Melissa at age 5

I was raised in a hard-working creative family and a household filled with animals of all kinds. Shortly after birth I was misdiagnosed as a Drama Queen. As it turns out, I was simply an artist all along! Since the age of five I wanted to be an artist. I always knew what I wanted, so, I made my early years count and worked hard to earn my B.A. in Fine Art.

My career hasn't always followed a straight path, but I have spent the majority of my working years as an active artist, including twenty-two years as an artist/Art Instructor for an art correspondence school. During that time, I was encouraged by my fellow Art Instructors to increase my skills and understanding of art. At home, my adorable little Poodle, Miles Davis, inspired me to step out into an area that I had never explored within my own art and collaging became a new obsession.

My dining room table was soon filled with tools and supplies where I would spend hours creating hand-cut collages of high-fashion-wearing dogs and cats in exotic landscapes and locations. I made myself laugh everyday and the ideas poured out. Friends, family, and co-workers really enjoyed seeing my work, so, I continued developing new ideas. Soon what began as an indulgent distraction, became a passion and 4 Paws Collage was born.

When I am not creating my quirky collages, I enjoy hanging out with family, friends, and my dog. I love reading, old films, and studying the Spanish language. Over the years many people have asked me why I made the decision to become an artist. I can only tell them that it's the only activity that makes me feel happy and truly alive. It enriches my life in so many ways and I hope the joy I experience is felt by all who see my creations.

In the Studio

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