Watercolours are a passion Melanie Collins has returned to in retirement after a 40-year career in teaching and education management in Bristol, Kenya, Cambridge and Peterborough.
Mel studied Art and Architecture at A Level in the 1970s but has recently benefitted from the professional guidance and encouragement of experts like Gilly Marklew, Alan Noyes and John Glover.
Mel received a huge boost upon joining the Society of East Anglian Watercolourists (SEAW) in 2016 and has since exhibited in Bury St Edmunds, Ely, Snape and Barton. Mel recognises how important art networks are for her artistic development, and she was delighted to be able to show pictures at Cambridge Drawing Society events in 2017 and 2018. Mel serves on the SEAW and CDS committees.
Melanie spends a lot of time on composition and practice before embarking on her preferred watercolour method. She employs wet washes, allowing pigments to combine and run in soft combinations. These preparations set the scene for the final and focal detail laid onto the dry backgrounds. She sets a high priority on top quality paper and paints, and uses a limited colour palette, focusing on tones and composition.
Art is such an important part of Mel’s life now and she is constantly searching for new and creative styles, subjects and sentiments.