A Poppy in a Pinch

Blue Poppy
© 2014 Mellanie Collins
2.5″ x 3.5″
watercolor pencil and markers

In June my friend Anita invited me to participate in a swap/exhibit put on by Art with a Heart in Altrincham, England.  The theme was “In Bloom” so I had to do something with a floral theme.

So I figured, hey, why not?  Sure I hadn’t drawn or painted any flowers in a couple of years, but since it was early in June I had all month to practice and it would all be cool.  But it wasn’t.

I forgot all about the swap!  I got a message reminding me that the cards needed to be in the UK by the end of June.  This was one week away.  I figured I would need at least five days for the card to get to the UK, so I needed to make something fast.

I rummaged around and sketched and gritted my teeth.  Nothing happened.  So I just threw up my hands and said,  “I give up!”  and just let go.  I decided I’d loosen up by drawing the impression of a flower and recklessly drew squiggles and then looked for some shadows to play with.  Before I new it I had this card.

By just messing around I ended up with something so much nicer than anything I worked hard over.  Relaxing and seeing what happens works for me.  Why do I not remember that?  Ever?

My card made it to the exhibit in time, the cards were displayed through July and I’ll get a lovely card back in the mail sometime soon.   All that fuss for nothing.

**Have you seen my Facebook page? I’m posting more process photos over there. Check it out. **

Every Day in May: Day 10 – Orchid Show Drawings

4"x5" pen and watercolor pencil
4"x5" pen and watercolor pencil

(click the image to see a larger, sharper view)

I skipped day nine,  but I’m back on with Day 10.  I went to my first orchid show on Sunday.  I had never been to a flower show and I wanted some new things to draw so I went.

EDIM - 10a

I took a few pictures to use for drawing and made these drawings in my moleskine when I got home.   I found them awfully intimidating.  I stuck with it though.

pen and watercolor pencil
pen and watercolor pencil

Every Day in May: Day 6 – Truck Sketch

4" x 5.5"  graphite and watercolor pencil
4" x 5.5" graphite and watercolor pencil

I spotted this truck  while taking one of my walks.  I did a few quick sketches and then took a few pictures and worked on it from home.   I haven’t used my watercolor pencils in a while so I played around with them here.  I love these old trucks.   They have so much character.

Resolutions? Phooey!

5"x7" pen and watercolor pencil
5"x7" pen and watercolor pencil

I was thinking about my art goals for 2009.   After wracking my poor little brain for a while I decided to just skip it.   I mean, I’ll just end up doing what I feel like doing.   Last year I only had three goals and I completely disregarded two of them.   I still did a lot of work that I am proud of and had my best year for art making ever!

I’m going to focus on my successes and not worry about improving or setting goals.   When I am encouraged and feeling good about what I am doing,  inspiration comes easier and I do good work.   So this year I’m just going to wing it.

Happy New Year everyone!  Thanks so much for all of your visits and to all of you who have linked to me!  I’ve received so many wonderful comments this year.  Knowing that so many of you like my pictures keeps me drawing and posting.  I hope the coming year brings everyone much love and abundance.

Throwing In the Sponge – EDM 126


This must be the most unromantic and uninteresting subject under the sun. Well, one of them anyway. I think that is why I chose this Everyday Matters Challenge 126 – Draw a Sponge. I just needed to draw something that I didn’t care about.

For a whole week I have been going around looking at things and wondering whether or not I could draw them. Now I don’t know why I was doing this since I have proved to myself that generally if I sit down and focus I can draw most things. But for some reason I decided to sit and stew about it. It’s like I get drawing amnesia and suddenly I’m in remedial drawing sitting in the back of the class and staring out the window. Then my inner critic starts chastising me about not drawing. Grrrrrrrr.

Fortunately, the marvelous Sarah gave me the nudge I needed and I am back! Thanks Sarah!

What is this inside of us, this silent observer,
Severe and speechless critic, who can terrorize us,
And urge us on to futile activity,
And in the end, judge us still more severely,
For errors into which his own reproaches drove us?
~T.S. Eliot

Something To Be Thankful For


I’ve been gone for a while, but I’ve had a wonderful week! Birthday celebrations (mine), guests from out of town and a general sense of well-being that comes from looking in the mirror and realizing that even though I’ve grown a year old, I still don’t have any crow’s feet. YES!!! Life is good. Now back to drawing.

I’m posting some drawings I’ve done last week of my husband Michael. I’ve decided that should work for EDM Challenge 42 – Draw Something That You are Thankful For. Well I am thankful for Michael, my best friend and all-around favorite person. I could go on for quite a bit about all the wonderful things about him. But I’ll skip all that mushy stuff. He knows why I like him so much and that is the important thing.

The drawing above is an attempt to work with watercolor pencils. It seems that everything I’ve been trying lately has been such a struggle for me. While I like the drawing, I don’t like the muddy look of the shadowed side of the face. I also know that I would much rather use a hot press paper than cold press. The texture of this paper was really unsuitable and I struggled mightily with it. But you don’t learn if you don’t try, right?

This is a quick sketch of Michael I did while we were sitting outside having coffee yesterday. I don’t know why I like this one so much. I think because I feel I really captured his characteristic squint/frown that he gets when he’s reading the paper. I used my sepia Pitt Artist pens and then colored it with watercolor pencils when I got home.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you come again.