GUEST ARTIST: At Home With A Paintbrush

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor illustration by Patricia Mellett Brown - umbrella - #doodlewash

My name is Patricia Mellett Brown (follow me on Instagram and Facebook!). Having recently moved from a busy town to a sleepy rural village, nestling in the heart of Lincolnshire, in England’s East Midlands, this is where my journey truly begins. Despite having just turned 50.

A sketchbook and pencil have always been at hand, though using colour tended to terrify me. Even now, I keep my palette pretty simple. Usually limiting myself to a few colours: – often, Prussian blue, browns and yellows with the addition of a couple of ink pens.

I have always been around art or craft in one way or another. I have been a woodworker, a candle maker and a picture framer, among other things. I have had two retail shops, teaching paint techniques in one, using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Very different to watercolour, of course, and for an entirely different purpose. Chalk paint is fantastic for painting furniture. Putting paint to furniture and putting paint onto paper may be worlds apart but both allow you to be creative. It is amazing how creative you can be with a wardrobe and kitchen table, if you put your mind to it.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor illustration by Patricia Mellett Brown - eggs - #doodlewash

Moving away from the hustle and bustle of a busy town and the resulting change of pace means that, perhaps for the first time in my life, I have been able to turn my full attention to what I have always really wanted to do and that is to paint and to illustrate. I am completely self-taught and there is so much to learn but, for me, trying out new techniques and practising old ones is the best and most important way to develop my skills.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor illustration by Patricia Mellett Brown - man wearing hat - #doodlewash

I am constantly surprised by the fabulous, featured guests here at Doodlewash® and energised by what inspires them. Reading other people’s stories and seeing their art spurs me on to draw and paint. After all, a good writer would not just read his/her own stories right? They will read everything they can lay their hands on. And so it is with me.

In that context, it is a true honour to be asked to be a guest artist. If just one reader is inspired by my work and, on the strength of it, picks up a paint brush for the first time or is prompted to try again, then I would be delighted by that.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor illustration by Patricia Mellett Brown - sardines - #doodlewash

I don’t travel too well these days. My inspirations are all around me. Okay. I put my hands up. I’m a home bird, often preferring my garden to the town centre, observing birds and animals, plants and flowers, weather patterns in the clouds and starry, dark skies. The southern half of Lincolnshire is particularly flat so there are wide, uninterrupted horizons and the light, especially in the mornings and evenings can be spectacularly beautiful, casting subtle shadows and dazzling splashes of red and gold across the fields of deep green kale and the bright yellow flowers of the local oilseed rape.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor illustration by Patricia Mellett Brown - chicken - #doodlewash

The first of my inspirations were my chickens. Over the last ten years, I have been observing and sketching them relentlessly. My pictures are bursting into colour at last. Keeping chickens as pets has allowed me to really see their personalities. They are vulnerable souls indeed. Their unique and individual characters never cease to amaze.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor illustration by Patricia Mellett Brown - chickens on branch - #doodlewash

Each and every one so different to the other. They can be funny, grumpy, playful, gentle and sometimes even vain. Yes, chickens too can, believe it or not, suffer from vanity. I once had two silkies. Sisters from the same batch of rich brown eggs. Fluffy creatures who spent their lives preening themselves and occasionally each other. Elegant and glamours and they knew it.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor illustration by Patricia Mellett Brown - silkies - #doodlewashChickens are such sociable creatures and love nothing better than hanging out with you. The odd one has been known to adore a cuddle and to fall asleep on my lap, snoozing  contentedly in the sunshine. My most precious memories are of those lazy Sunday afternoons, hanging out together in our garden. Watching, transfixed, as they frolicked on the lawn, dust bathing awkwardly in the baking soil, or chasing the poor ‘broody’ mercilessly.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor illustration by Patricia Mellett Brown - chicken - #doodlewash

She’d only leave the nest box, under protest, to nibble disinterestedly on some corn, before disappearing back into the coop with a nonchalant swish of her bedraggled tail feathers, chased by the other hens or my dog. I am part way through writing a story about my beloved chickens which I hope to illustrate and finish soon.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor illustration by Patricia Mellett Brown - dog - #doodlewash

Which brings me on to my next inspiration. My dog Yaesu and her pal Daisy Mae. I never had a puppy before. How our lives have changed since Yaesu arrived. Looking after a puppy can be challenging, but it is also such a delight. Watching and trying to capture in my paintings, the friendship that blossomed between them was a truly unexpected pleasure. Physically, the two are not at all alike, but together they are like peas in a pod.

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Both like nothing better than the simple  pleasure of chasing a tennis ball or charging around the garden in wide circles, poor Yaesu’s paws thudding against the lawn in an effort to keep up with Daisy’s athletic bursts of speed. Or finding a muddy puddle. Especially a muddle puddle. Unfortunately.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor illustration by Patricia Mellett Brown - dog - #doodlewash

Since being part of the World Watercolour Group, I am increasingly noticing the beautiful things around me and taking note of the simpler things in life and around my home, so that I now want to paint and paint. So we shall see where my inspirations take me next. I, for one, see no shame in being a home bird.

So this is where my personal journey begins. In a quintessentially English village called ‘Heckington’ where I live with my absent-minded writer husband who has a fondness for hats, Yaesu and her daily shenanigans and my elderly neurotic black cat called Spotty.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor illustration by Patricia Mellett Brown - man and dog - #doodlewash

My advice to all you other budding artists out there is to take on the challenge and start thinking out of the box and see where it takes you, whether that be home or away. There is a world of things to paint.

Patricia Mellett Brown
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Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you'd like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
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19 Comments
  1. memadtwo 6 months ago

    Your animals are so personable! (K)

  2. Teresa Robeson 6 months ago

    A sense of fun exudes from your art! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  3. digishelsMichele 6 months ago

    I love your quirky stories that go along with your delightful sketches of colourful characters in the chooks and dogs….thanks for sharing.

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 6 months ago

    Patricia, I find your story absolutely charming and inspiring. I’m impressed by how you portray your chickens, not only showing their unique personalities, but also using a slightly different style. You aren’t bound by one approach and are willing to try new things. Well done artwork and lovely to look at.

    • Patricia Mellett Brown 6 months ago

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments and I’m chuffed to bits that you are inspired 😀😀I don’t think I will ever get tired of painting chickens !

  5. matraskarate 6 months ago

    Wonderful doodles

  6. jopamhworo 6 months ago

    Hi Patricia, I am highly impressed with your skillful paintings. They are charming and attractive. How I wish I could paint like you. What a high display of dexterity!

  7. Patricia Mellett Brown 6 months ago

    Oh thank you so much Jopamhoro 😀😀 I am truly flattered by your kind words! 😀

  8. beverlydyer 6 months ago

    Your life sounds charming! I’m a home body too.

    • Patricia Mellett Brown 6 months ago

      Its very different to the hectic and busy life I had just 5 months ago! Where I live now is very peaceful 🙂

  9. jofox2108 6 months ago

    I love the little schnauzer! Beautiful work generally too.

    • Patricia Mellett Brown 6 months ago

      Her name is Mabel, she is super sweet and fast becoming a superstar 🙂

      • jofox2108 6 months ago

        Awww, she looks like quite a character! I’ve got a very old min. schnauzer called Bonnie, she’s kind and good but keeps falling off the bed and getting lost in our home – the little sausage is a bit deaf and blind now. We love her though. 🙂

  10. Mary Roff 5 days ago

    Your illustrations and stories are smile makers. Delightful work!

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