Secret Solstice Gifts: Boston Terrier ATCs

Joy's Boston Terriers 2.5" x 3.5" ink and watercolor on Illustration board
© 2014 Mellanie Collins
Joy’s Boston Terriers
2.5″ x 3.5″
watercolor and markers on Illustration board

Happy Solstice everyone!  The year is just clicking by isn’t it?

A couple of months ago I signed up for a Secret Solstice swap on my one of my mail art trading sites:  It’s like a Secret Santa, only we do it in the spring.  Each participant is assigned a person to make gifts for.  Fortunately each person fills out a profile detailing the sorts of things they’d like to receive.  My gift recipients opened their gifts earlier this month so now I can share the art I made for them.

I agreed to make little gifts for three people.  My gift category was “mini” meaning I would agree to make a smallish art piece (like a 4×4 chunky page or a 5×7 or postcard sized painting) and then some candy or ephemera that they might like.

I was thrilled when I found that I had been assigned to make something for Joy Northrop (she makes fun mixed media collage pieces).  I had just made an ATC trade with her and I knew she loved Boston Terriers so it was fun to make a couple more dog drawings for her.  I liked how they turned out.  I was tempted to keep them.


More gifts to come!


January: On my way to Artzona

So glad to have a nice trip to Arizona to look forward to. This year I’m attending Artzona, a weekend gathering of artists from my mail art trading sites, ATCs for All and Illustrated ATCs. We’ll hang out, make and trade art, and make a lot of racket. A great way to escape the winter doldrums.

I’ve been making ATCs to trade over weekend. Here’s one I made last night.

drawing of a young Buster Keaton.   2.5" X 3.5" ink
drawing of a young Buster Keaton.
2.5″ X 3.5″ ink

I have friend who likes Buster Keaton, so I’m sure this card will have a great new home.

September-October ATC Round-up

Over the last few months I’ve been doing a lot of artist trading cards trades and suddenly it feels like my portrait drawings have definitely improved. These cards are the best I’ve done over the past few weeks. Pleased to have found them nice homes in Canada, Finland, and California.

Thanks to all the new followers and everyone who has given me a “like.” It’s fun to share my drawings on this blog and it’s even better when someone actually sees them!

Cheers and Happy Halloween!


2012 ATC Round UP

So much for my creative journey this year.   As I look back on 2012 I see a lot of ebb and not much flow.   I didn’t spend much time drawing, instead I spent too much time experimenting with art journaling, mixed-media, and collage.  Oh, my.  I am definitely not a mixed-media collage artist. That’s all I’m going to say on that subject.  I know what I love – and that’s drawing. So enough of this bandwagon jumping. I’m going back to doing what I do best and work to grow in that area.

I did do some drawing that I liked this year.  I participated in a few artist trading card swaps on which gave me some incentive to settle in and make something.

These three were for a 70’s Icon Swap. Here are the Icons I chose to draw:  Pam Grier, Kristy McNichol, and Diana Ross.

Pam Grier
Pam Grier
Kristy McNichol
Kristy McNichol
Diana Ross
Diana Ross

Later I made cards for an Einstein swap.  Albert Einstein is fun to draw.  There are so many beautiful lines, and his eyes are mesmerizing.  For this set I used ink with a brush over my pencil sketch.  I was in a rush to finish these on time, but I like the way Einstein 3 came out.  I can see myself filling an entire sketchbook with Einstein drawings.

Einstein 1
Einstein 1
Einstein 2
Einstein 2
drawing for einstein swap
Einstein 3

More recently, I gave whimsy another try. I signed up for a Long, Lovely Neck swap and drew these ladies.  Not really whimsical, but as close as I get. Here I used my trusty Micron pen and my Tombow markers.

Long Lovely Neck Swap
Long Lovely Neck Swap

My last swap of the year was an Edgar Allan Poe swap. We could draw the author or a scene from one of his books, or anything with a Poe flavor to it. I, of course, just drew little Poe portraits. Again, with pen and Tombow markers.

Trio of Poe Portraits
Trio of Poe Portraits

So there it is, a review of my best ATCs for the year. I resolve to do much better work in 2013.

ATCs: Cats, Cats, and More Cats

ATC: The StareATC: Fletcher's Profile

ATC: Fletcher in Color

More cats for you here.  I’ve been making a lot of these lately.  I think because I want to make sure that they aren’t flukes or just happy accidents.  I’m so amazed by how well these are turning out.   For a contrast, here are some cat drawings I drew in 2008:

Big improvement, I think.

My Own Mini-Portrait Party w/ Lindsay Long


ATC:  LinsdayWhimsy ATC (traded)

© 2011 Mellanie Collins

I’ve been trading artist trading cards (ATCs) for about three years now. It’s a great hobby and it’s really helped me with my drawing. The first trade I did was a portrait exchange with Ujwala from Draw the Line.   We each drew each other and it was a great experience.  I’ve managed to do it a few more times and gathering a nice collection of little portraits of myself.

I met Lindsay (she goies by Lindsaywhimsy)on ATCS for All and fell in love with her whimsical images so I invited her to do a portrait card trade with me.  She’s allowed me to feature the card she made for me here.

© 2011 Lindsay Long

Isn’t it wonderful?  She’s given me such an infectious smile.  Definitely check out Lindsay’s Flickr Photostream.  Her artist trading cards are vivid and cheerful.  You are in for a treat.

Before I wrap this up,  I want to do a quick shout out to Joan Yoshioka.  Thank you for mentioning me in the same sentence as the amazing France Belleville on your blog.  You made my day!