Although innately artistic, Melissa began formal training in 2014 at the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. That same year, she participated in several competitions at the Black Box Gallery, winning Honorable Mention in the Chromesthesia show, and placing second in a group exhibition entitled Suspension. Two of her oil paintings were chosen for the Nature show at the Black Box Gallery in 2015. Pieces of her water-media on paper were selected for the Drawing on the Edge Gallery Spotlight at Gallery 221 in Little Rock, Arkansas, 2016-2017. Her painting entitled Route 1 Box 6E, 2, was purchased for the gallery’s private collection. She is currently represented by Hugo Rivera Gallery, Five 3 Gallery, and LagunaArt.com Gallery in Laguna Beach, California, and Salon Platinum in Aliso Viejo, CA. Melissa has donated art to charitable organizations including UALR’s Suicide Prevention, The Beyond Project in Redmond, WA and Our House in Little Rock, AR. After the tragic loss of her younger sister in 2016, she has donated art each year to raise money for Women’s Own Worth, (W.O.W.), a non-profit in Arkansas that helps families impacted by domestic violence. Along with her charitable giving, she has sold numerous paintings to collectors across the United States and internationally. In 2019, she was selected as one of 130 artists out of 600 applicants to present her work at The Other Art Fair in LA, and was juried into the prestigious Beverly Hills Art Show in May, 2019. Her work has been published in Arkansas Life Magazine 2016 and is currently featured in the Special 48 th Anniversary edition of Southwest Art Magazine May, 2019. Melissa is exhibiting in a group exhibition entitled Impressive at Las Laguna Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA May 2-June 4, 2019, and will be participating in the group exhibition Spectrum Gestalt 6 at the bG Gallery in Santa Monica, CA June 15-July 5, 2019. Melissa can be found each month in Laguna Beach, CA at the first Thursday Art Walks.
My primary media is resin on museum grade wood panels. The glossy finish of resin is the perfect medium to capture reflective properties. I begin my process by priming a wood panel then using spray paint, I mark out the flow I want to emphasize onto the board. The base color is important since it helps to support the vibrancy of the colored pigments that I choose to mix in with the resin. Working with a two-part epoxy resin, I mix various inks, pastes, micas, and powdered pigments in. The varying weights of the pigments interact differently causing some to sink to the bottom and others to float to the top. A torch and heat gun are used to manipulate and move the resin around the board. Since resin begins to harden as soon as its introduced to heat, I work quickly to manipulate the resin by looking for balance through color and form. Each piece requires multiple layers of resin to achieve depth and dimension therefore it can take up to several weeks to complete a piece. Each artwork is unique and captures the essence of the moment.