and creates art that sells for $40.  A portion of the  proceeds of art sales from this one show provides several shelters with food for a few months over the year.

I received my invite in mid-October and managed to create 9 paintings by the December 6 deadline for submitted artwork.    I’ve never painted so quickly!   I painted four more paintings than I did for the show last year.

Girl with Blue Headband 8" x 8" acrylic on board

Girl with Blue Headband
8″ x 8″
acrylic on board

The show ran from December 13 through January 11.   Five of the paintings sold.  One of the sold paintings is this portrait of a young woman wearing a blue headband.  It was my favorite and I kind of hoped that I would get it back after the show, but I had the feeling that someone would snap it up.

I’ve been taking a break from painting this winter, but now that spring is almost here I’m getting my sketchbook out again.  We’ll see what happens in the coming months.

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So Many Days, So Many Dead Show

In September, I was invited to submit a few painting to the Fall opener at People’s Art Gallery. The October show is called “So Many Days, So Many Dead and its a mash-up of Halloween, Day of the Dead, and anything creepy, dead, or undead.

I was so excited when I received the invite, but then I saw the deadline. I had about 10 days to make a couple of paintings for the show. My first impulse was to give up and not do it. I’m a slow painter and the theme is not something I usually connect with. But then my instinct told me that I should stop being a coward and just try. It would nag at me if I let a chance to exhibit go just because I was lacking in confidence.

So I knuckled down and started to paint. I started with a classic Karloff type mad scientist and started having fun. Then I decided to try an undead woman. I didn’t want to do a zombie. I think they’re ugly and it would have been too much work. I just figured I’d make a sort of vampire woman. After agonizing over what to do, I kind of seized up again. I just didn’t know how to approach the painting. When I make my faces, I work so hard at making the eyes look alive. With this painting I had trouble figuring out how to make someone look undead, while still making a portrait that would make me happy. I struggled, swore, muttered to my muse and eventually I ended up with something I was pleased with.

So yay! I managed to get my paintings finished, framed (my husband made them up for me – sweet man!), and dropped off at the gallery with a day to spare.

The show will be over soon.  It closes on Sunday, Nov 15.  Now I’m working on paintings for another show in December.  Yes, I’m doing the Big 500 again and I’m so excited!

Thanks for stopping by.




2015 is Another Great Art Year

When I last posted, it was January and the Big 500 show had not ended.  I was looking forward to a year of no goals or plans besides just continuing to try new things with painting.

Well, this year has been even better than last year!  I sold every piece that I submitted to the Big 500 show, and in June  I was invited to participate in a show called 88 Strong at The Goodfoot Pub & Lounge, featuring 88 artists and 88 themes.   I made the five paintings above for the show.

I’m loving the challenge of quickly making paintings for shows, especially since I don’t really have a firm process.  I learn with each painting and I’m loving it.

I haven’t been doing much drawing.  I miss it sometimes, but I’m getting more satisfaction with painting right now.  But I’m sure at some point I’ll return to my old drawing practice.

I’m currently in another show this month.  But I’ll save that for another blog post.

Btw, stay turned for changes around here.  Thanks for continuing to follow along this winding creative path.


I update a lot more regularly on my Facebook artist page.  Check it out to see progress pics, show announcements and more!




Happy New Year! Welcoming 2015


Happy New Year!  Looking back, 2014 was my best year ever in terms of art.  My drawing seemed to take a leap.  I got back into painting and figured out how to make portrait painting in acrylics an enjoyable experience.  The year was topped off by my first art shows and my first art sale at a gallery!  So far I know that the Tesla painting I did for the Big 500 sold.  I know that because my mom bought it!

Five 8" x 8" acrylic portrait paintings by Mellanie Collins

Here are all five paintings I did for the big show.  My best paintings to date I think.  When I took them to the gallery I was almost a little sad to part with them.  But if they sell I will feel good and if they don’t I’ll be happy to get them back.

I have no plans or resolutions or programs for my art in 2015.  I’m going to just go with the flow and work on just painting what I like.  Last I had goals of drawing every day and filling up a certain amount of sketchbooks.  I didn’t do any of it.  I’ve striven and hectored myself long enough.   Being critical with myself has only hampered me creatively.

This year has shown me that if  I take it easy, have fun, and be interested in what I’m doing I will get wonderful results.  So this year I’m taking the slacker road.   I’m going to focus on the fun and challenge instead of trying to make my work better.

Do you have any goals for your art in 2015?


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Another Show! Bill Murray-Themed Art Show at Good: a gallery

I’ll have a painting in the Bill Murray-themed show at Good: a gallery  in Portland, Oregon.    The opening is on Friday, December 5   from 7 pm to 10 pm.  If you can’t make the opening, the show will run through Sunday, December 28.


Here’s my acrylic portrait for the show.  There will be so many great pieces at this show.  I’m looking forward to it.  Here are the show details and the event page on Facebook.






Happy Thanksgiving!


Best Wishes for Thanksgiving Day

Just wanted to take the time to wish Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the U.S.  I know I have a lot to be thankful for, especially friends and followers who have encouraged me along my creative journey.  Hope you enjoy the holiday and have a great time with friends and family.

Thanks to Nancy S Oram for providing this condition-free vintage Thanksgiving Day image.   She has many more available on her HubPages page.

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Acrylic Painting: My Final Big 500 Painting


Hidden Strength
8″ x 8″
acrylic on hardboard

I finished my last painting for the Big 500 art show opening on December 13 and running through January 11.  This painting and all art in the showing is priced at $40!  You just take it off the wall, pay, and take it with you.  Great opportunity to get some special gifts, support local art and the Oregon Food Bank.  Win -win-win!

So if you are in Portland, Oregon come on downtown and check out the show.

Big 500 Poster


** I’m posting more process photos and other things on my FB page.  Check it out **

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