Indiana Dunes Birding Festival

A recent bright spot for me in this utterly depressing spring was the IDBF. Did you know that an estimated 8 million birds that flew overhead during just the first 3 days of the festival on their annual migratory journeys? The Lake Michigan shoreline is a major funnel for birds making their journeys every spring…

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International Raven and Crow Day

April 27 is International Raven and Crow Day. There is so much rich myth and folklore from all over the world about these birds, members of the family Corvidae. Who knew? Candace Savage’s brilliant book Bird Brains explores some of the current science on these clever birds; it’s a fascinating read if you’d like to…

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Recycled Cotton Moth Throw

Moon moth recycled cotton throw blanket

I’m very excited to offer these sustainably-made, US-produced “Moon Moth” cotton throws in my shop. Made of 75% recycled fiber and machine washable, they get softer with use and measure 54×72″. I’m only stocking a limited number, so learn more and order HERE.

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They’re Back!

Almost ten years ago I created an illustration of the proverb “How Do You Eat an Elephant? One Bite at a Time.” My father had been ill, and in and out of the hospital, and my stepmother quoted it one day when we were all gathered together talking… it’s about realizing that it’s a marathon,…

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Start to Finish

I love watching other artist’s process videos showing sketch to final. I’m trying to do more of my own, though I struggle a little with good lighting and quality video. Just because some folks make it look easy doesn’t mean it is! In any case, I finished this Valentines Day greeting card earlier this week,…

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January 2021 Newsletter

I subtitled this newsletter “Time to Rest and Reflect.” While I see a lot of energy and good intentions and goal setting each year-end, for me it’s a time to rest up, recharge, and start off slow and steady. I have a number of client projects underway already, but chose to share some 2021 highlights…

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My Favorite Books about Natural History

I was recently invited to submit a reading list to the new website Shepherd.com – a site that aims to connect authors and readers through personally curated “Best Of” lists. Rather than go with art technique or inspiration, I decided to share my favorite recent reads on natural history topics. Nature is endlessly fascinating, and…

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New Public Art Project

A photograph of a utility box covered with a colorful illustration of sunflowers, birds, and butterflies

A Few years ago, the City of Valparaiso approached me about designing some art for a downtown utility box, one of several they were adding art to. This year they gave the boxes a refresh, asking each of us to submit a new design. I stuck with the theme of prairie flora and fauna, and…

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New Products in my Etsy Shop

an image of jigsaw puzzles featuring bird illustrations by Melissa Washburn

I’ve just found a couple of new production partners, and am now offering 100% recycled notepads and 500-piece jigsaw puzzles in my Etsy shop! You can find notepads HERE and puzzles HERE.

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ECO-Friendly Resources for artists

TLDR? skip straight to the resource list HERE In December 2019, an Instagram post by illustration Studio Ferntree Lane raised the issue of nature-based artists offering vinyl stickers. While it’s a huge market, it’s contributing to the proliferation of microplastics choking our water and affecting wildlife worldwide. It really resonated with me, as someone who tries to think…

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