Walking into Melissa’s garage studio, a large rain drop canvas captures your eye immediately. Pulling your attention away from it is hard, but once you do, you take notice all of the medium-sized paintings speckled throughout the space, on drying racks, small easels, and hung on walls as permanent residents. Lumbering white pines, delicate black spruces, struck with a light so realistic you can't believe it's a stroke of paint.
The floor is treated plywood thats been unintentionally decorated with love by paint of every colour, the occasional streak of the tell tale sign of a wide brush. A photo of the northern lights takes up her entire computer screen which is adjacent to her easel. She’s been working on a dark skies painting using this as a reference but switches to another painting to keep her mind fresh and engaged.
She sips a luke-warm coffee out of a mug also covered in paint with a paint brush in the same hand making you believe she'll catch her hair with the bright yellow tip, but she doesn't. She's practiced at this, clearly. As she sits in her chair she winds her large Italian easel down to the proper height to fix the tree tips.
“I work on three to four paintings at a time, spending a half hour or so on each so when I go back to them I can see clearly what I need to fix,” says Melissa. A sound technique on solving life’s problems as well, one could imagine.
While she mostly captures landscapes in their timely glory at golden hour, as you look through her studio there are glimpses of human life and abstract in her pieces. That is, if you can possibly overlook the two adorable dogs, Luna and Wookie, who of course, help her paint.