Posted on

…And a Dragon

Illinois Dragonfly Painting
Small original painting by Melissa Blue of a red dragonfly on native flower.

There is a lovely woman at the farmer’s market every week who brings cut flowers from her garden to sell. It must be a small farm, really, because what she brings is really impressive. As much as I love fresh organic vegetables, fresh cut flowers are a real lift to the week! Her space is right in front of my studio and we get to talking a bit as I sit there painting. She asked me to paint something small and colorful for a gift for her mom. This is the painting I did for her. I really love this little flower  for its light airy feel and gentle pink color. The attraction is mutual…later, it will form broad flat seeds that adhere to my jeans when I brush past. The dragonfly is one of several species I see flying at Illinois Beach this time of year.

I’ve been without a computer for a week. That will certainly make you realize how much you rely on one! The old one has been slowing down and balking more and more but I didn’t realize how bad it was until finally I just went out and bought a replacement. This new little Mac is solid-state and lightening quick. I’m having a lot of fun learning it’s controls and loving how intuitive it is.


Posted on

Eyed Brown

butterflyMelissa Blue Fine Art

I’m really enjoying getting to hang out at the farmer’s market every Wednesday afternoon. For so many years I was out in the field every day, covering miles, soaking up images I’d one day want to paint. Nowadays I’m grateful for the chair on the sidewalk, a new canvas on my lap ready to go.

I’ve been wanting to paint a series featuring our native butterflies. When I monitored butterflies at Illinois Beach State Park, there were over 40 species to keep track of! Many, like this Eyed Brown, were subtly colored, quietly beautiful. Just think~all these delicate strands of life woven together into ecosystems, flowing one into another. All interconnected. Taken all together, a robust thing. Yet, each strand fragile, vulnerable. How can I represent that vibrancy held so lightly in the wings of a butterfly?

Posted on



It has been a busy few weeks here. First, a delightful visit from Steve Schwartzman and his wife Eve from down in Texas. He writes a wonderful blog called “Portraits of Wildflowers“. If you don’t already read his blog, check it out. You’ll enjoy it.

There are still chances to drop into the studio, and one day a lovely young mother stopped in to see the paintings. She was from India, and she told me that nature means a great deal to her and that she always feels joyful when she can get out into it. She raised her arms in glee, talking about it. I’ve been wanting to paint people connecting with nature and it struck me that this was a great way to show the feeling I want to convey. What if I had a woman celebrating the natural world, and placed her in a field of flowers?  This won’t be a portrait~just a person feeling joyful. Will it work? Will it look hokey? I’m not sure but I’m enjoying the process.

Also, it is farmer’s market season in my town. On Wednesday afternoons it takes place right in front of my gallery~how great is that? Last week I carried out a small canvas and some paint. It was a fun way to let people know I’m here. Here is what I painted:

sidewalk painting

no masterpiece, to be sure, but a fun little cutie.  I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer week!